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Studies focus on tomatoes, pistachios and wild rice

The studies are based on typical farming practices for the crop and region and are designed to help guide production decisions, determine possible returns, prepare budgets and evaluate production loans. They are to be used by growers, bankers, government agencies, researchers and others to compare operations with costs and revenues from a hypothetical farm.

The tomato reports are based on cultural practices common to the San Joaquin Valley, where many processing tomatoes and most fresh market tomatoes are grown. The pistachio study shows the establishment and production costs for orchards in the southern San Joaquin Valley, where most pistachios are grown. The wild rice study shows the establishment and production costs for wild rice grown in the Intermountain Region of northeastern California.

"With these reports, growers will be able to examine how their operations compare with costs and revenues from the latest production research," said Rich De Moura, staff research associate in the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. "They were developed by UC Davis economists working with teams of UC farm advisors who are most knowledgeable about each commodity."

Each study contains tables showing the annual per acre production costs from land preparation through the post-harvest phase for the specific commodity. Tables for the perennial crops -- wild rice and pistachios -- also show the annual per acre costs for establishment. Production costs are broken out by operation, material and monthly cash costs. The cultural, harvest, operating capital, cash overhead and non-cash overhead costs from establishment through mature production are also shown in the tables.

Other economic information includes an equipment list, hourly equipment costs, a ranging analysis that shows profitability for various yields and prices, and a break-even analysis table. A narrative section explains the assumptions used in the study, highlighting the cultural practices such as land preparation, crop establishment, pest management, irrigation, fertilization and harvest. Other featured sections include land, labor, expected yields, expected returns, risk, cash and non-cash overhead, and equipment basics.

The studies ranging from 17 to 24 pages are titled: Sample Costs to Produce Processing Tomatoes in the San Joaquin Valley -- 2000, Sample Costs to Produce Fresh Market Tomatoes in the San Joaquin Valley -- 2000, Sample Costs to Establish and Produce Pistachios in the San Joaquin Valley -- 2000, and Sample Costs to Establish and Produce Wild Rice in the Intermountain Region -- 2000.

The studies are available for $1 each from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616-8512; (530) 752-1515. The publications are also available at University of California Cooperative Extension county offices and from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website:

Other commodities for which similar reports are available include alfalfa, almonds, apples, artichokes, asparagus, barley, beans, beef, broccoli, cabbage,

cantaloupe, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, corn, cotton, eggplant, figs, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, lettuce, melons, okra, olives, onions, oranges, pears, pecans, peppermint, peppers, potatoes, prunes, rice, safflower, strawberries, sugarbeets, mixed vegetables, walnuts, wheat and winter forage.

For additional information, contact De Moura at (530) 752-3589 or email him at

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