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Cost studies for lettuce

New cost-of-production studies for growing romaine hearts and iceberg lettuce on California’s Central Coast are available from the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE).

The studies focus on production costs in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, California's primary lettuce-growing area. The studies show the production costs for growing romaine hearts on 80-inch beds with drip irrigation and iceberg lettuce grown on 40-inch beds with sprinkler irrigation.

Each analysis is based upon a hypothetical vegetable farm operation using practices common in the region. Farm advisors, researchers, growers, farm accountants, pest control advisers, consultants, and other agricultural associates provided input and reviews.

Assumptions used to identify current costs for the individual crops, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead are described. A ranging analysis table shows profits over a range of prices and yields.

Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

The two studies — Sample Costs to Produce Romaine Hearts and Sample Costs to Produce Iceberg Lettuce — are available online at, from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, and local UC Cooperative Extension offices.

The studies were prepared by Richard Smith, UCCE farm advisor, Monterey County; and Karen Klonsky, UCCE specialist and Richard De Moura, research associate with the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

All cost of production studies are available at, UC Cooperative Extension offices or by calling (530) 752-1515.

For more information, contact De Moura at or Pete Livingston at

TAGS: Vegetables
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