UCDavis strawberry pic webpage Eclipse01_Mackendorf

Apr 11, 2024
UC strawberry study looks at growing costs, returns

A new study can help estimate costs and potential returns for growing strawberries on California’s Central Coast.

The University of California (UC) Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) and the UC-Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics released the study, “2024 Sample Costs to Produce and Harvest Strawberries.”

“This study provides growers with a baseline to estimate their own costs, which can help when applying for production loans, projecting labor costs, securing market arrangements, or understanding costs associated with water and nutrient management and regulatory programs,” Brittney Goodrich, UCCE specialist and study co-author.

The cost study models a management scenario for a 50-acre farm, 45 acres of which are planted to strawberries, in Santa Cruz, Monterey or San Benito counties. The remaining acres are for the irrigation system, roads and buildings. The study describes the cultural practices used in strawberry production and harvest, including land preparation, soil fertility and pest management, irrigation and labor needs.

University of California Strawberries
File photos courtesy of University of California-Davis

The 19-page study shows costs for each operation, material inputs and costs, and cash and non-cash overhead costs in a variety of formats for one production and harvest cycle. A ranging analysis is also included and shows potential profits or losses over a range of prices and yields.

The UC-Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website has dozens of cost and return studies for specialty crops.

For a detailed explanation of the assumptions and calculations used to estimate the costs and potential returns for each crop, readers can refer to the narrative portion of each study.

For more information, email Mark Bolda, UCCE farm advisor, at [email protected], or Jeremy Murdock in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at [email protected].


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