Vegetable farming has increased in popularity over the course of time, since people prefer fresh, nutrient-rich produce for their meals. If you want to venture into vegetable farming on small acreage, you must choose which crops have a great profit return. This article will give you a detailed breakdown of the profit per acre of the most farmed vegetable crops.
Oyster mushrooms are the most profitable farm vegetables, with an average profit per acre of $43,560 to $130,680 for a yield of 1 million pounds of mushrooms, which can be harvested thrice a year. Next on the list are basil, microgreens, and arugula which make roughly more than $100,000 profit per acre per year.
Let's get into the details of this breakdown of profits per crop, as well as the total cost of production per acre of each crop.
If you have limited space and want to make the most from it, here are some suggestions for crops that can deliver real cost savings and make every square foot in your land value.
Below is a table that summarizes the breakdown of the profit per acre of each crop, the yield per acre, and the frequency of harvest per year per crop.
|Crop||Profit per acre||Yield per acre||Harvest Per Year|
|Cabbage||$1,780||12,000 – 16,000 heads||Twice a year|
|Cucumbers||$873||13,750 – 16,500 lbs.||Once a year|
|Garlic||$2,071||40 quintals||Twice a year|
|Eggplant||$1,950||100 quintals||Once a year|
|Lettuce||$17,965.67||26, 000 heads||2-3 times a year|
|Onions||$2,086.71||130 quintals||Twice a year|
|Potatoes||$1,697||25,000 - 35,000 lbs.||Thrice a year|
|Spinach||$934.15||16,000 kgs. (32,000 lbs)||Thrice a year|
|Sweet Potatoes||$2,015.4||90 quintals||Once a year|
|Tomatoes||$1,432.16||10,000 kgs.||Once a year (at least 5 pickings per harvest)|
|Microgreens||$8.5 – $14.8 per tray||8 – 12 oz per tray||One time harvest every 1- 2 weeks|
|Oyster mushrooms||$43,560 - $130,680||1 million lbs.||Thrice a year|
|Peppers||$3,000||8,000-12,000 lbs.||Twice a year|
|Carrots||$1,931||8,000 kg||3-4 times a year|
|Basil||$87,000 - $104,400||1,740 lbs.||Multiple times|
|Arugula||$54,000||9,000 lbs.||Twice a year|
Cabbage is in demand all the time which makes it profitable. One cabbage can serve many people, plus they last longer, which adds to its profitability. They produce 12,000 to 16,000 heads per acre, with 15,000 heads on average.
Cabbage can be sold for $0.16 per head, so if you have 15,000 heads per acre, your gross profit is $2,400. Production costs for cabbage are around $620, including farm equipment, chemicals, seeds, and labor. Subtracting the production costs from your gross profit per acre gives you a net income of $1,780 per acre.
Cabbage can be harvested twice a year; therefore, your annual net profit can escalate to up to $3,560.
Cucumbers are high-yield products at very low costs. Their market demand is attributed to their dual purpose- as food and as skin regimen because they have jampacked nutrition value.
The expected yield of cucumbers is 7,000 kg. per acre or around 15,432 lbs. per acre. Each kilogram is sold for $0.22, which roughly makes $1,538.10 per 1 acre of cucumber.
Operational costs like seed, seed treatment, pesticides and fertilizers, labor costs, harvesting, and marketing costs, sum up to $665.46. Subtracting this cost from the gross profit makes a net profit of $872.64 per 1 acre of cucumber.
As a top-earning salad ingredient, lettuce earns a net income of $17,965.67 per acre. All fast-food takeaways and drive-thru have lettuce requirements every day, so imagine how in demand this crop is.
Lettuce is marketed by the head and each acre yields 15,000 to 36,000 heads, depending on plant spacing. The average yield is 26,000 heads per acre, and assuming 75% of it is marketable, gives us 19,500 heads.
Each unit can be sold at $1.75, therefore a gross profit of $34,125.00 per acre is expected. However, expenses for operations cost a total of $16,159.33 for field preparation and planting, harvesting, packing, maintenance, and repairs, and other variable and fixed costs.
Net income return will therefore be $17,965.67 per acre, and 2 – 3 times of harvest can earn you a whopping amount between $35,931.34 to $53,897.01 per acre per year.
Oyster mushrooms are one the most profitable gourmet mushroom with high market demand. They are very easy to grow and grow quickly in about 6 weeks.
One acre of land can grow 1 million pounds of oyster mushrooms annually. Indoor production of mushrooms has been reported to gain $1 to $3 net income per square foot. Calculating, this quickly escalates your net income to $43,560 - $130,680 per acre.
Considering that mushrooms grow in 6 weeks and can be harvested 3 times a year, this net income could triple in numbers.
You shouldn’t be surprised if garlic makes its way as one of the most profitable vegetable crops, since it’s included in almost any dish we cook daily.
Garlic is an excellent cash crop because of its hardiness as a drought and frost-tolerant crop. In an acre of land, farmers can expect an average yield of 40 quintals of garlic. This can be sold for $61 per pound.
Gross income for 1 acre of garlic will therefore be $2,440. The total cost of cultivation is $369. Subtracting this from the gross income will give $2,071 net income per acre of garlic.
Arugula, a leafy green vegetable, is now popularly known as a gourmet salad ingredient. It contains essential nutrients good for the heart and bone, which make it a top-tier salad mix. They also grow quickly and mature in less than 40 days.
An acre of arugula yields 9,000 lbs. which sells for $6/lb. Therefore, an acre of arugula can give you a $54,000 income per harvest. You can harvest arugula twice a year, and this makes a $108,000 profit annually.
Spinach is a popular and profitable market garden crop. They are sold in urban markets and can be consumed either cooked, raw, or as a beverage. Spinach is packed with nutrients and vitamins which adds to why it is highly in demand.
An acre can have an average yield of 16 tons or 16,000 kgs. Each kilogram of spinach sells for $0.11. Therefore, a gross income of $1,760 is expected per acre. The total production costs sum up to $825.85 and subtracting this from the gross income gives a net profit of $934.15 per acre of spinach.
Eggplant has an excellent yield which makes it a good crop for vegetable farming. Aside from this, they also have many hybrid seeds that are available for commercial farming.
A farmer can have an average yield of 100 quintals per acre, sold at $24.38 per quintal. This gives a gross revenue of $2,438 per 1 acre of eggplant. The total cost of production, however, is $488 per acre. Subtracting this cost gives a net profit of $1,950 per acre of eggplant.
Major exporters of onions are countries like China and India. These crops are famous for their pungent odor and as the first ingredient in most dishes.
One acre of land can produce 130 quintals of onions. Each quintal sells for $19.51, so the expected gross income is $2,536. An operational expense of $449.29 is to be deducted from the gross income, which gives a net income of $2,086.71 for 1 acre of onion farming.
Onions can be harvested twice a year, therefore, for an acre of onion, you can expect an annual income of $4,173.42.
Planting potatoes, if done right, is a good source of income. Although they pose challenges when it comes to soil pH, sunlight, and climate, farming them is worth it.
Although potatoes need a growing time of 3 months, you can make a profit of up to $1,697 per 1 acre of potatoes. An acre can yield up to 300 bags weighing 50 kg. each (33, 069 lbs.), a 50 kg. bag of potatoes can be sold at $10 per bag. This gives a gross profit of $3,000 per 1 acre.
Production and operational costs of cultivating potatoes sum up to around $1,303. Therefore, the net income for 1-acre potato farming is $1,697. Potatoes can be harvested up to three times a year, so your earnings can quickly escalate up to $5,091 annually.
Tomatoes are a common household ingredient in many dishes. The high market demand for tomatoes is due to their packed nutrients. They are profitable because they can grow in various environmental conditions and they can be cultivated throughout the year as annual plants.
In 4 pickings, a farmer can expect a yield of 10,000 kg. of tomatoes from 1 acre of land. The price of tomatoes in the market is $0.18 per kg. So, you can earn a gross profit of $1,800. The total cost of production of 1 acre of tomatoes is $367.84.
Therefore, the net income from 1 -acre of tomatoes is $1,432.16.
Compared to other staple foods, sweet potatoes give a higher energy output, which is why there’s a high demand for them in the market. On top of this, sweet potatoes have a short growing cycle, and since they grow underground, they are less exposed to extreme weather conditions like drought, heavy rains, and even strong winds.
An acre of sweet potatoes can yield 90 quintals or about 19,841.6 lbs. Each quintal sells for a value of $28.06. The gross profit, therefore, for 1 acre of sweet potatoes is around $2,525.4.
The production cost of sweet potatoes, including pesticides, fertilizers, harvesting, labor costs, and other miscellaneous costs sums up to $510 per acre. The net income for 1 acre of sweet potato planting is therefore estimated to be $2,015.4.
Peppers are perennial plants but are treated as annual plants by farmers. Most commercial pepper varieties can be harvested 60-90 days after transplanting. You may harvest peppers once or twice a week.
A good yield will be anywhere from 8,000-12,000 lbs. and can earn you $3,000 per acre. Peppers can be harvested twice a year, so it can give an annual income of $6,000 per acre of peppers.
Small-scale farmers gain from carrot farming because this vegetable requires a smaller number of inputs and fewer protection measures.
The total expenses for 1-acre carrot cultivation sum up to $549. An acre of land has an average yield of 8,000 kg. of carrots or approximately 17,636.98 lbs. of carrots.
A kilogram of carrot sells for $0.31 per unit. Therefore, for a 1-acre plantation of carrots, you can get a gross profit of $2,480. The net profit for 1 acre of carrots will therefore be $1,931.
Basil can be the most popular herb to grow on small acreages. Its appeal to farmers has been rising because of its consistent market demand. They can be sold directly to restaurants, farmer's markets, and specialty grocery stores.
Basils are profitable crops because they are quickly maturing and can be harvested in 3-4 weeks. An acre can yield 1,740 pounds of basil, which can be sold for about $50 to $6o per pound.
Therefore, you can expect a profit of $87,000-$104,400 per acre of basil, and this value can increase since basil can be harvested multiple times in a year.
Microgreens are profitable because they can grow quickly – only taking a week or two before harvest time. They also take up very little space which makes room for keeping more of them.
Microgreens, unlike other types of vegetables and crops, are grown in 10 x 20 trays. Their measurement of yield is therefore per tray instead of an acre.
One tray of microgreens can yield 8-12 oz of the plant. A pound of microgreens can sell for $25 - $40., with each tray selling for $8.5 - $14.8.
Now, the total costs and expenses for growing microgreens are around $4 for each tray. Subtracting this cost from the selling price will give you a profit of $21 to $36 per pound of microgreens.
In a rack, you can keep 20 trays of microgreens, therefore a rack can give you $170 to $296 in just one planting. How much more if you keep growing microgreens each week for the whole year?
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