Economics of Growing Microgreens for the Local Food Market

Monday, July 22, 2013
Desert Ballroom: Salons 7-8 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Gary R. Bachman , Mississippi State University, Biloxi, MS
Christine Coker , Coastal Research & Extension Center, Biloxi, MS
The hardest aspect of growing fresh produce for the local food market is establishing appropriate selling prices. New crops are put into the production rotation based on customer recommendations and seed catalog promotions. Many fresh market growers do not take the time to consider, let alone calculate, the ultimate costs to produce these new crops. One crop that is getting a lot of attention from both the restaurant market and consumers are microgreens. A case study was performed with a local grower producing microgreens. Production costs and inputs were evaluated to calculate and establish selling prices. Input costs are approximately $2.46/ft2 and is fairly consistent across the microgreen varieties grown. Harvestable yield varies from 1.5 ounces/ft2 to more than 4 ounces/ft2 depending on variety. Market prices depend on variety and production management. Market prices range from $2.00 to $6.00 per ounce with a resulting margin ranging from 35% to 75%. Ultimate customer preferences for microgreen variety are based on the end use.
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