Market-Farmer Survey Results Posted

Lion Kuntz lionkuntz at
Sat Sep 22 19:10:58 EDT 2001

Sorry for the delay: been offline since 9.11.

All the land required to grow a crop is divided by the portion of an acre it represents. The cash value of the crop is divided by the number of square feet to grow it.

One acre earning $43,560 per year would be earning $1/per sq.ft/per year. If you got three crops of lettuces per year and retailed the lettuces for 33 cents each, that's about $1 per spot growing the lettuces. If the lettuces are spaced 12 inches in a row, and the rows are 30 inches apart, then 2.5 square feet grew $1 worth per year. These lettuces would be earning 40 cents per square foot, not $1, because the empty row space between lettuces is just as necessary as the plant-occupied space.

Some people plant in intensive beds to decrease "waste" space between rows, but are impaired from using some kinds of machinery for cultivation. Management practices shift some costs from fuel and machinery to human wages for labor. Which is right for you is a very personal decision, but the tool for evaluating whether you are getting the best yields is the bottom line. After all income is received, and all bills are paid, how much money do you have left over which is all yours? Is that enough?

Income per square foot can help you measure which crops are doing what you need them to do, and which are not measuring up. That's why I translated dollars into dollars per square foot.

The measure is deceptive, in that growing a lot more of a high-value retail crop turns it into a low-value wholesale crop, because you cannot retail off the whole crop before it spoils. So you have no choice but to find a wholesaler willing to take them and pay you as little as 17% of what you might have made retailing the crop.

I hope I didn't make things seem more complicated than they are. It is really just simple division, which helps not only compare apples to apples, but also compare apples to oranges to asparagus to popcorn.

-----Original Message-----
From: MMQuiteCon at
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 15:01:08 EDT
To: "Market Farming" <market-farming at>
Subject: [market-farming] Re: Market-Farmer Survey Results Posted

> Hi Loni,
>        Do you have a formula regarding square foot return?  Not just the 
> math, but, also the ingredients?
> thank you,  
> mary mary
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