[Market-farming] time budget info for various field crops?

Kathryn Kerby kakerby at aol.com
Sat Jan 11 22:38:19 EST 2014

I am looking for something which maybe doesn't exist.  A table of estimated
or averaged manhours required for different kinds of veggie crops.  For
instance, something which would list the approximate manhours required to
take tomatoes from seeding through harvest, on a per-plant or per-row-foot
or per-square-foot basis.  I know there are a lot of variables, such as
whether stuff is direct-seeded vs transplanted, whether each step is done
manually or via machinery, and probably a lot of stuff I haven't even
thought of.  But maybe something like this exists?  I've been doing Google
searches on phrases like "time budget for vegetable crops" but keep coming
up with hits for enterprise budgets, ie, how much money was spent on seeds
and fertilizer and so on.  Not what I'm looking for.

I'm asking for several related reasons.  First, we're trying to decide
whether to add any additional crops to our existing work schedule for the
year.  Also, we're wondering if there is some kind of comparison between
crops, such that if we wanted to add a few more, we could choose based (in
part) on how much manpower they'd require, versus how much time we can give
that new crop.  Maybe tomatoes would be too time-intensive, but perhaps
onions wouldn't.  I also would like to compare the limited manhours info I
have for crops we've done in the past, versus how much manhours those same
crops required other farms.  See if we're taking more time than is really
needed, on X crop.  If we're spending five times more man hours in the field
on squash, compared to some kind of national average, it would be nice to
learn that so we can figure out why.


Anyone have any resources they could point me towards?  Thanks all.....

Kathryn Kerby

Snohomish, WA

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