Commodities & markets, Costs & returns, Management, Studies

New Costs and Returns Study: “Sample Costs to Produce and Harvest Strawberries in the Central Coast Region-2016”

New Costs and Returns Study, “Sample Costs to Produce and Harvest Strawberries in the Central Coast Region-2016” has been released by UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension

Sample costs to produce and harvest strawberries for fresh market in the Central Coast Region – Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties – are presented in this study.

The analysis is based upon a hypothetical well-managed farming operation using practices common to the region. The costs, materials, and practices shown in this study will not apply to all farms. Growers, UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors, and other agricultural associates provided input and reviewed the methods and findings of the study.

This study assumes a fairly flat farm operation size of 50 contiguous acres of rented land. Strawberries are planted on 45 acres. The crop is harvested – by hand and packed into trays containing eight 1-pound clamshells – from April through early October with peak harvest in June and July.

The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for production material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead. Ranging analysis tables show net profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

The study also has an expanded section on labor, which includes information on California’s new minimum wage and overtime laws.

Free copies of this study and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available. To download the cost studies, visit the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at

The cost and returns studies program is funded by the UC Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension, both of which are part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact the Agricultural Issues Center, University of California, Davis, (530) 752-4651, UC Cooperative Extension Santa Cruz County: Mark Bolda (831) 763-8025 or Laura Tourte (831) 763-8005.

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The Agricultural Issues Center is now the UC Davis California Agricultural Issues Lab.


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