Commodities & markets, Costs & returns

New Costs and Returns Study for Walnuts released by UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center

The UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center has released a new study on the costs and returns to establish an orchard and produce walnuts in the northern San Joaquin Valley.

This study assumes a hypothetical farm size of 100 contiguous acres that is farmer owned and operated. Sixty acres are being established to walnuts and 35 acres are planted to other permanent or annual crops. The walnut orchard is planted on a 24 X 24 foot spacing using ¾ inch caliber nursery grafted trees on a Paradox rootstock. The walnut trees are a late leafing, lateral bearing variety.

Input and reviews were provided by UC ANR Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors and other agricultural associates. The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for the walnut crop, material inputs, cash overhead, 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 new study is titled: “Sample Costs to Establish an Orchard and Produce Walnuts, in the San Joaquin Valley North – 2017”

This study and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available. They can be downloaded from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Jeremy Murdock at the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651,, or the local UCCE Farm Advisors; Joe Grant,, David Doll,, or Janet Caprile,

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


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