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Thread: Feasibility Study on the Establishment of a 25 Acre Fruit and Vegetable Farm

Created on: 04/14/10 07:32 PM

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quinn1andrews





Joined: 04/14/10

Posts: 1

Feasibility Study on the Establishment of a 25 Acre Fruit and Vegetable Farm
04/14/10 7:32 PM

Abstract
One of the major problems new farmers face is what crops to plant to generate the greatest economic returns on a specific quantity of land. To assist farmers in making sound economic decisions, a feasibility study was undertaken to help farmers determine the type of crops to grow, the amount of land to use, and the cost of various inputs needed to produce a desired profit. This study consisted of taking a 25 acre farm and evaluating some 11 fruits and vegetable crops to determine which crop mix was best suited to generate the highest return with a minimum amount of labor and other farm inputs. The goal was to start initially with five acres and in five years, be producing sufficient crops to sustain a desirable income using most if not all of the 25 acre farm block. This study is based on the premise that the farm is ideally suited for crop production. The farmer and his wife are middle aged with good health which will allow them to perform most of the labor necessary to bring the farm into production. They have sufficient water, equipment, and technical knowledge to operate a fruit and vegetable farm. They also have an investment of $10,000 to use in financing the farming venture. The plan calls for the establishment of an initial 5 acres of vegetables to generate immediate income, and to establish ½ acre of some type of fruit trees that will take two or more years to mature and begin to generate income.
An investigative feasibility study revealed that the best crops to initially plant to generate immediate income were tomatoes and collard greens. Both of these crops are annuals that can be grown twice during the year and could generate a gross income in excess of $5,000 per year. The plan also calls for the establishment of a half acre of Muscadine grapes that will come into production in year two. For each subsequent year, the farmer can continue to plant vegetables as cash crops for immediate income and small fruits that will generate income over a long period of time. We recommend that additional grapes be plants along with blueberries and blackberries, Satsuma oranges and Oriental persimmons by year three. This would allow for cash receipts coming from the vegetables annually, and the fruits coming into production beginning the second year and increasing in production and revenue generated each year thereafter. The goal is to establish at least a half acre of each fruit crop and two to three acres of vegetables with tomatoes and salad greens being the primary vegetables annually. As the farm grows in size and complexity, the farmer will be able to realize a continuous increase in sustainable income and market potential. By ear five, the farm will have a sufficient quantity of produce to begin to consider alternative marketing strategies or options such as farmers markets, roadside markets and pick-your-own markets. The type of market greatly depends on the location of the farm in relation to population centers, and availability of additional labor needs. This said, this study clearly shows that it is definitely feasible for a farmer to take a 25 acre tract of land and produce sufficient fruit and vegetable crop mixes to generate sufficient income to feed his family and have a reasonable high quality of life.

Quinn D. Andrews
Agribusiness Economics
Research and Extension Scholar
Florida A&M University- CESTA

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