Seed Economics – Calculate Actual Profit in Space

This post is one in a series on seed economics that begins here.

Quick review:

  • Seed profitability is evaluated as $/bedft.
  • Start by determining target $/bedft for your farm
  • Most farmers should average $2.50/bedft to $5.00/bedft

Today, we will tackle how to calculate the actual profitability in space of a crop.

A warning – In this post I will be mixing and matching units of  measure with reckless abandon. In my world, I often think in metric weights (grams and kg) but imperial units (my Heat Transfer professor in University referred to these as evil units) for distances (bed feet rather than bed meters).

Calculate Actual Profit in Space

Here’s the math:

Seed yield (g/bedft) x seed price ($/g) = $/bedft

Let’s run through the equation with an example:

  • Say I grow a Tatsoi crop.
  • My yield is 25g/bedft and I sell it bulk for $50/400g ($0.125/g).
  • 25g/bedft x $0.125/g = $3.125/bedft

If I sell all the Tatsoi I harvested, I will make $3.125/bedft. This falls into my $2.50-5.00/bedft target range. If you have a client (or clients) for this seed harvest, then it probably makes sense to grow this crop.

Getting more Bang for you Buck

Of course, it is also possible to get more than just a Tatsoi seed crop from this area over the whole growing season:

  • You could harvest some of the Tatsoi to sell in a salad mix. Harvesting 0.1kg/bedft and selling it for $16/kg adds $1.60/bedft to your profit. Be careful how much you chop off your seed crops as it can impact your seed yield.
  • After the Tatsoi harvest, you put in a fall spinach or radish crop. If you harvest 2 bunches/bedft at $2/bunch. You can add another $4/bedft to your profit. Be careful that shattered Tatsoi seed might compete with your veggies.
  • Or, let any shattered Tatsoi seed grow into a fall salad crop.

Any of these options can raise your profit.

The actual profit in space you calculate varies in function of yield and price. We’ll look at yield next and a bit later at a price!

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