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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The reason I am writing this is every web forum that has a market gardening site has people asking what should I price this what should I price that. And it can be very confusing and very boring in my opinion. I get tired of reading what to price what crop. I am more interested in topics about marketing, anything you do special to make your product stand out from the rest at the farmers market. Things like that.
So here we go.
Asking someone on line what to price your crops is dumb heres why.......
You live in Georgia and the people that post live in Oregon, California, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin, and where ever. The prices I get for 1 bushel of beans or 1 bushel of corn or tomatoes per pound are totally different than what they pay for them. I can almost bet that people in Wisconsin pay more for tomatoes than people in California or Texas simply because of supply and demand and location to crops. California can grow tomatoes year round Wisconsin cant so they have to ship them in.
Then there are micro cost involved. Even though I live in Georgia I can buy things cheaper in the big city in Atlanta than I can out where I live. Why because farmers take things in bulk because there are many more people living in a big city like Atlanta than there are out where I live.
So how do you price your crops?
You have to look at everything and everyone AROUND YOU.
Start paying attention to local tailgate and farmers markets, then check local food stands, then look at local grocery stores then check big box grocery stores, add them all up and get an average for that crop in your area.
Not only are you looking at the price but you are looking at several other things.
is it organic or not?
is it ripe?
the size of the crop
the taste of the crop
the look of the crop ( looks can be important) is it symmetrical, does it have spots on it, is it uniform in color shape or size, etcetc

Now grow you own product crop. Now answer the questions from above how does your crop stand up to the others available?
How much work did you put into it.
DId you have to hire other workers to help you harvest your crop, weed, pest management, irrigate, and more.
What inputs did you add to your farm, compost, manure, water, pesticides, fertilizers, etcetc?
How far did you have to drive to the farmers market and back?
How many hours did you work in the fields?
Did you harvest or till or use any machinery tractors, gas fro tractors etcetc?
What did the seed cost you?
What was the water or electric bill to water the crops?

All of this cost you to create this plant this crop that you are wanting to sell so if you really want to make a business out of it you need to make money and take in to effect all the things that cost you in the process of creating this crop.
Taking all of this in to consideration you now determine what the cost you should charge.
if you planted a seed in your back yard and have bumpy spotty tomatoes obviously you arent going to charge and you arent going to get what the pretty round red tomatoes in the grocery store get per pound.
Taking into effect the marketing you did and comparing how your crop looks to others produced in your area, and what they are charging and what time and money you put into producing your crop should give you a good average as to what to charge.
I hope that gives beginners as well as some who have been at this a while a better understanding as to what all is involved in pricing a crop.
its not just as simple as what should I charge for this? And poof receive an answer. if I gave everyone on here the answerers to what I charge for things you would laugh at me and say I was crazy. Truth is I do turn away alot of people but the fact is I sell all my produce and have nothing left over at the end of the day because the people who know and understand that you get what you pay for is so true understand my produce is worth it.

Adventuress--Definition 2
4,174 Posts
You make excellent points. As an accountant, I can relate to the need for "true" and detailed costing; IME the major reason for small business failure is not "nickel and diming" completely. Obviously, you're confident about your pricing structure but not every one is. Although I'm not selling at this time (have 21 varieties of figs I could sell in front of my commercial property each weekend but don't), I happen to enjoy the pricing discussions; I see them as another way to encourage hardworking "farmers" to not undersell their efforts. To each his own, I suppose.

7,576 Posts
One could pretty well be assured they'd get between $4 and $5 per dozen for locally grown fresh sweet corn, no matter how much it cost in the grocery stores. Most of the local growers supplying the stores will sell for more off the stand than the store they sold it to. Any 'import' sweet corn wouldn't sell as well if competing against local grown for flavour and freshness. Thus, even if much cheaper, the import corn will sit on the shelves as the local fresh grown flies off the counter at a more expensive price.
Any other smaller grower that might sell at the farmer's market should sell at a similar price of any local grower selling. Also, it depends on variety and how they might market that for a premium.
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