Cost estimates for growing romaine hearts and organic spinach released

Feb 5, 2016

Two new studies on the costs and returns of growing romaine hearts and organic spinach have been released by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center.

Sample costs to produce and harvest romaine hearts and organic spinach in the Central Coast Region – Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties – are presented in these studies. 

The analysis is based upon a hypothetical farm operation of a well-managed farm, using practices common to the region. Input and reviews were provided by growers, UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors and other agricultural associates. Assumptions used to identify current costs for these crops, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead are described. A ranging analysis table shows 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 studies are titled 2015 Sample Costs to Produce and Harvest Romaine Hearts in the Central Coast Region” and “2015 Sample Costs to Produce and Harvest Organic Spinach in the Central Coast Region.”

These two studies can be downloaded for free from the UC Davis Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics website at Cost-of-production studies for many commodities are also available.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Don Stewart at the UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or

By Pamela Kan-Rice
Author - Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach