UC releases new cost studies for growing plums and raisins in the San Joaquin Valley

Dec 5, 2016

UC Agricultural Issues Center has released three new studies, one on the cost and returns of establishing an orchard and producing fresh market plums, and the cost and returns of establishment and production of dried-on-vine (DOV) raisins under two different trellis systems.

The cost and returns are multi-year studies based on hypothetical farm operations of well-managed orchards and vineyards, using practices common to the San Joaquin Valley. Growers, UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors and other agricultural associates provided input and reviewed the methods and findings of the studies.

The plum study, using double-line drip irrigation, estimates costs from orchard establishment through the production years. The economic life of the orchard used in this cost analysis is 18 years.

The DOV raisin establishment and production cost studies are under different trellis systems; overhead trellis system (OHTS) and open gable trellis system (OGTS). The two separate DOV raisin studies use single-line drip irrigation. The economic life of the vineyards used in these cost analysis is 30 years.

The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for each crop, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead. A ranging analysis table shows net returns 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:  

  • Sample Costs to Establish an Orchard and Produce Fresh Market Plums in the San Joaquin Valley – South- 2016
  • Sample Costs to Establish a Vineyard and Produce DOV Raisins (OGTS) in the San Joaquin Valley - 2016
  • Sample Costs to Establish a Vineyard and Produce DOV Raisins (OHTS) in the San Joaquin Valley - 2016

Free copies of these studies and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available online. To download the cost studies, visit the UC Agricultural Issues Center Cost Studies website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

The cost and returns program is funded by the UC Agricultural Issues Center, which is part of UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Donald Stewart through the UC Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or destewart@ucdavis.edu.  Contact UC Cooperative Extension advisors through the local UCCE office http://ucanr.edu/County_Offices

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