The Most Profitable Crops to Grow (and How to Grow Them)

"What are the most profitable crops to grow?"

This is a good question — one that new farmers commonly ask. (As they should!) The answer, however, is complex and often relative because farm profitability depends on a number of factors.

In this post, we’ll cover the most important of these. Specifically, you’ll discover three simple ways you can maximize the profit margin for your farm.

Picking Popular Crops

Generally speaking, leafy greens and herbs tend to earn top dollar in most market segments — including wholesale produce, direct to restaurant, direct to grocery store, farmers markets, farm stands, and community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

In particular, I’ve found the following five crops to yield a higher-than-average profit per plant:

Part of the reason these crops are so profitable is that they have short growing cycles. So you can go from seed to sale in a matter of weeks. They also require little labor or packaging, which helps cut costs.

Though this list is a good place to start, you should pay mind to regional trends as well. The United States is diverse, and crop preferences vary from region to region.

For example, the plants above are currently popular in many urban areas, where chefs seek local and exotic produce that might give them a competitive edge. But small towns and rural communities are often more interested in familiar varieties and lower prices.

Understanding customer demand is critical. If you grow what people want, the sales will follow.

Considering Your Climate

Denver-based farmers may be able to charge a hefty fee for a heat-loving crop like basil. But when growing in the winter, keeping plants warm will increase energy expenses, thereby decreasing profit.

For farmers in my hometown of Orlando, on the other hand, basil is a very cost-effective crop because the climate is warm year-round. Still, many Mediterranean herbs (e.g., lavender, rosemary, sage, and thyme) struggle in the humid Florida summer, thriving instead in the drier conditions of Colorado.

My point is this: No matter where you live, you’ll likely face challenges with certain crops. And those challenges may change depending on the season.

Study the horticultural needs of the crops you want to grow. Then look for the intersection between what naturally flourishes in your area and what your local market demands.

Selecting the Best Growing System

How you grow directly influences your farm’s profitability. In fact, choosing a growing method is probably the most important decision a farmer makes.

Of the many growing systems you may choose from, Tower Garden offers the following distinct advantages.

You can grow virtually anywhere.

With a space-efficient, vertical design, Tower Garden requires only 10% of the land soil-based growing methods use. That means you can grow 10x more plants (as many as 250,000 per acre!) without paying for more property, thus increasing your profit tremendously.

This also allows farmers to grow in urban environments. The popular crops I listed previously are traditionally grown in field farms and shipped great distances (usually from California). And long transit and storage times degrade the freshness, aroma, nutrition, and flavor of delicate leafy greens and herbs.

But Tower Farmers can harvest and deliver produce locally, usually within a day. The result is fresher, more nutritious food that customers will pay more for.

You can grow almost anything, anytime.

Farms must often adapt what they grow to meet seasonal changes, market fluctuations, and customer demand. But many horizontal and vertical hydroponic growing systems limit farmers to growing only small plants, such as lettuces and baby greens.

Tower Garden allows you to grow crops as large as tomatoes and cucumbers (in addition to smaller plants). And in many cases, you can also grow year-round — including times that most traditional farms can’t — and fill a seasonal void in the marketplace.

You can harvest and sell “living” produce.

With roots still attached, living produce demands attention (and often higher prices).

Most growing systems do not allow farmers to conveniently harvest plants with roots intact. But with Tower Garden, picking living produce is simple — just grab the plant, and pull it out of the growing port.

If you don’t want to uproot the whole plant, you can instead harvest repeatedly for weeks (even up to nine months, in some cases). This process reduces the investment of starting a new round of crops and boosts profit per plant.

You can provide higher quality produce.

By delivering full, balanced nutrition, Tower Garden’s clinically proven aeroponic fertilizer naturally improves crop flavor, aroma, and overall quality.

That’s why the number one compliment Tower Farmers hear from chefs and other customers is that their produce tastes and smells incredible. Conventional suppliers simply can’t match the fresh quality.

Ultimately, product quality is what will keep your customers coming back. And since retaining existing customers is easier than winning new ones, that’s pretty important.


Interested in starting your own profitable Tower Farm?

Using Tower Garden, forward-thinking farmers make a living while making a difference — without soil, without high overhead, and often without an ounce of previous agricultural experience.

Want to grow a greater future (and a healthy profit)?
Email farmsupport@towerfarms.com »

 

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