12 Most Profitable Crops For Small Farms

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12 Most Profitable Crops For Small Farms
08 Oct 2022
4 min read

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There are many opportunities to make your passion for crops and plants a profitable business. You can grow any type of Cash Crop, regardless of whether you have large land or an indoor garden.

According to the U.S., Department of Agriculture (USDA) 88% of American farms are small farms. However, the designation does not refer to the size of the farm. They are classified as small farms if they operate part-time and the annual gross income is less than $349,000 annually or if the owner is retired.

These farms may be small, but they still meet a substantial need and make a lot of money. To meet large demand, select crops like garlic and lavender are being grown across the country to occupy little land. In this article, we will know about the Most Profitable Cash Crops For Small Farms.

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If you are knowledgeable about what crops to grow, and you focus on the Most Profitable Crops, farming can provide great profits. You can earn a sustainable income from farming, no matter how small or large, whether you have a greenhouse or a farm, agricultural land with many acres.

What is a Cash Crop?

 A cash crop is a crop that can be grown for profit. These cash crops, also known as profit crops are then sold to third parties by the farm, such as customers (B2C), or other businesses that sell or cook in their shop (B2B).

Do you know which are the most profitable plants to grow and sell? and What Makes A Crop Profitable?

You can increase your profitability by doing your research and making sure that your crops are:

  • It can be grown quickly (from seed to harvest).

  • Has high demand

  • High yields

  • It can be used in multiple ways (so that you don't lose sight of one buyer if an industry is struggling).

  • It can be grown all year

  • Seeds cost

  • Maintenance costs

  • Crop yield doesn't take up much space so you can fit more.

Your profit will depend on whether you sell directly to customers (retail price), or to businesses (wholesale pricing).

Remember that potential revenue estimates do not include overhead or operating costs.

12 Most Profitable Crops For Small Farms:

Below is a list listing the most profitable crops according to organized categories. Each category represents the crop group of which that crop is part. Below is a list of each crop, along with an estimate for its expected revenue. The crop yield for each crop is used to calculate the estimated revenue.

1. Lavender

Lavender can be one of the most lucrative cash crops. Lavender is a profitable cash crop because of its multiple uses and revenue streams. It can be used in aromatherapy and floral arrangements, cooking, and many other uses.

Lavender takes approximately three years to mature fully from seed to harvest.

Lavender Revenue:

You can sell lavender bunches for $6-$13 depending on the end buyer. A single acre can yield approximately 12,000 lavender bunches, which is worth between $6-$13 each depending on who the buyer is.

2. Saffron

Saffron can be described as the most expensive culinary herb in terms of weight, selling for more than $500 per ounce. It is primarily used in cooking as a flavoring and coloring agent. The harvest time is eight weeks from seed to harvest.

Saffron Revenue

Saffron can be purchased for between $10 and $20 per gram or $5,000 to $10,000 per kilogram. A field-grown acre can yield three (3) pounds of saffron worth between $15,000 and $30,000.

3. Gourmet Garlic

Gourmet garlic is more expensive than regular garlic, selling at a price of $16 per kilogram. This compares to the $3.48 per kg that you will find in your local supermarket. After three months, garlic is ready to harvest.

Gourmet Garlic Revenues:

Gourmet garlic can be purchased at a price of $16 per pound. The average yield for garlic is between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds per acre. This makes it worth anywhere from $160,000 to $229,000

4. Chives

Chives can be grown year-round. They keep their leaves green through winter and then grow back in spring. They are often called a "gateway plants" as they are easy to grow, require little care, and are very hardy. Chives are a very profitable crop. They will grow year after year.

Chives can be harvested 30 days after transplantation or 60 days after seeding.

Chives Revenue

Nationally, chive prices range from $8 to $12 per pound. A chive acre can yield approximately 18,000 pounds and is worth between $144,000 and $1216,000.

5. Basil

Basil can be used to make a variety of medicines, including for treating head colds or bites from snakes/insects. It is also easy to harvest and can be ready in three to four days.

Basil Revenue:

Basil can be purchased for between $3-$4 an ounce and $50-$60 per kilogram. A hectare can yield approximately 1,740 pounds basil. This makes it worth $87,000-$104,000.

6. Ginseng

Ginseng root can be used as a supplement to herbal medicine. This is a long-term investment. It takes approximately three to twelve, years for wild ginseng roots to mature. The prongs of the ginseng root indicate maturity. Typically, they are legally ready to harvest when there are three or more prongs.

The growing method used will affect the time it takes to harvest and the amount of profit you make. There are five types of ginseng-growing methods available: wild-simulated, truly wild, artificial shade, wood cultivated, field-grown, and artificial shade.

Ginseng Revenue

Good quality, matured ginseng can fetch prices as high as $250-$800 per pound. This varies depending on its growing method and whether it is fresh root or dried root.

7. Cilantro

Cilantro, a herb made from coriander leaves, is commonly sold in bunches. It can be used fresh for cooking. After seeding, harvest can be completed in 40-50 days.

Cilantro Revenue:

$0.66 per kilogram, or 3.96 a pound for cilantro. A cilantro acre can yield between 16,000 and 22,000 pounds, which is worth $63,360 to $77,120.

Also Read: 10 Small Business Tech-Tools for Growth

8. Goji Berries

Goji berries, often labeled as a "superfood," are believed to have many health benefits to treat "many common health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, and age-related eye problems,". Planting bare-root goji berry plants can be done in as little as two years. You can also grow them from seeds, but this takes at least three years.

Goji Berries Revenue:

Goji berries dried can be sold for as high as $20 per pound. Over a three (3) year period, harvesting up to 7,000 lbs per acre will yield approximately $46,000+ annually.

9. Cherry Tomatoes

Grape tomatoes are also the most expensive per pound in the tomato family, making them one of the most profitable crops. Because they are small, you can produce more per acre. They are ready to harvest in 45 to 80 days. The median time is 45 to 55 days.

Cherry Tomatoes Revenue:

Cherry tomatoes are available for as low as $3.48 per pound, and can produce approximately 37,500 pounds per an acre. This makes them worth around $130,500.

10. Arugula

Arugula, a leafy green, is used in salads. It contains nutrients such as folate, calcium, potassium, and many other vitamins that are essential for maintaining a healthy heart and bone. It is also easy to grow and can be harvested in as little as 40 working days.

Arugula Revenue:

An acre of arugula will yield approximately 9,000 pounds, which is about $54,000.

11. Microgreens

Microgreens can be used in nutritional supplements, as well as in food to enhance flavor and spice. These crops are harvested quickly and usually within two to three weeks of seeding. This is because they are removed as soon as possible after sprouting rather than waiting for them to mature fully. Because they are very small, they don't take up much space. Microgreens are one more reason to be profitable.

Microgreens Revenue:

Microgreens are reported to sell for $20-$50 per pound. A tray measuring 10x20x20 inches can yield 5-6 ounces of microgreens. This makes it approximately 2 trays per pound or $10-25 per tray.

12. Gourmet Mushroom

Gourmet mushrooms are much more expensive than regular white mushrooms. These mushrooms include Oyster, Maitake and Shiitake mushrooms.

The harvest time from seed to harvest is approximately six to eighteen weeks.

Gourmet Mushroom Revenue:

A five-pound box of gourmet mushrooms can be purchased for $24.16 or $27.50 depending on the variety. Oyster and Shiitake varieties are priced at $24.16 and $27.50 respectively. According to reports, a mushroom "grow bag", yields 24,000 pounds for every 1,000 feet of arable land. This is approximately $115,968 to $132,000.