You came to the right place if you are looking for the most profitable crops to grow on a small farm.
Agriculture is a serious business, no matter if it is on a small farm. So, before you even start thinking about what agricultural crop is most profitable per acre, be sure to meet all the requirements and good knowledge of the business. A good advice would be to set the goals for your farm, whether you will consider it a full or a part-time job etc. Then you should do some research on market demands, equipment you would need, such as irrigation system or greenhouse supplies. That is a lot of preparation before our main question here, and that’s the most profitable crops for the small farm.
Now, with limited space on your farm, you will probably want to do the calculations and choose to grow the crop with highest profit per acre. Choosing the crop that suits you the most will depend on conditions, like on the type of soil and climate you have available. But, for best cash crops per 1 acre, for example, you might consider some fruits like strawberries, raspberries or apples. Although this would probably be a good way for how to make money farming on 1 acre, that would not be fast money, because some time, effort and investment would be needed before your first successful harvest.
Kind of crops you will manage to grow will first depend on conditions we have mentioned earlier. Most profitable crops per acre in India, for example, would differ much from profitable crops you could grow in, say, Europe or different regions of USA. Or, if not crops per se, limitations concerning growing season would vary quite a lot. For example, an Indian farmer has been growing watermelons throughout the whole year for the last 15 years, earning as much as Rs 22,000,000 (which is around $340,000) a year. Or, another Indian farmer, who had succeeded to grow around 30 kinds of plants on only 2.1 acres of land earning as much as the previous one. Union Ministry of Agriculture has also awarded him for adopting new innovative agricultural techniques provided by Department of Biotechnology, such as organic manure and dripping irrigational system which saves him around RS 400 (or approximately $6,24) a day.
Considering new profitable farming ideas and techniques, one might explore organic farming first which also raises the price of your products. Even though it might sound harder than “usual” farming, you would only need to accept and reconsider some different points of view on farming. The main thing you should have in mind after deciding to do organic farming is: forget about pesticides and harmful chemical components. The important features of organic farming are maintaining long-term soil fertility by providing it with nutrients of natural origin – that is why farm would be a great combination of crops and livestock. Organic crops generally pay off more, and you can check out which are the 15 Most Profitable Organic Crops in America.
Apart from ideas for the most profitable crops for the small farm which you will get here, you might also be interested in profitable small farm ideas. Since we have already researched this topic, you will certainly find some interesting ideas from the Most Profitable Livestocks for Small Farms or 11 Most Profitable Livestocks to Raise in 2017.
From Towergarden we got some great recommendations for how to use the maximum of your space growing easy and profitable crops. Profitable plants and Agricultural Marketing provided some insight into the pricing of some of the most profitable crops to grow on a small farm. We have also researched some experiences of small farmers from resources like Faquiernow or Cheap Vegetable Gardener. You will find some of them on our other list of Most Expensive Specialty Crops in the World as well. Since the crops we have listed here are not comparable in terms of pricing per measure units, profits per area (for example blackberries vs. cilantro) or a number of harvests annually, we had to choose a different method of ranking for our suggestions. That’s why we have chosen the average prices of crops per units they are usually being sold at – pounds, bunches, etc. The more profitable they are, the higher is their place on the list. We have gathered information on this issue mostly from the United States Department of Agriculture and Food Coop.
Some recommendations are to start with a variety of crops at the beginning, so you would see which one suits you the most for growing, and what are the market preferences at the moment. So, try combining the ones you like from our list of the most profitable crops to grow on a small farm:
Average price per pound: $1.4 (and up to $5.25 organic)
Onions are inevitable ingredient in many meals and every kitchen. Therefore, it is a usual item on grocery shopping list, so offering the best quality products can bring you to the top at a local market. That is why you might reconsider growing organic onion crops as one of the most profitable crops to grow on your small farm and one of the easiest as well.
Average price per bunch: $1.53 (organic)
Cilantro can be easily grown indoors as well as outdoors. Since you are already researching market for the most profitable crops to grow on a small farm, you can also check whether cilantro (fresh leaves) or coriander (dried leaves) is on the greater demand. Anyhow, it is a great recommendation as a side crop to grow, since it requires minimal space and requirements.
8. Fingerling potatoes
Average price per pound: $ 2.18 (organic)
These small potatoes have proved to become very popular lately and therefore a good choice for growing on the small farm. Fingerling potatoes are easy to grow, and have same requirements as regular potatoes, only being more “exotic” variety, they also have a higher price.
Average price per pound: $3.41
First thing in mushroom business is, of course, choosing the mushroom type you would like to grow, in order to know what conditions they require. In any case, mushrooms do not seek too much attention, only choosing the right growing medium, precisely balanced moisture, and a dark place. There is an excellent choice of mushroom types you can decide to start growing, and we also have suggestions about that question besides suggestions we are offering you about most profitable crops to grow on a small farm, so you can also check out the 10 Most Profitable Gourmet Mushrooms to Grow.
6. Heirloom tomatoes
Average price per pound: $ 3.76 (organic)
This tomato variety has become popular recently, and its popularity is still growing as well as the prices. That’s why they are a great idea for growing on your small farm as a cash crop. Also, they are usually not a favorite crop to grow on large farms, so that’s one more reason to try them out. And of course, for the best yield, as for any other crop you grow, you will have to get to know what kind of attention and requirements they need, for example, you can follow these easy step by step instructions from Profitable Plants Digest.
Average price per pound: $ 4.93 (organic)
Even though strawberries are among the most profitable crops to grow on a small farm, it is also a risky business, especially if considering organic crops, since they require more investment and work. Nevertheless, the strawberry yield is usually abundant, a space of 18 foot raw of 18 inches width gives around 35-40 pounds of strawberries per harvest.
Average price per pound: $ 5.77
For growing blackberries, you will need a bit more effort and some starting investment, like setting irrigation trenches for example, but apart from the preparations, it is one of the easy plants to grow on a small farm. Blackberry crops last for 15 – 20 years, and during the harvest time, they can be picked every 4-7 days, producing around 10-13lb per plant.
Average price per pound: $3.47 (nonorganic) to $8.66 (organic)
Garlic is high on this list of most profitable crops to grow on a small farm, because you can plant 4 – 9 plants per square foot. It is also relatively easy plant to grow, and you will only need to pay attention to some requirements such as soil type and pest repellence. During the harvest time, you will have not only your products as garlic bulbs but garlic seeds as well that you can use for the next sowing. Also, you should seriously consider growing organic over non organic garlic, since it brings more than twice profit.
Average price per pot: $30-$100
Growing bamboo is a lucrative and relatively easy business to do. When researching local market, you will see which bamboo products are the most wanted. We have here suggested the production of whole plants as the most profitable way of growing them. But it is not the only option for growing bamboo crops since it is a popular plant used in the landscaping business and also as furniture and fencing supply for example. Also, growing bamboo as a profitable crop on a small farm doesn’t take much effort and time, and can thus be done as a part-time job as well.
Average price per pound: up to $150 (seeds) and up to $600 (roots)
Yes, you saw it right, $600. You might ask yourself now, why isn’t everyone in ginseng business as one of the most profitable crops to grow on a small farm?! Well, there sure must be a reasonable answer why that is not the case. First of all, it is a lot of expense even to buy ginseng seeds at the beginning. After that, you would need a lot of patience to get your plants mature; it would take almost six years for the first harvest! But despite the amount of time required for collecting first cash from ginseng, maintaining the crops doesn’t require much work. So, while waiting for the most profitable crop to fully grow, you can simultaneously try out some other crops from our list.