A new study that can help growers and other readers estimate costs and potential returns for blackberries grown on California’s Central Coast was recently released by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, UC Cooperative Extension and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

“The study provides growers with a baseline to estimate their own costs, which can help when applying for production loans, projecting labor costs, securing market arrangements or understanding costs associated with water and nutrient management and regulatory programs,” said Brittney Goodrich, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and study co-author.

The cost study models a management scenario for a 30-acre farm, 15 acres of which are planted to blackberries. The remaining acres are planted to other berries or are used for the irrigation system, roads and buildings. The authors describe the cultural practices used for the establishment, production and harvest of blackberries, including land preparation, soil fertility and pest management, irrigation and labor needs.      

The 28-page study shows costs for each operation, material inputs and costs, and cash and non-cash overhead costs in a variety of formats for an establishment year and then four additional production years. A ranging analysis for the four production years is also included and shows potential profits or losses over a range of prices and yields.

The new study, titled “2024 Sample Costs to Establish, Produce and Harvest Blackberries” can be downloaded from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at https://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.  

For a detailed explanation of the assumptions and calculations used to estimate the costs and potential returns, readers can refer to the narrative portion of the study. 

Sample cost of production studies for many other commodities grown in California are also available on the website.

For more information, contact Mark Bolda, University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisor, at mpbolda@ucanr.edu or Jeremy Murdock in the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at jmmurdock@ucdavis.edu.