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Animal-based agriculture Vs. Plant-based agriculture. A multi-product data comparison.

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Abstract

This report presents a comparison between the economic profitability of the animal-based agricultural industries and that of the plant-based agricultural industries. In order to properly encompass these industries, their main products and commodities are analyzed and a comparison is made between the animals being farmed and the plants being grown in equal circumstances, that is, pertaining to pounds created, number of acres used, sales, expenses, and profits generated. Even though plant-based agriculture utilizes 69% of the total land mass used for animal-based agriculture in the U.S., plant-based agriculture generates 512% more pounds of product than animal-based agriculture. On a per acre basis, plant-based agriculture produces 14,000 more pounds than animal-based agriculture. There is sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that plant-based agriculture is more land efficient than animal-based agriculture. From a sales/value perspective, animal-based agriculture has a value 9% higher than plant-based agriculture. The sales/value difference equals $34.7 billion, with the animal-based agriculture generating only 16% of total pounds of product (combining animal-based and plant-based agriculture). However, animal-based agriculture incurs 13% more expenses than plant-based agriculture. Ultimately, both animalbased and plant-based agriculture incur losses; yet, the plant-based industry is twice as profitable as the animal-based industry. In conclusion, there is sufficient evidence to support the claim that plant-based agriculture, in the U.S., can produce far more pounds of product (5 times as much) on a little over 40% of the total land utilized for agriculture, and at a lower cost for both the farmer and the final consumer.
Animal-based agriculture Vs. Plant-based
agriculture. A multi-product data
comparison.
[CURRENT DATA]
March 22, 2017
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Report preamble
The present document is meant to highlight the findings by the Humane Party in its analysis of the United
States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports and censuses.
This report presents a comparison between the economic profitability of the animal-based agricultural
industries and that of the plant-based agricultural industries. In order to properly encompass these
industries, their main products and commodities are analyzed and a comparison is made between the
animals being farmed and the plants being grown in equal circumstances, that is, pertaining to pounds
created, number of acres used, sales, expenses, and profits generated.
Bias
There is an ethical obligation to disclose the bias of the preparers and analyzers involved in this report. The
Humane Party aims and fights to free all animals from abuse, exploitation, and property status. It is in the
Humane Party’s interest that the results of this report support its goal insofar as possible. All members
involved in this investigation, analysis, and report have acted at the margins of this bias, striving for their
judgement to remain unaffected by said bias.
Sources
In order to ensure the veracity and validity of the results, all data have been extracted from reports and
censuses from the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) and the Economic Research Services
(ERS), both organs of the USDA. Some data, which were not available from the USDA, were obtained
from university studies that are partially funded by the USDA.
Keywords
Agriculture, plant-based-agriculture, animal-based-agriculture, economic-transition, land-mass,
agriculture-analysis, agriculture-comparison.
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Disclaimers
The data utilized were the most current available. Given that the USDA does not keep the entirety
of the data on a streamlined annual basis, the data used in this analysis do NOT belong to the same
year.
Animal-based agriculture does not include aquaculture, given the complexity of the data. The
authors aim to include this data in future versions of this report.
Animal-based agriculture has the particularity of commodifying individuals. As such, a “per capita”
report was created to illustrate the number of animals in each industry who are kept per acre, the
pounds produced per animal, as well as the sales/value, expenses, and net revenue per animal. The
“per capita” report is attached at the end of this report as Exhibit 1.
Plant-based agriculture involves a large number of products; as such, these products are bundled in
the following categories:
o Grains and oil seeds, which include corn, soy, wheat, rice, sorghum, peanuts, barley, oats,
canola, and sunflower.
o Tree nuts, which include almonds, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts.
o Fruits, which include citrus, grapes, apples, strawberries, peaches, pears, plums,
cranberries, all cherries, blueberries, avocados, and raspberries.
o Sugar sources, which include sugar beet and sugar cane.
o Vegetables and melons which include snap beans, broccoli, cabbage, cantaloupes, carrots,
cauliflower, celery, corn-sweet, cucumber, dry edible beans, dry pea, dry lentils, lettuce-
all, onions, pepper-all, pumpkins, spinach, squash, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelons,
potatoes, and green peas.
Some products are not included, both for animal-based and plant-based agriculture, due to the small
fraction of the market they represent.
Individual reports for each category of plant-based products are attached at the end of the document
as Exhibits 2 Exhibit 6.2. Vegetables and melons (Exhibit 6.1 & 6.2) are split into two exhibits
in order to fit the tables to the page size.
The focal approach of this report is current data. Most data originate from the NASS and the ERS
from the USDA.
Data that are not kept by the USDA were obtained from other sources, such as universities that
have stakes in particular crops, most specifically, cost-related data.
For certain crops, such as broccoli, assumptions were made in order to obtain the data. In the
example of broccoli:
California produces 90% of the U.S. broccoli’s crops. U.C. Davis prepared a statewide study of the
expenses of broccoli. Based on the numbers of U.C. Davis, a cost per acre value was obtained and
applied to the entire country’s production.
The authors are aware of and understand the limitations presented by including data from different
years; however, it is the authors’ belief that by utilizing the most current data, a holistic image can
be drawn of the current state of the agricultural industries in the U.S.
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Contents
Report preamble ............................................................................................................................................ 2
Bias ...................................................................................................................................................... 2
Sources ................................................................................................................................................ 2
Keywords ............................................................................................................................................ 2
Disclaimers ................................................................................................................................................... 3
Findings ........................................................................................................................................................ 5
Data collected. ..................................................................................................................................... 5
Data on animal-based agriculture. ................................................................................................ 5
Data on plant-based agriculture. ................................................................................................... 5
Totals comparison. ........................................................................................................................ 5
Per pound analysis. .............................................................................................................................. 6
Per pound analysis for animal-based agriculture. ......................................................................... 6
Per pound analysis for plant-based agriculture. ............................................................................ 7
Per pound average comparison. .................................................................................................... 8
Land mass analysis. ............................................................................................................................. 9
Land mass analysis for animal-based agriculture. ........................................................................ 9
Land mass analysis for plant-based agriculture. ......................................................................... 10
Land mass average comparison .................................................................................................. 10
Financial indices analysis .................................................................................................................. 11
Financial indices analysis for animal-based agriculture. ............................................................ 11
Financial indices analysis for plant-based agriculture. ............................................................... 12
Financial indices average comparison ........................................................................................ 12
Result merging .................................................................................................................................. 13
Exhibits ....................................................................................................................................................... 14
References ................................................................................................................................................... 20
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Findings
Data collected.
Tables 1-1 and 1-2 are a collection of the data obtained from the USDA reports and censuses. These data
are the baseline for most of the findings exposed further ahead.
Data on animal-based agriculture.
Table 1-1 presents the data for animal-based agriculture concerning cows and calves for beef and veal,
chickens, eggs, cow’s milk, turkeys and pigs and hogs.
Table 1-1 Industries data for animal-based agriculture. All numbers shown in thousands.
Data on plant-based agriculture.
Table 1-2 presents the data for grains and oil seeds, tree nuts, fruits, sugar sources and vegetables and
melons.
Table 1-2 Industries data for plant-based agriculture. All numbers shown in thousands.
Tables 1-1 and 1-2 contain the same data variables except for the “number of animals” in the case of animal-
based agriculture. Given the obvious biological differences between plants and animals, this set of data can
only be obtained for animals. Even though these data are not used strictly for comparison, they help
illustrate the profitability, or lack thereof, of animal-based agriculture.
Totals comparison.
Taking into consideration the sums of all these industries, we obtain the results shown in Table 1-3:
Table 1-3 Comparison of totals. All numbers shown in thousands.
Industry Cows and calves for beef and veal Chicken Egg Cow milk Pigs and hogs Turkeys Total
Number of animals 82,680 8,690,000 461,013 9,320 148,300 233,000 9,624,313
Pounds 52,400,000 53,400,000 9,640,000 209,000,000 31,736,200 7,040,000 363,216,200
Mass of land (in Acres) 348,596 3,138 1,861 18,628 5,208 779 378,210
Value/Sales $79,398,000 $28,700,000 $13,500,000 $41,507,400 $25,569,856 $5,710,000 $194,385,256
Expenses $113,142,600 $24,121,667 $11,346,429 $56,430,000 $25,668,239 $4,799,191 $235,508,126
Net Income -$33,744,600 $4,578,333 $2,153,571 -$14,922,600 -$98,383 $910,809 -$41,122,870
Industries Data
Industry Grains and oil seeds Tree nuts Fruits Sugar Sources Vegetables and Melons Total
Pounds 1,532,705,257 3,692,300 52,541,550 139,738,000 131,541,300 1,860,218,407
Mass of land (in Acres) 248,293 1,996 2,712 2,079 7,771 262,851
Value/Sales $111,268,604 $7,618,480 $18,801,827 $2,662,996 $19,272,989 $159,624,896
Expenses $128,436,334 $9,317,700 $23,388,795 $1,852,861 $16,746,512 $179,742,202
Net Income -$17,167,730 -$1,699,220 -$4,586,968 $810,135 $2,526,477 -$20,117,306
Industries Data
Industries totals Animal-based ag. Plant-based Ag. Difference
Pounds 363,216,200 Vs. 1,860,218,407 1,497,002,207
Mass of land (in Acres)
378,210 Vs. 262,851 115,359
Value/Sales $194,385,256 Vs. $159,624,896 $34,760,360
Expenses $235,508,126 Vs. $179,742,202 $55,765,924
Net Income -$41,122,870 Vs. -$20,117,306 $21,005,564
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It is easily observable that plant-based agriculture generates around 1.5 trillion more pounds of product than
animal-based agriculture. These 1.5 trillion pounds generated are also grown on less land, as plant-based
agriculture utilizes 115 million acres less than animal-based agriculture. In terms of value/sales, animal-
based agriculture generates $35 billion more than plant-based agriculture; however, the expenses generated
by animal-based agriculture are substantially higher than plant-based agriculture by a difference of almost
$55.8 billion. As a result, the net income/loss difference between both forms of agriculture is $21 billion,
favoring plant-based agriculture. Both forms of agriculture show a net loss.
With these numbers, we can conclude that plant-based agriculture grows 512% more pounds of food than
animal-based agriculture on 69% of the mass of land that animal-based agriculture uses. We can also
conclude that, even though animal-based agriculture generates more value/sales than plant-based
agriculture, the expenses substantially offset the net income/loss; that is, plant-based agriculture generates
half the losses compared to animal-based agriculture, while utilizing 69% of the land that animal-based
agriculture requires. Of the total land used for all agriculture, plant-based agriculture represents 41%.
Per pound analysis
.
The data collected permit an analysis of the different types of agriculture from several positions, amongst
them, their performance per pound. Tables 2-1 and 2-2 provide the details of pounds generated per acre,
value/sales per acre, expenses per acre, and net income per acre; in the specific case of animal-based
agriculture, we also obtained the pounds of product per animal.
Per pound analysis for animal-based agriculture.
Table 2-1 shows the “per pound analysis” for animal-based agriculture:
Table 2-1 Per pound analysis for animal-based agriculture.
Table 2-1 shows the following:
Per acre:
Cows and calves used for beef and veal generate 150 pounds of beef for every acre utilized over
the course of a year.
Chickens generate 17 thousand pounds for every acre utilized over the course of a year.
5 thousand pounds of eggs are generated for every acre utilized over the course of a year.
11 thousand pounds of cow’s milk are generated for every acre utilized over the course of a year.
6 thousand pounds of pig meat are generated for every acre utilized over the course of a year.
9 thousand pounds of turkey meat are generated for every acre utilized over the course of a year.
Per animal:
It is important to point out that a per pound analysis does NOT represent profitability of a product given the
principles of economies of scales; economy of scale is the proportionate saving in costs attained by an increased
production level.
Industry Cows and calves for beef and veal Chicken Egg Cow milk Pigs and hogs Turkeys Average
Pounds per acre 150.32 17,017.21 5,180.01 11,219.67 6,093.74 9,037.23 8,116.36
Pounds per animal 633.77 6.14 20.91 22,424.89 214.00 30.21 3,888.32
Value/Sales per pound $1.52 $0.54 $1.40 $0 .20 $0.81 $0.81 $0.88
Expenses per pound $2.16 $0.45 $1.18 $0.27 $0 .81 $0.68 $0.92
Net Income per pound -$ 0.64 $0.09 $0.22 -$0.07 $0.00 $0.13 -$0.05
Per Pound Analysis
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Each cow/calf for beef/veal generates 634 pounds of beef.
Each chicken generates 6 pounds of meat.
Each chicken will lay an average of 21 pounds of eggs per year.
Each cow will generate 22.4 thousand pounds of milk per year.
Each pig and hog generates 214 pounds of meat.
Each turkey generates 30 pounds of meat.
Value/sales per pound:
Overall, farmers generate a value/sales of $1.52 for every pound of cow/veal meat.
Overall, farmers generate a value/sales of $0.54 for every pound of chicken’s meat.
Overall, farmers generate a value/sales of $1.40 for every pound of eggs.
Overall, farmers generate a value/sales of $0.20 for every pound of cow’s milk.
Overall, farmers generate a value/sales of $0.81 for every pound of pig’s meat.
Overall, farmers generate a value/sales of $0.81 for every pound of turkey’s meat.
Expenses per pound:
Overall, farmers incur $1.52 of expenses for every pound of cow/veal meat.
Overall, farmers incur $0.54 of expenses for every pound of chicken’s meat.
Overall, farmers incur $1.18 of expenses for every pound of eggs.
Overall, farmers incur $0.27 of expenses for every pound of cow’s milk.
Overall, farmers incur $0.81 of expenses for every pound of pig’s meat.
Overall, farmers incur $0.68 of expenses for every pound of turkey’s meat.
Net income per pound:
Every pound of beef generates a net LOSS of $0.64.
Every pound of chicken meat generates a net income of $0.09.
Every pound of eggs generates a net income of $0.22.
Every pound of cow’s milk generates a net LOSS of $0.07.
Every pound of pig meat generates a net LOSS of less than $0.01.
Every pound of turkey meat generates a net income of $0.13.
Per pound analysis for plant-based agriculture.
Table 2-2 shows the “per pound analysis” for plant-based agriculture:
Table 2-2 Per pound analysis for plant-based agriculture.
Pounds per Acre:
Grains and oil seed crops generate 6 thousand pounds for every acre utilized over the course of a
year.
Tree nuts generate 1.8 thousand pounds for every acre utilized over the course of a year.
Fruit plantations generate 19 thousand pounds for every acre utilized over the course of a year.
Industry Grains and oil seeds Tree nuts Fruits Sugar Sources Vegetables and Melons Average
Pounds per acre 6,172.97 1,849.40 19,374.59 67,226.98 16,927.20 22,310.23
Value/Sales per pound $0.073 $2.063 $0.358 $0.019 $0.147 $0.53
Expenses per pound $0.084 $2.524 $0.445 $0.013 $0.127 $0.64
Net Income per pound -$0.011 -$0.460 -$0.087 $0.006 $0.019 -$0.11
Per Pound Analysis
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Sugar source crops generate 67 thousand pounds for every acre utilized over the course of a year.
Vegetable and melons plantations generate almost 17 thousand pounds for every acre utilized over
the course of a year.
Value/sales per pound:
Overall, farmers generate value/sales of $0.07 for every pound of grains and oil seeds.
Overall, farmers generate value/sales of $2.06 for every pound of nuts product.
Overall, farmers generate value/sales of $0.36 for every pound of fruit.
Overall, farmers generate value/sales of $0.02 for every pound of sugar source.
Overall, farmers generate value/sales of $0.15 for every pound of vegetables and melons.
Expenses per pound:
Overall, farmers incur $0.08 of expenses for every pound of grain and oil seeds.
Overall, farmers incur $2.52 of expenses for every pound of nuts.
Overall, farmers incur $0.44 of expenses for every pound of fruit.
Overall, farmers incur $0.01 of expenses for every pound of sugar source.
Overall, farmers incur $0.13 of expenses for every pound of vegetables and melons.
Net income per pound:
Every pound of grain and oil seeds generates a net LOSS of $0.01.
Every pound of nuts generates a net LOSS of $0.46.
Every pound of fruit generates a net LOSS of $0.09.
Every pound of sugar sources generates a net income of $0.01.
Every pound of vegetables and melons generates a net income of $0.02.
Per pound average comparison.
Taking into consideration the averages of all these industries we obtain results shown in Table 2-3:
Table 2-3 Comparison of averages on a per pound analysis.
On average, plant-based agriculture generates 14 thousand more pounds per acre than animal-based
agriculture. Animal-based agriculture generates, on average, 35 cents more of value/sales per pound than
plant-based agriculture; however, animal-based agriculture incurs, on average, higher expenses than plant-
based agriculture, that is, 29 cents more than plant-based agriculture per pound. Both animal-based and
plant-based methods of agriculture incur a loss on a per pound analysis. The net loss per pound is higher
for plant-based agriculture than for animal-based agriculture by 6 cents on average.
Industries Average Animal-based ag. Plant-based Ag. Difference
Pounds per acre 8,116.36 Vs. 22,310.23 14,193.86
Value/Sales per pound $0.88 Vs. $0.53 $0.35
Expenses per pound $0.92 Vs. $0.64 $0.29
Net Income per pound -$0.047 Vs. -$0.107 $0.060
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Land mass analysis
.
The data collected permit the analysis of the two types of agriculture from a land mass perspective, enabling
us to determine the value/sales, expenses and net income per acre. Tables 3-1 and 3-2 provide the financial
details of each industry per acre.
Land mass analysis for animal-based agriculture.
Table 3-1 shows the “Land mass analysis” for animal-based agriculture:
Table 3-1 Land mass analysis for animal-based agriculture
*Table 3-1 shows the following:
Value/sales per acre:
Animal-based agriculture generates, in the beef and veal sector, value/sales of $227.77 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture generates, in the chicken sector, value/sales of $9,145.95 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture generates, in the egg sector, value/sales of $7,254.16 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture generates, in the cow’s milk sector, value/sales of $2,228.23 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture generates, in the pigs and hogs sector, value/sales of $4,909.73 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture generates, in the turkey sector, value/sales of $7,329.91 per acre.
Expenses per acre:
Animal-based agriculture incurs, in the beef and veal sector, expenses adding to $324.57 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture incurs, in the chicken sector, expenses adding to $7,686.96 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture incurs, in the egg sector, expenses adding to $6,096.95 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture incurs, in the cow’s milk sector, expenses adding to $3,029.31 per acre.
Animal-based agriculture incurs, in the pigs and hogs sector, expenses adding to $4,928.62 per
acre.
Animal-based agriculture incurs, in the turkey sector, expenses adding to $6,160.71 per acre.
Net income per acre:
Every acre of land used for cow and calf meat generates a net LOSS of $96.80.
Every acre of land used for chicken meat generates a net income of $1,459.00.
Every acre of land used for eggs generates a net income of $1,157.21.
Every acre of land used for cow’s milk generates a net LOSS of $801.08.
Every acre of land used for pig and hog meat generates a net LOSS of $18.89.
Every acre of land used for turkey meat generates a net income of $1,169.20.
It is important to point out that a per acre analysis does NOT represent profitability of a product given the
principles of economies of scales; economy of scale is the proportionate saving in costs attained by an increased
production level.
Industry Cows and calves for beef and veal Chicken Egg Cow milk Pigs and hogs Turkeys Average
Value/Sales per acre $227.77 $9,145.95 $7,254.16 $2,228.23 $4,909.73 $7,329.91 $5,182.62
Expenses per acre $324.57 $7,686.96 $6,096.95 $3,029.31 $4,928.62 $6,160.71 $4,704.52
Net Income per acre -$96.80 $1,459 .00 $1,157.21 -$801.08 -$18.89 $1,169.20 $478.11
Land Mass Analysis
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Land mass analysis for plant-based agriculture.
Table 3-2 shows the “Land mass analysis” for plant-based agriculture:
Table 3-2 Land mass analysis for animal-based agriculture
Table 3-2 shows the following:
Value/sales per acre:
Plant-based agriculture generates, in the grains and oil seeds sector, a value/sales of $448.13 per
acre.
Plant-based agriculture generates, in the tree nuts sector, a value/sales of $3,815.94 per acre.
Plant-based agriculture generates, in the fruits sector, a value/sales of $6,933.13 per acre.
Plant-based agriculture generates, in the sugar sources sector, a value/sales of $1,281.15 per acre.
Plant-based agriculture generates, in the vegetables and melons sector, a value/sales of $2,480.12
per acre.
Expenses per acre:
Plant-based agriculture incurs, in the grains and oil seeds sector, expenses adding to $517.28 per
acre.
Plant-based agriculture incurs, in the tree nuts sector, expenses adding to $4,667.04 per acre.
Plant-based agriculture incurs, in the fruits sector, expenses adding to $8,624.57per acre.
Plant-based agriculture incurs, in the sugar sources sector, expenses adding to $891.40 per acre.
Plant-based agriculture incurs, in the vegetables and melons sector, expenses adding to $2,155.00
per acre.
Net income per acre:
Every acre of land used for grains and oil seeds generates a net LOSS of $69.14
Every acre of land used for tree nuts generates a net LOSS of $851.10.
Every acre of land used for fruits generates a net LOSS of $1,691.43.
Every acre of land used for sugar sources generates a net income of $389.75.
Every acre of land used for vegetables and melons generates a net income of $325.12.
Land mass average comparison
Taking into consideration the averages of all these industries we obtain the results shown in Table 3-3:
Table 3-3 Comparison of averages on a per acre analysis.
Industry Grains and oil seeds Tree nuts Fruits Sugar Sources Vegetables and Melons Average
Value/Sales per acre $448.13 $3,815.94 $6,933.13 $1,281.15 $2,480.12 $2,991.69
Expenses per acre $517.28 $4,667.04 $8,624.57 $891.40 $2,155.00 $3,371.06
Net Income per acre -$69.14 -$851.10 -$1,691.43 $389.75 $325.12 -$379.36
Land Mass Analysis
Industries Average Animal-based ag. Plant-based Ag. Difference
Value/Sales per acre $5,183 Vs. $2,992 $2,191
Expenses per acre $4,705 Vs. $3,371 $1,333
Net Income per acre $478 Vs. -$379 $857
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On average, animal-based agriculture generates better numbers on a per acre basis. Value/sales per acre are
higher for animal-based agriculture, generating $2,191, on average, more in value/sales than plant-based
agriculture, and, even though expenses per acre are higher for animal-based agriculture by $1,333, the net
income per acre generated by animal-based agriculture is $857 higher than for plant-based agriculture on
average.
Financial indices analysis
The data collected permit the calculation of profit and expense financial indices for the different types of
agriculture based on value/sales, expenses, and net income, enabling us to determine the profit margin and
expense ratio for each industry.
Financial indices analysis for animal-based agriculture.
Tables 4-1 and 4-2 provide the financial indices of each industry. Table 4-1 shows the “Financial indices
analysis” for animal-based agriculture:
Table 4-1 Financial indices analysis for animal-based agriculture
Profit Margin:
The cow and calf meat industry generated a LOSS equivalent to 42.50% of their total value/sales;
for every $100 of sales, the industry LOST $42.50.
The chicken meat industry generated a profit of 15.95% in relation to their value/sales; for every
$100 of sales, the industry made $15.95 of net income.
The egg industry generated a profit of 15.95% in relation to their value/sales; for every $100 of
sales, the industry made $15.95 of net income.
The cow’s milk industry generated a LOSS of 35.95% in relation to their value/sales; for every
$100 of sales, the industry LOST $35.95.
The pig meat industry generated a LOSS of 0.38% in relation to their value/sales; for every $100
of sales, the industry LOST $0.38.
The turkey meat industry generated a profit of 15.95% in relation to their value/sales; for every
$100 of sales, the industry made $15.95 of net income.
Expense Ratio:
The cow and calf meat industry had an expense ratio of 142.50%; for every $100 of sales, the
industry had $142.50 of expenses. This generated a systemic LOSS.
The chicken meat industry had an expense ratio of 84.05%; for every $100 of sales, the industry
had $84.05 of expenses.
The egg industry had an expense ratio of 84.05%; for every $100 of sales, the industry had $84.05
of expenses.
The cow’s milk industry had an expense ratio of 135.95%; for every $100 of sales, the industry had
$135.95 of expenses. This generated a systemic LOSS.
The pig meat industry had an expense ratio of 100.38%; for every $100 of sales, the industry had
$100.38 of expenses. This generated a systemic LOSS.
The turkey meat industry had an expense ratio of 84.05%; for every $100 of sales, the industry had
$84.05 of expenses.
Industry Cows and calves for beef and veal Chicken Egg Cow milk Pigs and hogs Turkeys Average
Profit Margin -42.50% 15.95% 15.95% -35.95% -0 .38% 15.95% -5.16%
Expense Ratio 142.50% 84.05% 84.05% 135.95% 100.38% 84.05% 105.16%
Financial indices
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Financial indices analysis for plant-based agriculture.
Table 4-2 shows the “Financial indices analysis” for plant-based agriculture:
Table 4-2 Financial indices analysis for plant-based agriculture
Profit Margin:
The grains and oil seeds industry generated a LOSS of 15.43% in relation to their value/sales; for
every $100 of sales, the industry LOST $15.43.
The tree nuts industry generated a LOSS of 22.30% in relation to their value/sales; for every $100
of sales, the industry LOST $22.30.
The fruit industry generated a LOSS of 24.40% in relation to their value/sales; for every $100 of
sales, the industry LOST $24.40.
The sugar source industry generated a profit of 30.42% in relation to their value/sales; for every
$100 of sales, the industry made $30.42 of net income.
The vegetables and melons industry generated a profit of 13.11% in relation to their value/sales;
for every $100 of sales, the industry made $13.11 of net income.
Expense Ratio:
The grains and oil seeds industry had an expense ratio of 115.45%; for every $100 of sales, the
industry had $115.45 of expenses. This generated a systemic LOSS.
The tree nuts industry has an expense ratio of 122.30%; for every $100 of sales, the industry had
$122.30 of expenses. This generated a systemic LOSS.
The fruit industry has an expense ratio of 124.40%; for every $100 of sales, the industry had
$124.40 of expenses. This generated a systemic LOSS.
The sugar sources industry has an expense ratio of 69.58%; for every $100 of sales, the industry
had $69.58 of expenses.
The vegetables and melons industry has an expense ratio of 86.89%; for every $100 of sales, the
industry had $86.89 of expenses.
Financial indices average comparison
Taking into consideration the averages of all these industries, we obtain the results shown in Table 4-3:
Table 4-3 Comparison of averages for financial indices
On average, plant-based agriculture is a more profitable form of agriculture than animal-based agriculture
by a factor of 1.44%; for every $100 sold, plant-based agriculture industries will make an average of $1.44
more than industries within animal-based agriculture. It is important to keep in mind that these are industries
generating hundreds of billions of dollars in sales/value, thus a factor of 1.44% in such a context becomes
largely representative.
Industry Grains and oil seeds Tree nuts Fruits Sugar Sources Vegetables and Melons Average
Profit Margin -15.43% -22.30% -24.40% 30.42% 13.11% -3.72%
Expense Ratio 115.43% 122.30% 124.40% 69.58% 86.89% 103.72%
Financial indices
Industries Average Animal-based ag. Plant-based Ag. Difference
Profit Margin -5.16% Vs. -3.72%
Expense Ratio 105.16% Vs. 103.72%
1.44%
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Result merging
Even though plant-based agriculture utilizes 69% of the total land mass used for animal-based agriculture
in the U.S., plant-based agriculture generates 512% more pounds of product than animal-based agriculture.
On a per acre basis, plant-based agriculture produces 14,000 more pounds than animal-based agriculture.
There is sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that plant-based agriculture is more land efficient
than animal-based agriculture.
From a sales/value perspective, animal-based agriculture has a value 9% higher than plant-based
agriculture. The sales/value difference equals $34.7 billion, with the animal-based agriculture generating
only 16% of total pounds of product (combining animal-based and plant-based agriculture). However,
animal-based agriculture incurs 13% more expenses than plant-based agriculture. Ultimately, both animal-
based and plant-based agriculture incur losses; yet, the plant-based industry is twice as profitable as the
animal-based industry.
In conclusion, there is sufficient evidence to support the claim that plant-based agriculture, in the U.S., can
produce far more pounds of product (5 times as much) on a little over 40% of the total land utilized for
agriculture, and at a lower cost for both the farmer and the final consumer.
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Exhibits
Exhibit 1 Per capita analysis table for animal-based agriculture.
Exhibit 2 Grains and oil seed category analysis. *“Industries Data” numbers in thousands.
Industry Cows and calves for beef and veal Chicken Egg Cow milk Pigs and hogs Turkeys Average
Number of animals per acre 0.24 2,769.28 247.72 0.50 28.48 299.10 557.55
Pounds per animal 633.77 6.14 209.10 22,424.89 214.00 30.21 3,919.69
Revenue per animal $960.30 $3.30 $29.28 $4,453.58 $172.42 $24.51 $940.57
Expenses per animal $1,368.44 $2.78 $24.61 $6,054.72 $173.08 $20.60 $1,274.04
Net Income per animal -$408.13 $0.53 $4.67 -$1,601.14 -$0.66 $3.91 -$333.47
Per Capita Analysis
Industry Corn Soy Wheat Rice Sorghum Peanuts Barley Oats Canola Sunflower Total
Pounds 1,060,362,660 258,400,260 138,580,500 22,414,500 29,894,616 5,684,610 9,565,536 2,072,640 3,075,200 2,654,735 1,532,705,257
Mass of land (in Acres) 94,004 83,433 50,154 3,150 6,690 1,671 3,052 2,828 1,714 1,597 248,293
Value/Sales $57,583,090 $34,040,664 $10,768,565 $3,398,598 $1,472,335 $1,163,818 $1,092,189 $785,392 $493,833 $470,120 111,268,604
Expenses $63,483,721 $39,543,070 $15,520,657 $3,051,689 $2,104,674 $1,509,715 $1,280,863 $1,009,935 $481,497 $450,513 128,436,334
Net Income -$5,900,631 -$5,502,406 -$4,752,092 $346,909 -$632,339 -$345,897 -$188,674 -$224,543 $12,336 $19,607 -17,167,730
Industry Corn Soy Wheat Rice Sorghum Peanuts Barley Oats Canola Sunflower Average
Pounds per acre 11,279.97 3,097.10 2,763.10 7,115.71 4,468.55 3,401.92 3,134.19 732.90 1,794.17 1,662.33 3,944.99
Value/Sales per pound $0.054 $0.132 $0.078 $0.152 $0.049 $0 .205 $0.114 $0.379 $0 .161 $0.177 $0.15
Expenses per pound $0.060 $0.153 $0.112 $0.136 $0.070 $0.266 $0.134 $0.487 $0.157 $0.170 $0.17
Net Income per pound -$0.006 -$0.021 -$0.034 $0.015 -$0.021 -$0.061 -$0.020 -$0.108 $0.004 $0.007 -$0.02
Industry Corn Soy Wheat Rice Sorghum Peanuts Barley Oats Canola Sunflower Average
Value/Sales per acre $612.560 $408.000 $214.710 $1,078.920 $220.080 $696.480 $357.860 $277.720 $288.117 $294.377 $444.882
Expenses per acre $675.330 $473.950 $309.460 $968.790 $314.600 $903.480 $419.680 $357.120 $280.920 $282.100 $498.543
Net Income per acre -$62.770 -$65.950 -$94.750 $110.130 -$94.520 -$207.000 -$61.820 -$79.400 $7.197 $12.277 -$53.661
Industry Corn Soy Wheat Rice Sorghum Peanuts Barley Oats Canola Sunflower Average
Profit Margin -10.25% -16.16% -44.13% 10.21% -42.95% -29.72% -17.27% -28.59% 2.50% 4.17% -17.22%
Expense Ratio 110.25% 116.16% 144.13% 89.79% 142.95% 129.72% 117.27% 128.59% 97.50% 95.83% 117.22%
Industries Data
Per Pound Analysis
Land Mass Analysis
Financial indices
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Exhibit 3 Tree nuts category analysis. *“Industries Data” numbers in thousands.
Product Almonds Hazelnuts Pecan Pistachios Walnuts Total
Pounds 1,900,000 62,000 254,300 270,000 1,206,000 3,692,300
Mass of land (in Acres) 890.00 30.00 543.49 233.00 300.00 1,996
Value/Sales $5,325,000 $86,800 $560,220 $669,600 $976,860 $7,618,480
Expenses $5,554,500 $81,000 $1,227,200 $1,165,000 $1,290,000 $9,317,700
Net Income -$229,500 $5,800 -$666,980 -$495,400 -$313,140 -$1,699,220
Industry Almonds Hazelnuts Pecan Pistachios Walnuts Average
Pounds per acre 2,134.83 2,066.67 467.90 1,158.80 4,020.00 1,969.64
Value/Sales per pound $2.803 $1.400 $2.203 $2.480 $0.810 $1.939
Expenses per pound $2.923 $1.306 $4.826 $4.315 $1.070 $2.888
Net Income per pound -$0.121 $0.094 -$2.623 -$1.835 -$0.260 -$0.949
Industry Almonds Hazelnuts Pecan Pistachios Walnuts Average
Value/Sales per acre $5,983.146 $2,893.333 $1,030.783 $2,873.820 $3,256.200 $3,207
Expenses per acre $6,241.011 $2,700.000 $2,257.999 $5,000.000 $4,300.000 $4,100
Net Income per acre -$257.865 $193.333 -$1,227.217 -$2,126.180 -$1,043.800 -$892
Industry Almonds Hazelnuts Pecan Pistachios Walnuts Average
Profit Margin -4.31% 6.68% -119.06% -73.98% -32.06% -44.54%
Expense Ratio 104.31% 93.32% 219.06% 173.98% 132.06% 144.54%
Industries Data
Per Pound Analysis
Land Mass Analysis
Financial indices
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Exhibit 4 Fruits category analysis. *“Industries Data” numbers in thousands.
Product Citrus Grapes Apples Strawberries Peaches Pears Plums Cranberries All Cherries Blueberries Avocados Raspberries Total
Pounds 17,120,000 15,354,160 10,039,000 3,086,700 1,694,420 1,641,040 455,360 856,300 929,360 654,250 448,020 262,940 52,541,550
Mass of land (in Acres) 737.80 1,022.70 315.88 58.95 9 9.79 48.94 67.22 40.90 127.88 112.22 5 9.28 20.32 2,711.88
Value/Sales $3,340,000 $5,561,719 $3,394,185 $2,219,144 $605,794 $500,416 $331,197 $267,527 $845,952 $859,172 $295,797 $580,924 $18,801,827
Expenses $3,762,780 $7,895,244 $3,523,326 $2,521,586 $585,368 $415,990 $500,981 $215,420 $1,139,845 $1,185,480 $681,720 $961,055 $23,388,795
Net Income -$422,780 -$2,333,525 -$129,141 -$302,442 $20,426 $84,426 -$169,784 $52,107 -$293,893 -$326,308 -$385,923 -$380,131 -4,586,968
Industry Citrus Grapes Apples Strawberries Peaches Pears Plums Cranberries All Cherries Blueberries Avocados Raspberries Average
Pounds per acre 23,204.12 15,013.36 31,781.06 52,361.32 16,979.86 33,531.67 6,774.17 20,936.43 7,267.44 5,830.07 7,557.69 12,939.96 19,514.76
Value/Sales per pound $0.195 $0.362 $0.338 $0.719 $0.358 $0.305 $0.727 $0.312 $0.910 $1.313 $0.660 $2.209 0.70
Expenses per pound $0.220 $0.514 $0.351 $0.817 $0.345 $0.253 $1.100 $0.252 $1.226 $1.812 $1.522 $3.655 1.01
Net Income per pound -$ 0.025 -$0.152 -$0.013 -$ 0.098 $0.012 $0.051 -$0.373 $0.061 -$0.316 -$0.499 -$0.861 -$1.446 -0.30
Industry Citrus Grapes Apples Strawberries Peaches Pears Plums Cranberries All Cherries Blueberries Avocados Raspberries Average
Value/Sales per acre $4,526.972 $5,438.270 $10,745.172 $37,644.512 $6,070.688 $10,225.092 $4,927.060 $6,541.002 $6,615.202 $7,656.140 $4,989.828 $28,588.780 11,164.06
Expenses per acre $5,100.000 $7,720.000 $11,154.002 $42,774.996 $5,865.999 $8,500.000 $7,452.856 $5,266.993 $8,913.395 $10,563.892 $11,500.000 $47,296.014 14,342.35
Net Income per acre -$573.028 -$2,281.730 -$408.829 -$5,130.483 $204.690 $1,725.092 -$2,525.796 $1,274.010 -$2,298.194 -$2,907.753 -$6,510.172 -$18,707.234 -3,178.29
Industry Citrus Grapes Apples Strawberries Peaches Pears Plums Cranberries All Cherries Blueberries Avocados Raspberries Average
Profit Margin -12.66% -41.96% -3.80% -13.63% 3.37% 16.87% -51.26% 19.48% -34.74% -37.98% -130.47% -65.44% -29.35%
Expense Ratio 112.66% 141.96% 103.80% 113.63% 96.63% 83.13% 151.26% 80.52% 134.74% 137.98% 230.47% 165.44% 129.35%
Industries Data
Per Pound Analysis
Land Mass Analysis
Financial indices
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Exhibit 5 Sugar sources category analysis. *“Industries Data” numbers in thousands.
Product Sugar beet Sugar cane Total
Pounds 73,762,000 65,976,000 139,738,000
Mass of land (in Acres) 1,163.00 915.60 2,079
Value/Sales $1,667,874 $995,122 $2,662,996
Expenses $1,246,734 $606,127 $1,852,861
Net Income $421,140 $388,995 $810,135
Industry Sugar beet Sugar cane Average
Pounds per acre 63,423.90 72,057.67 67,740.79
Value/Sales per pound $0.023 $0.015 $0.019
Expenses per pound $0.017 $0.009 $0.013
Net Income per pound $0.006 $0.006 $0.006
Industry Sugar beet Sugar cane Average
Value/Sales per acre $1,434.113 $1,086.852 $1,260
Expenses per acre $1,071.998 $662.000 $867
Net Income per acre $362.115 $424.853 $393
Industry Sugar beet Sugar cane Average
Profit Margin 25.25% 39.09% 32.17%
Expense Ratio 74.75% 60.91% 67.83%
Industries Data
Per Pound Analysis
Land Mass Analysis
Financial indices
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Exhibit 6.1 Vegetables and melons category analysis. *“Industries Data” numbers in thousands.
Product Snap beans Borccoli Cabbage Cantaloupes Carrots Cauliflower Celery Corn, sweet Cucumber Dry edible beans Dry Pea Dry lentils
Pounds 2,009,800 2,246,600 2,266,500 1,377,400 3,030,600 666,000 1,706,200 7,392,600 1,768,800 2,871,200 2,773,700 1,268,500
Mass of land (in Acres) 249.30 132.30 59.40 55.30 84.60 37.30 29.30 511.30 124.20 1,662.00 1,382.00 933.00
Value/Sales $441,029 $851,391 $449,445 $207,492 $818,140 $389,496 $358,632 $896,429 $344,295 $871,407 $298,208 $350,985
Expenses $397,251 $802,929 $364,419 $205,052 $479,174 $226,374 $350,516 $991,372 $255,984 $586,686 $334,444 $222,054
Net Income $43,778 $48,462 $85,026 $2,440 $338,966 $163,122 $8,116 -$94,943 $88,311 $284,721 -$36,236 $128,931
Industry Snap beans Borccoli Cabbage Cantaloupes Carrots Cauliflower Celery Corn, sweet Cucumber Dry edible beans Dry Pea Dry lentils
Pounds per acre 8,061.77 16,981.10 38,156.57 24,907.78 35,822.70 17,855.23 58,232.08 14,458.44 14,241.55 1,727.56 2,007.02 1,359.59
Value/Sales per pound $0.219 $0.379 $0.198 $0.151 $0.270 $0.585 $0.210 $0.121 $0.195 $0.303 $0.108 $0.277
Expenses per pound $0.198 $0.357 $0.161 $0.149 $0.158 $0.340 $0.205 $0.134 $0.145 $0.204 $0.121 $0.175
Net Income per pound $0.022 $0.022 $0.038 $0.002 $0.112 $0.245 $0.005 -$0.013 $0.050 $0.099 -$0.013 $0.102
Industry Snap beans Borccoli Cabbage Cantaloupes Carrots Cauliflower Celery Corn, sweet Cucumber Dry edible beans Dry Pea Dry lentils
Value/Sales per acre $1,769.069 $6,435.306 $7,566.414 $3,752.116 $9,670.686 $10,442.252 $12,240.000 $1,753.235 $2,772.101 $524.312 $215.780 $376.190
Expenses per acre $1,593.466 $6,069.002 $6,135.000 $3,707.993 $5,663.995 $6,069.008 $11,963.003 $1,938.924 $2,061.063 $353.000 $242.000 $238.000
Net Income per acre $175.604 $366.304 $1,431.414 $44.123 $4,006.690 $4,373.244 $276.997 -$185.689 $711.039 $171.312 -$26.220 $138.190
Industry Snap beans Borccoli Cabbage Cantaloupes Carrots Cauliflower Celery Corn, sweet Cucumber Dry edible beans Dry Pea Dry lentils
Profit Margin 9.93% 5.69% 18.92% 1.18% 41.43% 41.88% 2.26% -10.59% 25.65% 32.67% -12.15% 36.73%
Expense Ratio 90.07% 94.31% 81.08% 98.82% 58.57% 58.12% 97.74% 110.59% 74.35% 67.33% 112.15% 63.27%
Industries Data
Per Pound Analysis
Land Mass Analysis
Financial indices
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Exhibit 6.2 Vegetables and melons category analysis continuation. *“Industries Data” numbers in thousands.
Garlic Lettuce (all) Onions Peppers (all) Pumpkins Spinach Squash Tomatoes
Sweet potatoes
Watermelons Potatoes Green peas Total
369,000 8,981,100 7,186,700 2,031,900 1,607,000 722,200 611,700 28,747,000 3,154,600 3,992,300 44,072,500 687,400 131,541,300
24.60 283.80 138.30 68.60 70.40 48.60 37.40 364.80 168.10 118.50 1,034 153.90 7,771.00
$268,665 $2,880,973 $925,861 $898,627 $205,445 $292,531 $164,598 $2,055,987 $705,690 $579,548 $3,922,711 $95,404 $19,272,989
$385,211 $2,727,491 $456,390 $907,921 $306,592 $267,300 $228,140 $1,113,976 $625,500 $675,450 $3,722,400 $113,886 $16,746,512
-$116,546 $153,482 $469,471 -$9,294 -$101,147 $25,231 -$63,542 $942,011 $80,190 -$95,902 $200,311 -$18,482 2,526,477
Garlic Lettuce (all) Onions Peppers (all) Pumpkins Spinach Squash Tomatoes
Sweet potatoes
Watermelons Potatoes Green peas Average
15,000.00 31,645.88 51,964.57 29,619.53 22,826.70 14,860.08 16,355.61 78,802.08 18,766.21 33,690.30 42,623.31 4,466.54 24,768.01
$0.728 $0.321 $0.129 $0.442 $0.128 $0.405 $0.269 $0.072 $0.224 $0.145 $0.089 0.138789642 0.25
$1.044 $0.304 $0.064 $0.447 $0.191 $0.370 $0.373 $0.039 $0.198 $0.169 $0.084 $0.166 0.24
-$0.316 $0.017 $0.065 -$0.005 -$0.063 $0.035 -$0.104 $0.033 $0.025 -$0.024 $0.005 -$0.027 0.01
Garlic Lettuce (all) Onions Peppers (all) Pumpkins Spinach Squash Tomatoes
Sweet potatoes
Watermelons Potatoes Green peas Average
$10,921.341 $10,151.420 $6,694.584 $13,099.519 $2,918.253 $6,019.156 $4,401.016 $5,635.929 $4,198.037 $4,890.700 $3,793.724 $619.909 5,452.54
$15,658.984 $9,610.610 $3,300.000 $13,235.000 $4,355.000 $5,500.000 $6,100.000 $3,053.662 $3,720.999 $5,700.000 $3,600.000 $740.000 5,025.36
-$4,737.642 $540.810 $3,394.584 -$135.481 -$1,436.747 $519.156 -$1,698.984 $2,582.267 $477.037 -$809.300 $193.724 -$120.091 427.18
Garlic Lettuce (all) Onions Peppers (all) Pumpkins Spinach Squash Tomatoes
Sweet potatoes
Watermelons Potatoes Green peas Average
-43.38% 5.33% 50.71% -1.03% -49.23% 8.63% -38.60% 45.82% 11.36% -16.55% 5.11% -19.37% 6.35%
143.38% 94.67% 49.29% 101.03% 149.23% 91.37% 138.60% 54.18% 88.64% 116.55% 94.89% 119.37% 93.65%
Financial indices
Land Mass Analysis
Per Pound Analysis
Industries Data
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The weighted average cost of producing tart cherries in Michigan on a representative farm in 2009 is $0.36/lb. This cost was averaged across the three main production regions in Michigan and weighted by average per acre production for each region as published by the Michigan Agricultural Statistics Service. --Costs vary across the main production regions and by farm size. Costs are about $0.04/lb less for mid-sized farms in Northwest Michigan and $0.08/lb and $0.10/lb in West Central and Southwest Michigan, respectively. --This report was developed through interviews with tart cherry growers and other experts in each of the three main growing regions in 2005 and 2006. Many of the numbers were updated in 2009. --The cost of production calculation is based on estimates of operating costs, harvest costs, and management, interest and tax costs. It also includes an amortized cost of establishing an orchard and employing the land in production (versus some other use). The following tables summarize the cost findings for each of the production regions.
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This document is FRE145, Horticultural Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Published November 2006.
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This article presents a summary of the 2015/16 costs of production for Processed Oranges in Central Florida (Ridge). The methodology chosen to collect the data consisted of surveying growers directly to closely reflect growers’ costs in the era of HLB. The total cost of production for Processed Oranges in central in 2015/16 was $2,235.76 per acre, down $46.43 per acre from last season.
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A study was completed to determine the costs and returns of establishing and producing a standard planting of hazelnuts in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In addition, the costs and returns of establishing and producing a double-density hazelnut orchard were estimated and the economic benefits of the two densities compared. The standard density orchard consisted of trees planted 6.2 m x 6.2 m for 267 trees/ha vs. doubling the density and removing every other tree in year 11. The first year cash cost for the standard density orchard was US$2,839/ha. Nut production begins in year 4 with .19 t/ha and increases to 2.93 t/ha at full production. A positive cash flow begins in year 5. In year 11, the orchard returns a sufficient amount of gross income to pay all previous years' cash costs of establishment with $1,869/ha above prior costs. However, when total economic costs are included, the orchard cannot pay back all previous years' establishment costs by year 12 and thus the $26,125 remaining costs are amortized over an assumed 25-year period and assessed against future crops. A double-density orchard of 533 trees/ha increases the positive cash return in year 5 from $26/ha to $566/ha. The additional cash costs to plant a double-density hazelnut orchard in the first year are $1,717/ha ($4,556 - $2,839). However, the net gain to the grower at the end of year 12 is $1,658/ha ($6,113 - $4,455). The additional revenues begin to offset the additional costs by year 9, rather than year 11 in a standard planting.
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It has been a long time since we have seen a cost of production study for horticultural crops, notably processing vegetable crops, in New York State; however, research in this arena is completed in many other states and continues to offer useful information to industry stakeholders. This type of information is especially important in the processing vegetable sector in New York State as it has seen substantial acreage decreases in recent years. Here we develop a survey to collect data from processing vegetable growers in New York State and use it to calculate costs and net returns of producing snap beans and green peas. Our results indicate that the average cost of producing snap beans in New York State is $568 per acre and is $563 per acre for green peas; the actual producer costs drop to $402 and $361 for beans and peas if the processor pays for expenses related to seeds, pesticides, and harvesting. Lastly, we discuss some other issues—consumer demand, farm policy, and processing capacity—that may be negatively impacting markets for processing beans and peas in New York State, and suggest that further attention needs to be given to these issues to fully understand the future of the processing vegetable sector in New York State.