If you’ve never grown pumpkins before, you might wonder if it’s worth it. Look at our humorous assessment of pumpkin economics, as shown below. Certainly, it is worth it. Growing pumpkins is lots of fun.
Here is a Beginner’s guide to the economics of pumpkin growing. It should prove invaluable towards estimating upfront costs and the profit you can make in growing and displaying pumpkins!
|Buy Seed||-$10.00||Assumes you buy five or six Atlantic Giant seeds with genetic capability for 500 to 600 pounds. Where else can you spend $2.00 or more per seed?|
|Potting soil||-$1.00||Enough to fill six 4″ peat pots, only the best for these bad boys!|
|Peat Pots||-$0.60||Six four” diameter peat pots at $0.15 each|
|Gro Lights||-$0.75||A one time investment, costed on a per plant basis over ten years|
|Heating Coil||-$1.10||A one time investment, costed on a per plant basis over ten years|
|Electricity-Indoors||-$5.00||Includes direct energy costs of Gro-Lights and Heating coil as well as an allocated portion of household heat.|
|Labor- Indoor Care||-$1.00||Pretty small labor time at this point. As an added plus, your spouse and family can still see you, if only while you are gawking over the seedlings!|
|Soil Preparation||-$50.00||Hours are consumed tilling, adding manure, leaves, and lots of other secret amendments. Some say you need 2500 square feet. All this for one fruit!|
|Visitor’s Admittance Fee||$400.00||Average fee per person for friends and relatives, assuming discounts and season passes are available for frequent visitors, wife and children. This may be the only time your wife and kids see you all summer! Surcharge for Mothers-in-law. Properly planned, this is a real money maker. Also, consider parking fees.|
|Water||-$12.40||One farmer suggests he provides 100 gallons per day per plant during the peak season! (100 gallons/day times 60 peak days* $2.07/k gals)|
|Manure||-$0.00||Who says nothing comes for free!?!|
|Fertilizers||-$46.40||Let’s see, there are dry fertilizers, organic fertilizers… and Don’t forget to mix Liquid Fertilizer into all water to both irrigation and foliage fertilization…….|
|Fungicides||-$25.50||Start early, spray often. Those pesky bugs don’t stay away!|
|Insecticides||-$28.90||An ounce if prevention is worth a pound of cure. In this case, we use pounds of fungicides……|
|Irrigation Supplies||-$16.50||Includes depreciation on hoses, drip lines, buckets, pails, and anything else used to hold and transport vital water supplies to the plants.|
|Field Labor||-$390.00||Here is where you discover that field labor comes real cheap. To grow a really big one requires several hours per day for the 130 to 150 day growing season times the Labor Rate.(130 times 3hrs/day times $1/hr) No time off for holiday or vacation.|
|Growing Season Satisfaction||$350.00||This is a leisure activity. My calculations assume that labor is cheap and leisure is costly.|
|Field Removal Services||-$20.00||You will need to hire several people to lift and transport the monster to your truck. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long.($20.00/hr/person for six guys for 10 minutes)|
|Transport to Weigh-Off||-$6.15||Let’s take it easy on this one and assume gas only. Consider the drive a fall foliage trip. After all, your pumpkin will be one of the smaller ones and will not win a prize.(80 miles / 15 miles per gallon times $1.15/gallon)|
|Weigh-Off Entry Fees||-$10.00||Don’t forget to enter, months ahead of time. This is called legalized gambling as the bet is made upfront and the odds of winning are astronomically stacked against you.|
|The “Big One Prize”||$0.00||See note on size in “Transport to Weigh-Off”|
|Hazardous Waste Removal||-$125.00||You soil is now filled with hazardous chemical wastes from Insecticides to Fungicides and requires removal. It even contains significant amounts of Nitrogens and therefore poses an explosives risk.|
|Pumpkin Disposal||-$8.75||Atlantic Giants and other prizewinner varieties are not good for eating. As a matter of fact, after the Weigh-Off, they are only good for the landfill. The only know exception to this was an expensive conversion of an Atlantic Giant into a Pleasure Boat. Our estimate assumes about 1/2 of a large rubbish barrel for a 500 to 600 pound pumpkin. Adjust this estimate accordingly for the size of your pumpkin.|
|Taxes||$0.27||You can’t forget Uncle Sam!!|
|After Tax Profit||$0.68||Yes, you even you can profit from growing “The Big One”. Not too bad for several hundred hours of work, huh!?!|
|Cost of Divorce||$ ??||At the end of the season, your spouse will file for infidelity with your pumpkin as the co-defendant. She will win!|
|Selling Seeds||$4.19||For the real lucky ones(no not you), your seeds will market for $2.00 per seed. Assuming about 700 seeds in the pumpkin, that is a gross income of $1,400. Our estimates, net out the cost of seed extraction and cleaning, middleman(assume two or three) expenses and shipping.|
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