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New report explores profitability of specialty crops

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has released a new report detailing the financial performance of nine types of specialty crops in Minnesota, along with detailed information on their costs of production.

Minnesota Specialty Crop Farm Performance 2009-12 includes financial data for apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, grapes, pumpkins, raspberries, strawberries, sweet corn and assorted vegetables.

It also includes analysis by University of Minnesota Center for Farm Financial Management (CFFM) agricultural economist Dale Nordquist and Central Lakes College Farm Business Management (FBM) instructor Thaddeus McCamant.

The report finds that over the past five years, apples, blueberries, cantaloupe, strawberries and assorted vegetables had the top gross per acre returns. After production costs were accounted for, however, strawberries and assorted vegetables proved to be the two most profitable crops.

Minnesota Specialty Crop Farm Performance 2009-12 was produced in partnership with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities FBM programs and CFFM. The Minnesota Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association also collaborated on the project.

The data were contributed by 55 Minnesota farmers who have been enrolled in farm business management education programs offered by MnSCU campuses across the state. The privacy of individual farm data is strictly protected.

The 19-page report is available online at or by calling (651) 201-6012.