Whether you're looking to expand your business by growing smaller crops along those you already harvest or start something entirely new, there are several options for growing profitable crops on your small farm.
Crop demands change which provides excellent opportunities for small farmers to grow according to what is in high demand. Many of the desired crops are simple to grow but aren't as commercialized as other plants.
Things to Consider Before Growing
Before you start growing a new crop for profit on your small farm, there are a few things you'll want to consider. These could be the factors that decide whether the crop is right for you and your efforts.
Do you have the proper space to grow the cash crop? Most of the crops listed below take into consideration smaller growing lots, but you'll still want to consider if the space and landscaping you're going to use will produce enough to be profitable.
Some crops will need more water and nutrients to grow which can cause them to be less cost-effective. As all growers know, sunlight is also an important variable to growing success. Be sure that you have all the resources prepared for making your crop successful.
Where to Sell
Before growing your crop, you can go to your local markets and learn what crops are in higher demand. This will also show you the best places to sell your crops at the highest profit margin. You can try farmer's markets, restaurants, private chefs, and local grocery stores.
The crops below take into consideration the best profits to effort ratio, and all of them are high in demand in North America and other regions. These are high in demand cash crops that you can grow on your small farm. Learn more about your climate zone to ensure that you can put these crops into full production.
Incredibly easy to grow and highly sought-after, mushrooms are a very profitable specialty crop. Oyster and shiitake mushrooms are the two most in-demand mushrooms, both considered gourmet mushrooms, and they're easy to grow with a high yield. Mushrooms are popular because of their many health benefits and unique flavor.
Oyster mushrooms can grow as fast as 5 weeks while shiitake mushrooms can take a little longer but have tremendous yields if done right. Mushrooms are best grown indoors, so be mindful whether you have the proper space and area for your mushrooms to flourish. Since mushrooms can be grown indoors, they can be grown year-round.
Garlic is a great crop to grow on your small farm as it requires little space and grows with ease.
If you are okay with a higher upfront cost, there are species of garlic that are considered gourmet garlic that sell at high prices to the right buyers. Gourmet garlic can fetch between $8 to $10 per square foot. It is important to note that garlic should be planted 4 to 6 inches apart from one another.
With well-drained soil and high sun exposure, you can grow a lot of lavender which is used for a lot of essential oils, perfumes, and as a culinary herb. Lavender can also be sold to florists to craft into beautiful bouquets.
In the proper environment, lavender is a perennial so it will grow repeatedly. Many growers take to growing lavender in separate containers, but they can be grown directly in-ground as well. This crop far exceeds its starting costs, as the crop allows for 15 years of harvesting.
Bamboo is becoming a popular crop as people all over the world search for it for multiple purposes from building materials to fabric. There is a slightly more expensive startup cost with bamboo, and it requires at least an acre to make the effort profitable, but the profit margin is high.
Growing bamboo requires fertile ground with well-drained soil. There are cold hardy bamboo species, but most prefer a warmer, humid climate.
With its health benefits, the demand for wheat is growing exponentially. Wheat is significantly easier to grow than any fruits or vegetables but requires open fields.
It only takes 1,000 square yards to grow a bushel of wheat. Wheat needs a lot of sunshine but doesn't do well in hotter climates. Zones 7a through 10b are the best climates for wheat to thrive.
Bonsai plants are a hobby that is growing in popularity all over the world. As more people bring these woody ornamentals into their homes, you can take advantage of growing and selling this simple cash crop.
Bonsai plants require little space to grow, such as a small pot, and are easy to grow and care for. You can sell bonsai plants as seeds and starter kits or as plants that have already grown. Older Bonsai plants can draw higher prices.
Goji berries are an easy-to-grow perennial highly regarded as a superfood. It's easier to maintain than other berries which can spread if not properly maintained. These plants can yield 7,000 pounds per acre.
You can grow these crops in the ground or in a container. Goji berry plants are disease-resistant and can thrive in a wide array of climates and soil, however, they don't typically produce berries in the first year. These plants are closely related to tomatoes, making them a part of the nightshade family.
A little patience is needed with growing ginseng as it takes 18 months to grow from seed to harvest, but it's a simple process, requires a moderate amount of water, and takes only a small space or container.
People like to use ginseng for supplement capsules, teas, and as a spice. There are two popular types of ginseng root, Korean Ginseng and American Ginseng. Strict laws are in place in most of the US for harvesting wild ginseng on state and federal land.
Soybeans are a warm-climate vegetable that's easy to grow. Soybean plants take around 80 days to grow and only get to be 2 feet tall.
A large portion of the demand for soybeans is for the production of oil. Be careful when you plant soybeans because if it's done too early, they have a higher chance of suffering a bean leaf beetle infestation.
Herbs and Microgreens
Growing herbs and microgreens are efficient and easy. They require little space to grow in large abundance and are sought after by restaurants. Microgreens started becoming popular in California during the 1980s, but has increased in popularity and they are now considered a high-end garnish or highly nutritional food.
Basil, chives, and cilantro are among some of the higher paid herbs while beet, amaranth, and chard are sought after microgreens. Herbs and Microgreens require minimal investment.
Skynova Can Help Manage the Cash of Your Crops
Skynova is an online invoice service for small businesses that can help you on your journey of selling cash crops and help you send free invoices to your customers.
With an easy-to-use interface, Skynova will aid with all your billing needs. There are several invoice templates that are easy to edit and tailor to your crop selling needs. With different modules such as sales orders, receipts, and order confirmations that you can access with ease.
Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is a general guide and may not apply to your specific situation. Always consult with a professional accountant for any money management advice pertaining to your cash crops.