Market Vegetables
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Market Vegetables Module

Simple Tools for Enterprise Analysis

Managing a productive and efficient market vegetable operation has unique challenges. Most market vegetable growers have numerous crops which can make it difficult to track costs effectively and calculate accurate cost of production values.

Enterprise analysis is critical to identifying which crops are most profitable and where problems exist. Often, all the various crops get lumped together so the financial analysis covers the operation as a whole. To truly get a handle on productivity and efficiency, each crop or project should undergo a cost of production calculation. This helps you make improvements and even shift production to favour the clear winners. This module includes easy-to-use calculations so you know where you stand for each crop.

Take a few minutes to review what is required for you to complete the calculations. You’ll need to gather the required information before you can start inputting numbers and calculating your baseline.

By the end of this module, you will:

  • Understand the impact of labour on cost of production
  • Identify true costs of waste or unsold product
  • See the value in detailed record keeping for enterprise analysis

“Simple technology like putting a misting system in your greenhouse so you don’t have to spend 2 hours per day in the spring to water can have a big impact”
– Amanda Bilek, Owner
Chilligo Creek Farm

“Even something simple like adding wheels to greenhouse tables can save on labour. The tables can be rolled outside for hardening off in the spring, instead of carrying trays out individually.”
– Amanda Bilek, Owner
Chilligo Creek Farm

“Look at the weather forecast for market day. If it’s going to rain all day on Saturday, sales will go down. If you can, delay harvesting and bring less product to the market that day.”
– Amanda Bilek, Owner
Chilligo Creek Farm

“Recent research on processing tomatoes in Ontario has shown yield increases of up to 81% on a range of soil types with the use of properly scheduled irrigation.”

“It’s very important to measure water use. Few irrigators use flow meters to track their water use. The natural tendency of growers in Ontario is to under irrigate. When growers do a better job of tracking water use, they tend to use more water but productivity increases. So amount of water used per unit produced may actually decrease.”
– Rebecca Shortt Engineer, Water Quantity, OMAFRA

Additional Resources:

Software Helps with Labour Tracking:

Ontario CSA Farm Directory:

Local Food and Farm Co-op Ontario:

Ontario Farm Fresh Marketing Association: