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  Section: Small Farm Resource » NEW JERSEY
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Rutgers University

  Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas
  New Jersey Department of Agriculture
  Rutgers University

Program Description
The Rutgers Farm Management Website ( was developed to provide management information to farmers. A particular focus is horticulture.

Floricultural and nursery producers grow a myriad of crops. While the industry on the whole is profitable, the competitive edge is lost because producers rarely know the profit margins of individual crops. The recent volatility of fossil fuels and general energy prices, domestic competition, off-shore production, a weakening and stressed economy, the growth of the mass market, add-up to collectively produce downward pressure on prices. Nationally, the number of producers continues to decline as a direct result of the newly defined economic risks. Thus, to stay competitive, producers must calculate their costs for individual crops so that they can develop the most profitable crop mix for their particular market. Unlike farmers who produce field crops, floricultural and nursery firms bear the entire price, market, and production risks because these crops have had no government support programs. However, crop insurance is now available for nursery crops, and Adjusted Gross Revenue crop insurance is available in selected states which can cover floricultural crops.

To help greenhouse managers analyze various production, financial, and marketing strategies, Rutgers developed a cost accounting program to help floricultural and nursery producers calculate their individual costs for their businesses. The Greenhouse Cost Accounting program uses cost information typically found on income statements. In addition, producers can enter direct costs for each crop. From these inputs, the program allocates as many costs as possible to individual crops. The remaining unallocated costs are assigned to each crop on a per squarefoot- week basis. The program provides information on costs and returns on a per crop, per unit, and per square-foot basis. It also provides an income statement showing total costs, allocated costs, and unallocated costs. The output can aid managers in making decision about pricing, reducing unprofitable production, controlling costs, and increasing sales of profitable crops. The program can also be used in management classes or extension workshops. These programs have been requested by producers and educators all over the U.S. as well as in several foreign countries. A gratis, simplified version is on the Rutgers University Farm Management Website ( and linked to the national risk management website. In addition, an Excel version is distributed through Rutgers Cooperative Extension so that producers can calculate their own costs. Contact Dr. Brumfield for more information.

Results of a comprehensive survey of New Jersey greenhouse are on the Farm Management Website:

A gap existed in what was available to help new farmers analyze the various marketing venues, particularly in the wholesale market in the Northeast. Thus, To Market, To Market, a Marketing Workbook was developed through an IFAFS grant in conjunction with the New England Small Farms Institute. The workbook allows new farmers to decide what to produce, how to price it, and in what venue to sell their products.

The Rutgers Farm Management contains other Farm Management and Marketing information as well as links to other useful websites.

Robin G. Brumfield
Rutgers University,
55 Dudley Road,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8520.
Phone: (732) 932-9171 ext. 253
Fax: (732) 932-8887


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