Crop Rent Calculator

Crop Rent Calculator

Location: Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Pocantico Hills, NY

Featuring: Jack Algiere, farm director

How does Jack of Stone Barns decide what to grow in his greenhouse? Years of experience, intuition...and a crop rent calculator. The "calculator" is an agile equation used to determine a crop’s true value within a greenhouse’s diversified year-round growing system.

It allows Jack to: (1) Track seasonal growing trends; (2) Adjust pricing to improve economic efficiency and better understand how extensive crop selection works together to form a viable, ecologically sound growing operation; (3) Determine crops that work best within the ecological fabric necessary to maintain long-term soil health (soil health is reflected in crop quality and reduced need for inputs over time).

COST OF PRODUCING 1 LB OF MOKUM CARROTS using [ L x (0.033x2.5) x T]/75

L = 50 ft = length of each plant bed

T =50 = # of days crop grows from seeding to harvest

0.033 = value of 1 square ft of growing space in greenhouse -- calculated by factoring the total annual expenses of operation including labor, capital value of structure, materials, seeds, tools, fuel, and electricity then dividing this number by total productive days in the year

2.5 = width of the bed (2.5 ft)

75 = average weight per bed for mokum carrots grown here