A small farm can bring in revenue through various channels, from livestock to educational programs. However, growing and selling crops are generally at the top of the list. If you’re looking for the best cash crops to add to your farming operation, here are several profitable crops to consider.
The Small-scale Farming Industry in 2023
Small farmers have to deal with many challenges in 2023, from challenging weather conditions to consumers who are increasingly concerned about rising food prices. With the world population rising, there’s a sustained demand for quality cash crops. And farmers can get these items to consumers through various channels, from farmer’s markets to wholesale stores and restaurants.
- READ MORE: Small Farm Crops
Most Profitable Cash Crops for Small Farms
Whether you’re looking for a lucrative cash crop to add to an existing farm business or trying to build an agricultural business from scratch, here are some profitable plants to consider.
1. Goji Berries
Goji berry plants are easy to grow, and each one can get up to 13 feet tall, leaving lots of berries to pick. If you’re interested in planting goji shrubs, they can easily be sold to grocery stores, restaurants, and food brands for use in high-end snacks and dishes.
2. Oyster Mushrooms
Gourmet mushrooms like oyster mushrooms are often used in expensive dishes. But they also grow quickly and are quite inexpensive to produce.
Microgreens like arugula and other leafy green vegetables don’t require much space to grow, and they’re fairly easy to keep alive in various climates.
Almonds are popular in everything from trail mix to milk alternatives. Once almond trees are established, they are quite hardy and can produce a high yield in the right climate. However, they can take a while to get going. So look at this as more of a long-term investment.
Coconuts are among the most profitable crops in the tropical plant family. Those in warm climates can start these plants without many resources and then grow them into large trees that yield many coconuts.
Growing ginseng root can be profitable, as it is used in various therapeutic and supplement products. It can take years to mature this plant enough to sell the roots, but you can sell seedlings in the meantime.
7. Cherry Tomatoes
Cherry tomatoes are the smallest items in the tomato family, meaning they grow quickly and easily. Tomato plants easily pop up year after year and are used in various dishes.
Garlic is a small plant that doesn’t require much space or resources. It’s also used in tons of dishes, and gourmet garlic can demand a high price tag.
Saffron is one of the most expensive culinary herb products on the market. It takes some startup money to grow these plants. But eventually, the established plants can bring in high profits each year.
Basil is another herb that is prominent in many dishes. It’s small and easy to get started. You don’t even need a large outdoor garden to get started.
- READ MORE: 12 More Profitable Crops for Small Farms
More of the Most Profitable Crop Options
In addition to those listed above, here are some of the most lucrative crops you may not have already considered.
11. Bonsai Plants
Bonsai plants are generally grown indoors. And each one can command a decent price tag. They’re generally sold as small, potted plants. So you can offer them in retail settings or even online.
Lavender plants are fairly hardy. And they can be sold in bunches to consumers or even wholesale to companies that use the oil for fragrance or related products.
A bamboo business can thrive thanks to the ability of these plants to grow quickly and command a decent price tag. This plant is mainly sold as a potted plant or landscaping feature.
Hemp is used in a huge array of products, from supplements to fabric. And the plants are fairly hardy and inexpensive to grow.
Juniper is popular in landscaping applications. And the oil can even be used in various products to add scent and flavor.
Hostas are among the hardiest landscaping plants, and they’re in high demand across the country. You can even re-plant them from cuttings of existing ones.
17. Pine Trees
Pine trees are able to grow in various environments, even during cold winters. Then you can sell them to eager buyers during the Christmas season.
Pumpkins are an especially popular crop during fall. So you can easily add them to an existing operation to bring more visitors during this growth cycle. Many growers offer them as a U-pick option for consumers. But you could also harvest your own and sell them to grocery stores or food producers.
Sorghum is similar to wheat, but it is included in many products and can be grown with less land. This ingredient is often included in beverages and syrups. So you may even create wholesale relationships with these suppliers to bring in ongoing revenue for your business.
Flowers in general can be profitable crops for growers who work with nurseries or florists. Sunflowers and particular can be quite hardy and command a significant price tag. When growing flowers, you may need significant space, but they are generally fairly easy to care for.
What Are the Most Profitable Plants to Grow and Sell?
There are lots of options available to those interested in growing plants and selling them. If you’re looking for one new crop with a minimal investment that can bring significant returns, consider gourmet mushrooms like oyster mushrooms or shiitake mushrooms.
Can a Small Farm Become a Successful Business?
Yes, a small farm can become a successful business. However, you do usually need at least one valuable crop like mushrooms, ginseng, flowers, or herbs. Many diverse enterprises run farms with various other crops as well to bring in additional revenue throughout the year.
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