Jun 4, 2024
Setting farm market prices and fighting pests, diseases

This VGN May/June issue is now available in print and digital editions. Here is a sneak peek of the topics discussed.

Inflation, farm input costs shape farm market prices

This edition of VGN features results from the annual Farm Market Survey. The survey was conducted by Great American Media Services (GAMS), which publishes Vegetable Growers News and Fruit Growers News, provides insights into what farm market operators consider when setting prices.

Farm market report image

This report covers everything from what competitors are charging to a set mark-up that takes into account the unique qualities of a farm market versus a grocery store and the premium consumers are willing to pay for that experience.

Farm Market & Agritourism: markups vs. margins

In the article, Penn State’s Brian Moyer, who writes our monthly Farm Market & Agritourism column, gives his expertise on pricing strategies. Among his advice, Moyer says it’s good to know what competitors are charging, but cautions against letting them set your prices. Farm market operators at stops during December’s Great Lakes EXPO Farm Market Bus Tour sponsored by GAMS provide similar feedback.

Grower profile: Nature’s Reward

Nature’s Reward’s Mark Mason in a romaine field. Nature’s Reward employs automation and drones to help battle weeds and insects. Photos by Doug Ohlemeier.

This is also our biologicals issue, with a grower profile on Nature’s Reward. Farm manager Mark Mason has seen the widespread damage that impatiens necrotic spot virus (INSV) has caused to California lettuce fields in recent years. INSV is spread by western flower thrips. As with many of the ever-present and changing pest and disease issues, there isn’t a single solution, and Mason sees new bioproducts as one tool.

Platform10

Picture of a bug on vegetable crops

“We can’t spray our way out of this,” he said. Mason is one of two California leafy greens growers who are participating in field trials through Platform10, a new initiative that’s an offshoot of the Salinas Biological Summit, which debuted in Salinas, California, last year. Read the article Advancing research in biologicals to learn more.

Fresh Views

Also, see our new column, Fresh Views, which features articles from Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under Forty honorees. In this issue, Valerie Ramsburg of Rice Fruit Company discusses how native plants encourage local pollinators.

– Doug Ohlemeier, Assistant Editor




Current Issue

Vegetable Growers News (VGN) May/June 2024 cover image

WSU AI program helps address water scarcity

Platform10 initiative focuses on pest, disease research

Farm market report: Inflation, farm input costs shape farm market prices

Nature’s Reward battles disease, pests through mechanization, biologicals

Fresh Views: Pollinator habitats

Successful succession

Farm Market & Agritourism: markups vs. margins

 

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