A new economic study from the University of California Cooperative Extension is now available for raisin growers interested in organic raisin production.

Consumer interest in organically certified produce has increased in recent years. Commonly found at farmers markets, roadside produce stands and small local markets, organic produce can now be found in large grocery chains nationwide. Demand, marketing campaigns and an increase in cost of conventionally grown fresh fruits and vegetables has made organic products an option for all consumer groups.

California’s grape growers have benefited from increased demand for organic products. In the state, farmland producing certified organic raisins has increased from 1,578 acres in 2004 to 2,438 last year.

As a result of the demand for California organically grown raisins, UC Cooperative Extension was asked to complete a cost analysis that itemized production cost. Growers and packers who produce and pack organic raisins contributed to this study.

Sample Costs to Produce Organic Raisins using a continuous tray system is intended as a guide to help growers make production decisions, determine potential returns, prepare budgets and evaluate production loans. The study is based on a hypothetical farm using practices common in the San Joaquin Valley. Input and reviews were provided by UCCE farm advisors, growers, pest control advisers and other agricultural associates.

Assumptions used to identify current costs for production operations, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead are described in the study. Tables in the study show establishment costs, profits over a range of prices and yields, monthly cash costs, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

The study was prepared by Stephen Vasquez, UCCE farm advisor, Fresno County; Jennifer Hashim-Buckey, UCCE farm advisor, Kern County; Matthew Fidelibus and Peter Christensen, UCCE viticulture specialist and viticulture specialist emeritus, respectively, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis; Bill Peacock, UCCE farm advisor, Tulare County; Karen A. Klonsky, UCCE extension specialist and Richard De Moura, staff research associate, UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Davis.

The study is available from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616 and from local UC Cooperative Extension offices. The study also can be downloaded from the department's Web site at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

Similar reports are available for many commodities. A $3 handling fee is charged for each report mailed from the department.

For additional information, call (530) 752-3589 or (530) 752-1517.