Best Herbs for Commercial Profit
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Renee Grandall
Posted on: May 24, 1998

What herbs are best to grow for commercial profit? How much acreage do you need to bring in about $50K per year?

The "hot" herbs right now are Echinacea and St. Johnswort, but there are many others that can be very profitable. Even as few as 10 acres can bring in $50,000 per year revenue. If you produce value-added products such as herbal pills, teas, tinctures, etc. you can make a lot more. Sales of $1 million from value-added products made from herbs grown on 15-20 acres are possible.

On the other hand, there are many cases where people rushed into herb growing thinking that the sales and profits are easy, only to be sorely disappointed to learn of the effort and skills that are required to be a success. Farmers especially are susceptible because they are used to selling their soybeans or corn to a well established market, requiring relatively little marketing effort. Not so with commercial herbs! Farmers must quickly learn new skills in marketing and networking, and must be prepared to weather disappointments. But the good news is that those that persist and are flexible enough to acquire the skills and knowledge needed are very successful.

Books such as "The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop" and "Herbs For Sale" are essential reading for any would be herb grower. And, conferences are a great source of information too. The Richters Commercial Herb Growing Conference features experienced growers speaking about how they grow and market herbs successfully.

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