New: 2020 Sweet Potato Enterprise Budget

Sweet potatoes.

Enterprise budgets calculate the cost of inputs, potential income, and resulting profits of producing a certain crop. Growers can adjust the input costs and market prices as needed to estimate the amount of earnings per acre. ARE offers these budgets for many commodities so farmers can determine which crops are likely most profitable for them to grow. This type of resource helps farmers make informed financial decisions and strengthen their business.

Derek Washburn and Daniel Tregeagle recently revamped the sweet potato budget. Derek, who has years of experience in creating enterprise budgets, gathered the current costs associated with labor, machinery, fertilizer, and pesticide usage. Daniel, who is ARE’s new Assistant Professor of specialty horticultural crops, aggregated data on sweet potato prices and pesticide costs. 

NC State Professor Jonathan Schultheis and Associate Professor Lina Quesada-Ocampo spoke to Derek and Daniel about the common sweet potato production systems in NC, including sequencing of machinery use and pesticide timing and quantity.

The review process began when Daniel took an updated draft to a sweet potato trial harvest and discussed it with Extension Agents Allan Thornton, Erin Eure, Tommy Batts and Matt Stevens, and research associate Keith Starke. After incorporating their feedback, Daniel and Derek brought at draft of the budget to a meeting with a prominent sweet potato growing and storage operation in Sampson County for their evaluation and assessment.

The final draft was then distributed at the sweet potato production meeting at the Johnston County Agricultural Center on February 24th, 2020.  

The 2020 Sweet Potato Budget is founded upon research and collaboration among experts. Its release is ahead of planting time, which in North Carolina is late May though late June. This means that farmers can start using the tool immediately and update it throughout the season.

The success of the NC sweet potato industry is a huge asset to the state’s agricultural economy. In 2019, NC Sweet potato production was valued at $324 million, not including value added products. NC is the number one sweet potato producing state in the US, accounting for just over 40 percent of total production.

Putting resources like enterprise budgets into the hands of growers is one way NC State is helping these growers make smart decisions that will keep their operations sustainable for generations to come.

See more Enterprise Budgets.