Economic Analysis of Fresh Green Bell Pepper (Capsicum annuum) Production under Shade Structures

Sean R McCoy, Robert C Hochmuth, Wanda L Laughlin, Aparna Gazula, Daniel K Fenneman


Fresh green bell pepper production is a major economic contributor to Florida’s vegetable industry. The estimated value of cash receipts for peppers in 2011 was $247.5 million. This represents an increase in value from 2007 by 7.3%. Almost all of this value is from open field production. Methods for season extension using shade structures were developed and evaluated at the Suwannee Valley Agricultural Extension Center–UF/IFAS, Live Oak, FL. This season extension method may have potential in both small, diverse vegetable farms as well as larger commercial production. An increased amount of investment is in involved in growing peppers under shade structures, from both capital and management resources. To better assess risk and potential profitability of this new production system, a study of financial investment and potential is needed. Prospective profitability can be addressed through an enterprise budget - an itemized overview of costs incurred over a typical production cycle. Risk involved is addressed by analyzing cash flow in and out of the operation for a fixed interval of time. These two financial analyses of growing fresh green bell peppers under shade structures allow for a preliminary evaluation of investment and potential of this innovative growing system.


hydroponic, protected agriculture, season extension

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Proc. Fla. State Hort. Soc.     ISSN 0886-7283