Increased net profits result from greenhouse-grown colored pepper compared to field production in Florida

Daniel J. Cantliffe, James E. Webb, John J. VanSickle, Nicole L. Shaw


The United States is one of few countries where the majority of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum L.) produced are green colored and grown on raised beds with mulch and drip irrigation. Outside the U.S., most peppers are grown in greenhouses and harvested as mature, colored peppers that receive a premium value at market. Florida bell pepper producers are in direct competition with Mexico, Israel, and Spain due to overlapping seasons in the winter months, while greenhouse producers in Canada and Holland are able to enter the U.S. market during the spring, summer, and early fall. Greenhouse vegetable production could be one alternative to field production of bell peppers for Florida fresh market vegetable growers. The objective of this study was to determine the costs and benefits associated with greenhouse pepper production. Through the use of software (SIMETAR©), a budget analysis model was created for greenhouse bell pepper production. Although greenhouse production requires a significantly larger capital investment compared to field production, potential profits from growing colored peppers have been determined to be as much as four times greater in greenhouse production than from field production ($15,166/acre compared to $3,289/acre, respectively). Greenhouse production may allow Florida growers searching for alternatives to field production a viable alternative to stay competitive in the U.S. fresh vegetable market.

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