Do you want to start a farm and want to know the most profitable agricultural crops per acre? If YES, here are 10 best profitable agricultural crops per acre.

Agriculture has been a profitable business since the dawn of time. This is because of the essential role food plays in the lives of human beings. Agriculture does not only provide food but also beautification for the environment. For this reason, there are plants that are cultivated solely for their decorative purposes.

When thinking of starting a profitable business in the agricultural niche, most times, we only think of crops we can grow through our gardens. But there are other crops asides tomatoes and spices that can see you making good returns on your investment per acre. There are various super foods that have gotten a good grip of the market and which you can cultivate for profit.

Many of these crops can bring as much as $90,000 per acre, and there are known to also be quite easy to cultivate and maintain. Most of these crops also do not need you to take care of them full time; sacrificing a few hours every week might be all you need to get the best out of them. If you are interested in the agricultural industry and you are on the lookout for crops that can yield you good profit per acre, then you can start considering this line up.

10 Best Agricultural Crops That are Most Profitable Per Acre

  1. Cannabis

Having been in the center of controversy for years, cannabis is starting to get a strong footing in the world today due to the heath properties of the plant. Cannabis is of two forms, hemp and marijuana. Difference between marijuana and hemp is quite significant but many people mistake them.

Both belong to the same plant species, Cannabis sativa L. Industrial hemp is high in fiber and low in THC (tetrahydrocannabiol) which is the psychoactive ingredient of marijuana. One acre of hemp can yield around 700 pounds of grain (which can be turned into 22 gallons of oil) or 5,300 pounds of straw which can be turned into fiber.

Five gallon bucket of hemp oil costs around $150 and potential returns for hemp fiber range from $170 (low yield) to $759 (high yield) per acre. The fact the various parts of the cannabis plant have various uses makes it one of the plants that can bring in good profit per acre.

  1. Gourmet Mushrooms

Mushrooms are not only delicious but are a good meal accompaniment. It is a fact that mushrooms in the wild are no longer sufficient, that is why it has to be grown, even though mushroom is not a plant per say. Exotic mushrooms, such as oyster and shiitake can be grown indoors without soil, and they do not require sunlight for maturity.

Oysters and shiitake can also grow on various waste products such as sawdust and straw but farmers usually use logs for cultivating these mushrooms.

USDA producer price for fresh shiitake is from $5 to $7 per pound while according Mushroom People, the price for shiitake ranges from $5 to $16 per pound. Oyster mushrooms, for example, produce around 25 pounds per square foot of growing space in a year’s time. With the current wholesale price of $7 a pound, that’s $17,000 worth of mushrooms from a 10’x10′ space!

  1. Herbs

Medicinal herbs have been widely used for thousands of years, and their popularity continues to grow as people seek natural remedies for their health concerns. Growing various herbs and plants we use for spices can be very profitable, which is why they are some of the best cash crops with the highest profit per acre list. The most popular culinary herbs include basil, chives, cilantro and oregano.

For instance, according to NC State Extension website, large producers who grow basil for oil, plant around 30,000 to 35,000 plants per acre. Leaf yields range from 1 to 3 tons per acre (dried) and for fresh leaves the range is even larger (6 to 10 tons).

According to gardening forums, prices for basil vary from $12 to $32 per pound, depending on the type of basil with Italian basil having the lowest price. One tip to making it big while growing herbs is to look out for the most popular ones on the table.

  1. Ginseng

Ginseng has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years and it has found its place in the US as well. Formerly a wild root, it is a popular medicinal herb found in eastern and northern America. However, it is one of the most on demand crops in the Asian region.

Ginseng supplements are made from the ginseng root and root hairs. It can be used to fight off infections, improves heart health, decreases LDL cholesterol levels and it is believed that it can improve athletic performance and help with erectile dysfunction.

Even though growing ginseng requires a six year wait to harvest the mature roots, most growers also sell young “rootlets” and seeds for income while waiting for the roots to mature. Over the six year period, growers can make as much as $100,000 on a half-acre plot from seeds, rootlets and mature roots.

That’s why ginseng has been prized as a specialty crop since George Washington’s day, when ginseng profits helped finance the Revolutionary war against the British. But you have to note that Ginseng production is only possible in areas with cold winters. Some farmers have been known to make millions out of this popular root crop.

  1. Bamboo

Do you want to plant a lucrative, inedible plant? Bamboo is one among the uneatable, but one of the most profitable crops ever. It has many uses, from making fishing poles to flooring and landscaping. This amazing plant, a member of the grass family, has long been a landscaping favorite, as landscapers can pick a species of bamboo ranging from dwarf Sasa bamboo that is barely a foot tall, to giant timber bamboo that can reach 75 feet in height.

Landscapers and homeowners are paying as much as $150 each for potted bamboo plants, and many growers are finding it hard to keep up with the demand. Bamboo is not just a tropical plant, as many hardy varieties of the plant can handle sub-zero winters. Using pots in a bamboo business, it’s possible to grow thousands of dollars worth of profitable plants in a backyard nursery.

By growing container bamboo for landscapers and homeowners, digging is eliminated, and the plants take up far less space. In fact, over 600 bamboo plants in 5-gallon pots can be grown in a 30′ x 40′ space. Container landscaping bamboo brings high prices too, with the average plant fetching $45.

  1. Flowers

Flowers have long been a very profitable agricultural product. A lot of small time retailers have made good income from selling flowers out of carts and store fronts. If you are looking for a high-value specialty crop that can produce an income in the first year, take a look at growing flowers for profit. A flower growing business has almost unlimited possibilities, from bulbs to cut flowers to dried flowers – often called “everlastings”, for their long life.

It doesn’t cost much to get started growing flowers for profit either – just a few dollars for seeds and supplies. Most small growers find lots of eager buyers at the Saturday markets held in most towns. If you have the space to start a flower garden or plant any flowering trees or shrubs, you could very easily sell potted or cut flowers to local businesses or directly to consumers at a profit.

  1. Lavender

Lavender can be used in just about everything, from food flavoring to medicines to fragrances. Its essential oil is among the most popular in the thriving wellness space as well. It is a favorite for many people because it requires minimal investment.

It grows in different climates, although it requires well-drained soils. Lavender flowers are fast growing, disease resistant, and flowers for more than ten years after planting. Typically, an acre of lavender produces more than 10,000 bouquets annually, meaning you have a constant flow of money every year.

Lavender farming can produce above-average profits for small growers, as it is such a versatile crop. The fresh flowers are sold in bundles or used for lavender oil. The flowers are also easy to dry, for sales to florists and crafters to make wreaths and floral arrangements. Lavender is also used to make value-added products such as sachets, herbal pillows, aromatherapy products and skin care products like soap.

  1. Garlic

It doesn’t matter if you like the taste of garlic or not, you can definitely earn some good money by growing it. The payoff on growing garlic can be big for those who grow specialty garlic. There are 3 types of gourmet garlic. They are Rocambole, Purplestripe and Porcelain, and once you have experienced their superior flavor, you’ll never want to go back to ordinary garlic again.

According to some studies, average yield of garlic per acre is between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds and yearly profit per acre is around $80,000 what makes this crop one of the best cash crops with the highest profit per acre.

Another grower and customer favorite is Elephant garlic, whose large, mild cloves bring $6-$8 per pound. In good soil, an acre of Elephant garlic can yield 15,000 pounds. It is very hard to lose a crop of garlic crop, as it tolerates a wide range of soil and weather conditions.

  1. Saffron

Saffron is a spice that comes from saffron crocus bulbs, a purple-blue flower that thrives in sunny environments. You’ll need a fair amount of space to grow this plant as each flower only produces a small amount of the spice. But saffron commands a fairly high price tag, making this a particularly profitable crop.

You can make lots of money by planting this very expensive culinary herb. A pound of this herb trades at around $5000 and $10000. An acre will give you about 4 pounds, indicative of how lucrative the herb is. If you stay in a dry region with mild winters, this is probably the best crop to grow.

It is suitable for commercial spice production and is in high demand both locally and internationally. Why does it cost so much? Saffron is made out of the stigmas (the part of the flower that gets germinated by pollen) from the crocus plant.

The hard part of growing saffron is the harvesting process, which is ridiculously labor intensive.  You need to delicately pick the flowers as they bloom, and then pull out the three blossoms per flower.

Remember that it takes about 150 blossoms just to make a single gram of dried saffron. It takes approximately 75,000 flowers to produce one pound of dried saffron. But to grow that many crocus flowers takes just a quarter acre of land, so you get some idea of how lucrative this crop could be to grow.

  1. Goji Berries

Goji berries are very popular at the moment because they’re classified as a “superfood.” With plenty of antioxidants and vitamins, they’re popular in organic juices, smoothies, and bowls. They’re also fairly hardy and able to thrive in dry environments. They grow to 3 to 6 feet tall when pruned and cultivated, although in the wild they can grow to 12 feet tall. Originally grown in China, goji berries are successfully grown in the US as well (mainly in Utah and Iowa).

They can be consumed fresh, as a juice or dried. In China, goji berries were used to improve longevity and to treat diabetes and impaired sight. Price for dried organic goji berries is around $20 or more per pound. Maximum yields in China are 7000 Ib/acre but this number can be significantly lower in the US because of different climate and less experience with growing goji berries.

At the same time, prices can be raised pretty high because interest in buying American-grown, organic goji berries is growing. When planting these berries, choose the most viable varieties that would not disappoint you. It reaches full production in 5 years. From there onwards, you can reward yourself with loads of cash as they always produce exceptionally.

Ejike Cynthia