Fruit & Vegetable Magazine

Features Business Policy
Crop planning for fruit, vegetable growers


February 3, 2010
By Fruit & Vegetable

Topics

February 2, 2010 – On
February 20, the Canadian Organic Growers (COG) is offering a one day workshop
on crop planning for diversified fruit and vegetable growers for the first time
in Eastern Ontario.



February 2, 2010 – On
February 20, the Canadian Organic Growers (COG) is offering a one day workshop
on crop planning for diversified fruit and vegetable growers for the first time
in Eastern Ontario.

This workshop is geared
toward all growers, both conventional and organic. The workshop is based on,
and includes a copy of, the upcoming COG publication Crop Planning for
Diversified Vegetable Growers.

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Diversified fruit and
vegetable production has the potential to reap substantial profits from small
land bases, yet it is also labour and knowledge intensive due to the
complexities of diversity. Therefore, careful farm planning is an important
factor of farm success.

“The calculation and
selection of crops, quantities, varieties, and successions to be grown is a key
component of the successful farm plan,” said Frédéric Thériault, co-author of
the COG publication and instructor for the course.

For this workshop,
Thériault, who also serves as co-manager of Ferme Coopérative Tourne-sol, will
present a step by step approach to crop planning from the starting point of
choosing financial goals, to the several elements of developing and
implementing a comprehensive crop plan, to analyzing harvest and gross sales
data for improving future plans and profits. He will also introduce the
different documents, such as schedules and maps, used in forming and monitoring
a crop plan.

“The workshop will
include exercises, group activities and discussions for participants to get a
hands-on experience and understanding of the concepts presented” said
Thériault. “Participants will leave with a good understanding of the importance
of a crop plan, the tools to prepare their own crop plan, and with analysis
techniques to revise future crop plans to improve farm profitability.”

Good crop plans ensure
not only a steady supply of sufficient produce to meet market demand, but also
that the farm operates efficiently and cost-effectively, allowing farmers to
focus on farming and meet financial goals.

“Our hope is that this
workshop will help vegetable growers bring more to the marketplace and profit
from it,” said Colin Lundy, farmer outreach coordinator for COG in Ottawa. “Our
experience is that the demand for local produce still exceeds the local supply.
This is true for both organically and conventionally raised fruits and
vegetables.”

For more information,
visit www.cog.ca/ottawa, email colin@cog.ca
or phone 613-493-0020. To register for the workshop, email office@cog.ca,
call 1-888-375-7383, or register online at www.cog.ca/ottawa.