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Esendugue Greg Fonsah, Gerard Krewer, Kerry Harrison and Michael Bruorton

Southern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum × V. darrowii hybrids) are a rapidly emerging crop with a bright future in Georgia; however, blueberries, like other fruit crops, are subject to price and yield fluctuation. These volatilities depend on several factors, including the cultivar produced and sold (i.e., fresh or frozen), locality, aggregate productivity, targeted market, and timing. As a result, profit margin is hard to determine. The objective of this study was to estimate total costs of cultivating southern highbush blueberries in soil under Georgia conditions and determine profitability, if any. Although there are several methods of profit determination, the risk-rated method was adopted for this study. The first-year establishment and maintenance cost of growing southern highbush blueberry in soil in Georgia using high organic matter (greater than 3%) spodic-type or allied sand soil series with supplemental pine bark incorporated was estimated at $9585.55/acre. The second-year establishment and maintenance cost of growing, harvesting, and marketing was $3691.99/acre less return from receipts of $2375.00/acre equal to $1316.99/acre. The third-year establishment and maintenance cost was $7068.20/acre. The total returns for the same year were $9500.00/acre. Subtracting the cost of $7068.20 from $9500.00 gives a net return of $2431.80/acre. The fourth-year cost, which was considered to be the first year of actual full production, was estimated at $13,547.35/acre. The compounded and recaptured establishment annual costs were $2176.43/acre. The risk-rated expected returns over total costs 66% of the time were $5452.65/acre. The chances of making profit were 92% and the base-budgeted net revenue was $6456.00/acre. Total budgeted cost was $3.38/lb. The estimated annual total fixed machinery cost was $290.41/acre. Total annual cost of solid set irrigation was $657.81/acre.