2001 - Volume #25, Issue #4, Page #13
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Turnkey Greenhouse Business

A FARM SHOW editor recently spotted this ad in a farm paper. "Make More From 1/4 Acre Of Greenhouse Crops Than From 100 Acres Of Row Crops."
We decided to call the company that placed the ad, CropKing Inc., Seville, Ohio, to see what they have to offer.
CropKing sells complete systems for growing hydroponic crops, mushrooms and aquaculture, including greenhouse plans or complete buildings, production manuals and even business plans for managing income and expense when marketing produce.
Dan Brentlinger, CropKing president, says the company's 30 by 128-ft. free-standing tomato unit the smallest commercial production unit it sells - can generate $25,000 to $30,000 in gross income. Their 1/4-acre, 3-bay unit, measuring 88 ft. by 128 ft., can generate from $80,000 to $100,000 before expenses. You'd have to have gross returns of $800 to $1,000 an acre from corn to match it. (That means you'd need 200 bu. corn sold at $4 to $5 per bushel, minimum, or 400 bu. corn sold at $2 to $2.50 per bushel.)
Brentlinger notes that labor for the greenhouse business is more than for 100 acres of row crops, but the need is fairly consistent year round, rather than extremely high for short periods of time a couple or so times a year, as in row crop production. Production expenses also run considerably higher than for 100 acres of row crops.
CropKing's business advisors are available to work with customers in budgeting, labor, acquiring production inputs, and in developing marketing plans.
A complete CropKing system includes the greenhouse plus cooling, heating and air circulation systems (including fans, furnace, cooling pads, and ductwork), as well as air intake vent assemblies, environmental controls, plant support system for hydroponic production, electrical panel, and nutrient delivery system.
A freestanding tomato production unit, with 2-day training seminar on tomato production, plus production manuals, educational materials, monthly newsletters, a year of technical support and a professionally prepared business plan (that will impress your banker if you need financing) can be purchased for around $30,000. Annual production costs would run from around $1,500 up to $2,600.
The company suggests starting a hydroponic greenhouse production business with tomatoes, particularly if you're within 50 miles of a reasonably sized urban market. If tomatoes aren't your thing, then ask about oyster mushrooms, bedding plants, cat flowers, or fish farming. For example, a multi-bay mushroom production system, complete with cooler, costs around $50,000.
And if you're just interested in greenhouse growing for your own food production or as a hobby, the company also offers smaller houses, in sizes from 12 by 12 ft. up to 18 by 28 ft., as well as complete production packages so you can grow salad and herb crops, vegetables and more.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Crop King, 5050 Greenwich Road, Seville, Ohio 44273-9413 (ph 330 769-2002; fax 330 769-2616; E-mail: cropking@cropking.com; Website: www.cropking.com).

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2001 - Volume #25, Issue #4