Saturday, April 23, 2011

Growing Lavender: What Are the Costs?

March 31, 2011

Gary's hybrid Massey-Ferguson tractor harvesting lavender on the St. Maries, Idaho, farm

Now let’s look at the numbers today. Land starts at $5,000 per acre. A 2705 Massey Ferguson tractor might sell for $15,000 at auction. Diesel fuel is up to $4 per gallon, and farm labor is demanding $9 per hour, plus overtime and benefits.

Then if you have your own distillery, you have to figure in that cost, which can range from $500,000 to $5 million. In addition to the distillery, if you don’t grow your own crops, you have to add the cost of purchasing them. In 2009 lavender that was shipped from France cost $78 per kilo, the lavandin grosso hybrid was $27 per kilo, and the lavandin super hybrid was $36.

In addition, a lavender planter shipped from France will cost about $25,000 for a two-row harvester. A one-row harvester will cost $35,000. When I bought my first harvester, the French Franc was $ 00.68 to the U.S. dollar. Now the Euro is $1.48 to $1.00, and currency rates changes almost daily.

Gary combined a MF 1155 engine section with a MF 2620 cab to create this faithful, hardworking tractor

The average yield per acre of lavender is 6 gallons, which gives us a market value of approximately $1,872 per acre.

Posted in Essential Oils |
Growing Lavender: What Does It Take?
March 24, 2011

Gary’s planting machine he built in 1994. Spikes on the wheels make holes; workers sitting on the bench take herbs from the three racks and plant them.

Let’s examine the facts. I travel an average of six weeks a year just to visit growers and distilleries around the world and have been doing this for 25 years. I have watched farms come and go and have watched distilleries dismantled and sold as scrap iron. I have also watched fields replaced with standard crops of grape seed, wheat, corn for bio-fuel, and hemp for rope and building material. The crop just depends on the commodity market for the year. Why are the crops changing so dramatically?

As a born rancher and farmer, I can easily understand. As a businessman, I can also easily understand. Let’s look at some more facts.

When I started my first farm in 1992, wages were $3.25 an hour for farm labor. We were not required to pay overtime or benefits, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) never dictated how we operated our business. Diesel fuel was under $1 per gallon, and we could buy a good used 110 hp Massey Ferguson 2705 tractor for $5,000 to $6,000.

In 1992 the price of lavender essential oil from France was $78 a kilo, plus shipping FOB France. Good farmland was $600 to $1,000 per acre.

To grow lavender, you must have a greenhouse to germinate the seed and create starts for spring planting. You also must have a planting machine, or you have to plant by hand. After you plant the starts, you must wait three years before the first harvest. Then how do you harvest?

You can’t harvest with a wheat combine, hay swather, potato digger, or corn harvester, and no equipment is manufactured in the U.S.A. for planting or harvesting lavender. Therefore, I built my own planting machine and have engineered and built two lavender harvesters.

Technorati Tags: D. Gary Young, essential oil, Essential Oil Distillation, Essential Oils, gary young, lavender, Lavender Distillation, lavender essential oil, Lavender Harvesting, young living, young living essential oils

Tags: D. Gary Young, essential oil, Essential Oil Distillation, Essential Oils, gary young, lavender, Lavender Distillation, lavender essential oil, Lavender Harvesting, young living, young living essential oils
Posted in Essential Oil Substantiation, Essential Oils.

 Lavender has many benefit health!
 Chauncey Penfold
 337-856-9461

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