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Section 2: Costs and Returns from Muscadines

Employing the information in this bulletin should result in production of muscadines of good quality and quantity. The question is, “will this production result in a profit?” Profit can be achieved only when sufficient fruit is sold at a price that covers all costs.

Below is a summary of the costs associated with establishing, growing, and marketing fresh market muscadines.

A substantial amount of capital is required to establish a muscadine vineyard. Potential growers must have capital available from personal sources or be able to borrow funds. Shortage of funds could result in lesser than optimum cultural practices or “shortcuts.” Shortcuts would likely result in a less productive vineyard.

Table 1 - Establishment Costs per Acre 
Year 1$2567
Year 2485
Year 3500
Annual costs to recapture over 15 years at 6%$425

Table 2. Costs and returns from a mature planting appear in Table 2. The column called “economic costs” shows all costs including depreciation, interest, and recapture of establishment costs. These costs are high but with the yields and prices used, an annual return of $350 per acre could be expected. Returns above cash costs could be more than $1000 dollars if there is no debt associated with establishment. If, however, much or all of establishment capital is borrowed, returns could be negative for a few years.

Table 2 - Annual Costs and Returns Per Acre   
Economic CostsCash Costs -
with establishment
amortized over 5 years
Cash Costs
Expected Yield6000 lbs6000 lbs6000 lbs
Expected Prices$.49 per lb$.49 per lb$.49 per lb
Preharvest Variable Costs$649$649$649
Harvest and Marketing Costs125512551255
Fixed Costs686126620
Total Costs$2590$3170$1904
Expected Revenue$2940$2940$2940
Expected Returns$350$-230$1036

Potential growers should satisfy themselves that they can:

  • secure sufficient capital until the vineyard is mature.
  • produce a good quality and quantity of muscadines.
  • deliver to an available market.

1Updated from “Estimated Costs of Producing Muscadines”, 1992. Ag Econ 92-025, The University of Georgia.

2This is not a true fixed cost, but is a fixed cash outflow for the five years of establishment debt amortization.


Section 3: Uses of Muscadines