Growing Lavender: What Are the Costs?

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

2 thoughts on “Growing Lavender: What Are the Costs?

  1. Dear Gary and Mary,

    I was fortunate to help with the Lavender Harvest in St. Maries in August, 2004. Many thanks to James Niederland who suggested St. Maries! This was one of the most memorable experiences of my life ~ as Jeffrey (Full Spectrum Healing) says: “You haven’t lived until you’ve laid in a field of Lavender!” Not only the beauty of it all, but to actually live the meticulous care of planting in absolute straight lines the seedlings (we planted a huge section in front of our community showers) so that the precious harvest would be 100% efficient in yield.

    I remember well the one row harvester I rode on, while watching the lavender being cut and ‘shot’ up the ramp into the back large container. Now, as I read this blog I wonder why a one row harvester costs $ 10,000 more than a two row harvester. Is it specially built? Is this the optimum way (one row) to harvest our precious lavender? All the steps of farming are fascinating and one certainly sees how each step is so valuable in reaching our final therapeutic-grade product.

    Thank you for your recountings. Each week I breathlessly await the episodes!

    Kara Harman (762343)
    New York City

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