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.

tractor

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.