CROP YIELD VERIFICATION

The statistical information listed In the tables below represent a crop-by-crop average yield of 47 foods (in pounds per acre), according to two different sources. If we calculate the average yield for all of these crops we find it to be 10,642 pounds per one acre of land. Therefore, the yield for 1/4 acre is 1/4 of that, or 2660 pounds.

If you grew equal amounts of all these crops (except rice -- I excluded rice because it is so unusually high-yielding, and it takes lots of water to grow rice) on 1/4 acre of land, how many pounds of food per day does that average out to be, in the course of one year, if you had one harvest season per year?

  2660 lbs./year     = 7.3 pounds of food per day for one person.
  365 days/year


Do the crop yield figures (shown below) seem a little bit too high for you? Do you really think that you could get, for example, 19,400 pounds of carrots out of only one acre of land? One acre of land is 43,560 square feet, according to Random House Dictionary. If that was a square piece of land, that would be 208.7 feet long on each side of that square. (The "square root" of 43,560 is 208.7) If you produced 19,400 pounds of carrots out of 43,560 square feet of land, that would be less than 1/2 pound per one square foot of land:

     19,400 lbs. per one acre        = .445 pounds per ONE square foot of land.
43,560 square feet per one acre


If you went into a supermarket to the bulk produce section, and weighted some carrots on the scale, you would see that a half pound of carrots is a small handful of carrots. Can you visualize this half-pound of carrots in a square piece of ground that is one foot long on each side? It appears to be reasonable to me!

You could do similar calculations for the other crop yield figures below, but you would find similar results: the numbers are quite realistic. Check it out for yourself, though. Notice too, that CARROTS are one of the higher yielding crops. Therefore, MOST of the other figures are even MORE reasonable than carrots!

ORGANIC CROP INFORMATION FROM:
The Owner-Built Homestead, by Ken &Barbara Kern
# VEGETABLE NAME YIELD: POUNDS / ACRE
1 SPINACH 11,000
2 CARROT 19,400
3 ONION 19,800
4 SQUASH-WINTER 17,000
5 POTATO-IRISH 15,200
6 CELERY 32,000
7 CABBAGE 13,700
8 TOMATO 11,000
9 BEAN-SNAP 4,600
10 LETTUCE 9,100
11 TURNIP 12,000
12 BROCCOLI 7,300
13 CAULIFLOWER 10,800
14 BELL PEPPER 6,900
15 POTATO-SWEET 6,000
16 CORN 6,200
17 SQUASH-SUMMER 9,700
18 BEET 10,800
19 CANTALOUPE 9,800
20 PEA 2,200
21 ASPARAGUS 4,400
22 CUCUMBER 8,400
23 RADISH 12,000
24 WATERMELON 10,300
25 BEAN-LIMA 1,400
TOTAL: 271,000
AVERAGE: 10,840




1992 CROP YIELD FIGURES
(For the State of California from: California Stastical Abstract,Dept. of Finance, 1992.)

CROP NAME BEARING ACRES TOTAL TONS POUNDS / ACRE
1 ALMONDS, SHELLED 409,000 235,000 1,150
2 PECANS, IN SHELL 2,600 1,250 962
3 PISTACHIOS 51,600 38,500 1,490
4 WALNUTS 181,000 250,000 2,760
5 APPLES 31,500 400,050 25,400
6 APRICOTS 16,000 90,000 11,260
7 AVOCADOS 74,100 136,000 3,680
8 CHERRIES, SWEET 10,800 36,000 6,660
9 DATES 5,100 24,000 9,420
10 FIGS 16,000 37,000 4,620
11 KIWI FRUIT 7,500 29,500 7,860
12 NECTARINES 25,500 205,000 16,080
13 OLIVES 30,100 65,000 4,320
14 PEACHES, ALL 52,100 820,000 31,400
15 PEARS, ALL 22,500 317,000 28,200
16 PEARS, BARTLETT 19,000 300,000 31,600
17 PLUMS 41,900 218,000 10,400
18 GRAPES 660,000 4,875,000 14,770
19 OATS 35 39 2,240
20 BARLEY 160 226 2,833
21 WINTER WHEAT 410 984 4,800
22 DURUM WHEAT 32 101 6,300
TOTALS: 1,656,937 8,078,650 228,205
AVERAGES: 75,315 367,211 10,373
GRAND TOTAL (POUNDS / ACRE from both tables): 499,205
OVERALL AVERAGE (POUNDS / ACRE from both tables): 10,621