Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE03-487
The goal of this project was to conduct commercial trial plots of baby spring mix to assess production feasibility and economic feasibility. Several successive plantings were made at two locations. Production issues that surfaced included weed control, flea beetle damage and irrigation to improve germination.
Hand harvesting enabled the growers to produce a very high quality product but it was slow and inefficient. On average, it took 20 workers 8 hours to harvest ¼ acre. The growers also underestimated the delicate nature of the product, necessitating the use of a vacuum cooler with a “wet kit”. This was key to the growers delivering an acceptable product to the processor. The cost of production in this trial was $.55/lb compared to California and Arizona where the average cost of production is $.32/lb.
The growers involved in this project felt that compared to onions, spring mix has a significantly higher risk factor and a significantly higher initial investment in equipment for a profit margin that is approximately the same or less than onions.