Optimizing Ginger Yields and Profit

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2023: $6,436.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2024
Grant Recipient: Rustic Roots Farm
Region: Northeast
State: Maine
Project Leader:
Erica Emery
Rustic Roots Farm

Project not completed due to crop failure.


  • Additional Plants: ginger


  • Crop Production: crop improvement and selection, low tunnels, other
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns

    Proposal summary:

    Producing ginger in the Northeast is an exercise in manipulating growing conditions to make the ginger rhizomes think they are in the tropics. To do this, ginger needs to be planted in a protected environment where the season can be extended and temperature and humidity conditions can be modified easily. A laser focus on yields and profitability will allow farmers to justify taking up premium protected space in a high tunnel or low tunnel to grow ginger. This project aims to study intensive ginger spacing to determine the optimum planting spacing to yield the highest weights in young, baby ginger. In addition, the project will develop enterprise budgets for multiple ginger spacing plots to determine if rhizome weight determines the labor required to field process and wash ginger.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    This project seeks to determine the most optimal planting density for ginger rhizomes in order to produce the highest yield. In addition, we seek to determine net income for different planting densities using an enterprise budget. 


    1. Research high tunnel-grown ginger using three different in-ground research plots with three different planting densities. The yield data from these plots will help farmers determine how dense they should plant ginger in their high tunnels for maximum yields. 
    2. Calculate net income for each research plot using an enterprise budget, with specific labor data for each planting density. The enterprise budgets will show if certain planting densities are more efficient in terms of labor and will show how the labor required for certain planting densities affects net income. 
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.