Farming Home & Garden

The Most Profitable Crop to Grow for a Small Farm

So you’ve heard that farming a few profitable crops is now a viable source of income for many individuals. And you want to join the tribe too, but the lack of a sustainable farming space is restraining you from doing so. What are you supposed to do now?

Nothing to fear! You might not know it, but growing the most profitable crops doesn’t require big-fat farmland or even a to have on your list of profitable small farm ideas.

You can simply start it in your backyard. And trust me, it will only need you to choose the most profitable crops to grow to go beyond your expected profit margin.

Therefore, this article discusses some of the most profitable crops (highest yield per acre crop) to grow for a small farm that will help you give an overall idea about which crops make the best fruitful harvests.

Continue reading to learn more about the most profitable small farm crops.

Ever Heard About Cash Crops?

Have you ever heard of cash crops? Cash crops can be an essential part of a country’s economy.

The best cash crops are planted mainly for the purpose of sales rather than personal usage. They are also known as profit crops. The most common profitable cash crops include corn, wheat, cotton, and soybeans.

These crops are typically grown in large quantities and often require special equipment or chemicals to maximize yield. The best aspect is that these profitable crops may be produced by anyone, even in a very little space.

What Makes a Crop Profitable?

Several factors affect crop profitability. These include the farmer’s markets’ prices, investment costs, and weather conditions.

The most crucial factor in determining crop profitability is market price. If the price of a crop is high, farmers will make more money. Conversely, if the price of a crop is low, farmers will make less money per acre.

Aside from that, you can’t make a profit if your investment costs are too high. For example, you cannot use a fertilizer that costs way much than the one that the crop can easily adjust itself to. So, it’s essential to track all of your farming costs carefully.

Weather conditions can also affect crop profitability. For example, if there is drought during the growing season, farmers may not be able to produce many crops. It could lead to lower prices and lower profits.

The Most Profitable Crops For Small Farms and Home Growers

Want to make some extra money from your small farms or home garden? We’ll list the most profitable crops you can grow to add to your list of profitable hobby farm ideas.

Let us know if there’s a crop you feel is missing on our list! Don’t forget to see our post about the most profitable and popular microgreens as well.

Herbs and Spices

The world of herbs and spices is fascinating, with each one having its own unique flavor and benefits. But did you know that these crops are more profitable than others? Here are some of the crops that yields the most profitable farming per acre.


Lavender is considered the most popular and extremely versatile crop for profitability. You can use this crop for anything from medicines and food flavoring to fragrances.

Its essential oil promotes vital health benefits, making it the most demanding herb.

Time from Seed to Harvest

Lavender takes about 90 to 200 days to mature. However, these crops are slow growers. So to get fully developed, they may take up to 2 to 3 years at most.

90 to 200 days harvest time

Revenue Estimates from Growing Lavender / Lavender profit per acre

Small-scale farmers can expect major profits from these lucrative crops.

One acre of lavender can produce $10,000 – $30,000 worth of lavender (on average) per year.

Annually $10,000 to $30,000 worth of lavender production per acre


Saffron is considered the most expensive culinary herb among other profitable crops. It isn’t easy to grow, and only a tiny amount of the spice can be extracted from each flower. The stigmas of saffron are dried and used to flavor food or make tea.

Time from Seed to Harvest

Saffron takes about six to ten weeks to grow appropriately. However, once it is fully developed, it can last up to six months.

6 to 10 weeks harvest time

Revenue Estimates from Growing Saffron / Saffron profit per acre

Saffron makes one of the world’s most expensive spices, with a price tag exceeding $10,000.

4 year saffron growth can yield up to 6 kgs per acre; meaning your take could be as high as $60,000 per acre.

You may get $10,000 worth of saffron production per kilogram, or $60,000 per acre

Gourmet Garlic

Gourmet garlic is not the same as regular garlic. They’re relatively uncommon, yet they’re one of the most profitable crops for small farms. Investing in these crops is a viable choice for small-scale farmers. Many of them have claimed to obtain a high return on investment.

Time from Seed to Harvest

Gourmet garlic takes longer to grow than regular garlic. It may take up to nine months to mature.

8 to 9 months harvest time

Revenue Estimates from Growing Garlic / Garlic profit per acre

You can earn about $160,000 – $192,000 per year from selling gourmet garlic. Of course, this value will fluctuate based on the price of garlic on the market and your manufacturing costs.

Garlic profit per acre could be as high as $80,000 per year.

Annually $160,000 – $192,000 worth of gourmet garlic production

Fruits and Vegetables

Here are some of the most profitable fruit and vegetables crops to grow for small farms. Related read: Why You Should Grow Your Own Vegetables by Zoe.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are a superfood packed with antioxidants and vitamins. They can be juiced or made into a fruit bowl or dried and used in trail mixes.

And so, these are pretty demanding fruits for the health-conscious crowd.

Time from Seed to Harvest

Planting goji shrubs take a long time to mature. These crops take about 2 to 3 years to grow into fruit. However, it might take 3 to 5 years to reach full maturity.

It takes about 2 to 3 years to produce fruit

Revenue Estimates from Growing Goji Berries / Goji Berry profit per acre

In three years, one acre of goji berries may generate 7000-pound fruits, worth up to $140,000. That would imply a yearly revenue of roughly $46,000.

$46,000 estimated revenue per year per acre

Cherry Tomatoes

Cherry tomato is a high-value crop that can be harvested in any place and time of the year. You can even grow cherry tomatoes in pots at home!

These bite-sized tomatoes are perfect for snacking or adding to salads. Thus, people have a demandable need for this vegetable from the local growers.

Time from Seed to Harvest

It just takes a few days to harvest cherry tomatoes fully. In less than eight weeks after sowing, you can pluck out ripe cherries right from your own backyard.

7 to 8 weeks harvest time

Revenue Estimates from Growing Cherry Tomatoes / Cherry Tomatoes profit per acre

You may expect to get around $1400 of value from an acre of cherry tomatoes. The pricing, however, may differ based on the farmer’s markets.

Per acre of cherry tomatoes have a $1400 estimated value


Arugula is also one of the most profitable crops to grow. It is loaded with nutrients, has a potent flavor, and is extremely low in calories. Plus, it will grow just about anywhere.

So, it is a good choice for a small-scale farmer who doesn’t have a lot of space.

Time from Seed to Harvest

Arugula should be planted in the early fall or early spring, as this is the optimal season for harvesting arugula. Within six or eight weeks, you should see its budding leaves blossom.

6 to 8 weeks harvest time

Revenue Estimates from Growing Arugula / Arugula profit per acre

According to global market rates, arugula’s price is about $6 per pound. This crop yields roughly 9,000 pounds per acre, estimated to be worth around $54,000.

Estimated revenue per acre is $54,000

Edible Fungi

Edible fungi are often overlooked as a crop to grow for small farms, but they can be pretty profitable. Precisely, the Gourmet mushrooms make the best profitable edible fungi to harvest. Here’s an overview of these mushrooms, their estimated revenue, and harvest time.

Gourmet Mushroom

Gourmet mushrooms are often found at specialty food stores and are popular for gifts and cooking. These specialty crops need special growing conditions, including the right temperature, humidity, nutrients, and light.

But don’t worry, the cultivation of gourmet mushrooms is similar to gardening. So, you can harvest them in any small-spaced garden.

Time from Seed to Harvest

It takes about seven to eight weeks to grow gourmet mushrooms. After casing the mushroom seeds, the harvest should commence between 15 to 21 days.

Active mushroom growers report better profit potential for indoor production as compared to outdoors. They provided estimates of $1 to $3 per square foot net income.

7 to 8 weeks or almost two months harvest time

Revenue Estimates from Growing Gourmet Mushrooms / Gourmet Mushrooms profit per acre

Depending on wholesale and retail price, gourmet mushrooms are typically priced at $6 to $10 per pound.

So, you may earn anywhere from $42,000 to $130,000 per year per acre.

Annually $42,000 to $120,000 worth of value

Other Crops for Small Farms

Other than the crop mentioned above, various crop choices can be profitable for small-scale or modern farmers. Below are some other crops to grow on small farms:

Christmas Trees

A Christmas tree is a great way to profit on a small farm. Every year there’s a demand for these trees during the Christmas season. So, it’s better to harvest them anytime around late spring. As a secondary target, you get great firewood to use around the farm.

Lucrative Cash Crop

Sugar cane, sugar beet, soybean, etc., are also considered the best cash crop for farming. These crops have a highly profitable margin that you should count on if you are thinking of starting a small farming business.


Farming doesn’t need a proper, large-scale, professional farmland; instead, it requires the most profitable crops to grow.

Whether you are a modern farmer or a seasoned pro with years of experience, following this basic rule of thumb is the key to obtaining the finest harvests and a sustainable profit.

The crops listed above are believed to be the best for small acreage cultivation (even if it’s just a quarter acre field).

If you aren’t sure which crops are the most profitable, choose a few of these crops and experiment to see what works best.

By Noah Smith

I'm Noah. I'm a late bloomer when it comes to farming. I really enjoy working our land, especially when I get to fight weeds! I also really like my big truck.

I'm so happy I can share my love for farming and our farm animals with Zoe. It's great that we can wake up to fresh eggs and the sound of bees making honey every day!

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