Allan Pinto

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Figure 1. Odd pricing used by farmers selling at the Lafayette (Indiana) Farmers Market.

This publication is the second part of a series of publications that aim to help farmers selling at farmers markets and other local markets. Below we offer information on price determination and pricing strategies for farmers markets. The importance of understanding pricing information Pricing is probably the single most important driver of farm profitability and long-term sustainability; yet it tends be one of the least controlled factors by farmers. The price that you tend to set for their produce represents the monetary value of a product. In economic terms, price reflects how much the consumer values your produce, which depends on internal (produce quality, the farm’s image, production yield, credit terms) and external (competitors, consumers’ preferences, seasonality) factors. A study by Darby et al. (2008) found that consumers prefer locally grown over regional or U.S. grown, and are willing to pay almost twice as much for local products. For example,[Read More…]


Farmers markets continue to grow in number and locations. According to the United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA-AMS), there are currently 8,702 farmers markets in the United States, an increase of almost 400 percent since 1994 (USDA-AMS, 2017). The USDA-AMS directory of farmers markets reported 191 farmers markets in Indiana by August 2017: 129 summer and 62 winter markets. Indiana farmers markets vastly differ in size: markets may occupy a few stalls to several city blocks. For example, the Broad Ripple Farmers Market is an 80-vendor market in Indianapolis and is considered one of the biggest farmers market in Indiana. Depending on the location, summer market season is anytime between mid-March until mid-November, while the winter season tends to be between November and March. Winter and summer markets offer vastly different produce choices. Winter markets usually offer less produce and the majority of the sales are spinach, kale,[Read More…]


The latest Census of Agriculture reported that 244,974 U.S. farmers utilized more than 14 million acres to grow specialty crops in 2012. In Indiana 2,935 farmers grew specialty crops on 63,252 acres. Indiana’s specialty crop industry includes operations that grow fruit and vegetable, tree nut, dried fruit, horticulture, floriculture, and nursery crops. Specialty crops include a long list of agricultural products that are sold through a wide variety of market channels. A pair of Purdue Extension publications show the results of a survey of Indiana specialty crops farmers. The survey found that most specialty crops farmers sell their fruit and vegetables through farmers markets or other local outlets, tend to be smaller, and grow 20 crops on average. Details are available in Fruit and Vegetable Farmer Surveys: Characteristics of Indiana Vegetable Farming Operations (Purdue Extension publication HO-270-W) and Fruit and Vegetable Farmer Surveys: Characteristics of Indiana Vegetable Farmers (HO-271-W). Both[Read More…]