A systems approach that included production and economic aspects was used to assess broccoli potential as an alternate enterprise for eastern Virginia. Broccoli yield and head quality were improved with 96,400 plants/ha compared to 64,500 plants/ ha. While target populations for the early harvest were achieved with either transplants or direct seeding, plant establishment was significantly reduced for direct-seeding in the main-season harvest (85% vs. 95% for transplants). Increased cost of production with transplants resulted in reduced enterprise profit (before taxes) in the early harvest, while improved plant establishment and increased yield with transplants resulted in increased enterprise profit in the main-season harvest. The systems approach assessed market price risk through estimated revenue and yield risk, providing the information needed by growers for risk management decisions associated with broccoli as an alternate enterprise.
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