Help with irrigation, yield, and price for business plan

Help with irrigation, yield, and price for business plan

Home Forums Cultivating Truffles Help with irrigation, yield, and price for business plan

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    • #5423
      Michael Zablocki
      Participant

      Hello, I am just coming up with a business plan for a 5 to 10 acre truffle farm in Canada, but have some pieces that are still evading me.

      1) From Claude Murat’s talk, it seems like irrigation is essential, but can anyone share how they go about irrigating? There seems to be many that use micro-sprinklers/drip systems, but I also imagine some use larger water guns. I know I am naive, but wouldn’t the pressure of the guns damage the trees?

      2) Yield numbers obviously vary by species, but in general I have it down that average yield is 25kg/hectare, good yield is 50 kg/ha, and exceptional is >100kg/ha. Does this seem correct, or am I off? It is complicated by the fact that the literature keeps stating that many truffieres were mismanaged, which must drag down historical yield estimates. I wonder what average yields would be for only truffieres that were managed properly.

      3) Historical prices for truffles seem hard to come by. I know truffle.farm has some prices, as well as some other websites. I think 2019 was a good year for prices (maybe a market high), and 2020/2021 were abnormally bad years. Is it fair to say that a normal retail prices would be the average of these? I have included an image below to help explain what I mean (prices are in Canadian dollars).

      I really appreciate any help anyone can offer.

      Thanks everyone.

      -Mike

    • #5436
      Fabrice Caporal
      Keymaster
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      Hello Mike,

      Here are my non expert answers. For our business plan we have used 30# per acre of T. melanosporum as an ideal situation target. It is a reasonable, yet not given number. 100# per acre are possible but not to be expected. So your numbers are reasonable to me.

      Price of truffles is more complicated. Often high published price are retail price for premium truffles. Only a small proportion of your production will be sold at that price. That percentage will really depend on your ability  to market your product.

      For irrigation we have opted for inset sprinklers set every 36 feet. The adventage is that the irrigation is out of the way for working the field, it is less subject failure, but the full coverage results in more wasted water (especially at the beginning), more weed growth, less micro control of irrigation and more costly to install. I still think that was a great compromise, especially that we needed a reliable system that would last for many seasons. With the sprinkler system you have to think also in terms of size of water droplets. Big drops may result in excessive compaction. For water cannon you will have to make sure that you remain above the trees and that you have enough pressure and flow to produce the expected coverage.

    • #5459
      Michael Zablocki
      Participant
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      Thanks for the help Fabrice. I know that in her talk Olivia said the wholesale price is essentially 50% of retail, and I have assumed that the majority of sales would be wholesale. While this may or may not be true depending on how the business pans out, the 50% discount on retail price may be enough to cover the fact that most of the truffles sold will be lower than premium grade.

      Really appreciate your response. I have also viewed the financial model you posted in another thread and it has helped me a lot. When I am finished with mine, I will definitely post it so that others can hopefully benefit from it.

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