Harvest Season

Growing Profitable Vineyard Grapes

Discover three key actions you can take to improve your vineyard grape harvest season and maximize profitability.



Growing grapes is no easy task. Luckily, we have hardworking grape farmers to keep the stores stocked with delicious grapes season after season. But to run a successful grape operation well, you must manage many factors to ensure your farm remains profitable. 


3 Tips For A More Profitable Vineyard Grape Harvest Season

The profitability of your farm is affected by so many factors, including labor costs, acreage, location, and the types of grapes you grow. Given everything you have to manage, it’s encouraging to know that the USDA has identified a promising trend: more farms are earning higher operating profit margins than in the past.

This is great news because better profitability allows you to reinvest in your farm and explore more opportunities for improvement or expansion. As a result, you increase your chances of remaining profitable for years to come.  

Here are three tips to increase the profitability of your vineyard:

1. Stay on top of labor costs.

It’s no secret that rising labor costs can eat into profits—especially if you have to pay more and more to harvest the same acreage each year. But it’s not just hourly pay you need to stay on top of; it’s also overtime pay, costs related to the H-2A visa program, and the time it takes to train and onboard new employees.

As your farm grows, spreadsheets become less and less effective, making farm management technology an effective solution. With tools for geofencing your farm and badging to make employee clock-in and outs more accurate, you can limit waste, reduce time theft, and keep better track of exactly what you’re spending on labor. You can also integrate your employee time-tracking activities with other platforms you’re already using, streamlining human resources tasks such as onboarding, safety training, and payroll.

2. Evaluate your retail partners.

Because your profitability is directly impacted by the price of your grapes at market, you understandably only want to work with distributors and retailers that yield the best prices. Periodically reviewing and updating pricing agreements will allow you to take advantage of rising demand, emerging markets, and new partnership opportunities that enable you to sell more grapes. Depending on your farm’s location, you may also determine that selling directly to consumers—through methods such as farmer’s markets, u-pick, and community co-ops—is another way to boost your profitability.

3. Boost grape quality.

As you’ve already seen year after year, better water, soil management, and weather mitigation strategies can all impact grape quality. Once you have those things under control, you need to ensure every grape picked during harvest is high-quality.

Grapes are delicate, easy to bruise, and need the right temperature after they’re picked—but growing, harvesting, and getting your grapes ready to ship are the things you do best. That’s why you select the right people to pick the grapes, train them, and monitor the quality of the grapes they pick.

When you have help from an easy-to-use farm management app, it’s even easier to track the quality of harvested grapes. Throughout the day, the app helps crew bosses and field managers take quality-control notes, give detailed feedback to pickers, and track the quality of your yield in real time.


Operate a More Profitable Farm

The more profitable your farm, the more resources are available to help you scale for future growth. With tools for managing farm labor and tracking grape quality during harvest, you can limit waste and manage your costs more closely. FieldClock farm labor management tools make that possible, improving efficiency in the field and enabling a successful harvest.

For more insights to make your harvest season more productive—and profitable—subscribe to our blog.

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