Cost of production for 10 major wildflower crops grown in Australia

Model Flower Farm Scenario to calculate the cost of production
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This information was developed in response to the observation by many in the industry that many flowers and foliage products are traded at costs below the cost of production.  Growers also seem to feel disempowered to negotiate sustainable and profitable prices due to the fact they have not accurately costed the product from their own farm.

The cost of production of 10 common wildflower crops including both native Australian and South African species was calculated using information from growers experienced in producing these crops. These cover a range of plant types, from woody shrubs like Protea, waratah and Banksia, smaller shrubs like waxflower, and more short term crops like flannel flower and kangaroo paw. Woody shrub crops generally require a longer establishment period (of 3-5 years) before significant quantities of harvestable product are available, but they tend to have a longer economically productive life. Flannel flowers and kangaroo paws are likely to yield harvestable stems more quickly (within 6 to 18 months of planting), but generally need to be replaced after 5-7 years.

A standard model farm was devised to provide a common starting point for the calculations – it is defined in more detail in the document below. There is also a comparative summary for the 10 crops.

You will find the interactive spreadsheets for each crop in the next box. 

You can use the spreadsheets in many different ways, for example, to compare your own costs with those developed here. Other information you can develop using the cost calculator includes:

Annual Production (stems)

Total annual gross revenue and per square meter

Total annual production cost and per square meter

Average production cost per stem

Average revenue per stem

Total hectares of plants

Total casual hours employed

Total FTE’s (full time equivalent employees)

The Cut Flowers and Foliage Whole Farm Economic Decision Tool, usually known as the Cost Calculator (CC) was used to make the calculations.  This Excel based spreadsheet was created by Bill Johnston, Principal Agricultural Economist who works for DAFF Queensland.  The spreadsheet was created for the Flower Association of Queensland (FAQI) and funded by FAQI funds with a contribution from Horticulture Australia Ltd.

You will find a short video about the cost calculator at

There is more about the cost calculator at for-growers-and-value-chain-members/business-news/faqi-product-cost-calculator

This activity was conducted as part of the RIRDC project PRJ006760 ‘Capacity Building and Communications Enhancement of the Wildflower Industry’.


 Economic fundamentals of growing major wildflower crops in Australia final October 2014 RIRDC PRJ006760.pdf
 Model Farm - Summary RIRDC PRJ006760.xlsx