So after that detailed intro to the principles of microgreens crop planning, let’s now see how this works to calculate your crop needs.
Now, here we’ll take another quick step back to remind you why crop planning is so important. In short, the goal of crop planning is twofold:
- To ensure you have enough crop to meet the product needs of your orders
- To ensure you do not have an excess of crop that might go to waste
And one more quick note on harvesting. In short, your harvest should be on a set day(s) each week, say Tuesdays and Fridays. Harvest will correspond with deliveries in that you will want to get your products to your customers as soon as possible. For our example here, we will assume that we harvest and deliver in the same day.
So with the principles we discussed in the last blog post, let’s show you a basic example of how orders lead to crop production.
- You grow one crop: Sunflower shoots
- Yield: 500g/tray
- Days to Maturity (DTM): 8
- Days to Germinate (DTG): 4
- With your sunflower crop you can have a sunflower product line, where each of the sizes is a variant (no, not a COVID variant):
- Small: 125g @ $5.00 each
- Medium: 225g @ $8.00 each
- Large: 450g @ $15.00 each
- Live Trays: $18.00 each
You have crops and you have products, now you can have customers.
You have 2 customers:
- Jane’s Cafe
- Stellas’ Juice Bar
In order to get your products, your customers must place an order for a specific harvest day. So here are the orders they placed:
- Jane’s Cafe:
- 10 large sunflower
- 5 live trays of sunflower
- Harvest Day:
- Weekly, starting Friday August 27, 2021
- Stella’s Juice Bar
- 5 live trays of sunflower
- Harvest Day
- Twice Weekly (Tuesdays and Fridays), Starting August 24, 2021
So with this information, we can start crop planning.
Your first harvest day is August 23. Sunflower DTM is 8 days, so the first sowing will be 8 days earlier, on August 15. It will stay in the germination stage (covered) for 4 days, until August 19. Because that order is for 5 live trays of sunflower, the sowing is easy: 5 trays of sunflower!
So, in summary: Sow 5 trays of sunflower on August 15, uncover on August 19 and harvest on August 23. Easy
Your second harvest day is August 27, 2021. Sunflower DTM is 8 days, so the first sowing will be 8 days earlier, on August 19. It will stay in the germination stage for 4 days, until August 23.
Now, your orders for this harvest come from two customers and total:
- 10 live trays of sunflower (so you will sow 10 trays)
- 10 large sunflower @450g each
So the 10 large sunflower needs to be converted into weight, which = 4500g.
Out yield per trays of sunflower is 500g, so we need to sow 9 trays to meet these orders. For good measure, we’ll sow an extra tray, just in case!
So 10 trays of sunflower for the live trays plus 10 trays of sunflower for the large products = 20 trays altogether for harvest on August 27. Quite simple, really.
So the basic formula for knowing how much to sow for a specific harvest:
- The total weight of all of each product ordered (e.g., 25 small sunflower, 28 medium sunflower, and 50 large sunflower)
- The total number of live trays
- Any extra crop you want to sow (buffer). The buffer crop can compensate for potential yield shortfalls, can be used for samples, and can be eaten!
Image: Sample soaking and sowing tasks with rates, soak time, and trays for multiple crops
The calculations for crop planning get more complex based on:
- The number of product variants (sizes) you carry
- Products that are mixes of multiple crops
- The number crops variants you grow (more in the next post)
- The variation in days to maturity in crops
- The number of customers
- The number of orders
- The number of harvest days
In short, this is a lot to keep track of. And this is what SeedLeaf does for you. Basically, by inputting all your orders into SeedLeaf it will calculate all your crop production tasks as well as your expected revenue.
In out next post, we are going to discuss crops and crop variants with tray sizes