420 Magazine Background

Economics of Growing

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
How do you guys calculate the turnover/profitability of your grows?


I never really saw a point in calculating g per watt, g per plant, g per m2 etc. because they all leave out major factors that affects the turnover the equation.

I've been wanting to be able to use the statistics and use them to calculate a single number that describes the overall efficiency of the grow, but the number *must* be universally comparative so the guy growing in a 2x2 closet can be compared to the commercial warehouse scale grow without favoring either in any way.


I've been calculating different statistics and thought I came up with a nice formulae for a grow profitability degree, but because I based it on variable costs per g, I eventually realized that different currencies and their rising/falling means it won't be universally comparative.
Which also made me realize that money isn't a static unit and therefore worthless in a comparative formulae unless you sell your product, in which case you can calculate the profit per g and all the other profitability numbers, but for personal growing that won't work other than holding up against commercial prices to see how much you save, but the comparative commercial cannabis price differs a lot depending on quality and location.


Lately I've been experimenting more and more with SoG growing and became increasingly interested in the profitability of growing.
First I came up with calculating the g per m2 per day or the g per m2 per kWh, the first is a nice factor to have and what outdoor/greenhouse growers should use.
The problem is that the first leaves out power consumption and the second leaves out time.


So I calculated the total combined KwH consumption for the grow (lights, extraction, fans etc. from seed to harvest) and found the g per m2 per day per kWh.
However, this will always be a very low number 0,00XXXX, so to get a more tangible factor or degree or ratio or whatever you wanna call it, I multiplied it by 1000 to get a single digit number (with 2 decimals).

Now this is a number worth using since it's easy to read/understand and comparative for all grow room sizes, lighting levels and time frames.


I fiddled around with the numbers a little and hastily decided on an average of 2-4, so anything below is considered poor and anything above is considered good.
I just based it losely on a roughly estimated average of medium yielders in the hands of experienced growers and high yielders in the hands of beginners.
Any idea to how this is most accurate and fair is much appreciated, it is of course possible to adjust the values to different strain types and grow styles.
This part is just a guideline and doesn't really matter, obviously the higher the number the better, but if you're consistently under 2 you might want to try and change something.


The cost of nutes, medium, seeds/clone factory or the cost of the equipment, I found these to hard to work in the formulae, but I'm open for suggestions :)
Nor does it take potency or the cannabinoid/terpene composition, so you have to factor in personal preference in how much the finicky cookie strain or lanky landrace sativa is worth over the loss in yield vs. a high yield strain.
Very useful if you increase your lighting wattage or split test pheno types, so you can se the relative increase/decrease or difference.


You can base your calculations on a single plant, since you know how many plants of that size you'd be able to fit in your space, so you just multiply the yield from that one plant with that number ;)
Comparing strains/phenos, grows, growers, lights, methods etc. this way can be quite interesting :)




So far I'm calling it Grow Turnover Ratio, but I'm very open for name suggestions :)


1541809279812.png




So, once the thinking part was done it was time to create a spreadsheet, so now I can just fill out the white cells and never have to actually do the calculations again :)

The numbers used are from my PurpleGunRack's Revenge Grow
1,44 m2 is a 120x120cm (4x4) tent ;)





1541810815469.png






:48:
 

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
Did some calculations based on my little SoG experience with Crystal Cookies First High Brix Grow

Now this is not a high yield strain, but it's super easy to clone and fast flowering, and it's hella potent and tasty.

In the first spreadsheet the calculations are based on only the flowering tent and the time from flip of the rooted clone.
In the second spreadsheet the m2, kWh and days (day from cut clone to the transplant/flip of the rooted clone) in the mother/clone tent are all added to the values of the flowering tent, so that's the fair one since it takes the ''cost'' of the mother/clone setup into the equation.


1541815755981.png





1541815800072.png
 

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
You’re off to an interesting start on estimating energy consumption per unit yield.

But in order to calculate the actual economics of your production, you’ll need to estimate the total costs of all indoor growing infrastructure (lights, tent, fans, hardware, duct work, grow containers etc) amortized over its useful lifespan, as well as the costs of seeds, growing media, water supply, nutrients, and pesticides. If you’re growing from your own clones, cloning costs should also be included in total costs.

& of course, per unit energy consumption costs would need to be included too.

Otherwise you’re only looking a potentially small slice of the true costs incurred with indoor growing.

But you're part of the way there!
 

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
I did a rough estimate on my grow expenses and came up with it costs me about $35.00 an ounce. I factor electricity soil and nutrients. I didn't include my initial investment of tent lights fans etc. Considering that where I'm from dispensaries charge $300.00 an ounce I'm still making out in the long haul.
 

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
I did a rough estimate on my grow expenses and came up with it costs me about $35.00 an ounce. I factor electricity soil and nutrients. I didn't include my initial investment of tent lights fans etc. Considering that where I'm from dispensaries charge $300.00 an ounce I'm still making out in the long haul.
Interesting, albeit incomplete, estimate of costs per unit grown.

I’m guessing that amortized infrastructure costs of indoor grows run about at least another $150/yr. But that’s just a guess & I’d be interested in better estimates of these costs that gotta be included in a reasonable estimate of indoor grow costs.

Here in western OR it’s easy to find damn good dispensary bud for $60-$70 oz, so even outdoor growers that know what they’re doing can hardly compete with that, if one adds in the labor costs of trimming. BUT if you don’t include trim costs, one's wayyy ahead--usually less than $0.30/g if one knows what they're doing.

I only grow outdoors for numerous reasons, but I don’t do it because it’s way cheaper—I do it because I like growing & usually like what I grow more than I like what I can buy.

Plus homegrown’s just fun to smoke!

Grow on!
 

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
You’re off to an interesting start on estimating energy consumption per unit yield
Well, and time and space in the same equation.

The number you get is Milligram per kWh per m2 per day.

It's a showdown with the useless Gram Per Watt and Gram Per M2 units that light and seed pushers like to use without care. Niether says anything about anything since you can tweak the grow to make a high number, but it'll never be cost efficient to do so.
You can't cheat my number, by vegging for a year and such.


But in order to calculate the actual economics of your production, you’ll need to estimate the total costs of all indoor growing
This is not a calculation of costs, it's a universally comparatively index that takes the major parts of indoor growing into consideration.

Like I wrote in the first post. it's impossible to have a universally comparative number based on variables, so if you want to calculate costs for yourself that's fine, but it won't show how you stack up against other growers.

I calculate my cost and savings/earnings and have spread sheets that automatically calculates the statistics, but only for variable costs, amortizing hangers, pots and ducting is too nitpicky for my liking, so I write off my equipment with the savings/earnings from the first grow, and ''make money'' on the following grows without any capacity costs.
If I buy a new carbon filter, or RO filter etc. I add that expense to the grow that ''broke'' it.

But sure a spread sheet covering all economic aspects would be nice, but VERY extensive and complicated to use when you put amortizing in the mix.

The number I calculate will not take expensive gear into consideration, and nor should it, it's about growing not about being investment savvy ;)

Again this thread is not about the actual financial parts of growing it's about comparing grows, lights, strains/phenos etc. with a single number


If you’re growing from your own clones, cloning costs should also be included in total costs.
I added clone room kWh, m2, and the time from cutting the clone to putting it in the flower room to the calculations in the second spreadsheet in the second post ;)
 

andIhalped

Well-Known Member
Well, and time and space in the same equation.

The number you get is Milligram per kWh per m2 per day.

It's a showdown with the useless Gram Per Watt and Gram Per M2 units that light and seed pushers like to use without care. Niether says anything about anything since you can tweak the grow to make a high number, but it'll never be cost efficient to do so.
You can't cheat my number, by vegging for a year and such.




This is not a calculation of costs, it's a universally comparatively index that takes the major parts of indoor growing into consideration.

Like I wrote in the first post. it's impossible to have a universally comparative number based on variables, so if you want to calculate costs for yourself that's fine, but it won't show how you stack up against other growers.

I calculate my cost and savings/earnings and have spread sheets that automatically calculates the statistics, but only for variable costs, amortizing hangers, pots and ducting is too nitpicky for my liking, so I write off my equipment with the savings/earnings from the first grow, and ''make money'' on the following grows without any capacity costs.
If I buy a new carbon filter, or RO filter etc. I add that expense to the grow that ''broke'' it.

But sure a spread sheet covering all economic aspects would be nice, but VERY extensive and complicated to use when you put amortizing in the mix.

The number I calculate will not take expensive gear into consideration, and nor should it, it's about growing not about being investment savvy ;)

Again this thread is not about the actual financial parts of growing it's about comparing grows, lights, strains/phenos etc. with a single number




I added clone room kWh, m2, and the time from cutting the clone to putting it in the flower room to the calculations in the second spreadsheet in the second post ;)
So not really economics...
Amortizing is quite uncomplicated...just divide gear costs by the # of years it will be used. Easy.
 

PurpleGunRack

Well-Known Member
Did you just read the title and not the actual post?

How do you know for how long you use this or that piece of equipment, you don't just buy it all at once and decide to use it for x years.

This is not business 101, dude...

You very welcome to contribute constructively and help come up with ideas on how to make a single number based on universally comparative data, that will show how one method/phenotype/light stacks up against another.
 

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
how to make a single number based on universally comparative data
Once I start growing I'll be doing this BIG time. I was a career data analyst and programmer and my INTP personality type is a perfect fit to reducing most things in life into spreadsheets! hehe

I hope you elaborate of what you've done since November, now that you have a friendly partner in data crime hanging around :)
 

Bud

Well-Known Member
Just following the thread along to its ennevitable end. The cost for a small grower like myself will b put out of reach, the government and the mega growers will see to that. Don’t b so quick to embrace legalization until u read the fine print. If u think the competition will welcome u with open arms,is a bit Nieve me thinks.
 
Last edited:

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
The cost for a small grower like myself will b put out of reach
Yah, depressing aint it? I imagine huge lobby efforts against self grow as well. Since I put numbers to everything I'll still enjoy my own little paradise and spreadsheet the hell out of it lol
 

Bud

Well-Known Member
For me it’s not so much about hitting the price point as much as what’s gone in to make her grow. No pesticides or fungusides or expensive additives just the basics ( one cheep) SOB here I’m running a 315 CMH with a few fans, the cost of electric is approximately 27.00 mounthly as for the rest fertilizer and water cost plus the price of the lighting unit over real time must all b factored in, if I can stay under 40.00 a month i think I’m doing ok. Considering a zip around here runs 200.00 or more.lol
 
Last edited:

Barney86

Well-Known Member
Just stopping by because I like posts like this. I'm a gram per watt kinda guy.
By that though, I mean gram per watt used bloom. I know it's a really bad way to judge things but I think if you don't get at least 1gpw used during bloom then you need to tighten things up. Not saying I always hit it. Had my share of mistakes just like anybody else but as far as I'm concerened, if you're running a 600w hps then you're target should be 600g. If you can't hit that then there's something wrong. Same with blurples. 1gpw used for bloom shouldn't be too hard to hit.
Then we go up to cobs and quantum board lighting. That s a bit out of my league but seen enough guys get 2gpw to know they're much better than my lights lol.
 

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
it's a really bad way to judge things
Nah, I think it's a GREAT yardstick that covers the entire process! As a hierarchy I'll use gpw as a top level result and expand it into more detail. Data is second nature to me, so it will be an easy process to break out all costs... per grow cycle, per ounce, per watt, etc. and any variation between them. I can't wait! lol

Working up to my first grow feels more natural and more fateful, if you will, than anything I've ever done before. I'm approaching 6 decades on this rock, consuming cannabis again after being away from it for 35 years, and this topic is already consuming my every waking hour :)
 

Edzzed

Well-Known Member
The way I see it, Car makers give you a yearly fuel cost estimate but they never include the cost of the car over the life span of the car. So for a first time grower (me) do I include the cost of my tent, lighting, switches, fans, nutes, electricity, soil, pots, saucers, time, seeds and the list goes on. I look at it as I was buying unknown ounces, making butter and then making cookies. I now control everything from beginning to end and that's what friends want.
 

Bud

Well-Known Member
Don’t burn out with the numbers,it’ supposed to b fun and rewarding a art based in science not numbers, sum have a greener thumbs and more experience than others saying that,I only grow what I need, and I grow sum dank sh* t,unless your trying to turn a profit I wouldn’t worry about that the first grow or two just getting to harvest is a feat in itself. Good luck
 
Last edited:

Brian420pm

Well-Known Member
the list goes on
It does seem to go on forever but it IS finite. Everything in a grow can be put in a list, just like you can define ingredients for a meal or an inventory list for any business. One way to break it out would be to put everything you replace in each grow cycle as CONSUMABLE and everything else as DURABLE, then you can look at results in those two contexts.

Use the Consumable category to get a granular, cycle to cycle snapshot.
Add the Durable costs to give you the bigger picture, like an investment return (how long until you recoup your initial cost).

Consumable items - nutes, soil, time, seeds, HVAC fuel (electricity, gas, etc)
Durable items - tent, lighting, switches, fans, tubing, pumps, pots, saucers, testing meters, heater, dehumidifier, air conditioner

A spreadsheet or log book is all you need. I find that tracking Consumables each cycle is the most useful, which I've done many times in my career and with my own businesses. It's the best method for fact based, short term, actionable insights.

I mean let's face it, if we're talking about home grow, we're all going to buy all the items regardless, and replace things as needed. Like you mentioned, however, it doesn't have to be an unknown black box. Just the most basic cost tracking can give you a better sense of control and confidence... a finger on the pulse of your new enterprise!
 

Bud

Well-Known Member
Hay Brian420pm, I know I could do a sheet to cover costs, but what about yield some runs turn out very good and some for whatever the reason don’t. u can’t calculate that in your equation cause Mother Nature’s a bitch and will turn on u in a NY min.
 
Top Bottom