Methods of Farming

Size and Method Relationship

The farm size for pyrethrum can range from less than one acre run by an individual grower to hundreds of acres grown by large grower cooperatives. There are many differences between small scale and large scale growers although the end pyrethrum product is nearly indistinguishable except by scientific methods.   Pyrethrum Growing

Small Scale Growers: There are more than 50,000 small scale pyrethrum growers in East Africa and China. Small scale growers grow pyrethrum on fields ranging in size from a quarter acre to 5 acres and typically use organic production techniques such as planting seed by hand and hand-picking the flower heads at harvest. Small scale growers benefit from low input and production costs but typically have a lower yield per acre, on average less than half, than that of a large scale producer.

Large Scale Growers: There are less than a few hundred large scale pyrethrum growers mostly located in Tasmania, Australia. Large scale farmers typically have plots ranging from 10 acres to a few hundred acres.  They apply modern agricultural production techniques that can include treated seeds, fertilizers, fungicides and irrigation.  They rely on modern farming equpment for planting and harvesting.  Although large scale farmers have higher input costs, the result is higher yields and revenue per acre.