There are several resources available to growers to help them access financing, land and grants to get started. Having an understanding of the basic costs involved in establishing and maintaining an orchard are important to recieving this assistance. Cost-budget analysis worksheets abound for apple crops, including cider. WSU has developed a guide, 2013 Cost Estimation of Establishing a Cider Apple Orchard in Western Washington and several cost enterprise budgets, which can be adapted for Montana dessert and cider apple growers based on local land prices, wages and production values.
Below are Montana-specific worksheets with some of these values based on a survey of growers and product prices found online and in local stores. Economies are always in flux and prices/values change accordingly. Do your own research to ensure you are working with accurate values.
Montana Cost and Income Values for Dessert and Cider Apple Cost Budget Analysis: This is a spreadsheet summarizing some of the variable costs of production with estimates labor hours required for harvest, thinning and pruning. It also includes estimated income from fresh and pressed apples. These values were recorded in 2021.
Fencing Calculator: This resource was developed in 2019 to help growers estimate the cost of installing a fence to protect their orchard from deer.
Codling Moth Spray Cost Estimator: This calculator was developed in 2020 to help growers estimate spray costs for managing codling moth, the most imporant insect pest in pome fruits.
Fire Blight Spray Cost Estimator: This calculator was developed in 2020 to help growers estimate spray costs for managing codling moth, the most imporant insect pest in pome fruits.
Community Food and Agriculture Coalition: https://www.missoulacfac.org/ - Organization providing financial planning and other such resources to growers.
Montana Department of Agriculture - Grow Through Agriculture Grants: https://agr.mt.gov/GTA
Farmlink Montana: https://www.farmlinkmontana.org/