Essential of organic tomato production

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Tomato is one of the most commonly grown fresh market vegetables.

Yet, since tomato are high yielding and labour intensive, ¼ acre, ½ acre and one acre production units are common with market gardeners.

In Massachusetts, for example, there are approximately 500 acres of tomatoes and approximately 500 vegetable farms.

Since some of the larger farms produce 10-15 acres of tomatoes, quite a few farms grow less than one acre (McCraw et al, 1987).

USDA (1992) reported that tomato yields of 650 to 850 boxes (30 pounds each) are common in the South Central U.

S (e.g.

Oklahoma).

This is equivalent to 19,000 – 25,000 pounds or about 10 – 13 pounds per acre.

Comparably fresh market yields of 23 – 27,000 pounds per acre are listed in Knott’s Handbook for vegetable growers in 1990, the average fresh market tomato yields nationwide was 25,000,000 pounds per acre.

Helen (1996), stated that production and marketing cost of intensively cultured tomatoes can be over $ 4,000 per acre with an expected gross return of $ 4,000 to $ 8,000 per acre.

Gross returns of $ 18,000 are not uncommon.

One organic farmer in New Jersey netted $10,000 an acre with 10 acres in production.

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