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High tunnel, open-field production systems compared for lettuce, tomato
Date:11/19/2013

researchers convened focus groups of three to four growers in western Washington between April and November 2011. The groups were then tasked with developing crop enterprise budgets. Each focus group addressed one crop (lettuce or tomato) and one production system (open field or high tunnel). "We selected the focus group participants based on their experience in growing lettuce or tomato in open field or high tunnel, and their management practices," Galinato said. To develop each crop enterprise budget scenario, the groups designed a hypothetical farm situation; the types of inputs were itemized based on the production system.

"The expected marketable yields of tomato and lettuce are higher when grown in a high tunnel as compared with the open field," the authors said. "However, the higher crop yield achieved in a high tunnel was not sufficient to offset the increased costs of production for lettuce."

The researchers noted that expected crop yield should not be the primary driving force in choosing a high tunnel productions system over the open-field system. "Instead," they suggested, "crop yield in addition to market price of the crop as well as production costs must all be taken into account when examining the profitability for any crop and production system."


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert

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