Economics/Crop Budgets

Ripe tomato sitting on dollar bills

Developing an operating budget can help keep your tomato operation profitable. Refer to the sample budgets in this section to get started.

N.C. State University has developed and compiled sample operating budgets to guide North Carolina tomato growers in tracking, maintaining and managing their business costs. The documents provided below help estimate the operating expenses associated with production, harvest and marketing for commercial tomato operations. Costs can vary greatly depending on the operation.

Extension agents and growers are able to estimate production costs and returns by entering cost estimates into these sample budgets. The budgets are separated by eastern and western North Carolina due to the differing growing conditions and associated production costs for growers in each region.

Contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension Agent with questions or to request more information regarding North Carolina tomatoes.

Eastern N.C. Budget

Estimated Budget: Tomatoes, Fresh Market, Staked (PDF)
Budget Details: Tomatoes, Fresh Market, Staked (PDF)

Western N.C. Budget

Estimated Budget: Tomatoes, Fresh Market, Staked (PDF)
Budget Details: Tomatoes, Fresh Market, Staked (PDF)

Additional Budgets

The following resources are not North Carolina-specific; however, they contain budget information that N.C. growers may find valuable.

Bottom Line in Greenhouse Tomato Production
This document includes the initial *investment costs to construct a 24 feet x 96 feet (2,304 sq. ft.) greenhouse tomato facility. Also included are sample budgets associated with greenhouse tomato production (pages 15-19). Growers will find a comprehensive summary of the greenhouse tomato industry and marketing tips as well. Developed by N.C. State University.

*The cost estimates are based on the prices available in 1999. This budgets and examples can still be applied/modified for today’s market.

Budget for Greenhouse Tomatoes
This is a comprehensive sample greenhouse tomato production budget from Mississippi State University. Growers will also find detailed explanations of the costs and resources involved in maintaining a greenhouse tomato operation.

Costs of Production for Fresh Market Tomato, Per Acre
This budget, developed by Rutgers University in 1996, is for organic production in the Northeastern U.S.

Projected Costs for Selected Louisiana Vegetable Crops – 2007 Season (PDF)
Cost budgets are reported for 20 vegetable crops as combinations of crop, machinery size and market channel. Each cost budget is supplemented with a table where net return is calculated over a range of prices and yields.

Staked Tomatoes, Green Pack
This 1993 budget from The Ohio State University specifically looks at the market for green-pack tomatoes compared to vine-ripened.

Staked Tomatoes: Kentucky Estimated per Acre Costs and Returns for 2001
This operating budget accounts for fixed and variable costs. The returns are based on yield and price assumptions.

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