Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment


Economical Analysis of Tomato Production in Foil Tunnels


In the last few years good experiences with foil production have brought an increased use of "foil houses" in the tomato production in the county "Burgenland"/Austria.

On the one hand the production of tomatoes in foil tunnels presents the opportunity of an earlier harvest, on the other hand it offers an extension of the harvest into the fall season.

At the same time a "sheltered" cultivation promotes a high quality production.

The objective of this analysis was to find out the productiveness of tomato production in foiltunnels and the sales conditions in "Burgenland". The data for judging the profitability was taken from work diaries.

The answer to the question of productiveness depends upon the profits. Agricultural yield and costs differed from farm to farm. The production of tomatoes in foiltunnels amounted to an average of S 68.- revenue/m2.

The variable costs amounted to S 14.-/m2, the profit contribution I was S 54.-/m2. If the fix costs of foil house and sprinklers are added to the variable costs, the outcome is profit contribution II at the rate of S 37.-/m2. The required work hours for the production of tomatoes in foiltunnels averaged 483 hours/1000 m2 for the analysed farms.

The high input of labour is caused by manual harvest, which amounts to approximately 50 % of all labour as well as by plant tending.

Due to the small number of analysed farms, the results cannot be seen as representative, but the analysis still offers important information concerning the profitability of tomato production in foiltunnels. For the further development of the production of tomatoes in foiltunnels the producer price is most substantial. The producer price depends upon the success of producing higher quality foil tomatoes in comparison to field tomatoes and their separate marketing.