Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences

Degree Level



Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences


Bertucci, Matthew

Committee Member/Reader

Savin, Mary

Committee Member/Second Reader

Miller, David

Committee Member/Third Reader

Popp, Michael


Cost-effective weed suppression is an important consideration for tomato growers. Growers often choose methods which minimize hand labor, as hand weeding can be prohibitively expensive. This project determined economic viability of high tunnel tomatoes treated with several methods of weed control, both organic and chemical. These methods included: 2-week hand weeding, 1-week hand weeding, preemergent, straw, landscape fabric, and untreated weedy control plots. These treatments were applied to randomized blocks in a high-tunnel. Weeding, planting, and harvest were all timed to determine labor and material costs of weed management strategy implementation. After harvest, marketable yield was weighed to determine revenue. Partial profit was determined through sensitivity analysis. Means separation analysis, a payoff matrix, and distribution curves were created to compare the partial profit between plots. The preemergent generally outperformed all other treatments, while straw and weedy plots tended to have the lowest partial profit. Based on distributions, tomatoes treated with landscape fabric, which had the second highest partial profit, would have to be sold at a 40 cent/kilo premium to compete with preemergent treated plots. No labor cost scenario allowed organic strategies to compete with preemergent treated plots. This is relevant to growers in that the results can be used to adjust their weed management practices based on their available labor resources, yield expectations, and market price expectations to get the best partial profit.


weed management, high-tunnel tomato, partial budgeting analysis, specialty crops, economic analysis, cost-benefit sensitivityanalysis