Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Reinemann, Martin W.

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Earth Science


Tomatoes--Illinois; Contract labor--Illinois; Agriculture--Illinois


This thesis deals with the problems and characteristics involved in the production of tomatoes in northeastern Illinois. The study area covers about 9,600 square miles. All tomato production in this area is done under contract with the Campbell Soup Company. This study contains a brief history of tomato production. A detailed study is made of the production and marketing techniques used with farm commodities and conclusions are drawn about the technique which best suits the farmer, processor and consuming public. This study is also an investigation of how farmers grow tomatoes under contract. Some of the physical and chemical requirements essential for the growth of tomatoes are discussed. Several farmers who grow tomatoes under contract were interviewed, as well as field representatives of the Campbell Soup Company. From these interviews several problems were noted, particularly, that labor problems and costs are major concerns of the farmer producing tomatoes. Some of the new trends in contract tomato farming are revealed. The study shows that tomato contract farming in the study area is declining because of the use of mechanical harvesters in California, higher yields per acre in general, and because of new strains which create higher yields. The contract tomato industry of northeastern Illinois is in danger of being eliminated by the California production. For the present, custom, tradition and a well-established contracting system in the study area will probably result in some contract tomato production continuing in the study area unless new innovations occur.


Includes bibliographical references.||Includes maps.


ix, 61 pages




Northern Illinois University

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