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Costs for a model California packinghouse for mature green tomatoes vary by packing technique employed. Assuming a constant 400-hour packing season and plant operating at 70 percent of maximum capacity (capacity equals 30 tons of fruit dumped per hour), costs may range from $3.56 to $3.82 per hundredweight of packable fruit. Lowest costs were achieved by using dry bin dumping, belt sizing for all fruit, automatic volume filling of No. 1 greens, and manual volume filling for vine-ripes. Highest costs were associated with a combination of trailer dumping, weight sizing, manual filling of No. 1 greens, and place packing of vine-ripes. Total investment for the model packinghouse using the least-cost combination of techniques was about $310,000 on a replacement cost basis. This included $27,500 for land and site preparation, $125,450 for buildings, and $155,700 for equipment.


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