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Héctor Germán Rodríguez, Jennie Popp, Michael Thomsen, Heather Friedrich and Curt R. Rom

Extending the production season of blackberry (Rubus subgenus Rubus) cultivars allows producers the opportunity to potentially receive better prices. Producers could benefit from out-of-season production by sustaining cash flow during more of the year and thereby expanding their market. The objective of this study was to compare the present value (PV) probabilities of being able to cover the total cost (TC) of production (break-even) for open-field and high tunnel production systems for the primocane-fruiting blackberry cultivar Prime-Jan® in northwestern Arkansas. (PVs) of gross revenues (GRs) of each production system were simulated 500 times. Total yields were higher in the open-field system in the first 2 years of production and consistently higher in weeks 33 to 34 and 36 to 37 than high tunnel production. It seems that there are no yield benefits from the high tunnel system early in the harvest season, except in the first year of primocane-fruiting production. The break-even probability was sensitive to the different percentage of yield sold, the percentage of the retail price received by the producer, and the production system analyzed. Even though the potential gross returns obtained with the high tunnel system are high (when compared with open-field production), the PV distributions of the gross returns do not offset the high tunnel TC in half of the simulations. Conversely, open-field production proves to be more profitable both in magnitude and in terms of the likelihood of exceeding the break-even threshold over the productive life of the enterprise.