- Gary Shafer, ISP Research
We performed several tomato variety trials this year, in both greenhouse and tunnel conditions. The greenhouse data is shown below. Some of the challenges were described on the front page, and it was not an easy year. Diseases identified included; early blight, septoria leaf spot, botrytis (leaf mold), random scerotinia (timber rot), random anthracnose, and late blight. Insect pests included some early thrip, the worst aphid numbers I’ve ever seen, spider mite, brown marmorated stink bug, tomato hornworm, corn ear worm, and grasshoppers. There was also secondary disease issues stemming from other disease or insect damage. In total it kind of made you not want to grow tomatoes, but even with these problems the yields were good.
The owner grows “pesticide free” produce, so we were limited as to the materials we could use to offset this pressure, but there was an early application of Pyganic applied once aphids were noticeable. This application did little to reduce the populations, or the spread throughout all the tomatoes. It had been used in the past so there was probably resistance to this chemistry. Aside from that, the primary methods of fighting aphids was introducing predator species.
All other management procedures were consistent across all varieties. Applied nutrient included dry fertilizer applied preplant, fertigation through drip lines and foliars. There were quite visible differences in the vegetative growth characteristics from one variety to another. Some were very aggressive, reaching more than ten feet of growth, while others were much more moderate in their vegetative development. Specific fertility and growth characteristics will be discussed at our winter grower meetings.
Each plot had five tomato plants, which were planted on March 23. It should be noted that the sclerotina was isolated to one section of the greenhouse. The varieties of Red bounty, Red Morning and Red deuce showed the highest level of infection, and all of these verities had at least one plant die before the project terminated on October 8. The project was terminated at that point as the grower wanted to use the house for a fall planting of greens. When terminated, most all of the varieties were still growing and based upon the October weather could probably have finished some additional fruit.
|Variety Name||Total Pouands Fruit Picked Per Plant||Average Fruit Weight (grams)||Disease, Pollination, Other Rejects Pounds/Plant||Seconds (<170 gms.) Pounds/Plant||#1 Fruit (>170 gms.) Pounds/Plant||% #1 Fruit|