Growing tomatoes is not always easy. In many parts of the world summers are too hot to grow tomatoes in greenhouses, even those with intricate cooling systems.
In cooler climates where tomatoes are grown year-round in production greenhouses, yield fluctuations are still challenging for producers who need to fulfill orders and predict labor costs. Finding accurate methods for predicting greenhouse tomato yields is at the forefront of growers' concerns.
A new research study may take the speculation out of yield predictions and offer help for tomato producers. Tadahisa Higashide, a scientist at Japan's National Agricultural and Food Research Organization, published the study in a recent issue of HortScience. The research indicated that fluctuations in fruit number and yield under greenhouse conditions could be predicted on the basis of fluctuations in solar radiation.
According to the Higashide, development of an accurate method to predict weekly fluctuation in tomato yield, especially during summer, is still a big challenge; tomato yields fluctuate almost simultaneously in many fields in an area, although growers, greenhouses, plant growth stages, and crop management differ. Yield fluctuations can cause prices to fluctuate, purchasers to look to competing suppliers, and inadequate distributions of labor—complications that have an impact on revenues and consumer satisfaction. Accurate prediction of yield fluctuations would help growers revamp their marketing approaches (e.g., cooperative shipping with a grower in another area to fill supply gaps) or implement environmental controls in their greenhouses.
The study was designed to develop a method for predicting fluctuations in weekly tomato yield under high temperatures. Higashide investigated the relationships between environmental data and tomato yield and whether these relationships could be used to predict yield fluctuations. The experiments were conducted using the popular Japanese tomato cultivar 'Momotaro 8' grown in two commercial "sloped" greenhouses in Higashimiyoshi, Tokushima, Japan.
Fluctuations in yield were caused mainly by the variation in fruit number rather than fruit weight. "The number of harvested fruit and the yield of plants grown in summer and fall were significantly and positively correlated with solar radiation during the days before anthesis (the period during which a flower is fully open or in full bloom)", stated Higashide.
Although the fruit number and yield were also significantly correlated with air temperature before anthesis, the correlations were weaker than the correlations with solar radiation. There was no significant correlation between the air temperature in the periods encompassing 3 weeks before harvesting and the fruit number and yield. Therefore, fluctuations in fruit number and yield could be predicted by a model based on the solar radiation from 4 to 10 days before anthesis.
Higashide summarized the experiment's outcomes, noting that fluctuations in the weekly fruit number and yield for tomatoes grown in greenhouses during the summer and fall were strongly and significantly correlated with fluctuations in solar radiation during the periods encompassing 12 to 0 days before anthesis. "On the basis of fluctuations in solar radiation, fluctuations in fruit number and yield under these conditions could be predicted. Thus, solar radiation at the period before anthesis was one of the important factors in prediction of tomato yield under warm greenhouse conditions."
The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/44/7/1874
Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org
Michael W. Neff | EurekAlert!
Energy crop production on conservation lands may not boost greenhouse gases
13.03.2017 | Penn State
How nature creates forest diversity
07.03.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences