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ISSN: 2376-0354
Journal of Horticulture
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Cultivar Evaluation and Yield Performance of Tomato in an Organic Management System

Varinder Sidhu and Dilip Nandwani*

Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA

*Corresponding Author:

Dilip Nandwani
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science
Tennessee State University
Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Tel: +1-615-963-1897
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: June 09, 2017; Accepted Date: June 20, 2017; Published Date: June 28, 2017

Citation: Sidhu V, Nandwani D (2017) Cultivar Evaluation and Yield Performance of Tomato in an Organic Management System. J Hortic 4:201. doi: 10.4172/2376-0354.1000201

Copyright: © 2017 Sidhu V, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Abstract

This paper presents evaluation of organic tomato cultivars on yield performance in local climatic conditions. Field research trials were conducted from April to October in 2015 and 2016 growing seasons at the Tennessee State University organic farm. Differences occurred in number of marketable fruit, fruit weight and total soluble solids. ‘Arbason F1’ (28.67 Mt·ha-1), ‘Gold Nugget’ (26.08 Mt·ha-1), ‘Roma’ (25.65 Mt·ha-1) were the high yielding and ‘Pink Bumblebee’ (2.61 Mt·ha-1), ‘Hillbilly’ (3.10 Mt·ha-1), ‘Cherokee Green’ (5.99 Mt·ha-1) had the lowest marketable yield. ‘Mountain Prince’ (57.68%), ‘Pink Brandywine’ (52.32%) and ‘Black Prince’ (44.74%) had the most culls and ‘Pink Bumblebee’ (1.80%), ‘Rutgers VF’ (4.98%), and ‘Hillbilly’ (5.02%) had the fewest cull fruit. ‘Bing Cheery’ and ‘Cheery Sweetie’ ranked highest in taste among cherry types. All twenty six cultivars did set fruits during the growing seasons in local climatic conditions. Results suggest that ‘German Johnson’ and ‘Pink Brandywine’ (beefsteak type), ‘Gold Nugget’, (cherry type), and ‘Roma’, (plum type) were top performers in higher yields and brix.

Keywords

Cultivars; Marketable fruits; Production; Total soluble solids

Introduction

Tomato is grown worldwide for its edible fruits, with antioxidants benefits. It has been reported that consumption of raw tomato and tomato based products is associated with reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease [1]. Tomato contains phenolic compounds, lycopene, phytochemicals which have high antioxidant ability and free radical scavenging ability to inhibit the enzymes responsible for oxidative stress imposed by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production [2]. The organic production system aims at supporting and sustaining healthy eating habits, ecosystems, soil, farmers, community, and the economy. There are rising numbers of customers who are in search of healthier, tastier and environmentally friendly food, increasing the demand for organic produce. Organic food sales and farmland are growing worldwide at a rate of 20% per year (UNCTAD, 2003). The constant requests for organic foods are similar in different parts of the world, where consumers are willing to pay more for these products [3,4]. According to the MORI poll (2001), 43% of consumers of organic food give “better taste” as a major reason for purchasing organic fruits and vegetables [5]. A large proportion of commercially grown tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) have been developed for, and adapted to, conventional agriculture systems which employs synthetic chemicals in its culture [6-8]. Performance of cultivars developed for conventional cropping systems differ in organic production system [9,10]. Organic cropping system is an alternative to develop organic tomato cultivars which can be adapted to local conditions and produce higher yields under organic management [7,11,12]. Organic farming is growing worldwide and consumer demand for organically produced food is increasing [3,4]. Organic fresh vegetables are the top selling category of organically grown food [13]. Consumers in America are 3-4 times likely to buy organic tomato than any other food products [14]. The objective of this study was to evaluate the yield performance and other agronomic characteristics of tomato cultivars grown in organic management systems.

Materials and Methods

Tomato research trials were conducted during April to October of 2015 and 2016 at the Tennessee State University certified organic farm in Nashville, TN (Latitude 36°10’ N, 86°49’ W). The soil was a well-drained sandy loam with 2% organic matter with pH 8. Seeds (organic or untreated) of twenty-six tomato cultivars were obtained from Johnny’s Selected Seed Company (Winslow, MA), High Mowing Organic Seed (Wolcott, VT) and Territorial Seed Company (Cottage Grove, OR). The cultivars were: ‘Bing Cherry’, ‘Black Cherry’, ‘Black Prince’, ‘Cherry Sweetie’, ‘German Johnson’, ‘Mortgage Lifter’, ‘Moskovich’, ‘Hillbilly’, ‘Mountain Prince’, ‘Northern Delight’, ‘Oregon Spring’, ‘Principe Borghese’, ‘Rutgers VF’, ‘Sweet Tomato’, ‘Tang Tomato’, ‘Storage’, ‘Arbason F1’, ‘Glacier’, ‘Gold Nugget’, ‘Siletz’, ‘Roma’, ‘Cherokee Green’ (bicolor beefsteak), ‘Pink Brandywine’, ‘Brandywine’, ‘Pink Bumblebee’ and ‘Indigo Rose’.

Seeds were sown in nursery trays (72 cell) using organic earthworm casting potting mix (Appalachian Mountain Crawler, Blairsville, GA) in a greenhouse. Fish Emulsion (5-1-1) (Ferti-lome, Bonham, Texas) was applied as foliar spray to young seedlings weekly at a concentration of 10 mL·L-1. Seedlings were irrigated twice a week with garden sprayer. Field was prepared using a tractor drawn Rotavator and drip irrigation system installed. Field experiment was designed in a Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) with 3 replications of each cultivar. Six plants in each block, total of 18 plants in each cultivar planted. Each block consisted of 26 rows (1 row of each cultivar) spaced 90 cm in-row and 60 cm plant to plant within rows. Three-week-old seedlings were transplanted by hand in the field and irrigated. Nutri-rich (4-3-2, Planet Natural, Bozeman, MT), 100% Natural Organic Fertilizer, (4- 3-2) Ca 7% (Grow Organic, Grass Valley, CA) and Nature Safe (8-5-5, Irving, TX) fertilizers were spread by hand to plants after transplanting and continued every 2 weeks throughout the growing season. Tomato plants were staked using T-posts and twine for support. Lower leaves of plants were pruned to avoid contact in soil. Weeds were controlled manually or mechanically by tractor cultivator, rototiller or spade. Field scouting conducted for insect pest and diseases throughout the growing seasons.

Tomato fruit were harvested as they turned red and ripened during mid-July to the first week of October. Twelve and eleven harvests recorded in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Fruits were weighed and graded into marketable, unmarketable and culls. Data on plant height, fruit weight, number of total and marketable fruits, marketable yield, brix and acidity collected from eleven and twelve harvests during the growing season of 2015 and 2016 respectively. Data were analyzed using SAS (ver. 9.4, SAS, Inc., Cary, NC).

Results and Discussion

‘Northern Delight’ was the first cultivar harvested (55 Days). Data on total yield, marketable yield (US#1), fruit weight (Table 1), number of total fruit and marketable and culls are presented for 2015 (Table 2) and for 2016 (Table 3). In 2015, ‘Arbason F1’, ‘Gold Nugget’, and ‘Roma’ produced the highest marketable yield. ‘Hillbilly’, ‘Cherokee Green’ and ‘Pink Bumblebee ‘produced the lowest marketable yield. In 2016, ‘Arbason F1’, ‘Glacier’, and ‘Roma’ produced the most marketable yield. ‘Pink Bumblebee’, ‘Hillbilly’, and ‘Cherokee Green’ produced the lowest marketable yield. In 2015, ‘Sweet Tomato’ and ‘Gold Nugget’, cherry type tomato, ‘Roma’, a plum type tomato, and ‘Glacier’, a beefsteak type tomato, produced the most marketable fruit per plant. ‘Hillbilly’ and ‘Cherokee Green’, and ‘Pink Brandywine’, beefsteak type tomatoes, produced the fewest marketable fruit per plant. In 2016, ‘Black Cherry’ and ‘Bing Cherry’, cherry type tomatoes, ‘Roma’, plum type tomato, and ‘Glacier’, beefsteak type tomato, produced the most marketable fruit per plant and ‘Cherokee Green’ and ‘Rutgers VF’, beefsteak type tomatoes were low marketable fruit per plant producers. In 2015, ‘Hillbilly’, ‘Pink Bumblebee’ and ‘Indigo Rose’ had fewest cull fruit and ‘Mountain Prince’, ‘Pink Brandywine’, and ‘Black Prince’ had the most cull fruit. In 2016, ‘Pink Bumblebee’, ‘Rutgers VF’, and ‘Hillbilly’ had the least cull fruit, and ‘Glacier’, ‘Roma’ and ‘Mortgage lifter’ had the highest amount of cull fruit. Radial fruit cracking, infected or diseased and insect damaged fruit affected marketable yield. Frequent rainfall in 2016 affected yield and disease incidence such as Septoria leaf spot, early blight, bacterial spot and tomato cutworm infestation during the peak production period (Figure 1). Inconsistent water supply and temperature fluctuations increase the incidence of fruit cracking [14,15]. Use of cultivars resistant to fruit cracking and cultivars exhibiting hairiness inhibits sucking pests could minimize the loss of tomato yield [16]. Yields over harvests differed in 2015 and 2016 (Figure 2).

Cultivar Brix° Fruit Weight (g/plant)
2015 2016 2015 2016
Arbason F1 5.0 5.5 126.25 96.43
Bing Cherry 5.5 6.0 11.40 9.85
Black cherry 7.0 6.5 13.25 16.07
Black Prince 4.0 4.5 101.41 97.5
Brandywine 5.0 4.5 166.97 196.33
Cherokee green 6.2 6.2 119 99.63
Cherry Sweetie 7.0 6.5 9.005 8.4
German Johnson 4.0 5.0 266.7 210.54
Glacier 4.2 4.5 48.1 34.68
Gold Nugget 5.1 5.5 14.64 16.9
Hillbilly 4.5 5.2 77.67 76.8
Indigo Rose 5.0 4.8 41 38.733
Mortgage Lifter 4.5 4.5 133.10 139.033
Moskovich 4.0 4.5 124.661 156.42
Mountain Prince 5.0 5.1 70.49 74.4
Northern Delight 5.5 5.5 52.77 52.314
Oregon Spring 5.0 4.5 118.01 92.64
Pink Brandywine 3.1 3.5 244.3 224.5
Pink Bumblebee 5.7 5.7 16.125 20.6
Principe Borghese 4.2 3.5 15.78 25.9
Roma 4.0 4.5 49.2 48.06
Rutgers VF 6.0 4.2 98.5 99.06
Siletz 5.4 5.2 120.05 90.96
Storage 4.2 4.5 69.34 95.06
Sweet Tomato 4.0 4.0 17.28 13.91
Tang Tomato 5.0 4.5 110.7 137.41

Table 1: Total soluble solids (Brix°) of 26 organic tomato cultivars grown at TSU organic farm, Nashville in 2015 and 2016.

Cultivar Total yield (Mt·ha-1) Marketable yield
(Mt·ha-1)
Average number of fruits/plant) Average number of marketable fruits/plant Cull (%)
(g)
Arbason F1 31.41a 27.21a 16.67 14.06 37.81d
Gold Nugget 28.18a 26.08ab 123.11 111.28 28.99e
Roma 27.19a 25.65ab 31.67 29.11 13.8315g
Sweet Tomato 22.17ab 21.03abc 125.83 116.72 42.227cd
Black Cherry 22.27ab 19.64bcd 104.28 91.22 40.0666cd
Oregon Spring 23.25ab 18.00bcd 17.50 13.61 47.205b
Principe
Borghese
19.36bcd 17.35bcd 90.76 78.76 52.327ab
Storage 19.88bc 16.88cd 12.28 10.33 10.273gh
Moskovich 19.79bc 16.87cd 10.94 9.00 23.073f
German Johnson 20.06bc 16.59cd 5.53 4.24 31.161de
Black Prince 21.18abc 16.21cd 16.22 12.33 28.61e
Mountain Prince 21.84abc 15.43de 15.72 10.56 57.6768a
Rutgers VF 19.80bc 15.23de 10.61 8.11 41.1539cd
Siletz 19.46bc 14.77de 12.17 8.83 27.06ef
Bing cherry 18.10bcd 13.65ef 111.94 84.22 23.63f
Glacier 16.86cd 13.64ef 26.83 21.94 18.9679fg
Pink Brandywine 19.34bcd 13.52ef 5.06 3.44 18.1498fg
Brandywine 13.83ef 10.65fg 5.83 4.56 44.74bc
Northern Delight 13.20ef 10.65fg 21.67 17.22 22.9332f
Tang Tomato 15.25de 10.53fg 8.61 6.33 42.477cd
Indigo Rose 11.47fg 10.25fg 31.00 29.44 10.98gh
Mortgage Lifter 12.80f 10.23fg 5.83 4.67 26.27ef
cherry Sweetie 12.06f 9.67g 89.67 73.94 21.53f
Pink Bumblebee 8.72gh 7.74h 25.50 22.78 8.81h
Cherokee green 8.53gh 6.00i 3.28 2.17 22.74f
Hillbilly 3.88j 3.10j 2.00 1.61 7.02hi

Table 2: ANOVA results of year (2015) and cultivar for total yield, marketable yield, average number of fruits and culls.

Cultivar Total yield (Mt·ha-1)a Marketable yield
(Mt·ha-1)a
Average number of fruits/plant Average number of marketable fruits/plant Culls (%)a
Arbason F1 30.28a 28.67a 15.111 14.167 14.506efg
Glacier 24.23bc 21.89bcd 26.667 23.500 8.899gh
Roma 24.55bc 21.83bcd 25.111 22.833 24.464bcd
Black Cherry 21.97cd 21.30bcd 78.722 76.389 16.7255def
Siletz 21.55cd 19.26cde 16.938 14.375 5.549hi
Sweet Tomato 18.81de 17.42e 79.944 73.833 20.571cd
Principe Borghese 18.26de 16.86ef 37.111 34.389 20.605cd
Gold Nugget 14.92ef 13.93f 54.611 51.389 21.096cd
Moskovich 15.01ef 13.16f 9.222 8.333 42.01a
Mortgage Lifter 17.08ef 12.41gf 4.941 3.706 16.658def
Brandywine 12.94gf 12.08gf 2.389 2.222 18.577de
Black Prince 13.79f 11.73gf 13.056 11.111 7.762h
Pink Brandywine 13.24f 10.95g 3.375 2.813 12.602fg
German Johnson 12.18gf 10.73g 5.267 4.267 13.115fg
Mountain Prince 12.34gf 10.56g 9.278 8.222 16.075def
Tang Tomato 9.63g 8.54gh 3.944 3.167 9.821gh
Cherry Sweetie 9.78g 8.41gh 59.353 50.706 12.3696fg
Indigo Rose 9.03gh 8.31gh 19.556 17.778 6.498h
Bing cherry 9.79g 7.93h 65.667 53.867 6.055hi
Oregon Spring 9.52g 7.85h 7.467 6.400 14.964efg
Northern Delight 8.33gh 7.51h 15.813 14.000 7.391h
Cherokee green 6.71hi 5.99i 2.063 1.813 6.472h
Storage 6.22hi 5.60i 3.000 2.733 12.487fg
Rutgers VF 5.05i 4.50ik 2.733 2.467 4.982hi
Hillbilly 4.70ik 4.14ik 5.188 4.563 5.028hi
Pink Bumblebee 2.81k 2.61k 8.357 7.714 1.804i

Table 3: ANOVA results of year (2016) and cultivar for total yield, marketable yield, average number of fruits and culls.

horticulture-Environmental-factors

Figure 1: Environmental factors during the 2015 and 2016 growing seasons, Nashville, TN (Latitude 127.30 m, 36°10’ N, 86°49’ W).

horticulture-organic-farm

Figure 2: Yield of organic tomato cultivars in 2015 and 2016 grown at TSU organic farm, Nashville, TN (Latitude 127.30 m, 36°10’ N, 86°49’ W).

In 2015, high marketable fruit weight recorded in ‘German Johnson’, a beefsteak type tomato, ‘Gold Nugget’, a cherry type tomato, and ‘Roma’, a plum type tomato. ‘Glacier’ (beefsteak type) and ‘Cherry Sweetie’ (cherry type), produced the lower marketable fruits. In 2016, ‘Pink Brandywine’ (beefsteak type), ‘Gold Nugget’ (cherry type), and ‘Roma’, (plum type) produced the heaviest marketable fruit. ‘Northern Delight’ (beefsteak) and ‘Cherry Sweetie’ (cherry) produced the lightest marketable fruit (Table 3). Fruit diameter was least for ‘Bing Cherry’, a cherry type tomato and was greatest for ‘Brandywine’, a beefsteak type tomato. The shortest fruit was for ‘Bing Cherry’, a cherry type tomato and the longest fruit were for ‘Arbason F1’, a beefsteak type tomato. In 2015 and 2016, total soluble solids (brix) were high recorded in ‘Bing Cherry’ and ‘Cherry Sweetie’ (cherry type) (Table 3). In both years, ‘Principe Borghese’ had the lowest brix Cvs. ‘Arbason F1’, ‘Roma’ and ‘Gold Nugget’ attained considerable yield in organic management system in Tennessee. Further studies needed to improve determination of disease resistant cultivars would help local growers introduce new cultivars and attain better yields [17-19].

Conclusion

The cultivar evaluation trials demonstrated that tomato can be successfully grown under organic management system in Tennessee. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) indicated the significant differences in yield performance between cultivars. Overall, marketable yield ranged from 3.10 tons/ha to 27.25 ton/ha with ‘Arbason F1’ yielding the highest and ‘Hillbilly’ yielding the lowest. ‘Arbason F1’, ‘Roma’ and ‘Gold Nugget’ performed well. ‘Bing Cherry’ and ‘Cherry Sweetie’ cultivars ranked highest in terms of taste in cherry type tomatoes. The unmarketable fruits ranged from 1.80 to 57% with ‘Pink Bumblebee’ having the lowest culled fruit and ‘Mountain Prince’ having the highest culled fruit.

Acknowledgments

Author sincerely thank to the organic research program team for field assistance. Funding for the study received from Evans Allen project (DN).

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