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Demystifying yield fluctuations for greenhouse tomatoes
Date:4/15/2010

g 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."


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Contact: Michael W. Neff
mwneff@ashs.org
703-836-4606
American Society for Horticultural Science
Source:Eurekalert  

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