Evaluation of the SALTMED model for tomato crop production in unheated greenhouses

L.L. Silva, F.J. Baptista, J.F. Meneses, R. Ragab
The SALTMED model is one of the few available generic models that can be used to simulate crop growth with an integrated approach considering water, crop, soil and field management. It is a physically based model using the well-known water and solute transport, evapotranspiration, and water uptake equations. The possibility of using models able to simulate crop growth with this integrated approach can be very useful for farmers as a decision support tool, helping with decisions such as: what crop/variety to use, when to plant and harvest, when and how much to irrigate, what yield to expect under a specific irrigation system or strategy, when using a certain water quality, and also to allow increasing water use efficiency and crops productivity. The SALTMED model has been calibrated and validated for several field crops, in several parts of the world, including field tomato. However, the greenhouse environment has specific conditions that are not always easy to simulate with generic crop growth models. The objective of this work was to evaluate SALTMED model for a tomato crop grown in unheated greenhouse conditions. Climatic data and crop parameters were recorded during two years, in two greenhouses with different ventilation management, and three different sets of data were used to calibrate and to validate the model. The results showed that the model can accurately simulate soil grown tomato crop yield under Mediterranean unheated greenhouse conditions.
Silva, L.L., Baptista, F.J., Meneses, J.F. and Ragab, R. 2017. Evaluation of the SALTMED model for tomato crop production in unheated greenhouses. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 1170:441-446
crop growth modeling, plastic greenhouses, soil grown crops, Mediterranean conditions

Acta Horticulturae