IRRIGATION TECHNOLOGIES AND STRATEGIES IMPACT ON QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF PROCESSING TOMATO
A survey was conducted on a collection of data from different projects at European and national level, carried out over a period of more than 20 years (1991-2013). Results show that total yield has greatest influence on tomato fruit quality: yield higher than 80 t ha-1 results in about 0.5-0.7 °Brix losses. Reversely, as farm yield increases harvested soluble solids and crop profitability are augmenting. Irrigation methods do not influence °Brix, but drip irrigated tomatoes harvested more °Brix per ha with better colour and gross margin. Irrigation strategies affected °Brix: severe water stresses increase °Brix but depressing both yield and gross margin while light, regulated deficit does not affect quality or farmers income. Cultivar earliness (genotype) greatly influences fruit quality. Fertigation affects neither fruit soluble solids content nor Bostwick, but improves fruit colour and harvested Brix. The analysis shows that it is possible to wisely reduce water uses without negative impact on crop profitability or even increasing farmers income through a better product quality. Fruit quality forecast semi-empirical algorithms with sufficient robustness and reliability to carry out a risk analysis can be implemented in irrigation management models.
Battilani , A. and Letterio, T. (2015). IRRIGATION TECHNOLOGIES AND STRATEGIES IMPACT ON QUALITY CHARACTERISTICS OF PROCESSING TOMATO. Acta Hortic. 1081, 127-134
soluble solids, colour, Bostwick, irrigation management, gross margin