Predicting field grown tomato crop performance
Predictions of the timing of harvest and crop yield are of major benefit to large scale commercial tomato growers as it supports efficient utilisation of resources and enables planting schedules to be managed so that there is a regular supply of product to the market. The predictive tools available to field tomato growers are limited as most tomato crop models have been developed for greenhouse conditions and indeterminate tomato cultivars. As the success of a crop yield forecasting system strongly depends on the crop simulation models ability to quantify the influence of weather and management practices on plant development, data describing effects of these factors on the key developmental events of flowering and fruit maturity are valuable. In this study we assessed the effects of a range of management factors and planting times on flowering and fruit maturation in field trials and commercial crops. Analysis of data from over 200 commercial crops grown over 3 production seasons in the Bundaberg region in Queensland, Australia quantified the dominant temperature effects on crop development and also identified differences in developmental rate due to soil type. Replicated field trials demonstrated a small but significant effect of crop pruning strategies on flowering time and harvest date.
Neupane, T., McHenry, M.T. and Brown, P.H. (2016). Predicting field grown tomato crop performance. Acta Hortic. 1123, 53-60
tomato, phenology, crop scheduling