Identifying climatic zones in Extremadura (Spain) for improving processing tomato production
The identification of homogenous climatic production areas is challenging because of the complex combination of factors involved. Climatic zoning studies serve not only to estimate yields but also to provide a firm foundation for sustainable crop management. To date, classification of this type has been lacking in Extremadura, considering the importance of the climatic challenges that are faced by the important crops in the region. Processing tomatoes accounted for 21,674 ha of irrigated surface area in 2014, with yields of over 1.4 million metric tonnes. (74.92% of Spain's national output). Using data compiled from daily readings by the Irrigation Monitoring Network of the Regional Council, a thermal index has been devised based on the climatic requirements of the processing tomato crop that provides an average climatic profile of the area, with a high degree of homogeneity. A total of 20 indicators were used, including average temperature, thermal integrals, number of days with optimal temperatures per cycle and different phases throughout the crop. A principal components analysis (PCA) was performed to limit discrepancies among the variables studied. Once the number of clusters was defined hierarchically, a non-hierarchical classification was performed to group stations into similar climatic subgroups. The results obtained give a clear image of the climatic differences and similarities of the area, highlighting the most mitigating factors, while providing scientific mapping of homogenous climatic zones.
Paniagua, L.L., García-Martín, A., Rozas, M.A., Ordiales, E. and Llerena, J.L. (2017). Identifying climatic zones in Extremadura (Spain) for improving processing tomato production. Acta Hortic. 1159, 79-86
temperature, climate, zoning, processing tomato