PREDICTING TOMATO FRUIT SETTING IN A COLD MEDITERRANEAN GREENHOUSE

P.E.P. Abreu, C. Gary, J.F. Meneses
In unheated plastic covered Mediterranean greenhouses, with minimal climate control, tomato fruit setting is an important indicator for the assessment of harvest timing and for quantifying crop production. It is also frequently pointed as one of the most important limiting factors in this cropping system.
In this paper, we present one simple model for predicting tomato fruit setting at a weekly time step. The main input variables are based on greenhouse air temperature and water vapour pressure deficit (VPD). With these variables we synthesized micro-climatic and plant based indicators, which enabled us to model the weekly flowering rate, fruit setting rate and number of set fruits per plant. The statistical relations of this model were obtained by longitudinal data analysis of crop data. A beefsteak tomato crop was grown on soil, on full-scale experiments that took place in Lisbon, Portugal, from February until July of 1998 (calibration experiment) and of 2000 (validation experiment).
The presented model will later be used in a wider model, for the simulation of tomato production for the winter-spring cropping cycle. Portuguese growers may later use it to plan their production strategies based on harvest timing and tomato price fluctuations.
Abreu, P.E.P., Gary, C. and Meneses, J.F. (2001). PREDICTING TOMATO FRUIT SETTING IN A COLD MEDITERRANEAN GREENHOUSE. Acta Hortic. 566, 57-65
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2001.566.5
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2001.566.5
tomato, modelling, unheated greenhouse, fruit set, longitudinal analysis
English

Acta Horticulturae