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Effect of variety choice and use of resistant rootstock on crop yield and quality parameters of tomato plants grown in organic, low input and conventional production systems/growth media

Theodoropoulou, A.; Giotis, C.; Hunt, J.; Gilroy, J.; Toufexi, E.; Liopa-Tsakalidis, A.; Markellou, A.; Lueck, L.; Seal, C. and Leifert, C. (2007) Effect of variety choice and use of resistant rootstock on crop yield and quality parameters of tomato plants grown in organic, low input and conventional production systems/growth media. Paper at: 3rd QLIF Congress: Improving Sustainability in Organic and Low Input Food Production Systems, University of Hohenheim, Germany, March 20-23, 2007.

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Summary

Soil-borne diseases are one of the most important problems in organic and other ‘low input’ soil-based greenhouse production systems. While chemical soil disinfection has been the method of choice in conventional farming systems, soil steaming has been the main strategy for the control of soil borne diseases in organic production. Both methods are extremely expensive and have been increasingly restricted for environmental reasons by government and organic standard setting bodies respectively.
The use of tolerant varieties and of grafting onto resistant rootstocks were evaluated as potential replacements for soil steaming in organic and low input systems and found to be as effective in reducing root disease and increasing root fresh weight, fruit yield and number. The effects on fruit yield and quality characteristics were then further evaluated using different varieties for grafting and different growth media typically used in (a) organic (soil amended with manure), and (b) conventional (perlite fertilised with mineral fertilisers via the irrigation system) growth media/fertilisation regimes, and also a (c) novel “low input” growth medium designed to provide better aeration of the rooting zone. Fruit numbers, diameters and weights and total fruit yields were significantly different between growth media and highest for plants grown in the “low input” system, slightly lower for plants grown in the perlite and lowest for plants grown in the organic system. The potential for replacing chemical and steam soil disinfection methods in organic and ‘low input’ soil based greenhouse production systems is discussed.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:organic, low input, conventional, tomato production, resistant rootstocks, fruit quality
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop health, quality, protection
Crop husbandry > Breeding, genetics and propagation
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: European Union > QualityLowInputFood > Subproject 3: Crop production systems
International Conferences > 2007: 3rd QLIF Congress > 3 Crop production / soil management
Related Links:http://orgprints.org/10417/
Deposited By: Leifert, Prof. Carlo
ID Code:10449
Deposited On:11 Mar 2007
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:35
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed
Additional Publishing Information:The final version of this paper is published in:
Niggli, Urs; Leifert, Carlo; Alföldi, Thomas; Lück, Lorna and Willer, Helga, Eds. (2007) Improving Sustainability in Organic and Low Input Food Production Systems. Proceedings of the 3rd International Congress of the European Integrated Project Quality Low Input Food (QLIF). University of Hohenheim, Germany, March 20 – 23, 2007. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick.http://orgprints.org/10417/
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