Yield and Quality Performance of Tomato Cultivars Grown under an Organic Management System
Tomato cultivar evaluation trial was conducted to evaluate the comparative yield performance of twenty-six tomato cultivars grown under an organic management system during the spring and summer of 2015 and 2016 at Tennessee State University certified organic farm in Nashville. Cultivars ‘Arbason F1’ were the high-yielding cultivar, while ‘Pink Bumblebee’ had the lowest marketable yields. ‘Bing Cherry’ and ‘Cherry Sweetie’ cultivars ranked highest in terms of taste among the cherry type tomatoes. Local growers can grow ‘Arbason F1’, ‘Roma’ and ‘Gold Nugget’ cultivars to attain better yields. Seaweed extracts are used as biostimulants to enhance plant yield and improve growth. In this study, the effect of Stimplex on the yield performance and growth of tomato in the open field was investigated. Tomato plants were treated weekly with 2.5v/v % Stimplex as a foliar application for 3 consecutive weeks during the vegetative growth phase. Results showed that Stimplex treated plants produced greater yield in ‘Black Cherry’ and ‘German Johnson’ cultivar but underperformed in ‘Brandywine’ and ‘Roma’ as compared with the controls. However, Stimplex treatment effects on yield were non-significant, perhaps because of the low concentration of Stimplex used. Additionally, application of Stimplex was found to be effective in influencing plant height for each cultivar. Another objective of the study was to investigate the influence of Stimplex on nutritional and antioxidant activity of four tomato cultivars widely grown under organic management system. The analyzed components included moisture content, total phenolic content, lycopene, carotenoids, DPPH scavenging activity and color parameters ΔE and a*/b*. The results showed that the difference in TPC was not significant among cultivars and treatment groups. Results indicated that Stimplex had no effect on TPC in tomato cultivars. Stimplex treated tomatoes contained higher lycopene content and higher β-carotenoid contents than that in the control group. Stimplex treated tomato cultivars exhibited significantly lower DPPH scavenging activity than the control. However, the ‘Roma’ cultivar treated with Stimplex had a slightly higher reducing power than the control group but the difference was not significant. The ΔE parameter value was also significantly correlated to lycopene content and reducing power.
Varinder Singh Sidhu,
"Yield and Quality Performance of Tomato Cultivars Grown under an Organic Management System"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.