Job offersmore »

Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

  • No news has been published yesterday.

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »

US: K-State receives $158k grant for research on tomato grafting

Cary Rivard, assistant professor of horticulture and a team of K-State researchers from K-State’s Plant Pathology and Biological Sciences departments have been awarded $158,434 to develop grower recommendations for tomato grafting, a process relatively new to U.S. vegetable production.

The three-year project, funded by the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, will identify tomato rootstocks that can be used to increase profitability for growers in the Great Plains, develop grafting propagation methods and increase producer knowledge about those methods. The team will also investigate the role that rootstocks play in soil microbial ecology.
Tomato grafting fuses stem tissue from two plants, so that the two stems grow together, re-connecting internal plumbing systems within the plant. One plant is selected for its roots (rootstock) and the other for its stems, leaves, flowers or fruits (scion).

“Because grafting can bring desirable traits from two different cultivars – for example disease resistance from one and the preferred tastiness of another – together to form one plant, it has the potential to significantly increase crop yield and farm profit for tomato growers in the Great Plains,” said Rivard, who is a fruit and vegetable specialist with K-State Research and Extension, based in Olathe, Kan. “As part of this project, we’ll introduce growers to grafting technology as well as assisting in the development of an industry that will supply grafted plants.”

Traditionally, high-value crops like tomatoes have been grown in regions such as Florida and California and shipped long distances. That model, he said, is becoming less sustainable because consumers are increasingly looking for local and organic produce.

“In the case of tomato, high tunnel production has been quickly adopted in the Great Plains because they reduce risk from crop damage due to wind, cool spring weather, and storm damage,” Rivard said. “They also help to increase the season length and generally provide a more stable production environment.”

The researchers will study tomato rootstocks that will be grown in high tunnels, both in university and on-farm locations, including the Wichita and Olathe areas. The trials will include heirloom tomatoes known as Cherokee Purple, and hybrid (‘BHN 589’) scions. Both cultivars are already widely grown in Kansas and throughout the United States in more traditional growing situations.

As part of the project, the research team will pass along its findings to growers and others through K-State Research and Extension workshops, field demonstrations, publications, a website and videos.

More information about the research project is available by contacting Rivard at

Publication date: 9/10/2013





Other news in this sector:

4/29/2016 Netherlands: Historical vegetables from organic greenhouses
4/29/2016 Italy: Opportunities for greenhouse horticulture
4/28/2016 Europe: Integration of Molecular Data into DUS testing (IMODDUS)
4/26/2016 US (NH): Growing peppers in high tunnels could be profitable
4/26/2016 Medicinal cannabis in Dutch greenhouses
4/25/2016 US: Penn State gene-edited mushroom changes GMO dialogue
4/25/2016 US: Purdue center launches new quarterly review publication
4/25/2016 Belgium: New aquaponic tomato trial at PCG
4/22/2016 USDA fund $4.75m blueberry harvesting project
4/22/2016 Calls for bumblebee pollination in Tasmanian greenhouses
4/21/2016 WUR researchers set goal to grow produce on Mars within 10 to 15 years
4/21/2016 Late start for California strawberries
4/21/2016 Update: tomato acreage in the Benelux
4/21/2016 Earth Day: Embracing technology to provide food and protect the planet
4/20/2016 Startups leading the U.S. farming revolution
4/20/2016 UK schoolchildren to test space seeds
4/19/2016 'Reverse photosynthesis' could change fuel production
4/19/2016 US: New smartphone app could save bees
4/19/2016 Canada: Nova Scotia blueberries need Ontario bees
4/18/2016 US: HRI accepting grant proposals