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:

2/12/2016 Strawberries + Pesticides: How California’s farmers are looking for new solutions
2/12/2016 Western Pa. farmers offer insight on what to plant in 2016
2/12/2016 Canada: Farmers say rules promote safety culture
2/11/2016 Nitrogen’s influence on growing medium pH
2/11/2016 Nepal: Semi-organic farming system gains popularity
2/11/2016 US (MA): While winter roars, summer soars inside the Farm Hub Greenhouse
2/11/2016 Higher polytunnel structure key to creating optimal environment for open field crops
2/11/2016 US: Urban Fresh Farms brings indoor hydroponic farming to downtown Columbia
2/10/2016 US: Prison hort programs help hunger relief effort
2/10/2016 Cover crops for vegetable production topic of new publication
2/10/2016 US (GA): Economic sustainability of large-scale aquaponics subject of university research
2/10/2016 Ampleon and HAS University to research full spectrum lighting
2/9/2016 China: TLED improves challenging cultivation of tissue culture
2/9/2016 US: NSAC members set 2016 priorities for sustainable agriculture
2/8/2016 US (AZ): Yuma center merges science with crop production
2/8/2016 CEAC's 15th annual Greenhouse Crop Production & Engineering Design Short Course
2/5/2016 Revising your phosphorus fertilization strategy
2/5/2016 Canada: Micha Popoff wants to grow world's first organic GMO crop
2/5/2016 CA (BC): Fish farms eye piece of $10-billion aquaculture pie
2/5/2016 US (MI): Seedless cucumbers are a different pickle