Announcements

Job offersmore »



Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - 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 crivard@ksu.edu.

Publication date: 9/10/2013

 

 
 
tweet
 
share

email
   
print
 
subscribe

 

Other news in this sector:

6/30/2016 US: Southside Virginia berry growers wanted
6/29/2016 US: Nevada MMJ growers at The Grove did their homework
6/29/2016 US (IL): Bioplastic and biofabric tested for cucumber production
6/29/2016 China: Beijing inspired by hydroponic greenhouse farming
6/29/2016 US (OH): Sustainable ag team’s tours to offer ‘ideas you can put to use’
6/29/2016 BP Grower enjoys being part of burgeoning aquaponics industry
6/28/2016 "I get to work in one big plant playground"
6/27/2016 Uganda: Plans to start growing organic chillies
6/27/2016 US (OH): How to help soils, crops and water all at once, and also deal with climate:
6/27/2016 Ireland: Bees, spuds and peas: fresh ideas for sustainable urban living
6/27/2016 Canada: Aquaponic farm comes to Montreal
6/27/2016 Scientists grow edible plants in "Martian" soil
6/24/2016 Overhead irrigation holds water-saving potential for California farms
6/24/2016 Dutch crops grown on 'Mars' soil found safe to eat
6/24/2016 Artificial photosynthesis a step closer with new process
6/23/2016 Aquaponics in Nevada saves water as drought worsens
6/22/2016 US: City of Atlanta expands urban agriculture with support from GRO1000 Garden and Greenspace Program
6/22/2016 Will indoor, vertical farming help us feed the planet - or hurt it?
6/13/2016 US (MD): Possible tomato ripening problems in high tunnels
6/10/2016 US (MI): Fruit production under high tunnels tour