THREE ALTERNATIVE TOMATO PRODUCTION SYSTEMS

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  • 1 Rutgers Cooperative Extension, Cook College, P.O. Box 231, New Brunswick, NJ 08903.

Tomatoes, cultivar `Mountain Pride', were evaluated for productivity, post-harvest qualities, and pest populations in three different production systems. These included a conventional, high chemical input system with prophylactic applications of pesticides and fertilizers; a reduced chemical input system that used pesticides only as needed; and a transitional organic system that followed the guidelines of the Organic Farmers Association of New Jersey. No significant differences were observed in either the high input or low input system despite a reduction in synthetic pesticide and fertilizer use. Organically produced tomatoes yielded significantly less than the other production systems in terms of total yields. Average fruit size was increased, however, along with the percentage of tomatoes with diameters larger than 7.7 cm. Differences in pest populations were noted between the plots.

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