Development of DRIS Nutrient Norms for Processing Tomato

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  • 1 Dept. of Vegetable Crops, Univ. of California, Davis, CA 95616

Nearly 100 commercial processing tomato fields in California were sampled during 1993–94 with the objective of developing DRIS (Diagnosis and Recommendation Integrated System) nutrient norms. More than 30 farming operations and a wide range of soil types and conditions were included in the survey. Whole, recently mature compound leaves (blade + petiole) were collected at three growth stages: first bloom, main fruit set, and 10% to 30% red fruit. Fields were classified by fruit yield as high (>90 MT/ha) or low yield (<78 MT/ha); mean yield for these groups was 58 and 103 MT/ha, respectively. DRIS nutrient norms and nutrient ratios were calculated, by growth stage, for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S. Tissue concentrations of Zn, Mn, and Fe were so highly variable that meaningful ratios could not be achieved. DRIS norms varied substantially among growth stages, with K concentration declining precipitously, N and P declining modestly, and Ca, Mg, and S remaining relatively stable over the season. Evaluation of DRIS indices showed that ≈25% of low-yield fields exhibited serious nutrient imbalance. K was implicated as the most-frequently limiting nutrient.

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