Tomato growers are continuously looking for ways to maximize production while engaging in environmentally responsible and sustainable farming practices. Faced with the challenge of increasing yields and preserving resources, one California processor has turned to NutriSphere-N® to help in their efforts.
This large California tomato processor has recently compiled data from replicated field trials in 2012 and 2013 using NutriSphere-N® to help manage nitrogen in subsurface drip irrigation on tomatoes. The results have been tremendously positive and the processor is looking to continue trials and expand usage of NutriSphere-N® in their tomato growing operations.
Using subsurface drip irrigation to deliver plant nutrients increases both the nutrient and water use efficiency during in-season growing operations. This processor decided to run some trials utilizing NutriSphere-N® nitrogen fertilizer manager to see if they could enhance their current operations even further.
The trials began in 2012 near Firebaugh, California on two acre research plots. That trial yielded a 29 to 1 benefit to cost ratio and encouraged the processor to expand trials the following year. Compared to the grower’s standard practices (GSP), NutriSphere-N® treated plots achieved an increased yield of more than 4 tons per acre. In 2013 a trial conducted near Patterson, California pitted an untreated 77.2 acre plot against a 76.8 acre plot treated with NutriSphere-N®. Again the treated acreage enjoyed a yield advantage of over 4 tons per acre (60.1 vs 64.3).
An additional two trials were unfortunately overrun with curly top virus, verticillium wilt and powdery mildew. However, one of those trials did produce results on a 50 acre plot that was harvested and showed a benefit to cost ratio of 15 to 1.
Encouraged by the results, this processor looks to expand trials again in 2014 with the goal of replicating the same positive results achieved in 2012 and 2013. This round of field trials represents the latest for NutriSphere-N® which has been field tested around the globe since 2004. Positive results have been consistently achieved in various soil and growing conditions and on a variety of crops that range from bromegrass and barley to fruit, corn, wheat, potatoes and onions.
California growers are tasked with finding new and innovative ways to maximize results while properly managing resources. As parched fields and empty reservoirs dot the California landscape, sustainable growing practices are on the minds of everyone in the industry and all parties need to dig in to find the solutions.
NutriSphere-N is a registered trademark of SFP.
Distributed in California by the J.R. Simplot Company.