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Evaluation of Low Pressure Fogging System for Improving Crop Yield of Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.): Grown under Heat Stress Conditions

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Author(s): Danny Harel | Hadar Fadida | Shelly Gantz | Kobi Shilo | Hagai Yasuor

Journal: Agronomy (Basel)
ISSN 2073-4395

Volume: 3;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 497;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: low pressure fogging | tomato | heat stress | pollen viability | fruit yield

ABSTRACT
In Mediterranean regions, many tomato plants are grown throughout the hot summer period (May–September) in sheltered cultivation, mainly for plant protection reasons. Most of the shelters that are used are low cost net houses covered with 50 mesh insect proof net. In most cases these net houses have a flat roof and no ventilation or climate control measures. This insufficient ventilation during the hot summer leads to above optimal air temperatures and causes moderate heat stress inside the shelters, which leads to yield reduction. The aim of this study was to evaluate the ability of a simple and inexpensive low pressure fogging system installed in a naturally ventilated net house to lower temperatures and improve the yield during the summer. The study showed that in areas where relative air humidity (RH) during the daytime is less than 60%, tomato plants improved their performance when grown through the summer in net houses under moderate heat stress. Under fogging conditions pollen grain viability and fruit set were significantly improved. This improvement influenced the yield picked during September (104–136 DAP). However, total seasonal yield was not affected by the fogging treatment.

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