The Northern New York Agricultural Development Program has announced the results of vegetable research providing market growers with an unexpected insight into the production challenges associated with cherry-type tomatoes. The project report, which includes data on labor efficiency, weed control, and brown leaf mold susceptibility, is posted online.
The Northern NY trial evaluated and compared the labor, efficiency, and yield of three different tomato training systems: an intensively pruned single leader, a standard double leader, and a less intensively pruned four-leader system.
Many growers feel the intensive system takes too much time, but research showed it took less time to train and harvest than the less intensive system which became a tangle of vines that slowed the work, according to researchers.
In addition to taming the rampant growth of the cherry tomato, another challenge high tunnel vegetable growers face is the disease of brown leaf mold. This project included trials comparing Sun Gold, a popular but brown leaf mold-susceptible variety, with three disease-resistant varieties in terms of taste and productivity. Sixty growers and volunteers taste tested the four varieties of cherry tomatoes; results are noted in the final report online.
This research (conducted in 2016) also included field trials at the Willsboro Research Farm to evaluate 13 single or mixed summer cover crop options for weed suppression in vegetable crops.
The farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is a research and technical assistance program serving all agricultural sectors in Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties. Funding for the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program is supported by the New York State Senate and administered through the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Photo: Vegetable growers learn the progress of the cherry tomato production, courtesy Amy Ivy, CCE ENYCHP.