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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 852: IV International Symposium on Ecologically Sound Fertilization Strategies for Field Vegetable Production

POTASSIUM APPLICATION TIMING AND METHOD FOR THE REDUCTION OF YELLOW SHOULDER IN PROCESSING TOMATO

Author:   C.C. Gunter
Keywords:   vegetable, cropping systems, fertility, nutrition
Abstract:
Yellow shoulder disorder of tomato is distinguished by discolored regions under the skin of ripe fruit. This disorder involves abnormal fruit development and is not a delay in fruit ripening. Multiple factors contribute to the potential development of this disorder including variety, weather, and location effects. This disorder has been linked to low potassium levels during fruit development. This study looked at application of potassium at three crop growth stages including first flowering, first flowering plus two weeks and first flowering plus four weeks. Applications were delivered either as a solid broadcast application or as a liquid batch application made through the drip irrigation. Application rate was held constant and the total application of potassium was evenly split into five weekly applications, regardless of the method used for delivery. Two processing tomato varieties were used for this study, ‘Gem 611’ and ‘H9423’. Results indicate that potassium delivered early in the flowering cycle, regardless of the application method, reduces internal white tissue and increases the redness of the fruit in both varieties. Seasonal differences in variety response to application method and timing are noted.
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