Tomato Fertility - Soil vs Soilless
By Emmanuel A. Torres-Quezada, Ph.D.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Freedom Ag Research
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This presentation will help consultants and growers in the state of Florida, to understand the main differences between open field production and the use of soilless media in high tunnels or greenhouses. Tomato production under protective structures has been steadily increasing in the state (385 acres in 2015), and more rapidly around the world. Mexico, the major importer of tomatoes to the United States, had a protective structure surface of 50,000 acres in 2015. Soilless media can help resolve many soil borne diseases issues and increase yield. However, it certainly canít be managed the same way as an open-field/soil tomato crop would. By the end of this presentation, the practitioner should understand the principal factors affecting water and fertilizer mobilizations and retention, and have a clear idea of how these interactions could affect crop quality and profitability.