Tomato Quality Effects in Reduced Tillage and Cover-Crop-Based Rotations in Organic Tomato Production

Lauren Bilek, Thanh Nguyen, Daniel Korhonen, Lester Wilson, and Dr. Kathleen Delate, Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University, 147 Horticulture Hall, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011-1100

By 2016, organic production increased to 5,019,496 acres in the U.S., with 186,178 acres in organic vegetable production. In the most recent Iowa survey (2018), Iowa had 902 acres of certified organic vegetables, contributing $4.2 million in annual sales. Organic farming has been shown to improve soil quality and contribute to food safety and quality. This experiment, conducted in 2019, at the ISU Neely-Kinyon Farm in Greenfield, IA, examined the effect of cover crops and reduced tillage on organic tomato production and postharvest quality. Food quality analysis was performed in the ISU Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Results showed no significant differences in color of fruit, soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity (TA) or pH between treatments, but a trend towards lower SSC in the treatment without cover crops or mulch. Yields were lower in organic no-till plots, but previous research has shown greater soil quality in this treatment.

Additional Abstract Information

Presenter: Lauren Bilek

Institution: Iowa State University

Type: Poster

Subject: Agriculture & Extension

Status: Approved

Time and Location

Session: Poster 1
Date/Time: Mon 1:30pm-2:30pm
Session Number: 2000