Resource-saving techniques for increasing tomato productivity

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The purpose of the research was to substantiate feasibility and effectiveness of cultivating promising tomatoes varieties and hybrids in the Lower Volga region to obtain high-quality yields of 150 t/ha and more. It was the first time for chestnut soils, when comprehensive research on resource-saving techniques increasing vegetable crop productivity in an extremely arid climate under drip irrigation by regulating physiological and biological processes was conducted, and a system for applying these techniques was developed. The experiments were carried out according to generally accepted methods. The study revealed that in order to obtain the planned productivity of 110, 130, 150 t/ha in all the tomato varieties and a hybrid (Volgogradsky 5/95, Fokker F1 and Gerkules), differentiated irrigation regime was used. It resulted in yield increase up to 18.8 t/ha (when compared to planned 130 t/ha) and up to 10.2 t/ha (when compared to planned 150 t/ha) in the variants where Energiya-M growth regulator and Rastvorin water-soluble fertilizer were used with complete mineral fertilizer. Hercules tomato variety treated with N285P115K145 + Rastvorin + Energiya-M was the most economically viable for cultivation. According to the variants, a return on production costs of 6.87 rubles of income was achieved.

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Introduction Vegetable growing is one of the main branches in agro-industrial complex, providing population with vitamins C, B, B2, A, H, B9, pectin, minerals, nutrients and other substances that determine a person’s healthy diet all year round [1-3]. In the Russian Federation, main vegetable croplands including tomatoes are located in the southern regions. The Lower Volga region is considered to be ‘Russian garden’. The region has favorable climatic conditions for vegetable growing and, therefore, occupies a leading position in the country in vegetables production. Here, the industry depends on irrigation, since irrigated agriculture occupying 53% of the arable land gives 90% of all gross output [4]. Vegetable production in this region is at consistently high levels - open-ground vegetable harvests in the industrial sector of vegetable growing amounted to 531.3 thousand tons in 2016 - 11.6% of the total value in the Russian Federation, this was the second place among Russian regions. For sown areas, the second place belongs to vegetable crops - 15.6 thousand ha, which is 8.3% of all areas [5]. Tomatoes are one of the most nutritious vegetables. The fruits of tomatoes contain sugars, acids, aromatic substances, as well as a large amount of vitamins. High taste, nutritional and dietary qualities, and a variety of cooking methods have made tomatoes a popular vegetable [3, 6]. Currently, production of open ground vegetables is carried out mainly without drip irrigation, not considering variety adaptability to climatic conditions [7-9]. High yields combined with high quality fruits are a common requirement for tomato producers, which can only be achieved considering critical production factors. These include proper irrigation management, variety selection, disease prevention, soil fertility, climate, etc. Many authors have revealed that adherence to agro-technological measures with the key role of nutrition determined tomato quality and yield [10-17]. Therefore, the study on resource-saving techniques increasing vegetable crop yields, including micro-irrigation, water-soluble fertilizers and growth stimulants, is relevant. The purpose of the research was to rationalize technological methods for obtaining 150 t/ha and more high-quality yields of vegetables considering climatic conditions of the Lower Volga region. Materials and methods Split plot experiments were carried out according to [18-21]. Arrangement of plots by varieties and hybrids was systematic, by nutritional regimes - randomized. The accounting area of first-order plots (water regime), second-order plots (varieties and hybrids) and third-order plots (nutrient regimes) was 295 m2, 100 m2 and 7.5 m2, respectively. The experiment was replicated three times. Scheme for sowing tomato seeds was 0.50 + 0.90 m. Factor A - agro-ecological assessment of varieties and hybrids of Russian and foreign breeding. The following tomato varieties and hybrids were studied: Volgogradsky 5/95 (standard), Fokker F1 hybrid, Gerkules variety. Factor B - scientific substantiation of managing planned tomato productivity: 110, 130, 150 t/ha. Variants: 1. control; 2. Energiya-M growth regulator; 3. fertilizers for 110 t/ha yield: N - 210 kg/ha active ingredient; Р2О5 - 85 kg/ha active ingredient, К2О - 105 kg/ha active ingredient; 4. fertilizers for 130 t/ha yield: N - 250 kg/ha active ingredient; Р2О5 - 100 kg/ha active ingredient; К2О - 125 kg/ha active ingredient; 5. fertilizers for 150 t/ha yield: N - 285 kg/ha active ingredient; Р2О5 - 115 kg/ha active ingredient, К2О - 145 kg/ha active ingredient; 6. Rastvorin water-soluble fertilizer; 7. Rastvorin water-soluble fertilizer and Energiya-M growth regulator; 8. NPK fertilizers, Rastvorin and Energiya-M for 110 t/ha yield; 9. NPK fertilizers, Rastvorin and Energiya-M for 130 t/ha yield; 10. NPK fertilizers, Rastvorin and Energiya-M for 150 t/ha yield. Factor C - irrigation regimes affect on tomato productivity: 1. maintaining pre-irrigation moisture level at 75...75...75% field capacity (FC) (constant irrigation regime); 2. maintaining pre-irrigation moisture level at 70...80...75% FC (differentiated irrigation regime): sowing - flowering - 70% FC; flowering - milk ripeness - 80% FC; milk ripeness - full ripeness - 75% FC. As mineral fertilizers, ammonium nitrate, double superphosphate and potassium chloride were studied. For irrigation in the experimental plot, Neodrip drip irrigation system was mounted complete with drip pipelines having water outlets every 0.3 m and 1.55 l/h dropper capacity. Irrigation pipelines of drip irrigation system were laid simultaneously during crop sowing. The first top dressing (10...15 g of Rastvorin per 10 l of water) was carried out after 5...7 leaves appeared. During fruit formation, Rastvorin solution (25 g per 10 l of water) was used. Spraying was carried out with the same solution after 7...10 days. The presence of several fertilizers made it possible to combine top dressing depending on phase of plant development. The treatment with Energiya-M growth regulator included: 1) seed soaking (1 ml/1 kg of seeds) for 30...40 min with operation solution flow rate of 2 l/kg; 2) subsequent spraying (15 g/ha) and leaf top dressing (15 g per 300 g of water) in initial growth period, and during flower formation-flowering growth stage. Results and Discussion The studies were conducted in 2011-2016 in Zaitseva V.A. farm, Gorodishchensky district, the Volgograd region. Composition of the studied soils was heavy loamy in 80% of the territory and was characterized by a low (2.31%) humus content in arable layer, and at a depth of 0.4...1.0 m its amount decreased from 1.05 to 0.32%. Low humus content in this soil is explained by the fact that conversion of organic substances in the zone of chestnut soils has a specific zonal character. Water-physical soil properties are affected directly by soil composition. Soil density varied horizontally, the lowest was noted in 0.0...0.1 m layer - 1.24 t/m3. With further deepening, this indicator increased in the studied soil layer: for 0.0...0.6 m - to 1.35 t/m3, for 0.0...1.0 m - to 1.45 t/m3. The highest soil density was noted at 1 m depth and amounted to 1.62 t/m3. Total soil porosity of arable layer ranged from 50.4 to 47.5%. The field capacity ranged from 25.60% in 0.0...0.1 m layer to 22.82% in 0.0...0.6 m layer. The field capacity was 20.4%, wilting moisture for 0.0...1.0 m layer averaged 8.49%; soil pH was 6.8...8.0. Hydrolyzable nitrogen availability (according to Kornfield [22-23]) of experimental plot soil was low (less than 100 mg/kg of soil), mobile phosphorus (according to Machigin [24]) - from low to medium (16...30 mg/kg of soil), exchange potassium (according to Machigin [24]) - high (300...500 mg/kg of soil). In our experiments, an increase in irrigation rate under differentiated irrigation regime was due to different irrigation rates and distribution of irrigation dates by growth and development phases. For constant irrigation regime, irrigation rate was stable over all interphase periods and was within 163 m3/ha. For differentiated irrigation regime, irrigation rate was redistributed over growth stages: during sowing and flowering - 199 m3/ha with 8 average total number of irrigations during this period, which was 3 less irrigations compared to constant irrigation regime. Under constant irrigation regime in flowering - fruit formation - milk ripeness stages, 10 irrigations (163 m3/ha) were carried out, under differentiated irrigation - 16 irrigations (127 m3/ha). In milk ripeness - full ripeness stage, 7 irrigations (163 m3/ha) was performed under both irrigation regimes on average over research years. Differentiation of irrigation regime parameters in research years was the most significant in individual phases of growth and development of tomatoes. So, in extremely arid years, the largest number of irrigations were required for all interphase periods and irrigation regimes: 28 and 30 - for constant irrigation regime in 2012 and 2014, respectively; 27 and 30 - with for differentiated regime in 2012 and 2014, respectively. The irrigation rate during this period was the largest and amounted to 5542 m3/ha in 2012 and 5868 m3/ha in 2014 under a constant irrigation regime, and 5906 and 6268 m3/ha under differentiated regime in 2012 and 2014, respectively. In the most favorable hydrothermal indices in 2016, 15 irrigations were carried out with the lowest irrigation rate - 2934 m3/ha while constantly maintaining 75% soil moisture, 3207 m3/ha for differentiated regime. However, during the growing season, differences were observed in sowing-flowering period: with a constant irrigation regime - 5, with differentiated - 1 irrigation less. Significant differences were observed in flowering - fruit formation - milk ripeness period: 6 irrigations with 163 m3/ha rate were carried out under constant irrigation regime, 10 irrigations with 127 m3/ha rate - under differentiated irrigation. 23 irrigations (4483 m3/ha) averaged for constant regime of irrigation in 2011-2016, 22 irrigations (4804 m3/ha) were carried out under differentiated regime. In all cases, the irrigation rate was the main entry in water balance of tomato crops. At the same time, in different years, depending on the prevailing weather conditions, irrigation water accounted 44.95 to 85.98% for a constant irrigation regime and 47.29 to 86.83% of total water consumption - for differentiated one. In extremely arid years, irrigation water consumption ranged from 79.19 to 80.32% (2012), from 1. to 86.83% (2014) of the total water consumption by vegetable plants in the experimental variants, while maintaining a constant and differentiated irrigation regimes, respectively. Water consumption in the wettest 2016 was different, when moisture supply in form of irrigation water amounted to 44.95% for constant irrigation regime and 47.29% of its total consumption for differentiated regime. In our experiments, the total water consumption during the growing season over the research years averaged 6301.3 mm for constant irrigation regime, 6609.5 mm for differentiated regime, of which 71.0 and 72.4% were irrigations, respectively. Thus, with an increase in pre-irrigation soil moisture, the irrigation rate and the proportion of irrigation water in the total water consumption increase. The results showed that a smaller number of tomato fruits and a less significant average weight were found on plants grown without fertilizers in control variants for all irrigation regimes. In terms of NPK ratios for 110, 130, 150 t/ha yield of tomatoes, the number of formed fruits on one plant was higher under the differentiated irrigation regime rather than constant regime. The combined treatment of tomato plants with mineral fertilizers + Rasvorin + Energiya-M contributed to increase in fruit number per plant under constant irrigation regime for Gerkules cultivar up to 19.4...20.7 fruits with 102...107 g average weight, Fokker F1 hybrid generated the largest number of fruits (21.0...22.6), but the smallest average weight (92...98 g), while the standard variety Volgogradsky 5/95 had 17.7...18.7 fruits weighing 101...106 g. Differentiation of irrigation rates increased number of fruits in Gerkules cultivar to 20.2...21.8 with 107...112 g average weight. A larger number of fruits was formed on Fokker F1 hybrid - 22.7...24.1 fruits weighing 94...101 g, which was higher by 1.3...1.6 and 3.8...3.9 than the indicators on the standard variety (103...110 g). Thus, to obtain the planned productivity of 110, 130, 150 t/ha in all studied tomato varieties and a hybrid (Volgogradsky 5/95, Fokker F1 and Gerkules), it is necessary to create a differentiated irrigation regime, which made it possible to obtain a 18.8 t/ha yield increase (for the planned yield of 130 t/ha) and up to 10.2 t/ha increase (for the planned yield of 150 t/ha) in NPK + Rasvorin + Energiya-M variant (table). For qualitative characteristics of tomato fruits, we revealed that the most intensive accumulation of dry substances in tomato fruits was facilitated by application of the highest fertilizer doses in combination with Rastvorin and growth regulator under a differentiated irrigation regime. The increase in dry solids in this variant was 0.2% in Volgogradsky 5/95, 0.6% in Fokker F1 hybrid and Gerkules compared to the constant irrigation regime. The experiments showed that organic acids content in tomato fruits varied slightly depending on the species, fertilizer doses and moisture conditions. The lowest content of ascorbic acid (0.53...0.56% - for a constant regime of irrigation; 0.56% - for a differentiated regime of irrigation) was observed in fruits from unfertilized plots. In all variants with mineral fertilization for the planned 110, 130, 150 t/ha yield levels, acidity of fruit was in the range of 0.61...0.64% in the standard Volgogradsky 5/95 variety grown under a constant irrigation regime, and 0.63...0.65% - under differentiation irrigation water according to growth periods. Due to its biological characteristics, Fokker F1 hybrid and Gerkules variety accumulated a smaller amount of acids in fruits - 0.57...0.60% under a constant irrigation regime. Under differential irrigation, Fokker F1 hybrid decreased acid level to 0.61...0.64%, and Gerkules variety increased it to 0.66% when applying fertilizers for the planned 150 t/ha yield compared to Volgogradsky 5/95 variety. Thus, the enhanced water and nutrient soil regime had a positive effect on yields and improved biochemical fruit composition. Economically, cultivation of Gerkules tomato under N285P115K145 + Rastvorin + Energia-M was the most profitable. In the variants, 6.87 rubles income was achieved. LSD 05 (2011) 3.94 LSD 05 (2013) 4.52 LSD 05 (2015) 4.12 LSD 05 А 0.66 LSD 05 А 0.75 LSD 05 А 0.69 LSD 05 В 0.80 LSD 05 В 0.92 LSD 05 В 0.84 LSD 05 С 1.61 LSD 05 С 1.85 LSD 05 С 1.68 LSD 05 АВ 2.78 LSD 05 АВ 3.20 LSD 05 АВ 2.91 LSD 05 АС 2.27 LSD 05 АС 2.61 LSD 05 АС 2.38 LSD 05 ВС 1.14 LSD 05 ВС 1.30 LSD 05 ВС 1.19 LSD 05 АВС 0.80 LSD 05 АВС 0.92 LSD 05 АВС 0.84 LSD 05 (2012) 4.40 LSD 05 (2014) 4.30 LSD 05 (2016) 4.41 LSD 05 А 0.73 LSD 05 А 0.72 LSD 05 А 0.73 LSD 05 В 0.90 LSD 05 В 0.88 LSD 05 В 0.90 LSD 05 С 1.80 LSD 05 С 1.75 LSD 05 С 1.80 LSD 05 АВ 3.11 LSD 05 АВ 3.04 LSD 05 АВ 3.12 LSD 05 АС 2.54 LSD 05 АС 2.48 LSD 05 АС 2.54 LSD 05 ВС 1.27 LSD 05 ВС 1.24 LSD 05 ВС 1.27 LSD 05 АВС 0.90 LSD 05 АВС 0.88 LSD 05 АВС 0.90 Efficiency of the studied agricultural practices in tomato, average for 2011-2016 Table Variant Volgogradsky 5/95 Fokker F1 Gerkules yield, t/ha marketability of fruits,% yield, t/ha marketability of fruits,% yield, t/ha marketability of fruits,% gross salable gross salable gross salable 75…75…75% FC Control 56.5 42.7 75.5 70.9 54.3 76.5 74.5 58.1 77.9 Energiya-M 68.8 54.9 79.6 84.5 68.6 81.1 88.4 72.7 82.2 N210P85K105 82.6 67.7 81.9 99.7 82.7 82.9 106.6 89.6 84.0 N250P100K125 91.7 75.8 82.6 110.3 92.3 83.6 117.2 99.3 84.7 N285P115K145 99.8 83.1 83.2 119.1 100.3 84.2 126.3 108.0 85.5 Rastvorin 73.9 59.3 80.1 89.9 73.1 81.3 94.4 78.0 82.6 N210P85K105 + Mortar 92.4 76.5 82.7 110.1 92.2 83.7 116.7 98.9 84.7 N250P100K125 + Mortar 108.2 90.3 83.4 127.6 107.6 84.3 133.9 114.6 85.6 N285P115K145 + Mortar 115.4 97.0 84.0 136.4 115.9 85.0 142.1 122.5 86.2 Rastvorin + Energiya-M 77.4 63.0 81.3 95.3 79.1 83.0 100.3 84.0 83.8 N210P85K105 + Rastvorin + Energiya-M 99.0 82.9 83.7 119.4 100.9 84.4 125.8 107.9 85.7 N250P100K125 + Rastvorin + Energiya-M 114.1 96.2 84.3 136.0 116.0 85.2 142.5 123.0 86.3 N285P115K145 + Rastvorin + Energiya-M 123.2 104.7 84.9 145.1 124.5 85.8 153.9 133.7 86.8 70…80…75% FC Control 61.1 46.9 76.7 75.2 58.5 77.7 78.8 62.0 78.7 Energiya-M 72.7 59.0 81.2 88.8 73.1 82.3 92.2 77.0 83.4 N210P85K105 88.1 73.1 83.0 105.0 88.8 84.6 112.0 95.7 85.4 N250P100K125 98.3 82.5 83.8 116.3 99.3 85.3 124.0 107.0 86.3 N285P115K145 106.4 89.9 84.5 124.9 107.4 86.0 133.4 116.1 87.0 Rastvorin 78.3 64.0 81.6 94.8 78.5 82.8 99.1 82.9 83.6 N210P85K105 + Rastvorin 98.5 82.7 83.9 116.4 99.4 85.4 122.4 105.9 86.4 N250P100K125 + Rastvorin 115.2 97.5 84.6 134.1 115.6 86.1 140.2 122.3 87.2 N285P115K145 + Rastvorin 122.6 104.4 85.1 143.1 123.9 86.6 149.1 130.9 87.8 Rastvorin + Energy-M 82.1 68.2 83.0 99.6 84.0 84.3 104.9 89.4 85.2 N210P85K105 + Rastvorin + Energiya-M 105.3 89.4 84.8 125.8 108.4 86.1 131.8 115.0 87.2 N250P100K125 + Rastvorin + Energiya-M 120.8 103.4 85.6 142.1 123.4 86.8 148.8 130.7 87.8 N285P115K145 + Rastvorin + Energiya-M 130.0 112.3 86.4 151.4 132.5 87.5 160.2 141.9 88.5 Conclusions In order to obtain high-quality and guaranteed tomato harvests under conditions of unstable moistening of the Lower Volga region in the subzone of light chestnut soils, we recommend applying a differential irrigation regime depending on tomato growth stages (for middle-late varieties): from seedlings to flowering - not less than 70% FC, from beginning of flowering to beginning of fruit formation - 80% FC, from beginning of fruit formation to the last harvesting - not less than 75% FC. Agro-ecological assessment of varieties and hybrids of the studied tomato plants of Russian and foreign breeding allows us to recommend a medium-late tomato variety Gerkules bred at the Crimean experimental-breeding station of Vavilov Institute of Plant Genetic Resources for cultivation under drip irrigation. Under differentiated irrigation regime, the optimal fertilizing was the integrated use of the estimated doses of mineral, water-soluble fertilizers and growth regulators (doses recommended in the pesticides and agrochemicals reference book) throughout the growing season, so, N285P115K145 + Rastvorin + Energiya-M was effective for tomato with the planned 150 t/ha yield.

About the authors

Elena V Kalmykova

Russian Research Institute of Irrigated Agriculture

Author for correspondence.
Volgograd, Russian Federation

Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, Researcher, Department of Irrigation Reclamation, Laboratory for Modeling Irrigation Technologies

Aleksey A Novikov

Russian Research Institute of Irrigated Agriculture

Volgograd, Russian Federation

Candidate of Agricultural Sciences

Nikolay Yu Petrov

Volgograd State Agrarian University

Volgograd, Russian Federation

Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Professor, Department of Technology for Storage and Processing of Agricultural Raw Materials and Public Food

Olga V Kalmykova

Volgograd State Agrarian University

Volgograd, Russian Federation

Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Technology for Storage and Processing of Agricultural Raw Materials and Public Food


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Copyright (c) 2019 Kalmykova E.V., Novikov A.A., Petrov N.Y., Kalmykova O.V.

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