Nitrogen and phosphorus application to processing tomatoes grown with drip fertigation.
Sufficient nutrient and water supplies are vital for processing tomato production. Excessive N and P supplies, however, can reduce farmers' profitability and cause adverse impacts on environmental quality. A 3-year study was conducted to evaluate agronomic and environmental consequences of applied fertilizer N and P to processing tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) under drip fertigation in southwestern Ontario, Canada. Nitrogen application significantly affected total fruit yields, which, however, were not affected by addition of fertilizer P. Fertilizer N rates required for the production of maximum yield were estimated at 254, 302, and 322 kg N ha-1, for 2003, 2004, and 2005, respectively. Addition of fertilizer N above the rates required for the maximum yield production caused significant increases of post-harvest soil residual NO3-N, which may increase leaching losses during the non- growing season. Total N uptake was averaged at 265 kg N ha-1 and total P uptake averaged 44 kg P ha-1. The results demonstrate that with the improved production of fruit yield under fertigation N application rate needs to be increased to satisfy the optimum growth under prevailing conditions.
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