Ohio State University researchers are part of a collaborative tomato grafting project, and they want input from commercial tomato growers about the best varieties to include in their work.
Although the work is centered at Ohio State University, growers from the Midwest or even nationwide are encouraged to participate, according to email correspondence.
The project, eight years in the works, is led by Matt Kleinhenz, an Extension vegetable specialist at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster.
The next phase involves identifying the best tomato rootstocks and scion varieties for grafted plants.
Tomato grafting is similar to the process used to develop grapevines or fruit trees for years.
It involves rootstocks that show resistance against soilborne pests, have good footing and other beneficial attributes but may not produce the best fruit.
The scion, or top variety, may have optimum fruit quality but not the best root structures.
By grafting the scion onto the rootstock, a new superior plant is created.
More than 80 tomato rootstock varieties and more than 100 scion varieties are available commercial to growers in the United States.
To narrow that field, project leaders want to hear from tomato growers about what varieties they believe are most important.
Simply nominate a tomato variety or varieties to include by filling out an online form at http://hcs.osu.edu.
These would be what you consider the best varieties to include or the ones you currently grow as ungrafted plants.
You also can call Kleinhenz directly at 330-263-3810 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Participation is free, and all nominators will remain confidential.