Hybrid tomatoes beat out older OPs in organic trial

06/23/2014 02:02:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

tomato varietiesCourtesy Rutgers UniversityTomato varieties grown under conventional commercial cultivation may not fare as well under organic cultivation.

To find the best varieties suited for organic production, George Boyhan, a horticulturist with the University of Georgia, conducted evaluations of 19 different tomatoes. They included open-pollinated varieties and commercial F1 hybrids, according to a news release.

The OP varieties chosen were based on recommendations from local Georgia growers. All of the varieties were red except for Ozark Pink and Florida Pink.

HSX 8115H and Celebrity, both hybrids, had the highest early total yield, and Celebrity had the greatest total yield.

Costoluto Fiorentino, an OP, showed significantly less early yield than the other two.

All of the top five ranked varieties for total yields were F1 hybrids and were determinate or semi-determinate.

Florida Pink had the largest average fruit weight but also the lowest total yield orf all varieties.

"Overall, the F1 hybrid varieties did better than the open-pollinated varieties, which is not surprising since F1 hybrids often exhibit hybrid vigor," Boyhan said in the release.

The OP varieties also had more fruit variation.

Nevertheless, OP varieties still remain popular with organic growers because of interesting visual, textural and flavor that may not have been focuses of modern breeding efforts.

Their study was published in an April issue of the journal "HortTechnology." Also participating in the work were researchers Suzzanne Tate, Ryan McNeill and Jeffrey McConnaughey.



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