An unreplicated strip trial was conducted in a commercial tomato crop in Bowen, Queensland in 2017 to evaluate Foundation LM for the production of field-grown tomatoes. This third-party evaluation found a significant increase in brix levels, an important indicator of fruit quality, when Foundation LM was added to the grower's standard program (GSP) for the production of fresh market tomatoes.
Foundation LM was applied via trickle irrigation twice at a rate of 10L/ha—first at initial flowering (21 days after transplant) and then at mid-fruiting (37 days after transplant). Fruit from six randomly-located sub-plots were harvested on eight occasions per commercial practice to evaluate the performance of the GSP alone versus the GSP plus Foundation LM. At each harvest, fruit were counted, weighed and classified into commercial size classes. Harvested fruit from the first, third and final harvests was stored in a commercial coldroom and assessed for brix and fruit firmness at 0, 7 and 14 days after harvest.
Trial site at first application of Foundation LM
The total number and total weight of tomatoes harvested were similar between treatments. However, shelf-life assessment demonstrated that adding Foundation LM to the GSP significantly increased the brix level of the fruit, both at harvest and for up to 14 days after harvest when stored at commercial post-harvest conditions.
The effect on brix was consistent for fruit picked throughout the harvest period. There was no effect on post-harvest fruit firmness.
Learn more about using Foundation LM with horticulture crops by downloading the Foundation LM horticulture crop booklet.