• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Materials and methods
 Results and discussion
 Literature cited
 Table 1. Diameter of Floradel tomatoes...
 Table 2. Size change of 17 Walter...
 Table 3. Yields from five tomato...
 Figure 2. Increase in diameter...
 Historic note






Group Title: Research report - Ft. Pierce Agricultural Research Center ; RL 1979-1
Title: Fruit size increase as tomatoes approach maturity
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00056030/00001
 Material Information
Title: Fruit size increase as tomatoes approach maturity
Series Title: Ft. Pierce ARC research report
Physical Description: 3, 5 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hayslip, Norman C ( Norman Calvin ), 1916-
University of Florida -- Agricultural Research Center
Publisher: University of Florida, Insititute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Agricultural Research Center
Place of Publication: Fort Pierce Fla
Publication Date: [1979]
 Subjects
Subject: Tomatoes -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaf 3).
Statement of Responsibility: Norman C. Hayslip.
General Note: Caption title.
General Note: "January 1979."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00056030
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 69418236

Table of Contents
    Materials and methods
        Page 1
    Results and discussion
        Page 2
    Literature cited
        Page 3
    Table 1. Diameter of Floradel tomatoes at various stages of color development
        Page 4
    Table 2. Size change of 17 Walter tomato fruits (unstaked plants) from immature green to first observed color at Fort Pierce, Fla. April 14-26, 1972
        Page 5
    Table 3. Yields from five tomato accessions, each harvested vine ripe and mature green
        Page 6
    Figure 2. Increase in diameter of Floradel and Walter tomato fruits from time of initial measurements made when fruit were green to date of first visible color
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Historic note
        Page 9
Full Text




SFt. Pierce ARC Research Report RL 1979-1 ... ''_l.. january 49 79

* / \ 1979
FRUIT SIZE INCREASE AS TOMATOES APPROACH MARITY

ays l/ I.F.A.S. Univ. of Florida
Norman C. Hayslip_


High yields and large fruit size are essential to profitable tomato production.
Two boxes of small tomatoes will usually bring no more money than one box of large
fruit. Tomatoes harvested green have not reached their potential size, and as a
result the crop yield is lower. Since most Florida tomatoes are harvested at the
mature-green stage of development yield and fruit size losses are incurred. The
magnitude of these losses should be considered in an over-all economic analysis of
vine-ripe versus mature-green tomato production.

Porte and Wilcox (2) stated that increased tonnage can be obtained by allowing
fruits to remain on the vine as long as possible. They reported a 12 percent in-
crease in size of tomatoes during the 4-day period just before tomatoes start to turn
color. Kretchman (1) measured greenhouse tomato fruit size from the time the fruit
were 1/2 inch in diameter until fully ripe. He reported that growth was rapid early
in development, followed by a gradually decreasing rate until the appearance of the
first sign of pink color. However, a steep rate of size increase occurred during a
1 or 2 day period just prior to color break. After this, practically no increase in
size occurred. Fresh market tomatoes are sorted according to current official size
categories based upon diameter of fruit. Size designations used in this report are
listed as a footnote in Table 2.

This report deals with periodic measurements of plant-attached green tomatoes
as they matured to the point of first visible pink or red color. A large-scale yield
comparison of vine-ripe versus mature-green harvested tomatoes is included to support
data accumulated by the measurements of fruit size.


Materials and Methods

Twenty-two Floradel tomato fruit at different stages of maturity were selected
for measurement on a staked and pruned plot near Jupiter, Florida. Fruit diameter
was measured at right angles to a straight line from stem to blossom end by means of
a caliper. Dots were made with ink on the fruits' surfaces in order to measure from
the same longitudinal points every 2 days until first color was observed. Eleven
tomatoes were measured beyond first observed color. When first measured on January 13,
the selected fruits ranged from medium to extra large. Final measurements were made
February 10 when the last tomatoes developed color. The tomatoes were assumed to be
spheres enlarging equally from t eir center point. The volume increase was determined
by the formula: Volume = 4.189 Results are listed in Figures 1 and 2, and
Table 1.

In a second test, seventeen Walter tomatoes were selected for measurement on an
unstaked bush crop at the ARC, Fort Pierce. Intervals and methods of diameter measure-
ments were the same as described for Floradel in the first test. Sizes at the time
of first measurement (April 14) ranged from extra small to extra large. Results are
recorded in Table 2, and Figure 2.




i/ Horticulturist, University of Florida, IFAS, Agricultural Research Center,
Fort Pierce.







-2-


In a third trial, five tomato selections, (three of which were closely related
to the Walter variety), were grown in large-scale plots by Flavor-Pict Cooperative
during the 1967-68 season near Delray Beach. Phosphorus and trace elements were
broadcast and disked into the soil prior to bedding. The beds were fumigated with a
mixture of chloropicrin and DD just before covering with black plastic film. Ferti-
lizer (500 Ibs. N and 800 lbs. K20 per acre) was also applied just prior to covering
with plastic. Three plantings were made at about 2-week intervals. Each planting
consisted of a total of 16 rows, 1/4 mile long. Rows were 6 feet apart and plants
were spaced 24 inches apart. The crop was not pruned nor staked. One-half of each
plot was harvested as vine-ripes and half as mature-greens. The earliest planting
was harvested over a period of 5 1/2-weeks. The second and third plantings were
picked during a 5-week period. Yield records of ungraded fruit were kept and
recorded.


Results

Floradel tomato fruits increased in size up to the day of the first visible
color (Figure 1). Additional measurements (Table 1) indicated continued fruit en-
largement beyond first observed color to ripe. Grossly immature fruit enlarged at a
more rapid rate than those approaching maturity and ripening (Figure 1 and 2).
Measurements of 22 fruit reveal that tomatoes 14, 10, and 6 days before first ob-
served color had increased in volume 22.7, 12.9, and 6.3 percent, respectively, when
color developed. Average diameter of tomatoes which were 26 days from first color
increased from about 1/32" per day to about 1/32" each 2 days as they approached
color.

Unstaked Walter tomato fruits increased in size to the day of first visible
color when measurements were discontinued (Figure 2). Sixty percent of the tomatoes
10 days from first color increased in size enough to move into the next larger
official size category (Table 2). Thirty-five percent of the tomatoes 6 days from
first color enlarged enough to reach the next larger category. Average volume in-
crease was 27 and 8 percent for tomatoes 12 and 6 days from first color, respectively.

Vine-ripe harvest yields were greater than mature-green yields in each of the
5 tomato selections for all 3 planting dates (Table 3). The average yield of the
5 selections for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd plantings was 12, 13, and 21 percent greater,
respectively, when harvested vine-ripe than when harvested mature-green.


Discussion

Growers who pick tomatoes mature-green will harvest fewer pounds and smaller
tomatoes than if they allow fruit to color before harvesting. The extent of yield
and size loss will depend upon the care each grower takes in insuring the harvesting
of only fully mature green fruits. The only practical way to harvest green tomatoes
is by size, and size is not a reliable method of determining maturity. For example,
eighty-two percent of Floradel fruits were large or extra large at the beginning of
measurements in the first test, and of these only 11 percent required less than
14 days to develop first color on the plant, and 11 percent required 24 days to
develop color. Since non-pruned Walter and Flora-Dade produce smaller fruit than
pruned Floradel, this provides some protection against harvesting grossly immature-
greens when harvesting consists of picking 6 x 7 (medium) size and larger. However,
fruit size of these smaller fruiting varieties can vary greatly, depending upon
growing conditions. This complicates the job of harvesting only fully mature green








-3-


fruit. The data obtained for Walter indicates that many small tomatoes picked green
would have been medium or large if allowed to color before harvesting. Likewise,
many medium fruit would become large or extra large, and those large would reach
extra large or maximum large if allowed to develop color. These colored fruit would
improve tonnage and command a higher price per pound. Color development is a positive
indicator of maturity. The use of color development as a criteria for harvesting
eliminates the problem of grossly immature tomatoes escaping into fresh market
channels.

The advantages of harvesting colored tomatoes must be weighed against the dis-
advantages. Colored fruits are more susceptible to cracking, are softer and have a
shorter shelf life than mature-greens. Because of the extra care needed in harvesting,
handling, and packing, the costs are greater. These are the primary reasons most
Florida tomatoes are harvested mature-green. However, assuming that tomatoes are
machine harvested in the near future, there will be a need to harvest and market red,
pink to breaker, and mature-green fruits in the once-over operation. If mechanical
harvesting is geared to marketing only mature-green fruit, low yields of smaller and
more immature tomatoes may make machine harvesting uneconomical. Well and Brooke (3)
estimated a yield loss of 40 to 60 percent for machine harvested mature-green
tomatoes compared to hand harvest. A 40 percent yield loss would cost the grower
$1.18 more per 30 lb. carton than hand harvesting. They concluded any method to re-
duce yield losses will make machine harvesting more attractive.

Intensified studies are needed to develop machine-harvestable varieties with a
high degree of crack resistance and firmness, and longer shelf life. More work is
needed on handling of ripe tomatoes from sorting on the mechanical harvester, to
packaging, shipping, marketing, and storage requirements. If Florida tomato industry
leaders support an all-out effort to develop an economically sound system of mechani-
cal harvesting which will improve tomato quality, the associated problems probably
can be solved.


Literature Cited

1. Kretchman, Dale W. 1969. Characterizing tomato fruit growth. Research
Summary 24, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Wooster,Ohio.

2. Porte, William S., and J. Wilcox. 1963. Commercial production of tomatoes.
U.S.D.A. Farmer's Bulletin No. 2045, revised February, 1963.

3. Wall, G. B., and D. L. Brooke. 1978. Estimated cost of mechanical harvesting
of ground culture tomatoes in South Florida. Food and Resource Economics
Dept. Staff Paper 108, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.









Table 1. Diameter of Floradel tomatoes at various stages of color
development ./


Fruit No.


Breaker


2.74

3.33
3.19
2.82


2.67
3.32
3.19


Diameter of fruit (inches)
Turning Pink


3.10

3.18
3.37
3.20


3.18

3.34
3.20


3.14
2.78

3.37
3.20

3.01
3.19
2.68


Rioe


3.15

3.25


2.99
3.08
3.20
2.71


1/ Tomatoes were measured at 2-day intervals and stage of color recorded
when measured. First measurement of each tomato represents size and
color stage when color was first observed. Test was terminated before
all were ripe.









Table 2. Size change of 17 Walter tomato fruits (unstaked plants) from immature green
to first observed color at Fort Pierce, Fla. April 14-26, 1972.


Individual fruit number


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


No. days
before
1st color


a)
0


Stage

c *
a) :
K. 9.4


11 12 13 14 15 -16 17


of color when color first deetd( as


.


noted p4 p' *a pN M


EXL

EXL

L

L

L

L


EXL

EXL

EXL

L

L


L M L

L M L

L M L

L M L

- MH

- M


P0c
Size

L

M

M

M E

- E

- E


- M M S


of
of


fruit/


* M
YO .9 r
a) *p) VT


S L EXL L L

S L EXL L L

S L EXL L L

;XS L EXL L M

XS L L L M

XS L L M

- L M


L L EXL

L L EXL

L M EXL

L M EXL

- M EXL

- M EXL

- L


Diameter increase


at time of
(inch)


1st color
(1/32 inch)


L -- --

L .0-.04 .022

L .01-.12 .049

L .02-.15 .079

- .06-.20 .133

- .09-.23 .161

- .15-.31 .208


1/ Based upon diameter measurements.
M = Medium, 2 9/32" 2 17/32"; L


EXS = Extra small,
= Large, 2 17/32" -


1 28/32" 2 4/32"; S = Small, 2 4/32" 2 9/32";
2 28/32"; EXL = Extra large, 2 28/32" 3 15/32".


of co w


I


M pa $-4 __ Ranse. A= vc--- -P









Table 3. Yields from five tomato accessions, each harvested
vine ripe and mature green../


No. of
First Planting


60-lb. Crates Per
Second Planting


Acre
Third Planting


Breeding Line V.Ripe Green V.Ripe Green V.Ripe Green

180803-Bk 824 740 720 580 782 715
1544-3-2-Bk 729 686 662 557 670 574
1544-3-4-Bk 886 753 989 913 689 509
1544-3-3-Bk 762 680 855 768 700 576
1150-4-2-3(FP1,2,3) 875 800 896 717

Total 3201 2859 4101 3618 3737 3091

1/ Harvest periods: First planting, 11/9/67 12/18/67; second
planting, 11/27/67 1/3/68; third planting, 12/14/67 1/22/68.


I


I









Figure 1 Volume increase of 22 Floradel tomatoes from date of first

measurement to date of first visible color.


140!


SIZE MEDIUM WHEN FIRST MEASURED

SIZE LARGE OR EXTRA LARGE WHEN
FIRST MEASURED


0
0

0
0 0


94



r4
v(








0


5 10 15 20 25

NO. DAYS BEFORE FIRST COLOR







Figure 2 Increase in diameter of Floradel and Walter tomato fruits from time of

initial measurements made when fruit were green to date of first visible

color.
0


.550


.500


.450


.400


.350


.300


.250


.200


.150


.100


.050

.000 1


0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
NO. DAYS BEFORE FIRST COLOR


18 20 22 24


.550


.500


.450


.400


.350


.300


.250


.200


.150


.100


.050

.000


0 FLORADEL (staked)

X WALTER (not staked)









HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






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