Calculation of row feet and plant numbers in tomato fields

Material Information

Calculation of row feet and plant numbers in tomato fields
Series Title:
Bradenton AREC research report
Csizinszky, Alexander Anthony, 1933-
Agricultural Research & Education Center (Bradenton, Fla.)
Place of Publication:
Bradenton Fla
Agricultural Research & Education Center, IFAS, University of Florida
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
2 leaves : ; 28 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Tomatoes -- Planting -- Florida ( lcsh )
Plants ( jstor )
Irrigation ditches ( jstor )
Ditches ( jstor )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent) ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


General Note:
Caption title.
General Note:
"July 1979."
Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
Statement of Responsibility:
Alexander A. Csizinsky.

Record Information

Source Institution:
Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location:
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier:
73172654 ( OCLC )


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or recommendations. These texts
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site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.

Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida

CS OCT 91979,

IFAS, University of Florida .F.A.S.- Univ. of Florida
Bradenton, Florida
Bradenton AREC Research Report GC1979-11 July 1979
Alexander A. Csizinszky

In the October 1977 issue of the "Vegetarian" there was a discussion on the
subject of how big is an acre? This problem came about because growers,,.extension
personnel and researchers were using different methods in calculating fertilizer
rates. Yet, as G. A. Marlowe, Jr. and C. M. Geraldson pointed out in several of
their papers, recommendations based on the broadcast acre of 43,560 sq. ft. are not
the same as fertilizer amounts calculated on a row ft. per acre basis because the
number of feet in plant rows formed per gross acre depends on lateral irrigation,
lateral drainage ditch and plant row spacings. This is probably one of the reasons
why growers tell us that yield and fertilizer calculations published in research
reports are not based on and do not reflect the "true" conditions in their land and
they cannot use the data.
Last spring a comparison of tomato variety yields was made in a very progres-
sive grower's field in Manatee County. In this field plant rows were formed in
what the grower called a 6 ft. row spacing and the plants were spaced at 32 inches
(2.66 ft) within a row. At this row and plant spacing in many other areas of the
U.S. one would have used 7,260 row ft and 2,729 plants per acre for yield and fer-
tilizer calculations. These figures, however, could not be used since irrigation
and drainage ditches occupied a portion of the gross acre and we simply could not
have had that many row ft and plants per gross acre. In this case there were 37 ft
between the centers of the lateral irrigation ditches with four plant rows and one
drainage ditch formed within the 37 ft wide land. low many row ft and how many
plants did we actually have on a gross acre?

Number of row ft/A Sq. ft/A x no. of plant rows between irrigation ditches
Distance between irrigation ditches

43,560 sq. ft/A x 4 rows = 4,709 row ft/A
37 ft.
Row ft/A
Number of plants/A Within row plant spacing

4,709 row ft/A =1,770 plants/A.
2.66 ft

If we want to know how much of the gross acre is covered by plastic mulch,
then the number of row ft. per acre has to be multiplied by the top of the width
of the plant bed. In case of a land with 4,709 row ft. per acre and 36 inches
(3 ft) wide beds the area under plastic mulch will be:

4,709 row ft/A x 3 ft = 14,127 sq. ft/A.


When the length of the plant row is given, e.g. 400 ft, then the number of
400 ft. long rows which can be formed may be calculated first for planning purposes.

No. of rows formed

Sq. ft/A x no. of rows between irrigation ditches
SDistance between irrigation ditches x length of row

43,560 x 4 rows 1177 @ 400 ft rows/A
37 ft x 400 ft rows/

By knowing the number of row ft. and plants per acre in the grower's field,
comparisons could be made with the data on fertilizer application and yield of
tomatoes at AREC-Bradenton where we have 41.5 ft. between irrigation ditches and
7 rows between the ditches on a 4.5 ft. row spacing.

Growers, for various reasons, also take into consideration in calculating
per acre yield of the land area taken up by roads and runoff water ditches. These
structures then would also have to be taken into consideration on a farm to farm
basis, especially by economists calculating profitability of tomato production.