Analysis and Hierarchy of Yield Determinant Factors on Tomato for Processing in Uruguay
Keywords:poultry manure, water deficit, processing tomato, yield gaps, Solanum lycopersicum, farming systems
The potential yield of tomato crops grown for processing in Uruguay is 90 Mg ha-1, according to experiments in the country. In contrast, the average productivity of commercial farmers does not exceed 50 Mg ha-1. This study aims to explain the main causes of the differences in yield among growers of tomato for processing, establishing a hierarchical order of the determinant factors. For this, we performed an analysis of factors affecting performance in production systems in 2007/08 harvest. The methodology was based on a stratified sample of producers. Within this sample of 22 farmers, we measured and collected information on several variables related to the farming systems, the crop management systems and the performance of the crop. These variables were classified into levels for the analysis of variance, and the ones that were significant were included in a mixed model. From this analysis, we concluded that the variable that explained further the differences in yield for the crop under study was the water available (43% of total variation). The application of poultry litter followed in importance and explained 21% of yield variation. Other significant variables were plant density and variety.