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Tomato Production Boost with Sunburn Prevention

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Agnova Technologies Pty Ltd has released some promising research with important implications for tomato growers.

Five processing tomato trials conducted in Victoria and New South Wales in 2003/04 showed that coating tomatoes with Surround WP:

reduced sunburn damage by up to 80 % (Figure 1.), with an average sunburn reduction in the five trials of 40 percent.

red tomato yield was increased by about 20 percent; and, soluble solids increased by an average of 0.69 t/ha.

Manufactured by Engelhard Corporation, Surround sprayed onto crops forms a white protective film that helps shield plants from harmful solar radiation and intense heat.

Australian Researcher and horticultural consultant, David Bell, says Surround offers growers a number of benefits, namely:

higher quality produce and packout through:

reduced sunburn and scald damage, a result of reflecting the extreme harmful heat and rays of the sun; and, increased plant vigour and yield of marketable produce, brought about by reduction in plant heat stress under high temperatures (net photosynthesis increases because of a significant reduction in plant surface and canopy temperatures - typically 3 to 8 C).

He said Surround can also help lessen transplant shock and heat stress when transplanting into the field.

Bell stresses that in order to be effective Surround must be applied prior to any sunburn or significant heat events.

Surround can be used on a wide range of Fruit and Vegetable Crops to reduce the very damaging effects of sunburn and heatstress. For further information see www.agnova.com.au

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