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Farming

Where will our food come from?

The U.S. largest farms are getting bigger, and are primarily producing commodity crops (e.g. corn, soybeans and cotton) or animal products (e.g. beef/dairy, pork and poultry).  Their growth has come from a continuing consolidation of medium and small size farms.  The only other farming segment that is growing is the number of very small farms […]

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Farming

Tomato Varieties: What to Plant?

Choosing which tomato variety/varieties to plant is probably one of the most critical decisions commercial producers make each year. This article discusses the various factors that can affect this decision, starting with a simple discussion about the two basic types of tomato varieties available in the marketplace, and a brief discussion about grafted plants. Open-Pollinated […]

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Farming

Pest and Disease Control Strategies

There are a number of potential diseases, insect and nematode pests that can cause significant damage to tomatoes (see list at end of article). Pest damage can range from decreases in fruit yield or quality to plant death. This article outlines the three general strategies for managing these pests. In the reference section Cornell has […]

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Farming

Introduction to Farming

Although about 50 percent of cultivated tomato acres are produced for fresh market and 50 percent for processing on a global basis, approximately only 10 percent of planted acres are harvested for fresh market in the US. Large producers in Florida and California account for about 75 percent of total US fresh market tomato production […]

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Breeding and Genetics

Genetic Control of Fruit Ripening in Tomato

The tomato is one of many plants that have evolved an “edible fruit” strategy for seed dispersal. Mature seed is encased in a fruit designed to be attractive for consumption by fruit-eating animals. Seed dispersal occurs when the consumed seed passes safely through the digestive tract and is deposited with feces on the soil some […]

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Farming

The Chemical and Genetic Basis for Flavor in Tomatoes

There is no universal agreement on what a “perfect” tomato tastes like.  There can be significant differences in flavor ranking based on personal preferences – level of sweetness or acid content, for example. Fruit texture and skin thickness can also influence “likeability”. However, recent research, including the use of replicated tasting panels, has helped highlight, […]

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Farming

Open Field vs Protected Culture Production

Industry Trends For over a decade there has been a global trend toward protected culture of commercial fresh market tomatoes vs. open field production. This trend started in Europe with large scale producers and has since spread to North America1. The economics of such a transition has been compelling for large scale commercial producers. This […]

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