James Boudreaux, Professor, LSU Ag Center School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences; Albert Orgeron, Associate Extension Agent, St James Parish; Barton Joffrion, County Agent, Terrebonne Parish; Kenny Sharpe, County Agent, Livingston Parish; Alan Vaughn, County Agent, Plaquemines Parish; Andre Brock, Assistant Extension Agent, West Feliciana Parish; Myrl Sistrunk, County Agent and Adam Lingefelt, Extension Intern, West Carroll Parish; and David Yount, former Assistant County Agent, Red River Parish.
Eleven TSWV-resistant tomato varieties were planted at seven locations across the state. Varieties were obtained from Rogers/ Syngenta, Seminis, Harris Moran, Sakata and Seedway. Growers participating in the demonstration plot were: Raymond “T Black” Millet, Paulina, La.; Arthur Lirette, Diamond S Produce in Raceland, La.; Homer Harris, Denham Springs, La.; Matt Rantaza, Belle Chasse, La.; Jimmy Genius, St Francisville, La.; Mac Albritton, Pioneer, La.; and Ed Lester, Coushatta, La.
The seed companies, growers and the agents are recognized or their efforts in conducting this test. Without this type of cooperative information, n the performance of new varieties could not be generated.
The plants were planted in the field in mid-April to mature the end of June-early July. This is a common practice followed by commercial growers to make a planting in mid-April to provide a continuous supply of fruit for the market. All the demonstrations were grown on drip irrigation and plastic mulch.
The weather in late May and June was extremely hot and dry and affected the performance of the varieties in the test. The plants seemed to stop growing, and the fruit ripened. Five plants of each variety were flagged to prevent harvest. This allowed the fruit to ripen and stay on the bush. The hot, dry growing conditions and allowing the fruit to hang on the bush put a high degree of selection pressure on the performance of these varieties. The overall fruit size on the varieties in the test was smaller than in previous years.
The seven different locations were evaluated over a two- to three-week perio
The results from the different test were combined with an average determined for each category. The top varieties were determined by how many times the variety was in the top of the different categories. Results of the evaluation appear in the attached table. Crista and Quincy were tied for first while Finish Line and Talladega were tied for second.
Crista from Harris Moran is a medium-maturing variety with good yields. Crista had the best fruit size with large and extra-large fruit with good color. The fruit had good firmness but had a few cracks. The medium-large plants had only fair to good foliage. It had good fruit shape, with an average taste and average to good interior color. It had streaky flesh color at one location. Crista has been a top-performing variety in demonstration plots in previous years.
Quincy from Seminis is a medium-late-maturing tomato with good yields of large-size fruit with good color. The fruit had good firmness with very few fruit cracks. The fruit were borne on a medium-large plant with good foliage. The fruit had good shape with average taste and average to good interior color. The interior of the fruit was streaky at only one location. Quincy has also has been a top-performing variety in demonstration plots in previous years.
Finish Line from Rogers/S
Talladega (Rogers/Syngenta) is a medium-late variety with good yields of large-size fruit. The fruit had good color and firmness with a few cracks. Talladega is a medium-size plant with only average foliage. The fruit had good shape and average taste but very good interior color.
Growers are encouraged to try a small number of plants of these new varieties to determine how they perform under the conditions of their own farms before planting a large number of plants.
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