Related ATTRA Publication:
Organic Tomato Production
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center has been exploring potential yield improvements in tomatoes from grafting and use of a protected-environment production system, or high tunnel. The study demonstrated that both strategies have the potential to significantly increase production. Grafting tomatoes to vigorous rootstocks can help manage soil diseases effectively and also help plants deal with abiotic stresses while improving fruit quality and yield. In one trial location in this study, using a high-tunnel production system increased marketable tomato yields by 161%, and grafting resulted in a 23% yield increase. Meanwhile, in an open-field trial location, grafting increased production by 44%. Researchers plan to explore grafting potential for other high-value vegetable crops, and to identify rootstocks for grafting that are drought-tolerant or respond well to environmental stress.