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the cover crop is sprayed with glyphosate, chopped and left on the soil surface as a mulch before transplanting tomatoes or planting cotton. A summary of pre-tomato tillage operations used in each system is shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Tillage operations used in standard and conservation tillage tomato systems, Five Points, CA 1999 – 2005

Standard tillage

  • undercut cotton

  • disk

  • disk

  • rip

  • disk

  • list beds

  • pwer incorporate


Conservation tillage

  • undercut cotton

  • transplant tomatoes

  • transplant tomatoes

CT equipment

A few equipment modifications have been made in the CT system. A three-row transplanter sled fitted with 20” diameter coulters ahead of each transplanter shoe, residue-slicing disks in front of each sled,

Tomato transplanter fitted with coulters ahead of transplanter shoes, residue manager disks ahead of sleds, “ridging wings” behind sleds in furrows and supplemental closing wheels behind transplanter shoes, Five Points, CA 2005

and additional press wheels behind the transplanter drive wheels to seal seedlings into the soil, was used. A Sukup high residue corn cultivator (Sheffield, IA) was converted to a 3 row 60” configuration and bed-top L-sweep blades were added for tomato bed cultivation. Sidedress fertilizer

Cultivating processing tomatoes in conservation tillage (high residue) study in Five Points, CA 2004

was applied using Yetter Mfg. (Colchester, IL) high residue liquid or dry fertilizer applicators that had coulters fitted in front of the shanks.

Applying liquid fertilizer as sidedress to fresh market tomatoes in conservation tillage study, Parlier, CA 2002


Processing tomato yields (cv Heinz ‘8892’) are shown in Table 2 for 2000 - 2004. Letters following each yield number indicate whether there were statistically

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