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Tomato Farming in Turkey

Journal article . Deadline 2020-01-03


Tomato cultivation in Turkey plays an important economic role and it constitutes almost 40% of the total vegetable production (Aksoy and Kaymak, 2016; Guvenc, 2019). Global tomato production is currently 130 million tons. The top five largest tomato producers are China, the European Union, India, the USA, and Turkey are kown to be the top five largest tomato producers are. These five producers account for 70% of global production (Eurofresh, 2016). Tomato breeding in Turkey is displaying a rising trend, which enables the country to keep its position as one of the biggest tomato producing countries in the world.

There are three cases of irrigation, which can be classified as inadequate, excessive ,and optimum.First, iInadequate irrigation leads to the formation of stress conditions by limiting the uptake of plant nutrients and water consumption, resulting in some quality problems and reduced yield (Lisar et al., 2012). Second, eExcessive irrigation causes leaching of the plant nutrients together with water and thus reduces water and nitrogen utilization efficiency (Xu et al. 2013; Huang et al., 2018; Thapa and Scott, 2019). Application of excess water to the soil not only affects seed germination and aeration of the root zone but also leads to many environmental problems such as waterlogging and salinization, contamination of groundwater’s by minerals (Malash et al., 2008; Greene et al., 2016; Biswas and Kalra, 2018), nitrogen loss through leaching (Oenema et al., 2015; Shrivastava and Kumar 2015; Musyoka et al., 2019; Rotiroti et al., 2019) and increasing irrigation costs (Kuşçu et al., 2013). Third, oOptimum irrigation ensures maximum water and nitrogen usage with optimal plant growth by avoiding excess water and loss of plant nutrients. Excessive usage of water not only causes a reduction in the amount of irrigated area but also more energy supply to carry the water into the area which is going to be irrigated. Therefore, proper management of water usage is of considerable significance for sustainable agriculture and energy conservation.

Water use efficiency (WUE) is a key issue in arid and semi-arid areas of the world, where water is an increasingly limited source. Water management during the past half-century has been intensified to increase water use efficiency (Medrano et al., 2015; Hatfield and Dold, 2019). The efficiency of water usage is closely related to the method applied. Drip irrigation, which has been used for nearly 50 years, can be accepted as the most efficient method to provide soil moisture in the root zone. It not only controls the usage of the water but also provides efficient use of nutrients and pesticides (Shock, 2006). The Class A evaporation pan is one of the universally used and easy-to-control methods for monitoring soil moisture in terms of water management. The results of various studies have shown that the low level of error in estimates makes Class A pan a favorable tool for the establishing of water consumption and irrigation scheduling for many plants (Ayas, 2015; Senyigit and Arslan, 2018). Numerous surveys have been conducted to assign the pan (kp) and crop coefficients (kc) of tomato in the drip irrigation method (Smajstrla and Locascio, 1990; Locascio and Smajstrla, 1996; Kırnak and Kaya, 2004; Harmanto et al., 2005; Ertek, 2011). Results on the coarse-textured soils showed that the water requirement of tomato varied between 0.5 – 1.0 times of pan evaporation (Locascio and Smajstrla, 1989; Locascio et al., 1989). Results on finer-textured soils showed almost similar water requirements as 0.75 of pan evaporation for spring crop (Locascio et al., 1989) and 0.50 of pan evaporation for fall crops (Olson and Rhoads, 1992). Sustainable agriculture along with proper usage of water supplies areis not only necessary to meet the nutrimental demands of the growing population, but also to ensure the continuity of economic development.

This study was undertaken to assess the yield, IWUE, some quality parameters and energy requirements of drip-irrigated tomato using Class A evaporation data.