Two of Switzerland’s leading tomato growers, Domaine des Mattines and Stoll Freres, recently met to review their 2022 season learnings and to refine their growing strategies for 2023. Vivent, the Swiss-based plant signals company, provided key insights from electrophysiology signals recorded over the whole season.
Vivent started by sharing insights on the most extreme events, sometimes called “bad hours,” that impacted yields of Datterino tomatoes grown in both operations. For Stoll, yield losses were more pronounced in the early part of the season, and the impact of one major event lingered for several weeks, whereas for Domaine des Mattines, most of the “bad hours” occurred later in the season and were linked to several short-term events.
Julien Stoll commented: “We know we will experience some extreme events due to the design of our glasshouse. Tight control is vital in our new builds. We really want to have fast and highly responsive systems, for example, vent motors and misting systems. This year we will “acclimatize the crop” in the spring to cope with summer conditions.”
Stoll Frères tomatoes
Vivent’s Nigel Wallbridge commented: “Many growers have used information from Vivent to quantify the impact of capital expenditure for tools like faster vent motors or fogging systems as they can see clear links between yields in compartments with and without these systems.”
For Jeremy Blondin, CEO of Domaine des Mattines, the insights gained from this benchmarking exercise were different. Jeremy’s crop was very productive early on and throughout the middle of the season, but signs of stress were more frequent late in the season when air flow management and irrigation tuning were both more challenging.
“We are now working with Vivent, for the 3rd year in a row, to monitor crop stress in real-time for our tomato glasshouses. So far, we have made changes in scheduling crop work, climate controls, and vent/screen management that have positively impacted our yields.”
Vivent looks forward to continuing to work with Domaine des Mattines and Stoll Frères as they test new methods to increase yields while keeping inputs low. Vivent works with growers worldwide.
Published on March 15, 2023.