South of France
Goal of experimentation and conditions of realization
The aim is to compare the volumes of fruit production between a set of plants not benefiting from the effects of RAINCATCHER, and those benefiting, under strictly similar culture conditions:
- Culture in the same tank, outdoors. The dimensions of the bin used are 3m x 1.50m. The soil is a mix of soil and compost with 50 liters of potting soil for the entire tank.
- Planting of the plants the same day (May 10, 2019). 12 feet are planted in three 4-foot columns. The feet are spaced 60 cm on the same column, each column being spaced 40 cm. Each first foot of column received 5 grams at the time of planting. The other nine feet are planted without RAINCATCHER.
- Same watering for all plants: the plants are irrigated using an automatic system composed of calibrated sprinklers delivering 2 liters of water per hour to each foot. The first watering is done manually on the day of planting. During the month of May, the plants were watered for 2 hours every three days, to promote rooting. Then, they were only watered for 40 minutes every 3 days (or about 1.3 liters per foot every 3 days) to simulate an unfavorable period from a hydrological point of view.
- Plants used and composition of the panelThe experiment takes place next to Salon de Provence, in the south-east of France, on the edge of the pond of Berre.
Plants used and composition of the panel
The tomato variety used for the test is a F1 Hybrid Cobra.
Cobra tomato is a large fruit variety (diameter> 65 mm for 100 to 200 g) known for its taste quality.
Rustic selection, burst resistant, easy to produce.
The tomatoes were planted on May 11th. Climatic data remained in the seasonal norms until June 19th.
An episode of high heat then occurred, which still continued with temperatures almost always above 35 ° C with a peak above 44 ° C, regularly above seasonal values (up to + 18 ° C during the peak at 44 ° C on June 28).
In parallel, rainfall remained very low with less than 15 mm of water in June, less than 8 mm in July and nothing on the first dekad of August.
The winds were regularly quite strong, above 50 km / h, with peaks sometimes above 100 km / h.
The graphs and tables below give the values of the meteorological data recorded over the period.
Numbers of fruit harvest
A typical harvest was carried out on August 5, 5 days after the previous harvest, to start on a stabilized crop. Only mature tomatoes were taken.
The right vat represents the harvest made on all three feet with RAINCATCHER, the one on the left represents the production of the 9 control feet.
It is noted that the tomatoes from feet without RAINCATCHER are of homogeneous sizes, and rather small compared to the fruit type of the variety (diameter of the fruits collected varying from 56 to 71 mm). This parameter confirms the water deficit suffered by control plants since late June.
The fruits produced with RAINCATCHER are rather big compared to the variety (75 to 106 mm). These results make it possible to confirm the compensation by RAINCATCHER of the effects of the water deficiency voluntarily applied since June 1st, the fruits remaining normal or even bigger than the typical fruit of the variety, despite the high temperatures and the average wind.
Comparaison fruits récoltés les plus gros
Les neuf pieds témoins ont produit 13 fruits en 5 jours, soit une moyenne de 1,45 fruit par pied. Pour les pieds traités avec RAINCATCHER, 6 tomates ont été prélevées, soit une moyenne de deux fruits par pied.
La masse normale des fruits de la variété Cobra Hybride F1 sont compris entre 100 et 200g.
La masse des fruits sans RAINCATCHER varie de 73 g à 122 g pour un total de 1308 g, pour un poids moyen de 100 g environ. La masse des fruits avec RAINCATCHER varie de 122 g à 271 g pour une masse totale de 1147 g, soit un poids moyen de 191 g.
Biggest fruit mass with/without RAINCATCHER
If the induced drought produces fruit located on average at the low limit of the typical fruits of the variety, the use of the RAINCATCHER on the contrary maintained the fruits in the high segment and above the normal masses of the fruits of the variety.
The smallest fruit harvested with RAINCATCHER weighs as much as the largest fruit harvested on control plants. Half of the fruits harvested with plants supported by RAINCATCHER are above 200g, and only the smallest is below 150g.
When reduced to a mass produced per foot, 145 g are obtained per untreated foot and 382 g for the average of the feet treated with RAINCATCHER.
During the experiment carried out from May 11th to August 5th, 2019 in the south of France, on a field crop of Cobra Hybrid F1 tomato, the use of RAINCATCHER produced very significant results.
The data collected show that in unfavorable cultivation conditions due to the low watering and meteorological conditions characterized by a very high temperature, a relatively strong wind and a very low rainfall during the fruiting stage, the Using RAINCATCHER produced 4.8 times more fruit mass per foot than the control plants and more fruit by about 30%.