Forte, Valente (2008) Analisi delle caratteristiche ottiche della copertura vegetale di pomodoro da industria come strumento per una gestione eco-compatibile della concimazione. [Ph.D. thesis]
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Considering the positive effects of fertilization on the yield of processed tomato and the emerging environmental risks due to heavy use of those productive factors beside the increasing market price, it would be better advised to use management systems and distribution technologies able to improve the efficiency of those important production factors. Previous experimental trials showed the efficacy of some optical tools in the management of nitrogen fertilization in processed tomato and on the base of those results it is supposed the chance of using the same tools to optimize even the other two macro-nutrients, phosphate and potassium, for a non-destructive evaluation of crop nutritional status. The aim of the research is to evaluate the modification induced by the deficiency of phosphorus and potassium on tomato canopy using the Multispectral Radiometer Cropscan MSR-87. A three year trial was set up to detect, between the available indices, the ones useful to the estimate the effects of different levels of fertilization and to confirm the preliminary results. During the first year tomato plants have been fertilized with nutrient solution deficient of one of the elements and compared to a complete nutrient solution. This preliminary trial allowed to identify few indices suitable for the purpose. Those indices have been used during the second and third year to determine their effectiveness in detecting the induced deficient status in open field cultivation using the previous nutrient solutions. Beside the open field trial, an increasing doses trial was set up to verify if the indices could detect different levels of deficiency or excess. The first trial confirmed the suitability of NIR/Green index in detecting nitrogen deficiency. It showed that the low availability of potassium is identify by the optical tool as a non-deficient status and on the other side that the phosphate deficiency is detected by the tool as a nitrogen deficiency. Using the NIR/760 and the 1/Ref. Norm (560), in controlled condition, it is possible to distinguish the nitrogen treatment by the phosphate one. In the open field trial it has been difficult to reach an evident deficient status even supplying the same nutrient solution used in the previous trial. In this case the indices were not able to distinguish the treatments and only the NIR/Green showed the nitrogen deficiency as was stated in previous trials. The indices were able to detect the different levels of deficiency during the third trial conducted in a greenhouse using different doses of elements but when the same index was used to compare the same dose of different elements, no distinction between treatments was showed. The management of fertilization in processed tomato using optical tools is possible for nitrogen application but it is still to be confirmed for the other two macronutrients.
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