Changes in nitrogen agricultural practices to increase farm sustainability – tomato production

Abstract Nutrients, namely nitrogen, are essential to crop growth. Efficient nitrogen fertilization was tested in processing tomato plants with and without mycorrhizae, in the field. Mycorrhizae presents an alternative for the use of higher doses of N fertilizer inputs, because this crop is highly demanding on nitrogen fertilization and thus with great potential for heavy nitrogen losses. The objective was to produce a new markteable tomato of low nitrogen-footprint, to do processed products.

The efficient use of nitrogen (N) has been pointed out as a good solution to improve soil, water and air quality while avoiding increased costs to the farmers. Tomato is one of the most important crops worldwide and requires high amounts of nitrogen inputs to achieve high yields. The need for new agricultural technologies to reduce nitrogen inputs urges. Mycorrhizae are symbiotic associations between plan roots and soil fungi, able to increase crop growth through the improvement of plant’s nutritional status. To find the best agriculture practices and technology measures, this work focused on developing low nitrogen footprint production systems for processing tomato.