Breeding cherry tomato types for organic farming using geostatistical tools
The conventional breeding process is based upon growing different cultivars in research fields with similar Characteristics [soil, water, climate, etc]. Thus, the selected types are well suited only to fields with similar characteristics as their breeding ancestors. In contrast, in heterogeneous fields, as the organic oned, the above mentioned cultivars will suffer from inconsistency in yield. Here we demostrate new methodology for adjusting crop cultivation to the organic practice. The study was conducted between 2001 and 2002 on cherry tomato organic greenhouse in Netzer Hazanimoshav, Northern Negev, Isreal. We have chosen Nitrate as a representing parameter for the soil variability and geostatistically analyzed its suitability for spatial analysis.Afterwards, five types of cherry tomatoes were planted in the area and their growth with yield patterns were measured. Comparisons between the plants' parameters and the Nitrate variability indicated their suitability for organic growth. We are confident that using the principles of the described breeding technique will encourage farmers to grow organic crops for our own health benefits and the sustainability of the environment.