Case Studies

Fighting Nematode in Tomato Farming

Quillota City, Fifth Region, Chile
Country:
Chile
Category:
Agriculture
Tag:
Cyclic, Low Cost, Compost
Fighting Nematode in Tomato Farming

Situation and Problems

In Chile, cost for tomato production is increasing year by year due to the extensive use of insecticides and chemicals. Today, tomato market is undergoing a serious problem that is the demand being bigger than supply. 
The reasons are excessive cost production for agricultural inputs, approximately 50% of total cost, due to treatments against incidence of nematodes and Fusarium disease.
Our partner in Chile, has successfully introduced EM Technology in a tomato farm, ”La Quebrada del Aji” to combat plant diseases. 

La “Quebrada del Aji” has dedicated to tomatoes, avocados, cherries and citric farming for more than 30 years now. They grow the tomato variety named “Luciana”, very popular in Chile for its color, roundness form and texture that grow well during cold season. 
Their products are destined for national consume approaching the use of less chemicals as possible in their cultivation farms.

Eng. Rubén Marcos Borqués, working for 30 years managing tomatoes cultivation in “La Quebrada del Aji” farm, expressed that their core problems are Nematodes, Fusarium and Phytophthora that become resistant year by year against nematocides and chemical products. 
These disease cause forage chlorosis and roots nodules conducting to minor yield and plant decay.
 

EM Application

Test area of 1Ha
Test area of 1Ha
They started a pilot test with EM from June 2016 until harvest season, from the end of November to January 2017. The test area was assigned to a greenhouse of 1 Ha, using half of the area for conventional farming and half for EM treatment. 
The pilot test was carried  for the following stages:

- Preparation of soil
This house had a cultivation of forage turnip that was incorporated into the soil and overturned to add more organic matter. Forage turnip was also treated with EM.
Preparation of soil started 1 month before planting. 
AEM (Activated EM) was applied to the soil during one month. 

- Planting and Care
1. Immersion of seedling in water with AEM
2. Application of AEM to the soil and directly into the hole of plantation
3. Foliar application of EM・5

Results

-    Harvested tomatoes at the EM treated area, were bigger in size and weight against ones from control area (Photo 1).
-   Tomatoes in control area, were small due to high incidence of nematodes and roots full of nodules.
-    Roots treated with EM were white, healthy and full of root hairs (Photo 2-3).
Nematodes in EM area were not eradicated 100%, however, nematodes cannot infect the plants because immersion of seedlings protected them from nematodes. 
-    Foliage was quite different (Photo 4-5).
-    Quality of harvest was excellent and buyers want it EM grown because tomatoes were tastier.
-    EM conducted to cost benefits comparing with chemical nematocides which are expensive and dangerous. Eng. Rubén Marcos Borqués expressed that there was a difference of 80% comparing with conventional chemical treatment. 
He believes that EM is a definitive solution.
-    Number of Trichoderma and other beneficial microorganism population increased with the use of EM while pathogens decrease (Graph 1-2).
 
(Photo 1)
Left: EM harvest 
Right: Control harvest
(Photo 1)
Left: EM harvest
Right: Control harvest
(Photo 2) 
Roots from control area affected and full of nodules
(Photo 2)
Roots from control area affected and full of nodules
(Photo 3)
Roots from EM area free of disease
(Photo 3)
Roots from EM area free of disease
(Photo 4)
Foliage in control area badly affected
(Photo 4)
Foliage in control area badly affected
(Photo 5)
Foliage in EM area greener and healthy
(Photo 5)
Foliage in EM area greener and healthy
Eng. Rubén Marcos Borqués surprised with the results
Eng. Rubén Marcos Borqués surprised with the results

(Updated in October, 2017)

 

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