Matching rootstocks to specific crop challenges

Yorkshire Grown Produce is an expanding 17.5 ha operation producing quality peppers and tomatoes from two sites within the East Riding of Yorkshire.  Specialty tomatoes predominate with 15.5 ha devoted to baby plum, cherry on the vine, cocktail and large vine types, including 7,500 m2 of lit crop to help satisfy increasing demand for year round British fruit.    

Extra vigour for specialties

An early adopter of our Beaufort rootstock, general manager Tony Mills was quick to appreciate its benefits in terms of providing vigour throughout the summer as well as a host of disease resistances.  ‘Specialty tomato varieties tend to produce weaker plants which benefit greatly from grafting onto a stronger rootstock,’ he says. ‘Now growers have a choice of rootstocks depending on the specific challenges a type, or variety, needs to overcome.’

Each variety its own rootstock

‘We’ve since moved on to Maxifort to give our baby plum varieties more vegetative power, while Optifort suits our cherry on the vine varieties promoting more generative growth.  While the main crops are planted early January, Optifort is particularly useful in the lit cherry on the vine crop. Planted in September – Optifort has helped the crop come through the winter in to spring.’ 

Tony describes De Ruiter’s latest rootstock, DR0141TX, as a balance between Maxifort and Optifort – capable of delivering good generative or vegetative action depending on how the crop is steered.  ‘With new rootstock it is important to learn how to get the most out of it,’ he says. ‘Having trialed DR0141TX last year, we plan to use it in the lit crop next season.  By manipulating the glasshouse environment and irrigation regime we will use DR0141TX to steer the crop more generatively - to deliver a further return on investment.’

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