Conservation tillage and cover crop systems for organic processing tomato production (Year 2)

The production of organic processing tomatoes requires large inputs of organic sources of nitrogen. Besides the addition of compost, manure, and other organic amendments, leguminous cover crops, grown during the winter, are important sources of nitrogen for a subsequent tomato crop. Present management of cover crops for tomato production generally requires significant amounts of tillage that may retard the improvement of physical and chemical properties of the soil. This project investigated management strategies that combine conservation tillage and cover cropping practices for organic tomato production that could potentially reduce costs and improve long term fertility of organic fields.