Validation of a tomato crop simulator for Mediterranean greenhouses
The aim of this work is the validation of the adaptation of the TOMGRO tomato crop simulation to short term cropping technique and to Greek conditions. Indeed, a current practice in plastic greenhouses in the Mediterranean regions is to stop the development of the plant after 7 trusses by topping, which is the removal of the terminal bud of the plant. Experiments were carried out in the farm of the University of Thessaly in the region of Volos, during the autumn and winter period of 2007. Crop development, growth and greenhouse climate were measured. The modified TOMGRO has been calibrated over the winter 2005 data and validation occurred on the winter 2007. A good agreement has been observed between the measured and simulated plant development indicators, biomass and fruit production during validation process. Finally, a satisfactory agreement has been obtained for the plant leaf area which is classically one of the weak points of TOMGRO. On the basis of these results, we conclude that this adaptation of TOMGRO simulates properly short term tomato crops under greenhouses and therefore can be used in decision support to help growers operate the greenhouse.