Agronomy and Horticulture, Department of


First Advisor

Sam E. Wortman

Second Advisor

Ashley E. Thompson

Third Advisor

Charles A. Francis

Date of this Version



Hassim, R. 2020. Evaluating the impact of grafting on local tomato production in Nebraska. University of Nebraska-Lincoln, M.S. Thesis.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Science, Major: Horticulture, Under the Supervision of Professor Sam Wortman. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2020

Copyright © 2020 Raihanah Hassim


Vegetable grafting has been known to improve plant production under both biotic and abiotic stresses. With an increase in interest among local growers towards grafting production, it is important to provide enough vegetable grafting information. Therefore, the objective of this study is to assess the impact of grafting, rootstock cultivar, and local conditions and management on the yield and quality of tomato across the diverse growing and environmental conditions, specifically in Nebraska. Three open-field and one limited growing condition study were conducted between 2018 and 2019 across Nebraska. In the open-field trial, two determinant fresh market tomatoes, ‘Nebraska Wedding’ and ‘BHN-589’, were grafted onto one of two rootstocks, ‘Estamino’ and ‘Maxifort,’ with the nongrafted scion cultivars as controls. In 2019, a fertilizer treatment was introduced at all three locations with two different Nitrogen (N) rates (0 and 50 kg N ha-1). In the limited growing condition trial that took place in a greenhouse at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, ‘BHN-589’ were grafted onto ‘Estamino’ and ‘Maxifort,’ with the nongrafted scion cultivars as controls. Nitrogen (N) fertilizer treatments were implemented at 0.5 X, 1.0 X, and 1.5 X of 120 ppm of N, and water treatment was divided into high (above field capacity) and low (below field capacity). Overall, grafting did not provide consistent yield benefits under both trials. Under the open field condition, in 2018, nongrafted ‘BHN-589’ increased the number of marketable fruits by 54%. Whereas, in 2019, ‘BHN-589’ grafted onto ‘Maxifort’ increased total yield by 24%. Under the limited growing condition trial, ‘Estamino’ improved % of fruits marketability by 28% compared to the nongrafted plants, especially under 1.5 X of N fertility treatment. However, there were no significant differences in total and marketable yield between grafted and nongrafted plants. Moreover, there was no interaction effect between grafting and fertilizer treatment under both trials. Results from this study suggest the need for more assessment on the impact of field tomato grafting under different environmental conditions.

Advisor: Sam Wortman