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Can precision agriculture be used in the management of a Fe and Zn biofortification workflow in organic tomatoes (Lycopersicum esculentum L.)?
* 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 1 , 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 2, 3 , 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 1, 2 , 2, 4 , 4 , 2, 4 , 2, 5 , 2, 5 , 2, 5 , 1, 2
1  Earth Sciences Department, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Campus da Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
2  GeoBioTec Research Center, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Campus da Caparica, 2829-516 Caparica, Portugal
3  ESEAG, Escola Superior de Educação Almeida Garrett, Lisboa, Portugal
4  PlantStress & Biodiversity Lab, Centro de Estudos Florestais (CEF), Instituto Superior Agronomia (ISA), Universidade de Lisboa (ULisboa), Quinta do Marquês, Av. República, 2784-505 Oeiras and Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017 Lisboa, Portugal.
5  INIAV, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária, Oeiras, Portugal

https://doi.org/10.3390/IECAG2021-09662 (registering DOI)
Abstract:

Is expected that the population worldwide might reach 9.15 billion by 2050, being therefore imperative to increase food production. As such, the development of smart farming technology is an important key food production issue. In fact, through the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), it’s possible to create normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) maps, that can indicate, namely, health and vegetation vigor. In this context, this study aimed to assess the state of three tomato varieties (beef heart, “chucha” and apple) in the framework of a biofortification workflow with Fe and Zn, following an organic production mode. In a tomato experimental production field (GPS coordinates - 39° 41’ 48,517’’ N; 8°35’ 45,524’’W), six foliar applications were carried out during the production cycle, with a mix of Zitrilon (15%) (0.40 and 1.20 kg.ha-1) and Maxiblend (1 and 4 kg.ha-1). NDVI was determined (after the 2nd foliar application) and showed a maximum of 0.86 (on a scale from -1 to 1), whereas the color of leaves (using the CieLab scale) varied significantly, after the 3rd foliar application. Moreover, in freshly harvest tomatoes (assessed through spectrophotometric colorimeter) no changes were detected, but an increase of Fe and Zn content was found in the leaves and of Zn in tomatoes (except in “chucha” variety). The use of precision agriculture techniques in correlation with the other analysis is discussed.

Keywords: Biofortification; Iron; Lycopersicum esculentum L.; NVDI; Organic tomato production; Zinc.
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