- Associated Press - Saturday, May 9, 2015

DURHAM, N.H. (AP) - With farmers ever in search of the perfect-tasting, disease-resistant tomato, the University of New Hampshire has found some success growing the vegetables under high tunnels.

Scientists at the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station recently completed a three-year experiment to see how new tomato cultivars stacked up against each other after being grown in a high tunnel at the Woodman Horticultural Research Farm.

The researchers found that several types of tomatoes did well resisting diseases like powdery mildew and leaf mold. Market yield was good, but taste tests were inconclusive due to variable weather and growing conditions.

Tomatoes are the most common vegetable crop grown by New Hampshire vegetable farmers, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of the 682 farms growing vegetables reporting in 2012, nearly 350 said they grew tomatoes.

The high tunnel tomato trial was “a great benefit to many of us growers in New Hampshire,” said Tasha Dunning with the Spring Ledge Farm in New London. “Choosing varieties is difficult in that we cannot afford to use our tunnel space for trials of varieties that may not work out well.”

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