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Missouri Produce Growers


James Quinn
University of Missouri
(573) 634-2824

Was the Tomato Survey Useful to Growers?

James Quinn
University of Missouri
(573) 634-2824

Published: May 1, 2014

In the last newsletter the results from the Missouri Growers Tomato Survey was included as an insert. [The survey was mailed in December and responses received until the end of January.] Also included in this last newsletter was a postcard that basically asked “was the results of the tomato survey useful to you?” Fifty-six individuals responded, which was just over ½ of the number of tomato growers that returned the survey.

Note the graph which gives the results. Growers (for the most part) are already confident on what they grow, but appreciated the results. But for almost ½ of the growers the results are giving them some direction or ideas on tomatoes to try. A surprising number of comments were received, and they were entirely positive or appreciative. Below are comments that I thought would be of interest to many:

Most typical: Thanks for the interesting work.
Most positive: I appreciate all the time/effort MU does for growers and everybody.
Reassured grower: It was very interesting, seems we’re already growing the right types.
Assisted grower: It gives me more confidence in trying what I was going to this year.
About our market: We are doing mostly open pollinated and heirlooms, as our customers want that.
Regarding a variety: I think Florida 91 is grown more for heat tolerance south of I-70.
My favorite: Although being unsure what varieties to plant, I neglected my survey; I’m glad not everybody did.
A buyer critique: To us buyers for our roadside markets, we look more for the best taste, not production. Many of the buyers at our auction have been "let down" when the Goliath tomato was "dropped", as that’s how we built our market base- the good flavor. Big Dena (Bigdena) lacks in that very much.

Tomato grower evaluation regarding usefullness of tomato survey

Below are the original questions (bar title & number of responses):
(no responses)- It was very helpful; I will make some substantial changes to the varieties I grow.
(helpful- 9)- It was helpful; I will make several changes on tomatoes I plant because of it, or will try several new varieties.
(some use- 18)- I will use the information to make some minor changes (e.g. try a new tomato variety or two or adjust some of what I grow)
(interesting- 28)- It was interesting, but won’t make any difference on the tomatoes I plant.
(of no use- 1)- It wasn't of any use to me.

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REVISED: November 23, 2015