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Interesting results of foliar feeding trials on virus infected tomatoes

Trial objective: To examine the effect of foliar feeding on yield and plant survival of tomato affected virus.
Background: Since 2016, the TBRFV virus has caused serious damage to tomatoes greenhouses in Israel.

In the 2019-20 season, a trial was conducted in which foliar feeding was incorporated into plant protection sprays. The purpose of the foliar feeding was to overcome the damage caused by a virus that had severely damaged the previous season's yield. It was assumed that foliar feeding would reduce the impact of damage to the roots and transport systems of the plant and would reduce yield reduction.

Location: Moshav Beit Yosef, Israel
Cultivation system: Greenhouse   
Soil: Solilless, tuff volcanic rock
Crop: Tomato, Variety TORI   
Planting density: 20,500 plant/ha
Planting date: 10/2019    Harvest: 05/2020


Farmer’s Practice

Full fertilization program thru fertigation + complete plant protection treatments against the TBRFV virus.

Haifa treatment

Farmer practice + foliar feeding incorporated to each plant protection application (7-14 days interval):

  • During the winter: Poly-Feed 21-21-21 1% + Magnisal 0.5%, 400 l/ha
  • From Spring: Poly-Feed 12-09-34 1%, 400 l/ha










The addition of fertilizer (Poly-Feed 21-21-21) to pesticide spraying on the greenhouse tomatoes in the winter increased yield by increasing the size and number of fruits.

The yield increase was a minimum of 17% up to the end of the trial - 


Yield Mt/ha

Fruit weight (gr/fruit)

Fruit No.

Survival rate

Farmer’s practice

122 a

157.3 b



Haifa treatment

144 b

168.0 a



* Different letters indicate a statistically significant difference among treatments.

The foliar feeding program has achieved a number of achievements including:

  • Bigger yield
  • Higher survival rate

​From the results of this trial, and from previous observations, it can be said that foliar feeding significantly increases the yield of a greenhouse tomato.The extra cost of foliar feeding was almost insignificant because it was incorporated into pesticide applications and did not require special treatment, and because the low cost of the fertilizers. The foliar feeding enables plants infected by the virus to develop and reach their productivity potential.