New Heat-Tolerant Tomato Hits the Florida Coast
Researchers at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have developed a new heat-tolerant tomato variety called ‘Solar Fire’.
“Solar Fire is our best bet yet for a tomato that can set fruit at warm temperatures,” said Jay Scott, professor of horticultural sciences at the University of Florida’s Gulf Coast Research and Education Center in Bradenton, Fla. “Most tomatoes that can set fruit at higher temperatures have small fruit, but this one is different. And you can plant this variety earlier in the fall growing season than other varieties.”
Solar Fire has medium- to large-size fruit, just above 6 oz., with an attractive red color and gloss. Each vine bears a lot of fruit, causing good crop yields. It is a firm tomato, an important factor when shipping.
Solar Fire is resistant to races 1, 2 and 3 of Fusarium wilt, Verticillium wilt race 1 and to gray leafspot. It has moderate resistance to fruit soft rot, a bacteria that attacks damp tomatoes after the fruit has been harvested.
Solar Fire has been licensed for production with Harris-Moran Seed Company, Modesto, Calif.