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The Tycoon challenges the Celebrity for admiration of tomato producers


Illustration: Division of Research

The Tycoon tomato has many characteristics that rival or even best the Celebrity tomato, the long-standing favorite of many commercial and home growers,  says a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service horticulturist.

Tycoon tomato has superior resistance to diseases and nematodes, and it can produce very large fruit of superior quality. All these characteristics and more won it the Texas Superstar title, said David Rodriguez, AgriLife Extension agent for horticulture in Bexar County and member of the Texas Superstar selection board.

For example, Tycoon is resistant to tomato yellow leaf curl virus, a disease that has become a major problem for many varieties in the past few years, Rodriguez said. It is also resistant to the fungi verticillium and fusarium, races one and two, and tomato spotted wilt virus, as well as nematodes.

It’s also capable of growing very large tomatoes, Rodriguez said. A common-size tomato for most reliable varieties, including Celebrity, is about 6 to 8 ounces.

“But we’ve been seeing and hearing reports from other growers as well that under optimum management, Tycoon can produce tomatoes 1 pound and larger and of very high quality,” he said.