ENHANCING SUSTAINABILITY OF FOOD PRODUCTION SYSTEMS IN THE NORTHEAST
Location: New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory
Title: Identifying Constraints to Potato System Sustainability: Soil Test Phosphorus and Soil Microbial Biomass Phosphorus
Submitted to: Northeast Potato Technology Forum
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 2, 2009
Publication Date: March 10, 2009
Citation: He, Z., Honeycutt, C.W., Griffin, T.S., Olanya, O.M., Larkin, R.P., Halloran, J.M. 2009. Identifying Constraints to Potato System Sustainability: Soil Test Phosphorus and Soil Microbial Biomass Phosphorus. Northeast Potato Technology Forum. Pages 3-6.
Potato productivity in Maine has remained relatively constant for over 60 years. Thus, research is needed to establish the degree to which factors constrain the potato production system, and to determine the optimal combinations of practices that increase productivity. For this purpose, we established a long-term field experiment in Presque Isle, Maine in 2004 to establish the relative importance of factors that impact potato yield and quality. Several cropping systems were evaluated by our interdisciplinary team for their agronomic, economic, and environmental attributes. In this work, the impacts of cropping system on soil test P levels and soil microbial P are reported. Soil test P measured by either the Olsen or ammonia oxalate extraction methods indicated that the cropping systems evaluated did not significantly change soil test P. Similarly, cropping system did not impact levels of soil microbial biomass P. Further research is required to determine if these changes may eventually occur over longer periods.