Submitted to: Maine Potato Conference Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 15, 2005
Publication Date: January 29, 2006
Citation: Honeycutt, C.W., Larkin, R.P., Halloran, J.M., Griffin, T.S. 2006. The potato systems planner. Maine Potato Conference Abstracts. CD-ROM Technical Abstract: Developing profitable crop rotations is a top research priority for the potato industry. An interdisciplinary team of ARS scientists from the New England Plant, Soil, & Water Laboratory evaluated 14 rotations for their impacts on potato yield and quality, nutrient availability, plant diseases, soil microorganisms, potential profitability, and economic risk. This research information was compiled into the “Potato Systems Planner” CD to assist growers in making informed decisions about their crop rotations and associated management practices. The Potato Systems Planner is set up much like a web page, where users can obtain different levels of detail simply by clicking on a research summary. As an example, the Canola-Potato system contains the statement “Lowest levels of Black Scurf.” Clicking on this statement provides a graph of tuber Black Scurf levels when potato follows canola, as compared to other rotations. The Potato Systems Planner also provides an “Economics Calculator” where growers input production costs into a table that predicts potential profitability of each rotation and of the entire cropping system. The Economics Calculator was designed so that information needed to run the calculator is identical to that information requested by the USDA Farm Service Agency when growers apply for a crop loan. In this way, growers can use the same information for deciding what to grow as they use when applying for a loan to grow it. A third component of the Potato Systems Planner is a “Disease Database.” This database provides pictures and information useful for identifying and controlling 15 of the most common diseases of potato. To request a free copy, call 207-581-3266 or email Wayne.Honeycutt@ars.usda.gov.