Submitted to: New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: September 15, 2005
Publication Date: November 13, 2005
Citation: Griffin, T.S., Larkin, R.P., Honeycutt, C.W. 2005. Potato rotations and soil management: looking at the long-term. New England Vegetable and Fruit Conference Proceedings. Technical Abstract: In New England and the Northeast, potatoes are usually grown in rotation with either other vegetable crops or with grain or green manure crops. Although continuous monoculture production of potato is rare, 2-year rotations are common. These short rotations, coupled with the intensive tillage associated with potato management (primary tillage, secondary tillage, cultivation, hilling, and digging) have substantially reduced soil organic matter concentration on the sandy soils typically used for producing potatoes. Improving soil in intensively-tilled potato systems will require a two-pronged approach that focuses on both conservation and soil-building. Even in two-year rotations, delaying tillage and including cover crops increased soil coverage. Increasing soil carbon concentration, however, typically requires periodic application of amendments like compost. Selection of rotation crops can either increase (green bean in rotation) or decrease (Brassica species) soil-borne potato disease like scab and Rhizoctonia.