Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 2011
Publication Date: May 31, 2012
Citation: Olanya, O.M., Honeycutt, C., He, Z., Larkin, R.P., Halloran, J.M., Frantz, J. 2012. Early and late blight potential on Russet Burbank potato as affected by microclimate, cropping systems and irrigation management in North-eastern United States. In: He, Z., Larkin, R.P., Honeycutt, C.W., editors. Sustainable Potato Production: Global Case Studies. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Springer. 43-60. Technical Abstract: Soil and irrigation management have been used to optimize crop production; however,their effects on microclimate, development, and potato diseases have not been adequately quantified. The effects of soil, crop, and water management on development of potato early blight and late blight were quantified in a potato cropping systems experiment from 2006 to 2008. Microclimate was not significantly impacted by cropping systems, and varied within seasons and across years. Irrigation had little impact on microclimate, suggesting that treatment induced effects were not significant. Early blight incidence, severity, and lesion numbers were, however, impacted by management systems and years. Disease incidence was significantly (P<0.05) greater in Continuous Potato (PP) than Disease Suppressive (DS), Soil Conserving (SC), Soil Improving (SI) and Status Quo (SQ) systems. Due to fungicide applications, no late blight was recorded in field plots. Based on theoretical late blight indices (hours of RH>90%, predicted area under disease progress curves (AUDPC), severity values, and blight units), late blight potential was similar among cropping systems. Microclimatic variables were not significantly correlated to early blight or late blight potential, perhaps due to the influence of the surrounding environment, or lack of significant treatment effects. In addition to the positive attributes associated with potato cropping systems (high yield, soil health, economic returns, production sustainability), this research demonstrated improved management of early blight disease with cropping systems, but no effect on late blight, an explosive foliar disease. Nevertheless, cropping systems and irrigation management provide useful tools for the enhanced sustainability of potato production.