Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2006
Publication Date: 9/27/2006
Citation: Olanya, O.M., Lambert, D.H., Porter, G.A. 2006. Effects of Pest and Soil Management Systems on Potato Diseases. American Journal of Potato Research. 83:397-408. Interpretive Summary: Research on the impact of management practices on potato diseases was conducted in established, long-term cropping systems plots in Maine. Cropping systems research is important for understanding the sustainability of agro-ecosystems. Soil amendments, disease management practices and cropping pattern are some of the cropping systems components. The effects of soil amendments (compost & manure), disease management options (biological, reduced input & conventional) and crop varieties on foliar and soil-borne potato diseases were quantified in field experiments. Research results showed that variability in disease incidence and severity were detected across sampling periods and treatments. The application of soil amendments increased total microbial activity in soil. Disease management practices significantly affected some potato diseases such as black dot while soil amendments selectively impacted others like silver scurf, black scurf and black dot on potato tubers. Therefore, management practices based on cropping systems can be used to minimize potato diseases.
Technical Abstract: Long-term cropping systems are valuable for understanding the sustainability of agro-ecosystems. Soil amendment, disease management practices and cropping pattern are components of cropping systems that may impact crop productivity. Therefore, this study was conducted in 1997 and 1998 to: evaluate the impact of soil, pest management and cropping pattern on foliar and soil-borne potato diseases, and to assess the relationship of soil, pest management and cropping pattern to disease levels and microbial activity in potato plots. Fungicide applications for management of foliar diseases were applied and incidence and severity of potato diseases were quantified several times during the cropping season. The impact of soil amendment and cropping variety on soil microbial activity and tuber-borne diseases were also investigated. Foliar and soil-borne potato disease incidence varied in both years. Among the foliar diseases detected, highest incidence of black dot and lowest incidence of late blight were detected in both years. Soil microbial activity was significantly impacted by the addition of soil amendments in the field plots. These results suggest that soil amendment can improve microbial activity in soils and in conjunction with disease management treatments, be used to manage selective potato diseases.