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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #279400

Title: Improving potato cropping systems: longer-term effects on diseases and yield

item Larkin, Robert - Bob
item Halloran, John

Submitted to: Northeast Potato Technology Forum Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2012
Publication Date: 3/7/2012
Citation: Larkin, R.P., Halloran, J.M. 2012. Improving potato cropping systems: longer-term effects on diseases and yield. Northeast Potato Technology Forum Abstracts. 21-22.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The development of effective cropping systems can provide the structural basis for enhanced crop production and sustainability through the conservation, maintenance, and replenishment of various soil resources. In 2004, field trials evaluating potato cropping systems focused on different specific crop management goals of (SC) soil conservation, (SI) soil improvement, and (DS) disease-suppression were established. These systems were compared to (SQ) a typical standard rotation and (PP) a non-rotation control. Previously, we reported on the effects of these cropping systems after one full rotation cycle, establishing that the DS system, which utilized Brassica and other disease-suppressive rotation crops, resulted in the lowest disease levels for all soilborne diseases observed, and also produced high yields. The SI system, characterized by yearly compost amendments, resulted in higher yields, but also resulted in greater levels of black scurf and common scab than other rotations. Now, after 8 years and multiple seasons assessments following two full rotation cycles, the DS system has maintained lower soilborne disease levels than all other rotations, whereas relative disease levels were higher in the SQ system than previously observed. High yields were maintained in SI and DS, but yields were substantially lower in the SQ system relative to the others. Overall results indicate that with these additional seasons, there are greater differences among the systems, with SQ demonstrating increased diseases and reduced yields relative to all the 3-yr systems. The DS system continues to perform well regarding maintenance of low disease levels and relatively high yields.