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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #279406

Title: Economic implications of alternative potato cropping systems in Maine

item Halloran, John
item Larkin, Robert - Bob
item Defauw, Sherri

Submitted to: Northeast Potato Technology Forum Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2012
Publication Date: 3/7/2012
Citation: Halloran, J.M., Larkin, R.P., Defauw, S.L. 2012. Economic implications of alternative potato cropping systems in Maine. Northeast Potato Technology Forum Abstracts. p. 23.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sustainable cropping systems and management practices are needed to improve agricultural viability and rural economic vitality in Maine and the surrounding region. Research is being conducted to 1) identify the constraints to potato system sustainability and 2) develop practices and management strategies to overcome or reduce those constraints. Limitations to sustainability are being identified through interdisciplinary evaluation of cropping systems designed and managed as a) Status Quo, b) Soil Conserving, c) Soil Improving, and d) Pest Suppressive Systems under both irrigated and rainfed management. Each system is being evaluated for its impacts on soil properties, plant growth, plant diseases, nutrient availability, profitability and risk, and their interactions. In addition, research is being conducted to increase productivity and improve economic viability. This presentation discusses the economic implications of each system with respect to producer profitability. The systems were not designed to be profitable, but rather to identify key constraints of each system. However, the results of our cropping systems do have implications with respect to the potential profitability of modified systems. Our results show that there is a wide range of potential profitability from one system to another with respect to potential profitability. With respect to economic potential we found that the crops included in a three year cycle were important and that other cultural practices, such as adding compost or irrigation affected potential profitability. There were significant differences between the systems with respect to yields. The largest effects were seen in the disease suppressive and soil improving systems.