Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural Meteorology of Japan
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/3/2014
Publication Date: 5/20/2014
Citation: Olanya, O.M., Larkin, R.P., Halloran, J.M., He, Z. 2014. Relationships of crop and soil management systems to meteorological variables and potato diseases on a Russet burbank cultivar. Journal of Agricultural Meteorology of Japan. 70(2):91-104.
Interpretive Summary: We evaluated the effects of crop, soil and water management on meteorological variables of a Russet Burbank potato canopy and their relationships to foliar and soil-borne diseases in a humid temperate environment of Northern Maine. Management systems were assessed during a four year period from 2006 to 2009. As expected, seasonal averages of meteorological parameters (canopy and soil temperatures, relative humidity, leaf wetness, solar radiation) varied, although diurnal patterns of microclimate variables were similar. Treatment induced effects (cropping systems and water management) were mostly not significant, implying that the surrounding environment of small-size potato plots may influence meteorological variables or canopy microclimate. While foliar disease levels were invariably high in some systems, soil-borne diseases were significantly reduced in other systems. Selective use of management systems may reduce the deleterious effects of disease constraints with concomitant improvement in potato production.
Technical Abstract: Crop, soil and water management systems may alter microclimatic conditions and affect plant growth and pest dynamics. However, the extent to which meteorological variables of potato canopy may be impacted in a humid temperate region has not been adequately ascertained. Field plots of a Russet Burbank potato were established to assess the potential impacts of management systems on meteorological variables and disease dynamics during the cropping cycle. The effects of five cropping systems (i.e Status Quo -SQ, Continuous Potato -PP, Soil Conserving -SC, Disease Suppressive -DS, and Soil Improving -SI) and irrigation application on meteorological variables of potato canopy were investigated from 2006 to 2009. Air and soil temperatures, relative humidity, leaf wetness, soil water content and solar radiation were assessed during the potato cropping cycle (May to September). The cropping systems had diverse, but few significant effects on the meteorological variables of potato canopy, implying that treatment effects were similar. It appears that climate induced effects from the environment surrounding field plots negated any cropping system or water treatments in field plots. In contrast, data for potato diseases, including early blight, stem canker, black scurf, and common scab, demonstrated consistent significant (P<0.05) effects due to management system and canopy microclimate had little impact on potato diseases. These results suggest that in a humid environment, selective use of systems management may optimize potato growth and productivity and simultaneously minimize disease as well as adverse microclimate.