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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Orono, Maine » New England Plant, Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #339587

Title: Incorporating disease-suppressive rotation crops and organic amendments into improved potato cropping systems

item Larkin, Robert - Bob

Submitted to: American Phytopathological Society Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2017
Publication Date: 12/1/2017
Citation: Larkin, R.P. 2017. Incorporating disease-suppressive rotation crops and organic amendments into improved potato cropping systems. American Phytopathological Society Abstracts. 107:S5.48.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Use of longer rotations, disease-suppressive green manures, organic amendments, and other soil health management practices have been shown to increase tuber yield, reduce disease, and improve soil health in previous potato cropping studies. However, such practices need to be implemented in ways that maintain economic viability for growers. In field trials established in 2013, different 3-yr potato cropping systems focused on specific management goals of soil conservation (SC), soil improvement (SI), and disease-suppression (DS) were evaluated and compared to a 2-yr standard rotation (SQ) and a non-rotation control (PP) for their effects on soil properties, tuber yield, soilborne diseases, and economic viability. SI system resulted in increased potato yield (by 31%), higher OM (by 51%) and other nutrient contents, and higher microbial activity (by 42%), relative to the SQ system. The DS system also increased yield (by 15%) and increased microbial activity (by 21%) relative to SQ, and reduced black scurf by 25% and common scab by 21% relative to PP. Soil microbial community characteristics, as represented by fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) profiles were also distinctly different among the cropping systems. Overall, systems provided comparable or increased net income relative to existing 3-yr rotations, but were not quite as profitable as standard 2-yr rotation (SQ). These results indicate that soil health management practices can be incorporated into economically viable cropping systems that may enhance sustainability, productivity, and ecosystem function.