Impacts of soil and water conservation practices on potato yield in northwestern New Brunswick.

Ochuodho, T.O., Olale, E., Lantz, V., Damboise, J., Chow, T.L., Meng, F., Daigle, J.-L., and Li, S. (2013). "Impacts of soil and water conservation practices on potato yield in northwestern New Brunswick.", Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 68(5), pp. 392-400. doi : 10.2489/jswc.68.5.392  Access to full text

Abstract

We investigated the effects of soil and water conservation practices on mean and variance of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) yield across 267 fields in northwestern New Brunswick, Canada, from 1988 to 2010. A stochastic production function method was used to account for seven soil and water conservation practices in addition to farm inputs, potato varieties, technological change, site characteristics, and seasonal climate effects. Overall, soil and water conservation structures had mixed effects on potato yield. While spring tillage and terracing increased mean potato yield, grassed waterways, drainage, chisel plowing, and other practices had the opposite effect. Rock management did not impact mean potato yield. Most practices did not impact yield variance. While soil and water conservation practices can be effective farm management tools for maintaining soil fertility and enhancing potato yields, there are no one-size-fits-all prescriptions to enhance yield.

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