Potato Early Dying and Yield Responses to Compost, Green Manures, Seed Meal and Chemical Treatments.

Molina, O.I., Tenuta, M., El Hadram, A., Buckley, K.E., Cavers, C., and Daayf, F. (2014). "Potato Early Dying and Yield Responses to Compost, Green Manures, Seed Meal and Chemical Treatments.", American Journal of Potato Research, 91(4), pp. 414-428. doi : 10.1007/s12230-014-9365-0  Access to full text

Abstract

Verticillium dahliae Kleb. is a soilborne fungal pathogen of many crops. In potato, it is the major causal agent of Early Dying. In Manitoba, potato fields planted with cv. Russet Burbank are infested with highly pathogenic V. dahliae isolates, which can produce up to 90 % disease severity. The objective of the study was to evaluate selected compost, green manure, and seed-meal treatments, in comparison with the soil fumigant Vapam, for their ability to reduce propagule density of V. dahliae in soil and decrease disease, and to enhance potato yield. Select green manure crops (oriental and white mustard, Canada milk vetch, sorghum-sudangrass, rye, alfalfa, oat/pea mixture), organic amendments (composted cattle manure and mustard seed-meal), and Vapam, and crop sequences that contribute to the suppression of Verticillium, or the improvement of potato yield were used in a 3-year field study initiated in 2006. Survival in soil of microsclerotia was evaluated as a measure of treatments’ success in potentially reducing Early Dying. Compost and seed-meal treatments, compared to an untreated control, reduced incidence to 30 and 40 %, respectively, but only seed-meal reduced V. dahliae propagule density. Overall, green manures over 1 or 2-years were ineffective in reducing propagule density or improving potato yield. Vapam was partially effective in reducing the propagule density only at the beginning of the potato season, but it did not reduce disease incidence compared to the control. Compost and seed-meal are promising as alternative control of V. dahliae. Only compost reduced disease and increased potato yield, which was associated with improved nutrient availability (phosphorus and sulfate) in soil.

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