Economic Comparison of Conventional and Conservation Management Practices for Irrigated Potato Production in Southern Alberta.

Khakbazan, M., Larney, F.J., Huang, J., Dilay, D., Mohr, R.M., Pearson, D.C., and Blackshaw, R.E. (2016). "Economic Comparison of Conventional and Conservation Management Practices for Irrigated Potato Production in Southern Alberta.", American Journal of Potato Research, pp. 1-15. doi : 10.1007/s12230-016-9522-8  Access to full text

Abstract

Conventional (CONV) potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) production in Alberta has relied on high levels of soil disturbance which may result in long-term degradation of soil resources. A 12-yr (2000–2011) study was conducted to address issues with the CONV system and to evaluate the effects of conservation (CONS) practices on the economics of irrigated potato production. Potato was grown in 3- to 6-yr rotations which included dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), soft wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), and timothy (Phleum pratense L.). CONS included reduced tillage, cover crops, compost addition, and solid-seeded bean. Averaged over 12-yr, potato yields for 4-yr CONV rotations (potato–wheat–beet–bean) were lower than those for CONS systems. However, the decreased costs associated with not using compost in 4-yr CONV offset the losses in yield, thereby resulting in an overall net income higher than that of CONS systems.

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