Energy Use Efficiency of Conventional versus Conservation Management Practices for Irrigated Potato Production in Southern Alberta

Khakbazan, M., Larney, F.J., Huang, J., Mohr, R., Pearson, D.C., Blackshaw, R.E. (2017). Energy Use Efficiency of Conventional versus Conservation Management Practices for Irrigated Potato Production in Southern Alberta, 94(2), 105-119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12230-016-9551-3

Abstract

© 2016, The Potato Association of America. A 12-yr. (2000–2011) study was conducted in Alberta, Canada to compare the energy use efficiency (EUE) of conventional (CONV) and conservation (CONS) potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) management practices. 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 compost application, reduced tillage, cover crops, and solid-seeded bean. Findings suggested that potato in 5-yr. CONS produced the highest EUE compared to the other CONS or CONV rotations. CONS can be used as a means of reducing the reliance on non-renewable energy inputs and improving overall EUE of potato production when less than 21% of the N content of compost applied was counted toward energy input use of potato production. At more than 21%, potato in the 4-yr. CONV became more favorable compared to potato in other rotations.

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