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Conservation Management Practices and Rotations for Irrigated Processing Potato in Southern Alberta

Larney, F.J., Pearson, D.C., Blackshaw, R.E., Lupwayi, N.Z., Lynch, D.R. (2016). Conservation Management Practices and Rotations for Irrigated Processing Potato in Southern Alberta, 93(1), 50-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12230-015-9487-z

Abstract

© 2015, The Potato Association of America. Irrigated processing potato production is an important part of southern Alberta’s agricultural economy. A 12-year (2000–11) study compared conservation (CONS) and conventional (CONV) management for potato in 3- to 6-year rotations which also included dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), and soft wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Oat (Avena sativa L.) and timothy (Phleum pratense L.) were added to the longest rotation. Conservation management included reduced tillage, cover crops, feedlot manure compost addition, and solid-seeded dry bean. Averaged over 12 years, a 5-year CONS rotation (potato–wheat–sugar beet–wheat–dry bean) resulted in 18 % higher marketable tuber yield than a 3-year CONV rotation (potato–dry bean–wheat). Reduced incidence of potato early dying was also found with CONS management. Results indicate that integration of CONS management practices led to yield and disease control benefits without negatively impacting tuber quality.

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