Relationships Among Soil Health Indicators and Potato Field Histories
Date & Time
Monday, July 18, 2022, 2:30 PM

In 2011, the Michigan Potato Industry identified soil health as a key topic for research. Subsequently, a soil health survey of three fields from each of eight Michigan potato farms was conducted in 2012. The fields were selected based on their histories of high tuber yields, potato early-die or significant incidence of potato scab. Four ten-acre blocks were sampled in each of the 24 fields in accordance with the Cornell University Soil Health Laboratory (CUSHL) protocol. The samples were processed at CUSHL for four biological, four physical and four chemical soil health indicators. On a scale of 0 to 100, the mean score for the 96 samples was 57.7. Water stable aggregates, nitrogen mineralization potential and active carbon had means of 39.9%, 8.04 µN/dwtsoil/week and 241 ppm, respectively. There were no significant differences among the chemical and physical indicators for the site histories. Nitrogen mineralization was greater in the fields with histories of high tuber yields, compared to the potato early-die or potato scab sites. Carbon mineralization was lower in the high-yielding and early-die sites, compared to the scab sites. In addition, Michigan State University scientists have developed a remote sensing system for thermal stability as a potential soil health indicator. Recent studies exhibited positive relationships between tuber yields and water stable aggregates, nitrogen mineralization potential, active carbon, total CUSHL soil health scores and thermal stability. The 2012 Michigan potato soil health survey is being repeated in 2022 to determine if there has been any industry-wide change in soil health the past decade.

Session Type
Parent Session
7/18 - Concurrent Sessions B