Name
Use of fall-seeded cover crops ahead of potato production for soil health and potato yield improvement
Date & Time
Monday, July 18, 2022, 2:45 PM
Ryan Barrett
Description

Since 2019, work has been undertaken as part of the Living Labs Atlantic initiative in Prince Edward Island, Canada to perform on-farm field trials investigating the use of fall-seeded cover crops following tillage in the year before potatoes are to be planted. Fall-seeded cover crops have been associated with reducing the risk of soil erosion as well as improving soil health metrics, particularly in Prince Edward Island, where sandy-loam soils are prone to erosion and potato rotations require frequent soil disturbance. In this study, a number of cover crops (barley, oats, oilseed radish, brown mustard) were assessed compared with a no-cover control treatment for a number of variables, including soil nutrients, soil compaction, soil health metrics, soil-borne pathogens (V. dahliae and root lesion nematodes), and resultant yield and quality of potatoes in the year following cover crop establishment. Cover crops were seeded by either broadcast or direct seeding following primary tillage between late August and late September in the year before potato planting. Over the first two years of analysis, researchers have identified a positive trend for marketable yield improvement across fifteen cover crop/no cover crop field comparisons. In 2020, marketable yield improved by an average of 24 cwt/acre across eight comparisons. In 2021, marketable yield improved by an average of 29 cwt/acre across seven comparisons. Additional fields will be analysed in 2022 following potato harvest.

Session Type
Oral
Parent Session
7/18 - Concurrent Sessions B