Direct vs Traditional Potato Planting: Potential in Manitoba – Two Year Assessment
Date & Time
Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 3:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Vikram Bisht

Traditionally, potato farmers across North America make multiple tillage passes in preparing the soil prior to planting. In many Manitoba potato-growing areas, wind erosion in a potato field can create many challenges, before, during and after the potato crop. Side-by-side trials were conducted for two years in Cypress River, Manitoba, to evaluate the performance of potato planting “directly†into stubble vs “traditional†planting (after two cultivation passes in spring); and study their impact in reducing soil erosion, improving soil health and sustainability, while maintaining or improving yield and quality The trial fields were deep-ripped in the fall, as a normal practice. Then in spring potatoes were direct-planted in to canola stubble (1st trial 2020) and wheat stubble (2nd trial 2021) or planted “traditionally†after the field had been cultivated in the fall. In these trials, the crop residue cover on hills was consistently more in direct planted than in traditional. The hills in the direct planted treatment were consistently less eroded than the traditional planting. In both years, the direct seeded crop was slower to emerge but the growth caught up in a few weeks. Direct planted potatoes performed statistically similar to the traditional planted crops in yield and tuber quality parameters. Due to two fewer cultivation passes, there were savings in labour costs and 2.5 gallons of diesel fuel per acre per tillage pass, which also translates in to reduced carbon foot-print of the direct planted potatoes. Direct planting into stubble may be advantageous under certain conditions of soil and wind erosion; and growers could test whether this system would succeed in their specific farm situations.

Session Type
Parent Session