Soil health indicators and microbial communities in a newly converted field and an adjacent fumigated field with long-term potato history
Date & Time
Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 3:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Soil health is “the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals, and humans (NRCS).†A soil’s health is assessed based on its chemical, physical and biological properties. Soilborne pathogens and degradation of soil health are critical problems for the potato industry. To evaluate the effects of soil health variables and pathogen loads on tuber yield and productivity in 2019 and 2021, we compared two adjacent potato fields with distinct previous histories. One field had 40 years of commercial potato history in a two-year rotation with soil fumigation used in recent years, and the other field was converted from trees, shrubs, and grasses in 2017 and for the first time used for potatoes in 2019 following a crop of soybean in 2018. Soybeans were grown again in 2020 followed by a potato crop in 2021. The cultivar ‘Goldrush’ was grown in both fields in both years of the study. Soil samples were collected at planting and 60 days later (tuber bulking stage) each year from 20 points arranged in a square grid in each field. We measured soil health indicators, populations of soil Verticillium propagules and root-lesion nematodes, and other soil characteristics using these samples. Moreover, DNA was extracted to measure the soil microbial community structure based on 16S rRNA and fungal ITS sequence data. We tested for relationships among these variables and tuber yield and quality data collected at harvest to identify which soil properties and microbiome characteristics were related to crop yield and disease pressure.

Session Type
Parent Session