Connect With Us

Browsing Category Soil

Webinar: Soil Health

Potato production can disrupt the soil in a very aggressive way, but there are a number of agronomic measures farmers can follow to bolster soil health. In this FREE live webinar, scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 23, 1 p.m. ET, 10 a.m. PT., we will talk about practices to help increase the soil’s capacity for potato production, including: Why organic matter is important for soil structure. How biodiversity in the soil can help suppress soil-borne disease and…

Managing Soil Health in Potatoes

Soil health can be seen as the continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans. This definition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) speaks to the importance of managing the soil so it can continue to sustain life for future generations. According to the USDA-NRCS, there are a number of agronomic measures farmers can follow to…

Soil Testing Accuracy Important

The phrase that advises us never to compare apples to oranges should be taken very seriously in relation to soil tests according to Pat Toner, a soil management specialist with New Brunswick Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture (NBAFA). “A standard test will measure water pH, buffer pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium and sulphur, but you need to ensure a couple of things are in place for the results to be accurate and useful,” Toner explains….

Soil Health Key for Long-Term Potato Production

Across North America, most potato crop yields have been on the rise in the past few decades. In parts of Canada though, data has revealed that yields in some areas have either decreased or remained stagnant, especially in New Brunswick. Soil scientists attribute this to waning soil health due in part to short rotations and soil erosion. As a result, improving soil health is top of mind for many producers. The Importance…

Conservation Measures Outperform Conventional Yields

Conventional potato production appears ultimately to produce the highest net return per acre. But you have to weigh that against “conservation” potato production practices that not only grow potatoes, but also do more to improve overall soil quality and health. What is that worth to a producer? That conclusion comes following a 12-year Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) field study comparing conventional irrigated potato production practices and conservation practices that included no…

Fall Bedding

Fall bedding in potato fields allows for soil preparation work to be done when growers typically have more time and labour available to them. In this system, growers usually irrigate, broadcast fertilizer as needed, plow, and then form beds into which they plant the following spring. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart asked the following five experts to weigh in on their experiences with fall bedding. Louis Claassen, a potato producer…

Potatoes and biochar are not friends

Studies have shown that adding biochar to soil can improve soil fertility, increase nutrient utilization in plants, improve soil water-holding capacity, increase crop yield and reduce emission of greenhouse gases. However, if you are a potato farmer, your joy may be short-lived. Biochar and potatoes do not go very well together – at least not if you are aiming at saving water, according to results from Aarhus University in Denmark. During her…

Soil Fumigation in Potatoes

While it is practiced extensively in the United States, soil fumigation is anything but common in potato production in Canada. But there’s a growing voice within the industry that views soil fumigants like chloropicrin as an important tool that should not be overlooked for ensuring healthier, better yielding potato crops. For this edition of Roundtable, Spud Smart asked the following six experts to weigh in on the use of soil fumigation in…

Investing in Better Drainage

During a wet year, having tile drainage in your field can make or break your crop. So says potato producer John Goff, co-owner of Corduroy Plains Farm near Carman, Man. Under certain conditions, he says, tile drainage can mean the difference between a bumper crop and no crop at all. Goff’s farmland is made up of Almasippi soil, with a clay layer about four feet from the surface. Although the sandy soil…

Russeting of Red-Skinned Potatoes is a Tough Problem

An attractive appearance is crucial in the marketing of table potatoes. A clean, shiny, bright-coloured skin free of diseases or other defects is desired in red-skinned cultivars such as Norland, Pontiac and Peregrine. Unfortunately a range of diseases and disorders can interfere with the appearance of red-skinned potatoes. In some years russeting of the skin is one of the most common quality complaints facing growers of red-skinned potatoes. While a russeted skin is an…

« Newer Articles
Older Articles »

You have successfully signed up for our newsletter!

Open