b'The Benefits of Minimum TillageA closer look at the impact of regenerative agriculture in potato production.BY: MARCEL BRUINSWWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=C_SRMWX-H9S DURING A PANEL discussion at the 2022 Canadian Spuddecrease of wind erosion.Congress, three Canadian potato growers discussed how theyreThe past year also saw a push for regenerative agriculture in reducing tillage in the potato production on their farms. In thepotato production, with big firms such as PepsiCo and McCain session, titled A Sustainable Future for Potato Production, theyFoods releasing pledges for that type of agriculture. For the dove into the various ways each of them have learned how bestpotato growers these messages were a firm confirmation that to reduce tillage and grow potatoes in a sustainable way. All hadtheir minimum tillage approach is definitely on the right track. been experimenting with this approach for many years, and inThose messages were a reinforcement of the value of our some cases even for decades, and had come up with their ownapproach says Homer Vander Zaag, potato grower from Alliston, ways and adaptations, depending on local conditions and soil.Ont. It all starts with the soil, and these messages showed that An important reason for the growers was that minimumwhat were doing, is in the best interest of the soil.tillage is a way to increase the organic matter in their soils.According to the growers, the pledges will help convince With a healthy soil comes healthy plants, which in turn feed theother farmers and potato growers about the benefits of minimum soil biology below ground. An additional benefit is that withtillage, although itll take a while before other growers are fully more vigorous plants, with bigger root systems, the carbonup to speed and understand what it does to their soils. sequestration is also increased. Another factor that contributedBut we cant sit still. We have to keep improving, says Chad to potato growers switching to minimum tillage was the constantBerry, a potato grower from the Cypress Hill region in Manitoba.soil erosionincreasing organic matter in the soil leads to aThe panelists agreed it typically takes many years before a 10SPUDSMART.COM Spring 2022'