b'enough irrigation water, White says. AsI dont have to test many soils often an agronomist with Delta Ag Services, hebecause I know the numbers are going believes thats been the biggest issue into be high right off the bat in many Island recent memory.fields. However, over the last 10 years, theBoth White and Watts say to make sure biggest issue has been dealing withcrop rotation is in your management plan. uniformity and consistency.Most of the potato ground in the Weve got soil texture changes,province has been in production for more natural soil fertility differences, slopethan a decade, says White. Because and whatnotTrying to take that andof that, were on mostly a three-year produce a consistent potato crop thatrotation.stores as we deal with overwatering andEmre also works to include crop rotation underwatering and other quality issues isinto his goalsthough, he says three- or difficult, he explains. four-year rotations arent a luxury he has. On Prince Edward Island, Steve Watts,We are in an every other year rotation, owner and operator of Genesis CropEmre explains. Several years ago, we had Systems Inc., says the biggest problemsto change our mindset, but we decided are from an economic perspective. that potatoes pay our bills and focused on Weve got all kinds of forces out therethat.Charles Emre, fourth-generation farmer in some external that we cant control andIn the end, crop rotations help becauseNorfolk County, Ont.others internal that we can, he adds.youre stopping one thing in particular: If you open up our potato diseasefeeding the pest.guidebook, quite often you find a few ofStop feeding the critters and diseases the pests or diseases in our fields. Mosttheir favourite foods all the time, Watts you can control reasonably well withsays. That means, changing your crop various types of strategies. rotations around.The biggest issue on P.E.I. is the lack of access to toolsparticularly becauseKeeping Tools for the Toolboxchemical fumigation isnt permitted.In addition to tools like crop rotation, crop Having access to a product that willprotection is another option for nematode control nematodes helps a bit and is veryand disease management. Veluma tool beneficial to our industry here, Wattsdeveloped by Bayer Crop Scienceis says.one tool that all three believe adds value Knowing history, soil type, and whatto a field.your fields are capable of and whatBefore Velum was registered, Watts theyve done in the past is only the firstgot to work on trials with Bayer for the step to field management, though.product.Steve Watts, owner/operator of Genesis Crop Systems Inc based in Hampton, P.E.I.We saw some crop response to where Creating a Planwe put Velum on at that time, he says. When it comes to targeting andThose trials only lasted one year.management, having a plan is important.With his own grower groups, he put the That plan can take many shapes andproduct to test on between five to 10 fields forms but knowing your overall goal isper year for a few years to keep score and important. understand the product. Knowing your fields and what goalsThats really where I developed my youre setting out to in that field helps,level of confidence with Velum, he says. explains Emre. Being fresh marketI can tell you now, any grower we work growers, we will give up yield for qualitywith is encouraged to use Velum wherever any day, so our goals might be differentthey can, especially on the mid-to-late than another grower from a differentseason variety. We see the value there.commodity. White first trialed Velum in 2017. From Watts says if youre concerned about2018 on, weve been using more and nematodes, you need to get your soilmore Velum in furrowfirst targeted sampled.for Umatilla Russet, he says. Now, its Darren White, agronomist with Delta Ag That soil sampling will help you seetending to go on all acres. Services in Manitobawhere you stand at the moment, he says.White has seen it help primarily with SPUDSMART.COM Spring 202215'