Traditionally potato producers in Canada use the late fall to prepare their potato beds for the following spring. The long-established process has its benefits, but also creates concerns, including loss of soil fertility, crop nutrient availability and an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
As Tina Karst reports in a news story published by Agri-View, a new research project at Lethbridge College in Canada’s Alberta province will work to determine what steps can be taken to ensure the best result for producers, while also moving toward environmentally sustainable agriculture practices.
Rezvan Karimi, research scientist in the Mueller Irrigation Group, is heading the three-year $446,500 project, which is funded by Results Driven Agriculture Research (RDAR).
Current fall bedding practices for potato crops involve irrigation, fertilizer application, plowing and the formation of beds, with an aim to provide favorable soil structure conditions in the spring. Karimi’s team will test three different bedding formations – a traditional fall bedding, a spring bedding after having winter cover crop, and a spring bedding with no winter cover crop – to see how each affects the yield, soil nutrient levels and nitrous oxide emissions.
It is the first known project in Alberta to study the effect of potato bedding on soil erosion and emissions.
Source: Agri-View. Read the full story here
Related: The effects of bedding preparation time, winter cover cropping and irrigation management on yield, soil erosion and GHG emissions in irrigated potato production in Southern Alberta
Related: Lethbridge College potato research project focused on sustainability
Photo: Credit Lethbridge College