Using Cropping Systems to Meet Management Goals in Potato Production

A farm’s land base is among its most important assets and managing this land base is among the most challenging aspects of farming. Many factors are weighed in these management decisions, especially when farmers aim to have them serve multiple goals. This is true anywhere but especially so in eastern U.S. potato production wherein profitable rotation crops are few, the potential for disease is high, costs continue to rise, rainfall is variable and soil quality is difficult to maintain. A USDA-led team operating in Maine asked how four cropping systems compare in their ability to meet three management goals (soil conservation and improvement, disease suppression, and maintenance of status quo rotation). Using soil and crop indicators, they revealed that specific cropping systems can be used to address important issues and improve overall crop productivity. Read here for more information.