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Article

Improving Soil Quality and Potato Productivity with Manure and High-Residue Cover Crops in Eastern Canada

1
Charlottetown Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 440 University Avenue, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4N6, Canada
2
Fredericton Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 850 Lincoln Road, P.O. Box 20280, Fredericton, NB E3B 4Z7, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rui Manuel Almeida Machado
Plants 2021, 10(7), 1436; https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10071436
Received: 29 May 2021 / Revised: 8 July 2021 / Accepted: 9 July 2021 / Published: 14 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant-Soil Interactions: From Soil Fertility to Crop Growth)
Under intensive low residue agricultural systems, such as those involving potato (Solanum tuberosum L.)-based systems, stagnant crop yields and declining soil health and environmental quality are common issues. This study evaluated the effects of pen-pack cow (Bos Taurus) manure application (20 Mg·ha−1) and cover crops on nitrate dynamics and soil N supply capacity, subsequent potato yield, selected soil properties, and soil-borne disease. Eight cover crops were tested and included grasses, legumes, or a mixture of legumes and grasses, with red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) used as a control. Forage pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum L.) was associated with highest dry matter. On average, red clover had 88% higher total N accumulation than the treatments mixing grasses and legumes, and the former was associated with higher soil nitrate in fall before residue incorporation and overwinter, but this was not translated into increased potato yields. Pearl millet and sorghum sudangrass (Sorghum bicolor × sorghum bicolor var. Sudanese) were associated with lower soil nitrate in comparison to red clover while being associated with higher total potato yield and lower numerical value of root-lesion nematodes (Pratylenchus penetrans), although this was not statistically significant at 5% probability level. Manure incorporation increased total and marketable yield by 28% and 26%, respectively, and increased soil N supply capacity by an average of 44%. Carbon dioxide released after a short incubation as a proxy of soil microbial respiration increased by an average of 27% with manure application. Our study quantified the positive effect of manure application and high-residue cover crops on soil quality and potato yield for the province of Prince Edward Island. View Full-Text
Keywords: cover crop; grasses; legumes; manure; potato; root-lesion nematodes; Verticillium dahliae cover crop; grasses; legumes; manure; potato; root-lesion nematodes; Verticillium dahliae
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MDPI and ACS Style

Nyiraneza, J.; Chen, D.; Fraser, T.; Comeau, L.-P. Improving Soil Quality and Potato Productivity with Manure and High-Residue Cover Crops in Eastern Canada. Plants 2021, 10, 1436. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10071436

AMA Style

Nyiraneza J, Chen D, Fraser T, Comeau L-P. Improving Soil Quality and Potato Productivity with Manure and High-Residue Cover Crops in Eastern Canada. Plants. 2021; 10(7):1436. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10071436

Chicago/Turabian Style

Nyiraneza, Judith, Dahu Chen, Tandra Fraser, and Louis-Pierre Comeau. 2021. "Improving Soil Quality and Potato Productivity with Manure and High-Residue Cover Crops in Eastern Canada" Plants 10, no. 7: 1436. https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10071436

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