University of Manitoba: Natural Systems Agriculture: Crop Rotation for Transition to Organic - Potatoes
University of Manitoba Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Department of Plant Science

Crop Rotation for Transition to Organic: Year 4 - Potatoes

By Stacey Eidse

The Transition to Organic trial at Carman, Manitoba is now in its fourth year. This experiment involves several different crop rotations as well as different nutrient amendments. This year all plots were planted with Yukon Gold potatoes. The crop history includes three rotations:

  • wheat-barley-soybean-potato
  • wheat-barley-alfalfa-potato
  • wheat-alfalfa-alfalfa-potato

Once planted, each plot received either composted ruminant (cattle) manure, composted monogastric (chicken) manure or dehydrated alfalfa pellets, based on soil test recommendations. Over the summer, I will be measuring water and nutrient use, disease occurance, weed populations and crop density. There is also a sister trial similar to this one in Truro, Nova Scotia.

Potato seedlings at Carman, MB, in early June, 2005.
Organic potatoes in late June, 2005.
This photo shows a root exclusion tube, which prevents roots from accessing soil nutrients within the tube. Plant root simulator probes were placed inside the tubes on July 12. These probes absorb all the available ions (nutrients) that a plant would take up.
Organic potatoes on July 15, 2005.

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This page created June 2005.
Updated July 2005.