In less than ideal soil environments, potato cropping is beset with many challenges, not least preparing the soil for planting, harvesting potatoes efficiently and maintaining control over soil borne pathogens.
When soils display excessive hydraulic conductivity then the use of organic matter is conventionally applied to overcome this challenge. However, when poor hydraulic conductivity is encountered, it is normally associated with hard consolidated soils, poor tuber size, soil contaminated harvests that make harvesting more costly and cleaning the potatoes more difficult.
Yet the biggest risk for soils with poor hydraulic conductivity is the localisation of water near the tuber that becomes home for pathogens that threaten the entire crop.
When CHT looks at remedies for the optimisation of potato cropping in difficult soils, we turn our attention to the surface tension and charge balance of the soil in the rhizosphere and apply technology that either promotes or retards drainage of water so that available plant water is optimised.
Once hydraulic conductivity begins to resemble that of what would otherwise be classified as good growing soils, then the benefits of dispersion control, consolidation avoidance, slaking and wet soil borne pathogens all combine to optimise the crop.
Further information on potato cropping trials can be found:
33 Elliott Road
Victoria Australia 3175
+61 3 9706 7400
+61 3 9706 7411
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