Nitrogen Response and Soil Microbial Activity in Potato Cropping Systems as Affected by Fumigation

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Start Date: 2016

Principal Investigator: Carl Rosen

Organization: University of Minnesota, Department of Soil, Water and Climate

Status: Ongoing

Background Information:

Fumigation is routinely used by potato growers to control soil-borne diseases.  While the use of fumigation temporarily reduces disease incidence, it also eliminates the populations of beneficial soil organisms.  Therefore once fumigation is used, repeated applications are necessary every time potatoes are grown in the rotation. Fumigation can have both positive and negative effects on nutrient use efficiency.  Potato root systems are often healthier following fumigation due to a lower disease incidence, which may in turn lower nutrient inputs. In contrast, fumigation substantially alters microbial diversity and could have negative impacts on nutrient cycling over time.

Project Objectives:

©2017 Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council of Minnesota