Canada: Prince Edward Island scientists see potential for sorghum sudangrass as potato rotation crop

Dr, Judith Nyiraneza shows the roots on the sorghum sudangrass, one of the plant's important features for improving soil quality.

You may not have ever heard of sorghum sudangrass but if you live on Prince Edward Island, it could be coming soon to a potato field near you. A team of researchers with Agriculture Canada are growing test plots of the fast-growing grass in Harrington, P.E.I., comparing it side by side to other rotation crops such as red clover. “We are interested in this grass because it’s fast-growing and can be a good alternative for potato growers,” explained Dr. Judith Nyiraneza, part of the research team. The grass showed promising results in a previous six-year study at the Harrington research station, where potato yields increased in fields planted following Sorghum sudangrass compared to other three-year potato rotation systems. “The interest for us is because we want to increase the soil’s organic matter,” added Nyiraneza, who sits on the Soil Improvement Working Group of the P.E.I. Potato Board along with potato growers. More