Managing soil health in potatoes

Soil health can be seen as the continued capacity of the soil to function as a vital, living ecosystem that sustains plants, animals and humans. This definition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) speaks to the importance of managing the soil so it can continue to sustain life for future generations. As the experts point out, potato production disrupts the soil in a very aggressive way. The tubers not only need to be dug up for harvest, there are also numerous planting and hilling procedures as well as chemical applications during the growing season. All this plowing, tilling and heavy equipment use has a profound effect on the stability and health of the soil. Spud Smart asked three experts in Canada to talk about important soil practices and how they can increase the soil’s capacity for potato production. More