Key considerations for potato farmers: The importance of crop rotation

When making decisions about how to achieve optimal product and yield, many potato growers turn to crop rotation. This method has proven time and again to help growers manage diseases that might affect their crop. “If you continually grow potatoes on the same ground, you’re going to get buildup of diseases that could lead to yield or quality problems,” said Curtis Rainbolt, Technical Service Representative at BASF. “You’re going to see benefits from planting a crop that isn’t a host for the same diseases potatoes are prone to.” If a grower rotates from a broadleaf crop susceptible to many of the same diseases as potatoes to a grass crop that is not so susceptible, then Rainbolt’s advice rings especially true. Whether growers decide to grow a broadleaf crop like sugar beets or a grass crop such as corn, it’s important for them to have diversity in their operation. “The more diversity you have in your rotation, the more you’re going to lower the disease pressure,” said Rainbolt. More