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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 852: IV International Symposium on Ecologically Sound Fertilization Strategies for Field Vegetable Production

TESTS OF A NEW CATCH CROP TECHNIQUE IN ORGANIC POTATO PRODUCTION

Authors:   C. Larsson, A.T.S. Nilsson, G. Svensson
Abstract:
In the study the use of catch crops in potato production was evaluated. White mustard and rye were compared in terms of leaching prevention. Irrigation and N management are important aspects of sustainable potato production. Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for potatoes and tends to have a determining effect on tuber yield. Nitrogen in farmyard manure may be released too late to be fully utilised by the potato crop and is prone to leaching. Potatoes are generally grown on light-textured soils and any residual N present in such soils may be carried beyond the reach of the shallow potato roots by irrigation water or rain, due to the low soil water-holding capacity. All potato production in Sweden causes N leaching, which can be minimised by growing a catch crop. In the comparison white mustard took up more N but most of it had mineralised by the following spring, while rye took up less N but made it available later in the following season.
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