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A team of scientists at Washington State University, Oregon State University and USDA-ARS received a second year of funding from the Northwest Potato Research Consortium to characterize so called “virgin” soils that have never been planted with potato. Growers have long observed yield increases (14-26%) when planting potato in virgin soils compared to nearby non-virgin soils that have been planted in potato. Our short term goal is to document the properties (e.g. biological, physical, and chemical) in the soil associated with these yield increases. Long term we want to use this information to reproduce these yield increases in commercial fields. To do this we need your help!

Can you please reach out to us if you know any pairs of potato fields that will be planted with potato this year and were either (i) planted with potatoes within the past 5 years (non-virgin fields) or (ii) never planted with potato (virgin fields)? With your permission we can then visit each field, sample soil from each field before planting, and sample soil from nearby “native soil” that has never been planted with any crop. Once we have these three types of samples we will characterize the soil pathogen loads, nematode diversity and abundance, and soil biological, physical, and chemical properties. Lastly, we will bring the soils to a common location and plant potatoes in each soil to quantify potato performance in each soil type.

Please contact David Wheeler via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or mobile (215-880-3024).  Thank you all in advance for your time and attention. We look forward to working together this year.

David Wheeler, Cynthia Gleason, Ken Frost, Deirdre Griffin LaHue, and Tim Paulitz.



Friday, 15 April 2022