Developing a soil microbiome monitoring method to select potato crop management practices that reduce soil-borne pathogens and pesticide applications

Richard Hogue, researcher

Richard Hogue

Researcher, Ph.D.

418 643-2380
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Contact Richard Hogue

Luc Belzile

Description

The project will employ four experimental approaches to compare, with or without pesticides, the impact of three different crop rotation protocols that differ with respect to the diversity gradient of the plants sown. A conventional protocol will include a cash crop. The green manure rotation protocol will include one or two green manure crops amid the main crop. The ecologically intensive protocol will include a number of green manure crops. Green manure crops generate systemic ecobenefits that improve soil health and boost the biodiversity of bio-organisms instrumental to crop health. This greater diversity reduces weed incidence and, consequently, the need for herbicide applications. The results of the four experimental approaches—along with a database of 280 potato crop soil microbiomes, for which the yields and incidence of a number of soil diseases have been measured—will be used to fine-tune a soil microbiome monitoring method. This method and the results of the economic assessment of the protocols studied will serve as decision-making tools for farmers and agronomists.

Objective(s)

  • Develop a method to monitor and control telluric pathogens affecting potatoes that takes into account the interactions between these pathogens and other soil microbiome organisms.
  • Model the interactions between the pathogens and soil microbiome organisms for four potato production systems subject to different crop rotation protocols.
  • Test the interaction model using soil microbiome analysis results from 70 potato fields cultivated using a range of production systems and validate the results with the appropriate diagnostic tools.
  • Propose an approach and a decision-support tool for identifying at-risk soils and formulate recommendations related to crop rotations and crop management practices.
  • Conduct an economic assessment of the control methods associated with different crop management protocols.

From 2019 to 2022

Project duration

Market gardening

Activity areas

Soil health, Pest, weed, and disease control, Laboratory analyzes

Services

The methodology developed in this project will help farmers and agronomists reduce herbicide use.

Partners

Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec | Carrefour industriel et expérimental de Lanaudière (CIEL) | Centre de recherche Les Buissons | Cultures H. Dolbec | Pro-Champs 2001 | SCV Agrologie | Université Laval

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