Welcome to the Potato Soil Health Project

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The Potato Soil Health Project was established to address two related issues with soil health in potato cropping systems across the U.S.:  (1) despite the frequent use of fumigation in most farms, pressure from soil-borne diseases is increasing over time, and (2) at the same time, soil productivity is declining.  Our overall objectives are to determine how best to measure soil health in potato cropping systems, identify the tools (cover crops, soil amendments, rotation schemes) that best enhance both soil health and tuber production, and communicate our findings to potato growers.

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February 20, 2024

The grant supporting the Potato Soil Health Project ended at the end of August 2023, which is why there have been no updates.  However, we continue to seek renewed funding, and we have numerous publications in the works. Also, Amber Moore presented results from OSU’s experimental field study at the 15th Washington-Oregon Potato Conference on January 25.  Find the presentation on the Education tab!

August 4, 2023

The Potato Soil Health Manual is complete!  Find it on the “Reports” tab of this website.  Note that “complete,” in this case, does not mean “finished.”  This is a living document that will grow and evolve as our knowledge of soil health in potato cropping systems expands!

June 2, 2023

Project researchers and stakeholders met on June 1-2 in Minneapolis to discuss results to date and future directions for the Potato Soil Health Project.  Although this is the last year of project support under the current NIFA grant, we are still awaiting much of the microbiome data, and most of the data analysis, publication, and outreach remains to be done. We worked on coordinating our analysis and publication strategies. In addition, we have applied to NIFA for a second grant, and we discussed lessons from the first round that can be applied to the second, as well as the logistics around maximizing our success in the second round if it is funded.

May 16, 2023

We have submitted a grant application to NIFA requesting funding to continue work on the Potato Soil Health Project into 2028.  We have accomplished a lot under the current grant, but soil health is a long-term proposition.  In addition, our experience with this project has taught us much, and we believe we have a solid foundation in both research infrastructure and increased expertise to accomplish even more in what we have come to think of as PSHP II.  We want to thank those in the industry who sent letters of support on our behalf.

August 1, 2022

We held a research meeting on July 20 at the Potato Association of America conference in Missoula, MT.  We discussed what has been accomplished to date in the project, what we expect to accomplish in the no-cost extension year that begins on September 1, and our plans for continuing the project beyond 2023.  We are currently seeking the support of the Potato Research Advisory Committee (PRAC) for a renewal of SCRI funding.  PRAC’s endorsement was critical to our success in securing the initial grant.