Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Weed control and tuber quality of potatoes after direct mulch planting

Intensive soil tillage in conventional potato cropping increases the risk of erosion and leaching of nitrate. Direct mulch planting of potatoes was developed to reduce this risk. Ridges and covercrops are established in August after harvest of the preceding cereal crop. In the following spring potatoes are plated without any soil tillage. The results of a FAL-trial series (1995-1999) show the chances of the new cultivation system. Early weed control is necessary because of the presence of established weeds and germinating weeds. Heavy soil with high bulk density influences negatively the quality of tubers and reduces the yield. In light soils however quality and yield almost comparable to conventional cropping is reported by other authors.

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