Comparing Fingerling Potato Cropping Methods on No-Till Raised Beds

Project Overview

FNE10-687
Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 2010: $8,524.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2010
Region: Northeast
State: Vermont
Project Leader:
Justin Hart
Whip Poor Will Farm LLC

Commodities

  • Agronomic: oats, potatoes, rye

Practices

  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer
  • Production Systems: holistic management
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter

    Proposal summary:

    At Whip Poor Will Farm, we are looking for the most efficient, highest yielding method to produce organic fingerling potatoes on raised beds using a no-till production method. Our beds average 300 feet by 6 feet by 1.5 feet, totaling 2 acres.

    Why it matters: No-till agriculture is a growing method in organic production; this method limits soil compaction and helps retain moisture; reduced fossil-fuel use; reduced time and cost input; produces high yields; and improves soil’s organic matter year to year.

    Our contribution to sustainable farming practices: To provide research on three no-till methods of organic fingerling potato production. These methods of no-till production can and should have other applications for cash crops outside potato production. It is our belief that successful adoption of a no-till potato production system is integral to our farm success.

    Our project looks to test three different no-till potato cropping methods. Our metric for comparing cropping methods will be measured in yield, time, cost, energy, and soil composition.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Our plan in brief: Compare yield, time, cost, energy, and soil fertility for three different production methods:

    • Fingerlings planted directly into Dutch White Clover.
    • Fingerlings planted directly into Dutch White Clover and rye.
    • Fingerlings planted directly into Dutch White Clover and mulched with oat straw grown in a grain swath parallel to our raised beds.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.