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Residual Effects of Fresh and Composted Dairy Manure Applications on Potato Production


Potato growers in Idaho and other dairy producing regions often grow potatoes on fields that have had a history of fresh and composted manure applications. Growers remain uncertain of the impacts that previous manure applications will have on tuber yield and quality, as well as diseases, physiological disorders, and contamination by human pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli. The focus of this study was to determine the long term effects of manure, compost, and chemical phosphorus (P) fertilizer applications on tuber yields, tuber quality, nutrient uptake, tuber disorders and diseases, and soil nutrient concentrations. Russet Burbank potatoes were grown in 2008 and 2009 on plots that had received dairy manure, dairy compost, P fertilizer, or no P source (control) at the same target P rate in 2003, 2004, and 2005. Compared with the P fertilizer treatment, applications of manure and/or compost significantly increased total yields, soil potassium (K), soil nitrate (NO3-N), early season petiole P, and late season petiole K in at least one year of the two-year study. There were no significant differences between P fertilizer, manure, and compost treatments on soil test P, late season petiole P, early season petiole K, E. coli populations on tuber surfaces, common tuber diseases and disorders, and tuber quality. Based on our findings, tuber yields significantly increased three years after applications of fresh and composted dairy manure, while tuber diseases, disorders, and quality were not affected.


Los productores de papa en Idaho y de otras regiones lecheras a menudo cultivan sus papas en campos que han tenido una historia de aplicaciones de estiércol fresco y compostado. Los productores permanecen inciertos de los impactos que las aplicaciones previas de estiércol tendrán en rendimiento y calidad de tubérculo, así como de enfermedades, desórdenes fisiológicos y contaminación por bacterias patogénicas para humanos tales como E. coli. El enfoque de este estudio fue determinar los efectos a largo plazo de las aplicaciones de estiércol, la composta y el fertilizante químico de fosforo (P) en el rendimiento y calidad de tubérculo, absorción de nutrientes, desórdenes y enfermedades del tubérculo y concentración de nutrientes en el suelo. Se cultivaron papas Russet Burbank en 2008 y 2009 en lotes que habían recibido estiércol, composta, fertilizante fosforado (P) o sin fuente de P (testigo) al mismo objetivo de nivel de P en 2003, 2004 y 2005. Al comparar con los tratamientos de fertilizante de P, las aplicaciones de estiércol y/o composta aumentaron significativamente los rendimientos totales, el potasio (K) y el nitrato (NO3-N) del suelo, el P temprano del pétalo y el K tardío del pétalo en por lo menos un año de los dos del estudio. No hubo diferencias significativas entre los tratamientos del P del fertilizante, estiércol y composta en pruebas de P del suelo, P tardío del pétalo, y K temprano del pétalo, poblaciones de E. coli en las superficies del tubérculo, enfermedades y desórdenes comunes y calidad del tubérculo. Con base en lo que encontramos, aumentaron significativamente los rendimientos de tubérculo tres años después de las aplicaciones del estiércol fresco y compostado, y no se afectaron las enfermedades, desórdenes y calidad del tubérculo.

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We would like to acknowledge the Idaho Potato Commission for supporting our research efforts on this project. We would also like to acknowledge thank Gale Kleinkopf, Mary Jo Frazier, Tina Brandt, and Lynn Woodell for their technical and field support.

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Correspondence to Amber D. Moore.

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Moore, A.D., Olsen, N.L., Carey, A.M. et al. Residual Effects of Fresh and Composted Dairy Manure Applications on Potato Production. Am. J. Pot Res 88, 324–332 (2011).

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  • Dairy compost
  • Nutrient
  • Petiole
  • Disease
  • Disorder
  • Quality