American Journal of Potato Research

, Volume 96, Issue 3, pp 272–284 | Cite as

Effect of Diverse Compost Products on Potato Yield and Nutrient Availability

  • Carolyn Wilson
  • Bernie J. ZebarthEmail author
  • David L. Burton
  • Claudia Goyer
  • Gilles Moreau
  • Tom Dixon


Compost application to agricultural fields can increase soil organic matter content and soil productivity. This study compared diverse compost products with a non-amended control in small plot and on-farm trials for effects on tuber yield and plant nutrient availability under rain-fed potato production in New Brunswick, Canada. In the small plot trial, mature compost products resulted in a small increase in plant N availability, whereas immature products resulted in net N immobilization. Composts high in K increased plant K availability. However, these effects on nutrient availability did not result in a significant effect on tuber yield. In on-farm trials, compost did not significantly increase yield averaged across 19 site-years of trials. This suggests that any short-term nutrient benefit from application of these wood waste and manure based composts is unlikely to influence crop yield, although there may be the potential to reduce nutrient application rates, particularly for K.


Nitrogen Phosphorus Potassium Specific gravity 


La aplicación de composta a los campos agrícolas puede aumentar el contenido de la materia orgánica del suelo y su productividad. En este estudio se compararon diversos productos de composta con un testigo sin ella en ensayos de lote pequeño y de campo para efecto de rendimiento de tubérculo y de disponibilidad de nutrientes para la planta bajo producción de papa de temporal (secano) en New Brunswick, Canadá. En el ensayo de lote pequeño los productos maduros de composta resultaron en un pequeño aumento en la disponibilidad del N en la planta, mientras que los productos inmaduros resultaron en inmovilización neta del N. Las compostas altas en K aumentaron su disponibilidad. No obstante, estos efectos en la disponibilidad de nutrientes no resultaron en un efecto significativo en rendimiento de tubérculo. En los ensayos de campo, la composta no aumentó significativamente el promedio de rendimiento a lo largo de 19 sitios-año de ensayos. Esto sugiere que cualquier beneficio nutrimental a corto plazo de la aplicación de estas compostas a base de desperdicios de madera y estiércol es improbable que influencie el rendimiento del cultivo, aunque debería de haber el potencial de reducir los niveles de aplicación de nutrientes, particularmente para K.



We would like to thank Ginette Decker, Yulia Kupriyanovich, Kyle McKinley, Karen Terry, and summer students at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for technical support. Funding contributions for this project were provided by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, National Science and Engineering Research Council, Enabling Agricultural Research and Innovation program of the New Brunswick Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, McCain Foods (Canada) and Potatoes New Brunswick.


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Copyright information

© The Potato Association of America 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of AgricultureDalhousie UniversityTruroCanada
  2. 2.Fredericton Research and Development CentreAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaFrederictonCanada
  3. 3.McCain Foods (Canada) Ltd.Florenceville-BristolCanada

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