81-9 Tillage Erosion within Steepland Potato Production Systems In the Americas.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Global Agronomy
See more from this Session: Challenges and Opportunities In Sustainable Agriculture: Global Case Studies of Potato Production
Monday, October 17, 2011: 3:00 PM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 006D
Share |

Kevin Tiessen, International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, ON, Canada, Gerd Dercon, Soil and Water Management & Crop Nutrition Subprogramme, Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture,, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna,, Austria, David Lobb, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, Sheng Li, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, CANADA and Freddy Sancho, Universidad de Costa Rica (retired), San Josť, Costa Rica
One of the major threats to the sustainability of agriculture globally is that posed by erosion processes. Soil erosion is the result of three processes: wind, water, and tillage. Tillage has been known to influence the magnitude of wind and water erosion processes for many years. However, recent studies have demonstrated that the direct movement of soil by tillage operations is a significant erosive process in and of itself, distinct from wind and water erosion.

Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a major crop grown throughout the Americas. Yet, despite its importance, very little research has been conducted on the potential for, and impact of, tillage erosion within potato production. This presentation will focus on the results from recent research programs that have examined tillage translocation and erosion by mechanized and non-mechanized tillage operations within steepland potato production in South, Central and North America. For example, tillage erosion rates >100 Mg ha-1 pass-1 were reported for mechanized tillage systems in Canada (alternating-direction tillage systems) and >250 Mg ha-1 pass-1 in Ecuador and Costa Rica (one-way disc tillage systems) – soil erosion rates which are clearly not sustainable in the long-term. Similarly, for animal-powered tillage systems in Ecuador, tillage erosion was reported to be a significant erosive process, especially on small, steep fields and when soil is only thrown down the slope. 

This presentation will also discuss the factors that influence tillage erosion and examine the impact that tillage erosion has on the spatial variability of soil properties and crop yields evident in many fields across the Americas. Finally, this presentation will discuss beneficial management plans that can be used to slow and offset the negative impacts of tillage erosion. We believe that a reduction in all soil erosion agents – tillage, water, and wind – is necessary to reduce soil losses and maintain the long-term viability of potato production worldwide.

See more from this Division: ASA Section: Global Agronomy
See more from this Session: Challenges and Opportunities In Sustainable Agriculture: Global Case Studies of Potato Production