Sustainable soil management practices and quality of potato grown on erodible lands

George F. Antonious, Christine M. Lee, John C. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Land productivity can decline when top soil is lost. In Kentucky, limited resource farmers often produce vegetable crops on erodible lands. The objectives of this study were 1) to quantify the impact of three soil management practices (SMPs) on quantity of potato produced on erodible land, 2) to evaluate the impact of pyrethrin and azadirachtin insecticides on potato tuber quality, and 3) to assess the impact of yard waste compost on the chemical composition (ascorbic acid, free sugars, phenol contents) of potato tubers. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Kennebec) were grown in a silty loam soil of 10% slope. Plots (n=18) were 3.7 m wide and 22 m long (10% slope), with metal borders of 20 cm above ground level. Two botanical insecticides, Multi-Purpose Insecticide (containing pyrethrin 0.2%) and Neemix 4EC (containing 0.25% azadirachtin) were sprayed twice on potato foliage during each of two growing seasons (1997 and 1999) at the recommended rates of 6 lbs and 2 gallons.acre-1, respectively. The SMPs were tall fescue strips (FS) intercropped between each two potato rows, soil mixed with yard waste compost (COM) and no-mulch (NM) treatment (roto-tilled bare soil). The experimental design was a 2 × 3 × 3 factorial with main factors of two insecticides and three SMPs replicated three times. Average potato yield was lowest in NM and FS and highest in COM treatments. Yield obtained from the bottom of the plots was greater than that obtained from the top of plots. Tuber defects (rot, scab, sun green, hollow heart, necrosis, and vascular discoloration) were significantly different between the two growing seasons. The two insecticidal treatments did not have much influence on potato yield or tuber defects. Tubers obtained from tall fescue treatments had low levels of ascorbic acid and reducing sugars compared to compost treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-444
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part B Pesticides, Food Contaminants, and Agricultural Wastes
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank T.R. Brown for his assistance in potato planting. We thank Global Organic Resources (8745 Grisson Rd. #197, San Antonio, Texas) and Thermo Trilogy Corporation (9145 Guilford Rd., Columbia, MD) for providing the insecticide formulations used in this study. This study was supported by a capacity building grant from USDA /CSREES to Kentucky State University under agreement No. KYX-9803027.


  • Azadirachtin
  • Compost
  • Potato tuber
  • Pyrethrin
  • Soil management practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pollution


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