For having such a large impact on the success of crops, not much is known about soil health and it’s impact on yields. But that could be changing soon. Chris Voigt, executive Director of the Washington state Potato Commission, said soil health is next frontier in efforts to feed a growing world population. In response, they’ve put together what Voigt called a soil health task force.
“And it includes all of the potato processors and growers and we’re going to be working closely with WSU. We’re actually in the early stages of conversation with WSU about creating an endowed chair that’s going to focus on soil health issues for irrigated cropping systems in the Columbia Basin.”
Voigt said the goal is to improve potato yields which have recently become flat. He notes some research has been done on soil health, but those separate projects have been done across the U.S.
“Rather that just kind of peace meal and see if we can make the puzzle fit, we actually have to look at this at a little bigger picture and a more comprehensive approach. And I think what a lot of it is going to focus on in cover crops.”
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