Case Study 3

Case Study 3. Use of crop diversification and trap crops in potato fields to reduce the incidence of cyst nematode, decrease the use of nematicides, increase the crop yields and increase the soil biodiversity. Lusitanean (Spain).

Which problem will be solved: The potatoes cultivation in the area is mainly threatened by the high incidence of cyst nematode which lead to important yield decreased, and hence, the high uses of nematicides to try to save crops. This high use of nematicides by farmers can be an important cost for potatoes production, contribute to soil and surrounding waters pollution and also to decrease soil biodiversity.

State of the art: The potatoes cultivation in the area is highly intense in nematicides use and absence of developed rotations. Also the use of trap crops (Solanum sisymbriifolium) for pest control is very low developed and many complications must be solved before trap crops use, specially the adequate conditions for the trap crops germination.

Objective: The objective of this case study is to reduce the incidence of cyst nematodes in potatoes crops, the use of nematicides and increase the crops yields and soil biodiversity.

Proposed management practices: We will introduce suitable crop rotations to increase the soil biodiversity and together with and adequate management of trap crops reduce the incidence of cyst nematodes for potatoes production

Progress with the case study in relation with the state of the art: Finding adequate crop rotations and a suitable trap crop management, the soil biodiversity will be increased due to the existence of a higher plant diversity and reductions into pesticide use. The incidence of cyst nematode will be reduced without the employment of nematicides, decreasing the farm costs and increasing the crop yields. The potential damages of nematicides on soil biodiversity will disappear together with a reduction on soil and water pollution. Moreover, the introduction of legumes in the crop rotation contribute to decreases in the N fertilization and trap crops burial will contribute to increase the C storage in soils.

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