July-August - 23

ORGANIC GROWER: PLANT & SOIL HEALTH
Members of Marisol Quintanilla's research lab at Michigan State University. She is an assistant professor in the
Department of Entomology.
producers. The disease, caused by the convergence
of a fungus, Verticillium dahliae, and a nematode,
Pratylenchus penetrans, compromises a potato plant's
health before it reaches maturity and has the potential
to reduce yields by as much as 50%.
Combating it is especially crucial in Michigan, the
nation's leading producer of chipping potatoes, where
the potato industry contributes more than $1.24 billion
to the state's economy.
Quintanilla heard from Michigan growers and
MSU research collaborators about the potential
devastation of potato early die. Flashing back to her
family farm and the chicken manure that had proven
so inhospitable to life, she directed research into the
effectiveness of different manures and compost blends
in attacking nematodes.
" Unsurprising to me, because I already suspected
it, chicken manure was the most effective in reducing
nematode numbers, " Quintanilla said. She was a bit
taken aback, however, at how little was needed to
produce an effect: " Even at 0.1% in the soil, it still
had noticeable differences that we could measure
with statistics. "
Quintanilla and her team, including Luisa Parrado,
a doctoral student who helped author the project
proposal, also tested a compost mix from a Michigan
producer made up of chicken manure, dairy manure and
wood ash. That testing found that wood ash and chicken
manure were more effective than dairy manure.
" Some of the organic acids that were produced in the
decomposition of the compost were very likely playing
a role in this. Higher levels of some organic acids were
associated with higher levels of control, " Quintanilla
said. " I also think that there's some involvement of
anaerobic conditions in the soil - in other words, not
enough oxygen for the nematodes. They're drowning
because of the bacteria that are decomposing. "
Those observations produced some key questions.
" How do we make this compost more effective? "
Quintanilla said. " Maybe we can modify the recipe of
some of these composts or manures to particularly
target this problem. Also, are there certain microbes
in the compost or manures that are having more effect
than others? "
The NIFA funds, which became available June 1, will
help answer those questions.
ORGANICGROWER.INFO | 23
http://www.ORGANICGROWER.INFO

July-August

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July-August

Editor's Letter
Grower Profile: Central Florida leafy greens
GLVPN Veg Connection: Vegetable crop yields
Organic Grower
Ag Tech: Fields of drones
Plant & Soil Health: Fusarium wilt
Great Lakes EXPO News: Connecting growers through the digital market space
Farm Market & Agritourism: Agreements between growers provide additional opportunities
Ag Labor Review
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
July-August - 1
July-August - 2
July-August - 3
July-August - Editor's Letter
July-August - 5
July-August - Grower Profile: Central Florida leafy greens
July-August - 7
July-August - 8
July-August - 9
July-August - GLVPN Veg Connection: Vegetable crop yields
July-August - 11
July-August - 12
July-August - 13
July-August - 14
July-August - Organic Grower
July-August - 16
July-August - 17
July-August - 18
July-August - 19
July-August - 20
July-August - 21
July-August - 22
July-August - 23
July-August - 24
July-August - 25
July-August - 26
July-August - 27
July-August - 28
July-August - Ag Tech: Fields of drones
July-August - 30
July-August - 31
July-August - Plant & Soil Health: Fusarium wilt
July-August - 33
July-August - 34
July-August - 35
July-August - Great Lakes EXPO News: Connecting growers through the digital market space
July-August - 37
July-August - Farm Market & Agritourism: Agreements between growers provide additional opportunities
July-August - 39
July-August - Ag Labor Review
July-August - 41
July-August - Classifieds
July-August - Advertiser Index
July-August - 44
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