Primary Residue Tillage: Research Review

With cooperation of research partners, the Agronomy Initiative for Marketable yield (AIM) has been able to complete a research review and resulting extension document relating to the use of primary residue tillage (ie. Synkro/Lemken equipment) in potato production in PEI.  Results of three studies in PEI this decade have been further analyzed and compared to better understand the impacts on potato production and soil from the use of this equipment in comparison to traditional moldboard ploughing.  It is available at the link below:

PRT Extension Document (August 2018)

The three research projects were conducted by:

  • Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada with the PEI Potato Board and the East Prince Agri-Environment Assoc.
  • PEI Department of Agriculture & Fisheries with the PEI Soil & Crop Improvement Assoc.
  • Kensington North Watershed Assoc.

Key findings from this analysis:

  • PRT is associated with higher marketable yields. Two studies showed a 30 cwt/ac or higher advantage to PRT.
  • There may be a slight negative impact on specific gravity, though this was only statistically significant in one study.
  • Impact of PRT on common scab is still inconclusive. Two studies saw a reduction in scab, the other saw an increase.
  • PRT is associated with higher concentrations of potassium (K) and magnesium (Mg).
  • Some numerical evidence that PRT is associated with higher soil pH than moldboard ploughing, though not statistically significant in these studies.