Potato production requires extensive manipulation of soil to make the beds in which the tubers will develop and also during harvesting.
This manipulation is performed increasingly large machinery – which is likely to cause compaction.
We need to ensure that the aggregation of soil particles is preserved where possible.
Decreasing the depth of tillage and the use of cover crops prior to potatoes and soil amendments such as composts are being investigated.
The timing of the machinery operations is critical to minimise compaction damage as the extent of damage will depend on factors such as the soil water status.