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Organically grown potatoes have better microelement content than potatoes grown using conventional and integrated systems


In this study, researchers at the University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn in Poland investigated the effect of different production systems (i.e., conventional, integrated and organic) on the micronutrient and trace element content of tubers belonging to very early, early and medium-early maturing potato cultivars. Their findings were published in the journal Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science.

  • The researchers grew five Polish potato cultivars in three different production systems under field conditions.
  • They then analyzed samples from each to determine the amounts of the following:
    • Select microelements, which are essential for living organisms — boron (B), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn) and zinc (Zn)
    • Trace elements, which are considered non-essential — chromium (Cr), nickel (Ni) and lead (Pb)
  • The researchers found that the micronutrient and trace element content of potato tubers were influenced by the type of production system, genotype and weather conditions during the growing season.
  • Organic potatoes had higher B and Cu content but lower Fe, Mn and Zn content than potatoes grown in either conventional or integrated systems.
  • Meanwhile, conventionally grown potatoes had the highest Pb content.
  • Organic cultivation resulted in better alimentation of potato tubers with B and Cu, which are important microelements often found deficient in soil.
  • On the other hand, conventional farming requires the use of fertilizers.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that organic farming is the best cultivation system to use as it ensures that crops receive proper nourishment, especially an ample supply of some essential microelements.

Journal Reference:

Wierzbowska J, Rychcik B, Swiat?y A. THE EFFECT OF DIFFERENT PRODUCTION SYSTEMS ON THE CONTENT OF MICRONUTRIENTS AND TRACE ELEMENTS IN POTATO TUBERS. Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science. 25 April 2018;68(8):701–708. DOI: 10.1080/09064710.2018.1466908

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