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Sustainable potato production : global case studies edited by Z. He , R. Larkin and W. Honeycuff
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by David MidmoreDavid Midmore
This book addresses many of the agronomic and environmental issues of sustainable potato production, but almost to the exclusion of economic and social sustainability. Organised in nine parts, the first admirably sets the global scene and the remainder focus geographically on Northeast United States, West United States, Eastern Canada, Tasmania (Australia), Northern China, Brazil and Peru, Italy, Egypt and the tropical highlands of Africa. While the work and references are very up-to-date, the whole book is not greater than the sum of the individual chapters. The lack of a concluding chapter leaves the reader seeking a synthesis on the degree of current un-sustainability in potato production and of the relative importance of the practices leading to sustainable production. The main content of the book is data and information dense, spanning comparisons between entire cropping systems to those of specific (e.g. humic substances) interventions, but not to the exclusion of integrated management of pests and diseases. Indeed, perhaps the most satisfying chapter is that on integrated pest management in Peru. A major justifiable focus is on the management of nitrogen (N), with the contributions of soil and plant nitrogen tests, modelling of nitrogen recommendations, green manure crops and nitrous oxide emissions to sustainable potato production all being highlighted. Despite variable quality of its chapters, this is a book that should deck the shelves (or hard drives) of potato scientists; all will find aspects of interest, reinforcing current concepts and at times providing new knowledge. At the price one might have expected a tighter final edit.