Share

Do "Tillage" Radishes Benefit Potato Yield?

Posted: April 20, 2011

An update on diakon radish before potato research plots.
Large pore from decomposed radish should increase water infiltration

Large pore from decomposed radish should increase water infiltration

Forage radish, commonly called “Tillage Radish” is developing a great reputation in PA. Otherwise called “Daikon” or “Oilseed” radish, it is known for breaking up hard pans, trapping escaping nutrients, and winter kill leaving a field which is easy to enter in the spring. According to research by Dr. Ray Weil in Maryland the thick fleshy upper section of the root can penetrate 12-20 inches leaving a large pore for water to enter quickly during heavy spring rains. The thin lower portion of the root can grow to six feet or more in the fall, penetrating hard pans.

Local potato growers in SE Pennsylvania have observed that potatoes grow well after diakon radish. In order to learn more Penn State Extension is working with potato grower Forest Wesner in Germansville, PA. Today, April 20th, the plots look good. The radishes are dead and little residue remains. Control plots with rye are about 12” tall. Stay tuned to learn how the potatoes yield this fall.