Potatoes respond to irrigation and seed piece spacing
The Potato industry is expanding very rapidly in Saskatchewan. It is a high value crop that requires intensive management and significant inputs. Profitable potato production demands suitable agronomic practices including careful water management and appropriate plant stand. Proper stand establishment and water management is critical to maximize yields and ensure tuber quality for seed, processing, or table potato. Excess or deficient moisture conditions can significantly affect both yield and quality. Water requirement and plant density can vary for different cultivars depending on the intended market class. A study was conducted at the Saskatchewan Irrigation Development Centre to examine the effects of seed piece spacing (15,20,30 cm) for five potato cultivars (Atlantic, Norland, Russet Burbank, Russet Norkotah, and Shepody) on ‘seed’ and ‘consumption’ grade tuber yield when grown under different moisture levels. Standard management practices were used to raise the crop. The desired soil moisture levels were maintained through supplemental irrigation based on tensiometer readings (60 cm depth). Growing season soil moisture status was monitored using a neutron moisture meter. The crop was harvested at maturity. Grading was done according to tuber diameter. ‘Seed’ grade included tubers <90 mm diameter, and ‘consumption’ grade included tubers > 45 mm diameter. This poster summarizes the effects of irrigation and seed piece spacing on water use and tuber yields (‘seed’ and ‘consumption’ grade) for the five potato cultivars.
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