Do potatoes respond to nitrogen and phosphorus placement?
Potato requires large amounts of fertilizer. Proper fertility management is essential to optimize potato yield and quality under the relatively cool and short growing conditions in Saskatchewan. Important aspects of fertility management include rate, placement, and timing of fertilizer. This study examined the effects of placement (broadcast, side-band) of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer on productivity for contrasting potato cultivars (Atlantic, Norland, Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank, Russet Norkotah, Shepody) grown under dryland and irrigated conditions. Three pre-plant nitrogen rates (50, 100, 150 kg N/ha) and three pre-plant phosphorus rates (40, 80, 120 kg P2O5/ha) were tested in separate trials. In the nitrogen study under dryland, the average ‘seed’ and ‘consumption’ grade yields were 25 and 19 t/ha respectively. Under irrigation, ‘seed’ and ‘consumption’ grade yields averaged 40 t/ha. Nitrogen application method or rate had no effect on ‘seed’ or ‘consumption’ grade yields under both dryland and irrigated production. In the phosphorus study, the average dryland yields for ‘seed’ and ‘consumption’ grade tubers were 24 and 19 t/ha respectively. Under irrigation, ‘seed’ and ‘consumption’ grade yields averaged 38 and 34 t/ha respectively. Under irrigation, the rate and method of phosphorus application had no effect on tuber yields. Under dryland, there was no significant effect of rate of phosphorus on tuber yield. Side-banding tended to produce higher ‘seed’ and ‘consumption’ grade yields than broadcast application. Cultivars responded differently under dryland and irrigated production. The various cultivars responded similarly to rates and methods of nitrogen and phosphorus application under both production conditions. Further work is necessary to verify the effects of rate and method of nitrogen and phosphorus application on yield and quality of potato cultivars grown commercially under dryland and under irrigation in Saskatchewan.
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