Site-specific Management of Potatoes

This project is investigating the potential for site-specific management to improve yields of irrigated potatoes. Tissue concentrations of P and K can be quite variable.


01 Mar 2000

1999 Annual Interpretive Summary

Site-Specific Management of Potatoes, 1999

This completed project evaluated the use of yield monitoring technology and global positioning systems (GPS) to determine optimal fertility management of irrigated potato production in southern Alberta. The variability in potato yield was compared to soil and petiole samples collected through the growing season and geo-referenced with a portable GPS.

Despite large applications of fertilizer P, potatoes grown in fields where manure had not been applied showed low levels of petiole P from mid-season onward. Strips of additional fertilizer P above that recommended by soil testing resulted in slight yield increases, indicating that current P recommendations may be limiting potato yields. The lack of response to additional P on manured fields indicates that late season crop P requirements are being met from the season-long release from the manure. Cool soil and air temperatures were attributed to the low early season petiole K levels measured. As the growing season progressed, petiole K levels moved into the adequate and high range. Continued research will evaluate these low petiole K levels early in the growing season to determine if they are limiting final tuber yield of the potato crop. AB-14F