Importance of Nutrients for Potato Crop Growth
Nutrients play a vital role in maximizing the productivity of potato crops. To achieve the highest yield potential, it is crucial to provide the crop with an adequate supply of both macro and micronutrients.
Macro and Micronutrients
Macronutrients are essential elements required in large quantities by the potato crop. These include Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium, and Calcium, among others. On the other hand, micronutrients are needed in smaller amounts but are equally important for the crop’s functions. Examples of micronutrients include Iron, Boron, and Zinc.
Application of Fertilizers
To ensure proper nutrition, the application of basal and foliar fertilizers is recommended.
Basal fertilizers, such as DAP, CAN, and NPK, are absorbed by the crop through its roots. These fertilizers are applied before or during planting.
Foliar fertilizers, like OPTIMIZER, GOLDCHANCE, and DIMIPHITE, are absorbed through the foliage of the crop. They are sprayed on the leaves of the potato plants.
Importance of Manure
If the soil has little or no organic matter, the application of manure is necessary. Manure releases its nutrients slowly over the growing period, providing a steady supply of nutrients to the potato crop. Additionally, it adds organic matter to the soil, improving its quality.
The type and quantity of fertilizer required before planting and during the growing period depend on the fertility status of the soil. Conducting soil tests is essential to accurately determine the nutrient levels in the soil.
Role of Nutrients in Potato Crop Growth
Nutrients play several key roles in the growth of potato crops:
1. Promoting Early and Stronger Growth: Nutrients facilitate early and robust growth of potato crops.
2. Tubers Formation: Adequate nutrient supply encourages the formation of more and larger tubers.
3. Enhancing Crop Defense: Nutrients boost the crop’s defense system, helping it resist infections and stress.
4. Improving Tubers’ Skin Quality: Proper nutrition promotes good skin quality of the tubers.
5. Maintaining Tuber Growth: Nutrients support the ongoing growth of the tubers.
Fertilizer Application Schedule
To ensure optimal nutrient uptake, it is important to apply fertilizers accurately and at the right time. Failing to provide the potato crop with the correct balance of nutrients can negatively impact crop quality and reduce yield.
Early Growth Stage
This stage occurs from planting to approximately two weeks after the sprouts emerge from the soil. During this time, the crop requires higher quantities of phosphorous-rich fertilizers. Spraying the sprouts with GOLDCHANCE SUPER START or LAVENDER is recommended. Additionally, using DAP as a basal fertilizer during planting is highly encouraged.
Vegetative Growth Stage
During this stage, the leaves, stems, and root system of the potato crop grow vigorously, and photosynthesis begins. Nitrogenous fertilizers are needed in higher quantities at this stage. Spraying the crop with GOLDCHANCE SUPER GROWTH or LAVENDER helps promote faster vegetative growth. Top dressing using CAN or other nitrogenous basal fertilizers like UREA is also important.
This stage involves tuber initiation, tuber bulking, and maturation, usually accompanied by flowering. Spraying the potato crop with GOLDCHANCE SUPER FLOWERS & FRUITS or BIODISTINCTION XTRA is recommended. Basal fertilizers rich in potassium, such as N.P.K 17.17.17, should also be applied during this stage.
Throughout the crop’s growth, spraying OPTIMIZER on a weekly basis helps stimulate faster growth, enhance resistance to stress, and provide additional nutrients. All foliar sprays should include INTEGRA to improve fertilizer absorption by the foliage. Furthermore, when applying basal fertilizers and manures, mixing them with HUMIPOWER is beneficial. HUMIPOWER adds organic matter to the soil, stabilizes soil pH, reduces leaching, and minimizes runoff.
Remember to repeat the foliar feed spray on a weekly basis to maintain proper nutrient supply to the potato crop.