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Expert advice: Potato fertilization on irrigated soils

This in-depth and extensive article on the subject of potato fertilization was written by soil and potato specialist and expert, Carl J Rosen, Department Head and Professor in the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.

Prof Rosen wrote that optimum potato growth depends on many management factors, including sufficient supply of nutrients.  Potatoes have a shallow root system and a relatively high demand for many nutrients. A comprehensive nutrient management program is essential for maintaining a healthy potato crop, optimizing tuber yield and quality, and minimizing undesirable impacts on the environment.

“Irrigated potatoes are usually grown on coarse-textured soils low in organic matter. Typically, these soils are sandy loams or loamy sands, low in native fertility, and quite acid. The crop’s high nutrient demand coupled with low native fertility means that potatoes often have high fertilizer requirements. Over the years, however, continued fertilizer applications can build up the soil test levels of certain nutrients,” Prof Rosen wrote in his article.

He advises that potato growers should base their nutrient management program on soil test recommendations, plant tissue testing, variety, time of harvest, yield goal and the previous crop in the rotation.

Prof Rosen covers the following topics related to potato fertilization on irrigated soils in depth in the article:

  • Nutrient removal by the potato crop
  • Soil testing
  • Tissue analysis
  • Soil pH
  • Calcium, magnesium, and sulfur
  • Micronutrients

Click here to read the full article. Prof Rosen can be reached at crosen@umn.edu

Source: University of Minnesota

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