Beside other agronomic strategies, an adequate supply of macro- and micro-nutrients is of main importance for achieving a desired potato yield, say scientists at the University of Goettingen and K+S KALI GmbH in Germany.
The team published a paper in Potato Research, the journal published by the European Association of Potato Research (EAPR), titled The Importance of Nutrient Management for Potato Production Part I: Plant Nutrition and Yield – Potato Research (2019)
The scientists say that in order to find the optimal level of nutrient supply, it is, as a first step, important that growers understand the individual physiological functions of each nutrient. Moreover, resulting features such as nutrient antagonism or site-specific effects providing varying a-biotic and biotic environmental conditions need to be taken into account when deciding on a fertilization plan.
Based on this fundamental knowledge, a potato grower may decide on the most the accurate choice of type, time and amount of fertiliser application.
The research paper comprises an extensive review of available literature on potato fertilisation and nutrient application in the field. The researchers underscore the importance of balanced fertilisation for potato yield formation and eventual yield security.
The most important roles of the macro nutrients nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, calcium and sulphur in the plant and their importance for yield formation in potato are reviewed.
Fertilisation practices in potato production are also discussed in the paper.
Due to their various functions in plant metabolism, the impact of plant nutrients on potato yield is complex. according to the research team. Therefore, interactions with a-biotic and biotic factors, for instance interactions between two different plant nutrients in the soil and the plant, are taken into account.
The scientists say that “to a certain degree, growers can reduce the negative effects of the environmental impacts by using balanced agronomic management strategies. Apart from the choice of cultivar, plant protection and continuous water supply, a further important agronomic measure for potato production is adequate nutrient management. A sufficient supply of mineral nutrients can fortify the potato plant against adverse growth conditions, is crucial for achieving high yield and is essential for producing potatoes that meet the desired quality requirements.