Phosphorus Relationships in Potato Plants1
- D. T. Westermann and
- G. E. Kleinkopf2
Maximum potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) tuber yields occur when an active plant canopy is maintained until normal plant maturation. Plant nutrient concentrations and uptake rates play a major role in maintaining an active plant top. The objectives of this study were to relate the plant P concentrations to the P and dry matter balance between tuber and total plant growth needs. Growth analysis data, plant and leaf total P concentrations and content, and the petiole soluble P concentrations were obtained on a 10-to 14-day sampling interval from P fertilization treatments in replicated field studies. The P concentration of the plant tops was significantly related to the petiole soluble P concentration and the P concentration of the active leaves. Total plant P uptake and dry matter production rates were not adequate for the tuber growth rate when the total P concentrations of the tops and active leaves were less than 2.2 g P kg−1. Soluble P concentrations in the fourth petiole down from the growing tip were less than 1000 and 700 mg kg−1 when P uptake and dry matter production rates were not adequate for tuber growth, respectively. Final tuber yields increased from 30 to 70 Mg ha−1 as the number of growing days past tuber set increased from 10 to 60 days for which the P concentration of the tops was above 2.2 g P kg−. The petiole soluble P concentration decreased during the growing season following a semi-logarithmic relationship. This relationship enabled the prediction of the petiole soluble P concentration for the rest of the growing season and could be used to predict when to apply supplemental P fertilizer.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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