Potato yield and quality as a function of the plant density


  • Eero Varis The Hankkija Plant Breeding Institute, 04300 Hyrylä, Finland


The effects of potato plant density on yield quantity and quality were investigated at the Hankkija Plant Breeding Institute from 1971-73, using seed rates of 1600, 3200 and 4800 kg/ha, and seed sizes of 40, 80 and 120 g. The varieties used were Ijsselster and Record. The number of stems per m2 rose with increasing seed rate and with increasing seed size. Stem number increased with seed rate faster for small seed than for large. The response in stem number was greater for Ijsselster than for Record. The number of stems per seed tuber fell as the plant density rose. The number of tubers per m2 altered in the same direction as the number of stems, but less responsively. The reason for this was that the number of tubers per stem decreased with increasing plant density. The tuber yield showed a continual increase with increasing plant density. At the lowest stem densities (less than 20—25 stems/m2) small seed gave better results than other sizes, but at the higher plant densities, the importance of seed size faded away and the yield was dependant on the plant density alone. Net yield (gross yield 2 x seed rate), however, was higher the smaller the seed used, whatever the stem density. Tuber size decreased when plant density increased, the proportion of large tubers diminishing most, especially when small seed was used. The proportion of small tubers altered more for Ijsselster than for Record. Seed size and seed rate did not on average significantly affect the proportion of Class I potatoes, though small seed gave results slightly better than other sizes. The starch content of the yield rose when the seed rate was increased (16.0-16.3 -16.5 %) and fell with increasing seed size (16.5 16.2 16.1 %). The maximum variation was 15.8-16.7 %. The specific gravity distribution improved with increasing plant density. Raw discolouration of the tubers did not alter significantly as the plant density rose. Blackening of the tubers decreased with increasing plant density when small and medium sized seed were used. Mealiness of the tubers was somewhat higher for small seed than for other seed sizes.


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How to Cite

Varis, E. (1975). Potato yield and quality as a function of the plant density . Agricultural and Food Science, 47(3), 152–165. https://doi.org/10.23986/afsci.71844