Optimizing Seed Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Tuber Yield and Size Distribution through Integrated Irrigation Water, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Mineral Nutrient Application.

Gathungu, G.K., Aguyoh, J. N. and Isutsa, D. K. 2014.

ABSTRACT

Potatoistheworld'sfourthimportantfoodcropafterwheat,riceandmaizebecauseof itsgreatyieldpotential andhighnutritivevalue.InKenya,potatoisconstrained bylow seedtuberproduction intheinformal sector. Thisispartlyduetoimproper fertilizer regimesandirregularrainfallpatterns.Therefore,astudywasconductedinarainshelterattheHorticulturalResearchFarmofEgertonUniversityinKenyafrom19thAugustto19tDecember2011(TrialI)and5th Aprilto6th August2012(TrialII)to determinetheeffectsofintegratedirrigationwater,nitrogen(N)andphosphorus(P) supplyontuberyieldandsizedistribution. Thelayoutwasasplit-split plotdesignwith irrigation(40%,65%and100%fieldcapacity)assignedtomainplots,N(0,75,112.5 and150kgN/ha)tosubplotsandP(0,115,172.5and230kg/haP2O5,correspondingto 0,50.6,75.9,101.2kgP/ha)tosub-subplots.Thetreatmentswerereplicatedthree timesandrepeatedonce.Theirrigationwaterrateswereappliedindriptubelines. Nitrogenwassuppliedasurea (46% N)in twoequivalentsplits,at plantingtime andat5 weeksafterplanting.Phosphoruswassuppliedatplantingtimeastriplesuperphosphate (46%P2O5). Datawerecollectedonnumber,yieldandsizedistribution oftubersat harvestandsubjectedtoanalysisofvariance.Significantly differentmeanswere separatedusingTukeysStudentized RangeTestatP=0.05.The65%irrigationwater andthehighNandPratesresulted inrelativelyhighnumber,yieldandquantityofseedpotatosizesIandII.The100%irrigationwaterincreasedtheware-sized seedpotato tubersandreducedthequantity ofchats.Therefore,integrationofmoderateirrigation waterandhighratesofNandPisrecommended foroptimizingseedpotatotuber grades.

Keywords:Potato;irrigation;Nitrogen;Phosphorus;Seed;Yield;Size.

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