Influence of Irrigation Water, Nitrogen and Phosphorus Nutrient Rates on Relative Weight Loss and Sprouting Characteristics of Seed Potato Tubers after Storage.

Gathungu, G.K., Aguyoh, J. N. and Isutsa, D. K. 2013

ABSTRACT
Potato has overtimegeneratedspecial importanceinmost partsof Kenyaandtheworldasameansof strengtheningfoodsecurityandincreasingrevenue forfarmers.However,potatoproductivityandindustry expansionhavebeenconstrainedbythepoorqualityseedtubersbeingproducedintheinformalseedsectordue toinadequatesupply ofinitialplantingmaterials, improper fertilizermanagement practicesandirregularrainfall patterns.AstudywasdoneattheHorticulturalResearchandTeachingFarmofEgertonUniversitytodetermine theeffect ofintegrationofirrigationwater,nitrogenandphosphorusratesonseedtuberrelativeweightlossand sproutingcharacteristicsafterstorage.The three factors weretestedinasplit-split plot designwhereirrigation watersupplywasassignedtomainplots,NtosubplotsandPtosub-subplots.Thetreatmentswerereplicated threetimesandthetrialrepeatedonce.Thetreatmentsconsistedofthreeirrigationwaterrates(40%,65%and 100% fieldcapacity),applied throughout thepotato growth period through driptubelines.Nitrogen wassupplied asurea(46%N)atfourequivalentratesof0,75,112.5and150kgN/ha,whilephosphorus wassuppliedat plantingtimeastriplesuperphosphate(46%P2O5)atfourratesof0,115,172.5and230kg/haP2O5, which translatedinto0,50.6,75.9,101.2kgP/ha.Datacollectedincludedrelativepercentageweightloss, numberof sproutsandsproutingpercentage.Datacollectedwassubjectedtoanalysisof varianceandsignificantlydifferent meansseparatedusingTukey’sStudentizedRangeTest atp≤ 0.05.The100%comparedto65%and 40% irrigation waterratesresultedin relatively high weight loss, sprout length and reduced the numberofsprouts and sproutingpercentageofseedtubers.NandP ratesgenerallydecreasedtherelativeweightloss,improvedthe numberofsproutsand sproutingpercentage.Itisrecommendedtoapply lowtointermediateirrigation water, intermediate to high N and Prates toreduce thepercentagerelative weightloss and sproutingcharacteristics.
Keywords:potato,irrigation water,nitrogen, phosphorus, seed,weight loss, sprouting

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