Generalidades: Your Manual for Potato Farming with Increased Yield and Doubled Earning is here
Potato, native to South America is now grown worldwide. It is a member of the nightshade family, Solanaceae and is the most important food crop in the world. Potatoes are good source of vitamins and minerals. Looking at the report of 2018.
Raw potatoes are high in water and starch content. Potatoes are grown from seed potatoes and tubers. Potatoes are used to prepare many cuisines, chips and also used in industrial purpose for the production of starch and alcohol.
Now moving towards the potato farming, all the requirements and how to increase the yield for doubled earning. For all the information, read till the end.
Soil and Climatic Conditions Required:
Potato can be grown under varieties of soil like loamy soil, sandy loam, slit loam and clay soil. Soil should be loose so that it can offer less resistance to the enlargement of tubers. Soil needs to be fertile and well drained. Acidic soil of pH of 4.8 to 5.4 is suitable for potato cultivation. Potato is considered as a cool weather crop. Vegetative growth of potato is good under 24-degree Celsius of temperature and for tuber growth 20-degree Celsius of temperature is suitable.
How to Prepare Land?
Bed should be prepared by properly ploughing the land up to 20-25 cm deep followed by harrowing. Sufficient moisture should be maintained in the soil before sowing.
Potato is propagated by tubers. Tubers are thick underground stems also called stolon.
Sowing time and Seed Selection
Potato is grown in October and November month in Rabi season, when maximum and minimum temperatures are 30-degree C and 20-degree C. Seeds/tubers selected should be of medium size (20-125 g weight) and obtained from reliable source.
Potato seed/tuber must be kept in cool and shady space for one to two weeks after removing from the cold storage to allow the emergence of sprouts. To get uniform sprouts, tubers can be treated with Gibberellic acid 1g/lit of water and then dry in shady area and then keep in aerated room for 10 days. To prevent rotting of tuber, dip tubers in the solution of 0.5 % Mancozeb solution for 10 minutes.
Spacing between the tubers
Planting distance preferred for potato crop should be 50*20 cm and 60*25 cm. And seed rate of 1.40 kg for 10 metre square of area.
Manure and Fertilizer Requirement:
Apply 250-400 g/ha Farm Yard Manure and for fulfilling nutrients requirement, 120-160 kg/ha Nitrogen, 80-120 kg/ha Phosphorus and 80-120 kg/ha Potassium. All these should be applied in to the soil 2-3 weeks before plantation. At the time of sowing, apply 3/4th dose of Nitrogen, and full dose of Phosphorus and Potassium fertilizer. Remaining, 1/4th dose of Nitrogen fertilizer at the time of earthing up operation, after 30-40 days of sowing. Earthing up operation is performed for proper aeration, temperature and moisture maintenance in the soil. In this, soil is drawn up around base of plant for proper tuber formation; it is done when plant attains height of 15-20 cm. Second earthing operation can be performed two weeks after the first one, if required.
Frequent irrigation is required for potato crop, depending upon the soil moisture. Total 5-6 irrigation are required including pre-sowing irrigation, irrigation after 3-4 days of sowing and rest light irrigations. Irrigation must be stopped 10-12 days before harvesting.
How to Protect the Plant?
Potato crop can be attacked by various pests and diseases, so proper measures should be taken and pesticides should be incorporated.
Aphid- They causes curling and deformation of young leaves. Cut the foliage according region timing. And spray Actara 25WG600g/ha.
Leaf eating caterpillars- They feed on potato leaves and damage them. Spray Profenofos @ 2ml.
Cut Worms- They cut sprout at ground level and damages the crop. Spray Tracer 48 SC 200 ml/ha.
Potato tuber moth- This is the major pest in both field and storage. To protect the crop from this, use healthy seeds only and apply only well decomposed cow dung. You can cover soil with 2-inch layer of sand, and it is very effective method.
White grub- They damage crop by feeding on root, stem and tuber. To manage this pest, collect larvae when tilling soil, planting and weeding. And use bird predators to reduce the white grub population.
Early blight- Necrotic spots are observed on lower leaves. Spray Chlorothalonil fungicide.
Late blight- Observed on lower part of leaves and tip. Spray Chlorothalonil fungicide.
Black scurf- Black spek on tubers. Affected plants dry up. For protection from this, seed treatment with mercury is necessary. And follow crop rotation and avoid mono cropping. Treat the soil with Brassicol.
Common Scab- This disease spread rapidly in low moisture condition. To protect crop from this, avoid deep planting of tubers, follow crop rotation.
Now comes the most important point that, how to increase the yield and double your earning…
How to Increase the Yield and Double your Earning?
There are many factors on which potato yield depends; here are some easy ways to increase your potato yield.
Maintain the optimum number of tubers per unit area and select tubers of increased size and even weight.
Avoid using degenerated seeds purchased for local markets, use certified seeds only.
Store your own harvested tubers for next plantation, so that you won’t need to worry about seed quality.
Plant the tubers in seed plot and transplant on the farm.
One more easiest and most productive method is, growing potatoes in raised beds.
Planting in a straw, wire cylinders and planting upside down can reduce the yield, so avoid those methods.
Crop is ready to be harvested when leaves start turning yellow and fall on the ground. After harvesting, potatoes are spread on ground and allowed to dry in shade. The average yield of potato crop varies from 20-30 tonnes per hectare.
Store potato in cold storage at 4-degree C to 6-degree C temperature and 80% relative humidity.
This is all about potato farming. For more information like this, Stay Connected…!!