India: A Complete Guide to Potato Plantation
Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is considered as a commercial crop of India. Total vegetable crops production of the India is 169.06 million tons from total area 10.10 million ha with productivity 16.73 t/ ha.
In India, potato is generally cultivated on about 2117 ‘000’ ha area with a production of 43417 ‘000’t (Horticultural Statistics at a Glance, 2017). Uttar Pradesh stands first in area and production of potato followed by West Bengal.
Potato Planting and Crop Management
Potato enjoys a wide range of seasonal adaptability. In Maharashtra, potato is planted in June-July as a kharif crop and in October- November as a rabi crop. Rabi season is suitable for potato cultivation. In North Gujarat, potato is planted during 15th-30th November as night temperature is found in between 18-22 OC as rabi crops (Potato Research Station, Deesa, SDAU, S.K. Nagar, Gujarat). Variable size of tubers can be used as seed but medium size of 45-50 g is considered an ideal. Comparable yield can be obtained by planting medium size tubers of 25-40 g. Potato yield increases with the seed rate. Higher yield can be obtained by using optimum seed rate 20-25 q (tuber weight 15 g), 25-30 q / ha (30 g tuber weight) and 30-35 q / ha (45 g tuber weight). To avoid fungal infection the potato seed tubers are treated with mixture of 1 kg mancozeb + 5 kg natural talk powder or wood ash as dry treatment (Potato Research Station, Deesa, SDAU, S. K. Nagar)
For nitrogen fixation and to obtain higher yield the tubers can be dipped into the solution of 2.5 kg Azatobactor + 500 ml liquid Acetobactor in 100 liter of water for 30 minutes and solution is sufficient for 20 q tubers. But, the precaution should be taken that; chemical treatment should be avoided after treatment of bio-agent (Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri, Maharashtra)
Potato is planted on ridges with spacing 60 x 20 cm. It can be planted on raised bed also. For single line planting system on ridge, tubers are planted at spacing 50 cm x 15-20 cm, for two line planting system on ridge at spacing 75 x 15-20 cm and for four line planting system on ridge tubers are planted at spacing 150 cm x 15-20 cm. For single line planting system on ridges seed (tubers) requires @ 25-30 q /ha and for two and four line planting system on ridges seeds requires @ 35-40 q /ha (Potato Research Station, SDAU, Deesa, Gujarat)
Nitrogen is most important nutrient element for potato crop. The peak period of nitrogen uptake varies from 40-70 days. Potato varieties differ among themselves in their fertilizer need. Nitrogen is applied in split doses. For western part of Maharashtra the, farmers are advised to apply N 100 kg (urea 217 kg), P 60 kg (single super phosphate 375 kg) and K 120 kg (muriate of potash 200 kg) per hectare just before planting and 50 kg N (urea 109 kg) one month after planting (at earthing up) as a split application (Mahatma Phule Krishi Vidyapeeth, Rahuri, Maharashtra). For North Gujarat region, farmers are advised to apply 25-30 t/ ha well decomposed organic manure and one ton caster cake at land preparation. In addition of organic manure, apply nitrogen 275 kg/ ha, phosphorus 138 kg/ ha and potash 275 kg/ ha.
All dose of P, K and half dose of N to be applied as basal dose and half dose of N (in the form of ammonium sulphate) to be applied 35-40 days after planting as a split application. Wherein, farmers are advised to adopt fertigation for potato farming to obtain higher yield over conventional method of fertilizer application. The recommended dose of fertilizers viz N, P, K through drip irrigation for one hectare is 220:110:220 kg. All dose of P should be applied as basal application and N and K should be applied into nine splits equally of seven days intervals as fertigation. First application of N and K to be given 9th days after potato planting (Potato Research Station, Deesa, SDAU, S.K. Nagar, Gujarat)
Adequate and regular water supply is needed for sustainable potato crop growth. The quantity of water used for irrigation is an important factor. Water with high concentration of dissolved salts is undesirable for potato. Water requirement is depends upon soil type and climatic condition, for loamy soil, generally 10 irrigations are required at an interval of 8-10 days. For sandy soil, generally 14-15 irrigations are required at an interval of 6-7 days. The farmers are advised to adopt drip irrigation to obtain higher yield than conventional method of irrigation. Dripper discharge to be adjusted @ 4 L/ hr at lateral spacing 2 ft. Operating time in December-January is 45 minutes and from February 68 minutes at alternate days. For single and double line potato planting system on a ridge use one lateral and for four line planting system on a ridge use two laterals in between the line (Potato Research Station, Deesa, SDAU, S.K. Nagar, Gujarat)
Dr. Sable P. A. Scientist (Assistant Professor) Horticulture, Mr. Nainesh Makwana, Scientist (Agronomy) KVK, Sabarkantha, Sardarkrushinagar Dantiwada Agricultural University, S. K. Nagar, Gujarat and Mrs. Sushma Sable (Sonpure), Ph.D. Scholar (Agronomy), Mahatma Phule Krushi Vidyapeet, Rahuri (MS.)