Potato

The potato is native to the Peruvian-Bolivian Andes and is one of the world’s main food crops. Potatoes are thought to have been independently domesticated several times and were largely cultivated in South America by the Incas as early as 1800 years ago. Encountered by the invading Spaniards, potatoes were introduced into Europe during the second half of the 16th century. By the end of the 17th century the plant was a major crop in Ireland, and by the end of the 18th century it was a major crop in continental Europe, particularly Germany, and in the west of England. It continued to spread, in both Western and Eastern hemispheres, during the first four decades of the 19th century, and the Irish economy itself became dependent upon the potato. However, the disastrous failures of the Irish crops in the mid-19th century (especially in 1846 and 1848), because of late blight (Phytophthora infestans), and the resulting Irish Potato Famine generated a more-cautious attitude toward dependence on the plant. Until the early 1990s, most potatoes were grown and consumed in Europe, North America, and countries of the former Soviet Union. Since then, there has been a dramatic increase in potato production and demand in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. China is now the biggest potato producer, and almost a third of all potatoes is harvested in China and India.

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is an herbaceous perennial plant in the family Solanaceae, which is grown for its starchy edible tubers. The potato plant has a branched stem and alternately arranged leaves consisting of leaflets which are both of unequal size and shape. The leaflets can be oval to oblong in shape. The potato plant produces white or blue flowers and yellow-green fruits which are small poisonous berries with numerous seeds. The stems extend underground into structures called stolons. The ends of the stolons may enlarge greatly to form a few to more than 20 tubers of variable shape and size, usually ranging in weight up to 300 grams (10 ounces). The potato tubers grow underground and generally located in the top 25 cm (10 in) of the soil. The tubers can range in color from yellow to red or purple depending on the variety. The tubers bear spirally arranged buds (eyes). The buds sprout to form clones of the parent plant, allowing growers to vegetatively propagated potato plants for next season. Potato plants can reach more than 1 m (3.3 ft) in height.

Solanum tuberosum is a perennial but is grown as an annual crop. The optimum temperature for growth is 21°C, and growth is restricted below 7°C and above 30°C. Tuber formation in is favored by short days. It is also essential to have ample soil moisture for optimum yields. Deep, well-drained sandy or silt loam soils are ideal for growing potato, with a soil pH between 5.5 to over 7.5. Potatoes are mainly propagated by vegetative methods (cloning).  Potato tubers have nodes or eyes from which the new growth begins. The new stems growing from each eye are called sprouts which gives rise to the new plant. Vegetative seed can be either a whole tuber or a cut tuber. In general, seed potatoes should have an average weight of 60 g, with most seed potatoes weighing between 35 and 85 g. Seeding rate will vary depending on the intended end-use, but typically ranges from less than one to more than six tonnes per hectare. Ideal soil temperatures for planting are 13-16°C, but should generally be at least 8-10°C. Along each row of plants, the soil is ridged up, a process known as hilling, to prevent exposure of the developing tubers to light. Tubers produce the alkaloid solanine and turn green when exposed to light, which renders them unfit for human or livestock consumption. For the same reason, tubers should be stored in a dark place after harvest.

Potato withdraws a lot of nutrients from the soil, and fertilization with applications of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium is generally required to ensure adequate plant growth, tuber yield and quality.

Of all the essential elements, Nitrogen (N) is the one most often limiting for potato growth, particularly on soils with low organic matter. Ensuring adequate N is necessary to achieve high yields. Nitrogen is required to obtain both good quantitative and qualitative results. It is recommended to bring 40% of the total nitrogen under organic form at seedling stage and a further covering soil application at later stage.

Phosphorus (P) is important in enhancing early crop growth and promoting tuber maturity. The Phosphorous which favors the resistance to coldness and the content of starch is requested at the very first stage of the potato development and more specifically in an organic form to avoid any insolubility issues.

Potatoes take up significant quantities of Potassium (K), a nutrient that plays important roles in tuber yield, size, and quality. The plant needs high K to attain good storage quality.

It is always better to use organic fertilizers because bringing organic matter and humic acids favor the development and the health of the plants. It also helps to improve poor soils and to avoid excess of salinity in the soil, which is the main problem with chemical fertilizers.

Micronutrients are essential for a good quality and quantity of the production. Among these, Zinc is generally required, and it is better to use biochelate form able to provide the element and at the same time boost plant metabolism thanks to the biostimulant action. Bringing Calcium is useful to improve the growth and formations of tubers, the firmness, and the shelf life.

Sample Fertilization Plan

Potatoes_stages_before_plantation-web

Coating Stage

Improve emergence and root development
Potatoes_stages_before_plantation-web

Before plantation

Improve soil fertility (chemical, physical and biological)
Improve soil fertility (chemical, physical and biological)

OR

Improve soil fertility (chemical, physical and biological)
Potatoes_stages_plantation-web

Plantation

Enhance nutrient availability and provide useful bacteria
Hello Nature TIFIMAX
Improve root health and tolerance to abiotic stress
Potatoes_stages_Tuber_initiation-web

Tuber initiation

Prevent/cure Zinc deficiency and biostimulant action
increase the number of tubers
Providing a balance of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium
Nutritional action, increase the endogenous resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress

OR

Nutritional action and increase the endogenous resistance to disease and abiotic stress
Nutritional action, increase the endogenous resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress
Potatoes_stages_tuber_formation-web

Tuber formation

Prevent/cure Zinc deficiency and biostimulant action
Providing a balance of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium
Nutritional action, increase the endogenous resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress

OR

Nutritional action and increase the endogenous resistance to disease and abiotic stress
Nutritional action, increase the endogenous resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress
Potatoes_stages_full_flowering-web

Full flowering

Improve yield – 2 appl. Beginning of flowering and 10 days after
Providing a balance of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium
Nutritional action, increase the endogenous resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress

OR

Nutritional action and increase the endogenous resistance to disease and abiotic stress
Nutritional action, increase the endogenous resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress
Potatoes_stages_tuber_maturity-web

Tuber maturity

Providing a balance of Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium
Nutritional action, increase the endogenous resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress

OR

Nutritional action and increase the endogenous resistance to disease and abiotic stress
Nutritional action, increase the endogenous resistance and tolerance to abiotic stress

Request a fertilization plan

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PRODUCT BENEFITS

Soil or in furrow application of beneficial microorganism, at plantation, is the best solution to start your cultivation, improving the crop growth in the early stages. It is the sustainable basis of the entire crop cycle, allows for better emergence, increases the resistance of plants to abiotic stresses, the availability of nutrients and the root development. Our solutions have polyvalent and high persistence action that stimulate and support the development of the plant throughout the entire crop cycle. COVERON is an innovative biostimulant containing different selected, patented, and proprietary beneficial microbials. It is the first commercial formulation combining mycorrhizae and Trichoderma atroviride, also suitable for organic farming.
Organic fertilization provides organic matter and plant essential nutrients to the soil. It is important to reduce the necessity of repeated application of synthetic fertilizers to maintain soil fertility. For this reason, it is important to use organic fertilizers in pre-sowing, capable of improving the physical, chemical, and biological fertility of the soil and sustain growth of potato tubers. ITALPOLLINA 4-4-4, DUETTO 5-5-8 + 2 MgS or NASKAR 12-5-15 are the ideal solutions for the organic fertilization of potato before plantation. DUETTO and ITALPOLLINA releases a great quantity of organic matter which improves the soil structure and activates the micro-organisms, reducing soil exhaustion. NASKAR is an organo-mineral fertilizer, the combination of nutrients in organic and mineral form ensures fertilization as and when the needs of the crop, without risk of leaching or demotion. In addition, it increases the activity soil microbial.
Prevent/cure Zinc deficiency Plants lacking zinc appear to be stunted, with young leaves cupped and rolled inward. Grayish brown irregularly shaped spots will often appear on the older leaves. In advanced cases, the plants may die with considerable yield losses. Zinc is an important micro-nutrient needed for good growth and performance and it is the most common micronutrient deficiency in potatoes. Zinc plays a key role in chlorophyll production, carbohydrate metabolism (starch content) and cell elongation, which impacts leaf size. The deficiencies of Zinc are due to several factors that can minimize availability of Zn, like Soil pH higher than 7, difficult growing conditions or antagonism with Phosphorus.  Zinc can be effectively applied as a foliar spray and absorbed by the potato leaves. KEYLAN Zn is an innovative product with higher nutrient availability, based on a new and exclusive bio-chelation technology which prevent and cure zinc deficiencies and, at the same time, increase tolerance against abiotic stress.
(Enhance nutrient availability) Nutrients in the soil are often unavailable for plants but specific bacteria are able to solubilize mineral elements and make them available for plant uptake. Besides, vegetal protein hydrolysates can modify the microbiome on plant tissues increasing the microbial biodiversity and especially plant growth promoting bacteria. GLYSS is a new generation plant biostimulant based on the combination of beneficial bacteria and vegetal protein hydrolysates including Plant Stimulating Peptides (PSP) enriched with Lateral Root Promoting Peptide (LRPP). GLYSS enhancing nutrient availability and providing useful bacteria increases the yield and quality, with positive impact also on soil biodiversity.
(Increase endogenous resistance and tolerance against abiotic stress) As a first line of defense, nutritional status of crops is directly involved in plant health. Some nutrients and organic compounds like vegetal peptides are able to increase endogenous resistance and tolerance against abiotic stresses, nowadays more and more frequent and aggravated by climate change. POSPHIT-ONE is a NPK fertilizer enriched with vegetal peptides ideal to feed the plant and trigger the natural endogenous resistance. SCUDO is a liquid fertilizer with copper and vegetal peptides able to prevent/cure copper deficiency helps plant to overcome rapidly the stress induced by nutritional imbalances and unfavorable environmental conditions.
(Increase the number of tubers, tubers size and uniformity) Marketable yield in potato is strongly directed to the number of tubers, their size and uniformity. For this reason, it is important to apply specific products with biostimulant action able to boost plant metabolism and achieve better crop performance. TRAINER is an innovative biostimulant for foliar application. It acts energically on plant development thanks to the combined presence of organic nitrogen and peptides of 100% vegetal origin. TRAINER is rapidly absorbed by leaves and translocated in plant tissues, so that within few hours, it can perform its positive actions. TRAINER applied at Tuber formation has been shown to increase the number of tubers, while a second application at full flowering can improve the yield by increasing and standardizing tuber size.

Plan your harvest with our nutrient removal calculator

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