Potato planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name of Potato: Solanum tuberosum L.; it belongs to the family Solanaceae

Varieties: Kufri Jyoti, Kufri Muthu, Kufri Swarna, Kufri Thangam and Kufri Malar.
Soil: The soil should be friable, porous and well drained. The optimum pH range is 4.8 to 5.4. It is a cool weather crop. Potato is mostly grown as a rainfed crop. Cultivated in regions receiving a rainfall of 1200 - 2000 mm per annum.

Season and planting
Summer : March – April
Autumn : August – September
Irrigated : January – February
Plains: October – November.
Use disease free, well spouted seeds weighing 40 – 50 grams. Use Carbon disulphide 30 g/100 kg of seeds for breaking the dormancy and inducing sprouting of seeds. Plant the tubers at 20 cm apart.

Seed rate: 3000 – 3500 kg/ha.

Preparation of field: Prepare the land to fine tilth. In hills provide an inward slope of 1.40 in the terraces. Provide drainage channel along the inner edge of the terrace. Form ridges and furrows
with a spacing of 45 cm between ridges either by hand hoe or ridger.

Irrigation: Irrigate the crop 10 days after planting. Subsequently irrigation should be given once in a week.

Application of fertilizers: Apply 15 t of FYM/ha, and 2 kg each of Azospirillum and Phosphobacteria as basal and 120 kg N, 240 kg P and 120 kg K/ha in two splits; half as basal and the balance for top dressing 30 days after sowing. Apply Magnesium sulphate at 60 kg/ha
as basal dose.

After cultivation
Weed control: Spray of Gramaxone @ 2.5 lit/ha in 500 lit of water as post - emergence. The critical period of weed-competition is upto 60 days and it is essential to keep the field weed-free
during that period. Take up the first hoeing on 45th day without disturbing stolons. Second hoeing and earthing up at 60th day.

Plant protection against Pests
Nematodes: Avoid growing potato year after year in the same field. Follow rotation of crop with vegetables and green manure. Application of carbofuran 3 G (1.0 kg a.i.) 33 kg/ha in furrows while seeding. For cyst nematode resistant variety Kufri Swarna, half dose of the above nematicide
is enough.

Biological control of nematodes: Applicaton of Pseudomonas fluorescens at 10 kg/ha.
Aphids: Spray methyl demeton 25 EC or dimethoate 30 EC 2 ml/lit.
Cut worms
1. Install light trap during summer to attract adult moths.
2. Install Sprinkler irrigation system and irrigate the field in day time to expose the larvae for predation by birds.
3. Drench the collar region of the plants in evening hours with chlorpyriphos or endosulfan 2 ml/lit a day after planting.
White grub
1. Summer ploughing to expose the pupae and adults.
2. Dust endosulfan 5 D or quinalphos 5 D at 25 kg/ha 10 days after first summer rains.
3. Install light traps between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. in April - May months.
4. Hand pick the adult beetles in the morning.
5. Hand pick the 3rd instar grub during July - August.
6. In endemic areas apply phorate 10 G at 25 kg/ha during autumn season (August - October).
Potato tuber moth
1. Avoid shallow planting of tubers. Plant the tubers to a depth at 10 - 15 cm deep.
2. Install pheromone traps at 20 No/ha.
3. Earth up at 60 days after planting to avoid potato tuber moth egg laying in the exposed tubers.
4. To control foliar damage spray NSKE 5 % or quinalphos 20 EC 2 ml/lit (ETL 5 % leaf damage).
5. Keep pheromone traps in godowns.
6. In godowns cover the upper surface of potato leaves with Lantana or Eupatorium branches to repel ovipositing moths.
7. Treat the seed tubers with quinalphos/endosulfan dust @ 1 kg/100 kg of tubers.

Protection against Diseases
Late blight: Carefully select seed tubers. Remove ground creepers which serve as a source of infection. Spray Mancozeb 2 g/lit or Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit on 45, 60 and 75 days after planting.
Grow late blight resistant varieties like Kufri Jyothi, Kufri Malar and Kufri Thangam.
Brown rot: Select disease free seeds. Give proper drainage facilities. Remove and destroy the affected plants.
Early blight: Spray Mancozeb 2 g/lit or Chlorothalonil 2 g/lit at 45, 60 and 75 days after planting.
Virus diseases: Use virus free potato seeds. Rogue the virus affected plants regularly. Control the aphid vectors by spraying Dimethoate or Methyl demeton 2 ml/ha.

Yield: 15 – 20 t/ha in a duration of 120 days.

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