The effect of pre-planting treatment of seed tubers on potato yield formation
Department of Field Crop Husbandry, Estonian Agricultural University, Kreutzwaldi 64, 51014 Tartu, Estonia; e-mail: email@example.com
In the trials conducted in 2000–2002, we examined possibilities for growing potato using different methods of pre-planting treatment of seed tubers.
The varieties exploited were ‘Varajane kollane’ (early), ‘Piret’ (medium early) and ‘Ants’ (medium late). There were used the following ways of treatment for all varieties: PS – pre-sprouting, TT – thermal treatment and 0 – tubers not treated.
The dynamics of tuber yield formation during the vegetation period was significantly influenced by the weather. In terms of potato growth, weather conditions were the most favourable in 2001. The weather in 2000 and 2002 was not the most suitable for potato growth and development, and the yield in these years proved lower than the three-year average.
The average results from the three years show that potatoes could not realise their full potential to reach maximum yield. Pre-planting germination and thermal treatment had positive effects during the entire vegetation period, the effect being stronger at the beginning and then gradually decreasing.
Pre-planting treatment of seed tubers had a different effect on varieties with different growing times.
A comparison between the varieties showed that ‘Piret’ and ‘Varajane kollane’ started to form tubers early and thus exceeded the development of the variety ‘Ants’ until the 60th day of growth. ‘Ants’ reached its maximum yield, 47.0 t ha-1, already by the 114th day, followed by the fast-ripening ‘Varajane kollane’ and the medium-ripening ‘Piret’. Thermal treatment did not give any advantage in terms of total yield formation compared to untreated seeds, except for the pre-planting germination variant of the variety ‘Varajane kollane’, the total yield of which exceeded that of its untreated variant by 7.08 t ha-1.