The effect of pre-planting thermal treatment of seed tubers on the yield and quality of potato
Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1, EE51014 Tartu, Estonia *Correspondence: email@example.com
Field trials with the potato cultivars ‘Ants’ (medium late) and ‘Laura’ (medium early) were carried out on the experimental fields of the Department of Field Crops and Grassland Husbandry located at Eerika (58°22′ N, 26°40′ E), Estonian University of Life Sciences in 2010 and 2011. The yield of tubers and starch, marketable yield of potato, number of tubers per plant and tuber weight were studied. We used the following treatments: untreated control (To): seed tubers were planted directly from storage house (storage temperature 4°C); thermal shock (TS): seed tubers were kept before planting 5 days in a room with temperature of 30°C and 2 days with temperature of 12°C; pre-sprouting (PS): before planting the seed tubers were kept 26 days in a room with temperature of 15°C and 10 days with temperature of 12°C. The results are presented as the averages of studied years. According to the average results of two experimental years, the pre-planting treatment with thermal shock increased the number of tubers per plant of cultivar ‘Ants’ by 30.6%, compared to control treatment. None of the treatments had any effect on the number of tubers of cultivar ‘Laura’. The thermal treatment increased the average weight of tubers of cultivar ‘Laura’ compared to the control treatment (thermal shock by 14.7%, pre-sprouting by 20.7%), but for cultivar ‘Ants’ the weight of tubers was decreased by 16.7% (thermal shock treatment). The thermal shock treatment increased the tuber yield of cultivar ‘Ants’ by 10.7% and the pre-sprouting increased the total tuber yield of cultivar ‘Laura’ by 9.9%. The thermal shock increased significantly the starch content of cultivar ‘Ants’ and decreased that of cultivar ‘Laura’.