Fertilizer Application of Potatoes

Yield Loss

Nutrients need to be applied as accurately as possible to the zone of uptake, before or at the time that the crop needs them. Failure to ensure that each plant gets the right balance of nutrients can spoil crop quality and reduce yield.

Preplant fertilizers are either broadcast or banded. Generally, banded fertilizers give the best results.

When broadcasting fertilizer it is essential to ensure that it is evenly distributed. Small variations in distribution of plus or minus 10% will result in yield losses of up to 1.3t/ac. See figure.

When banding fertilizers it is important to keep the fertilizer away from the seed pieces. On low Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) soils the band should be 10 cm (3.9 in) below and 10 cm to the side of the seed piece. On higher CEC soils the fertilizer band can be placed closer to the seed piece. (e.g. 7 cm or 2.8 in to the side and below the seed). Fertilizer must not be banded beside the seed piece, as germination will be reduced. See image below:

fertilizer placement on high cec soils
Fertilizer Placement on High CEC Soils
foliar spraying potatoes
Foliar Spraying Potatoes