American Journal of Potato Research

, Volume 78, Issue 4, pp 311–318 | Cite as

Does potassium fertilizer form, source, and time of application influence potato yield and quality in the Columbia Basin?

  • J. R. Davenport
  • E. M. Bentley


Potassium (K) fertilizer form (liquid or granular), source (chloride or sulfate), and time of application (preplant or in-season) were evaluated for effects on potato tuber yield and quality in Washington’s Columbia Basin. Potato yield and quality did not respond positively to potassium fertilizer although pre-plant soil-test K values were in the range where adding K fertilizer is recommended in the current (1999) Washington guidelines. In one of three years, total tuber yield was reduced with inseason fertilization with potassium chloride and with 75% in-season liquid K application. While the results were inconsistent over growing seasons, a few of the in-season, liquid K fertilizer treatments resulted in a significant reduction in percent marketable yield. Thus, the study results uphold the current practice of using granular K fertilizers pre-plant. In addition, the results of this study strongly indicate that K source does not affect tuber specific gravity. The limited response of yield and quality factors to K fertilizer on sites that Washington’s current soil-test and K fertilizer guidelines indicate should be K responsive suggest that further research is needed to fine tune the guidelines

Additional Key Words

Specific gravity disease incidence 


Se evaluaron los efectos que conlleva la forma de fertilizar con potasio (liquida o granular), fuente (cloruro o sulfato) y tiempo de aplicación (antes de la siembra o en forma oportuna), sobre los rendimientos de los tubérculos y calidad de la variedad Washington’s Columbia Basin. Ni el rendimiento ni la calidad respondieron positivamente a la fertilizatión con potasio, pese a que un análisis de suelo antes de la siembra, para determinar el valor de K, estuvo dentro del rango recomendado para fertilizar con potasio, de acuerdo a las pautas vigentes de la variedad Washington (1999). En uno de los tres años, el rendimiento total de los tubérculos se redujo con la fertilización oportuna con cloruro de potasio y en 75% con la aplicación oportuna de potasio líquido Mientras que los resultados fueron contradictorios durante la temporada de crecimiento, y menores a los de la fertilización oportuna, los tratamientos de fertilización con K liquido conllevaron una reductión significativa sobre el porcentaje de rendimientos comerciales. Así, los resultados del estudio apoyan la práctica actual de usar fertilización granular de K en el período previo a la siembra. Adicionalmente, el resultado de este estudio indica contundentemente que la fuente de K no afecta la gravedad específica del tubérculo. La limitada respuesta de los factores de rendimiento y calidad a la fertilización con K en aquellos lugares donde los análisis de suelo y las pautas de fertilización con K de la variedad Washington indican que debería haber correspondencia al K, sugiere que se requieren más investigaciones para definir mejor dichas pautas


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Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Washington State University Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension CenterProsser

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