Estimation of critical nutrient range of petiole nitrate for sprinkler-irrigated potatoes

S. Roberts, H. H. Cheng

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The relationship of yield to concentration of NO3 in petioles of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) was studied as part of a comprehensive project on N use efficiency. The objective of this study was to estimate the critical nutrient range (CNR) of petiole NO3 for Russet Burbank potatoes treated with N supplements during the season. Treatments totaled 224, 336, and 560 kg N ha-1 for the season as NH4NO3 on this low N soil with one-third to one-half of the N applied at planting and the rest as periodical supplements during the season. Average yield of potatoes (74 Mt ha-1) was highest with 336 kg N ha-1. From this it was assumed that 224 N was <optimum, 336 N was optimum and 560 N was >optimum. Petiole NO3 decreased through the season with linear regressions of petiole NO3 versus time for each of three N rates accounting for variation in petiole NO3. It was concluded that at the start of the season, the estimated CNR for petiole NO3-N of potatoes was within the range from 9 to 13 g kg-1. Numerically, CNR values decrease with time as the season progresses. It is concluded that until more precise calibrations are made available, the CNR approach with petiole NO3 will be more helpful in cross checking the nutritional status of potatoes fertilized periodically with N supplements than in serving as a primary fertilizer guide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-124
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Potato Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • Solanum tuberosum L
  • diagnostic guide
  • frequent irrigation


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