The low vine vigor and high N requirement of Russet Norkotah may lead to N loss and groundwater contamination on coarse-textured soils. Recent clonal selections from Texas have produced strains that have larger and stronger vines, which may alter N requirements. This two-year study examined the N use efficiency (NUE), yield, and quality of Russet Norkotah strain selections fertilized with different N levels on a Hubbard loamy sand in central Minnesota. The selections, Texas Norkotah Strain (TXNS) 112, TXNS 223, and TXNS 278 were grown with standard Russet Norkotah under irrigated conditions and received total N levels of 28, 112, 224, or 336 kg ha-1. Total, marketable, and large (>340 g) tuber yields increased linearly (P<0.05) with rate of N application in 1998 but not in 1997. The genotype main effect was not significant for any of the tuber yield parameters measured based on fresh weight. Vine, tuber, and total dry biomass yields were 116%, 5.8%, and 13.2%, respectively, higher with the selections than Russet Norkotah. Harvest index (HI), or the proportion of total dry matter partitioned to tubers, was 7% greater for Russet Norkotah than the TXNS selections, reflecting the larger vine growth of the selections. The selections accumulated significantly higher N in the vines (0.113 kg kg-1 N) than the standard clone (0.053 kg kg-1 N) as N rate increased from 28 to 336 kg ha-1, and the difference between the selections and the standard clone was larger at higher N rates than at lower N rates. Russet Norkotah partitioned 10% more N to tubers than did the TXNS selections, reflecting the difference in HI between the standard cultivar and its clones. Nitrogen recovered from fertilizer N applied in addition to the 28 kg ha-1 starter N (NUE28) averaged 36% and varied little with genotype, N rate, or cropping year. Biomass accumulation from similar N additions (AUE), however, was significantly higher for the selections than Russet Norkotah at 112 kg N ha-1 in 1997 only. At low N rate (112 kg ha-1), the selections had higher physiological use efficiency (PUE28) (mean 45.9 g g-1) than Russet Norkotah (25.9 g g-1). Results from this study demonstrate that, although N recovery was similar for the four genotypes, the Texas Norkotah strains produced greater biomass than Russet Norkotah per kg N applied at low rate in 1997 and per kg of fertilizer N absorbed by the plant in both years. However, under the conditions of this study, higher biomass of the selections did not translate into a marketable yield advantage over the standard cultivar.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding support from the Minnesota Area II Potato Growers and the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station is greatly appreciated. We thank Dr. George Fernan-dez, University of Nevada, Reno, for his help with statistical analysis.
- Clonal selections
- N use efficiency
- Russet Norkotah
- Solanum tuberosum