Nutritional studies with the potato plant

H. Gargantini H. Garcia Blanco J. Romano Gallo Sylvio de A. Nóbrega About the authors

Nutritional studies were carried out with potted potato plants, aiming at determining the absorption rate and uptake of essential nutrients in relation to age of the crop. The experimental plants were grown in pots containing 10 kg of soil. Cultural practices, water, and fertility conditions (including addition of minor elements) were uniform for all pots. Samples composed of an adequate number of plants (according to age) were harvested at ten-day intervals during the entire vegetative cycle of the crop and analysed for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S. The results obtained indicated that the potato plant absorbs a large amount of nitrogen, followed by potassium. Phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur are absorbed in small quantities, not more than 16 kg per hectare. The data also indicate that the necessary amount of nitrogen, potassium, magnesium, and sulfur are taken up by the plants during the 50 days following sprouting, while phosphorus and calcium are absorbed from the beginning to the end of the vegetative cycle.

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