Fertilizer and nutrition studies with potatoes in the Red River Valley of Manitoba

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Hikida, Hideaki Robert
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The average annual acreage sown to potatoes in Manitoba during the period 1937 to 1947 was 30,050. The average yield per acre during this period was 112.6 bushels. 0f the total acreage sown to potatoes, it is estimated that nearly fifty per cent was on the heavy Red River clay in the vicinity of Winnipeg. In certain areas of this soil region, the average yield in 1946 was reported to be as low as 60 bushels per acre. Undoubtedly there are many factors contributing to this low yield. Some of these factors are believed to be associated with the availability of, and the relationship between nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. While some data from fertilizer experiments are available, the information covers only a period of a few years. In 1944 and 1945, L. A. Yager conducted fertilizer trials at the University of Manitoba. These experiments yielded sonewhat inconclusive and inconsistent results. Thus, in an effort to obtain further experimental data on which to base fertitizer recommendations for potatoes in the Red River Valley of Manitoba, fertilizer trials were carried out over a period of two years as a continuation of Yager's work. Cooking quality of potato tubers is a factor that is of great importance wherever potatoes are grown. In the United States and in some European countries, evidence has been presented indicating that fertilizer applications have affected the quality of potatoes in Manitoba. In order to study these effects, an experiment was conducted to determine the relationship that might exist between applications of fertilizers and quality of potatoes. To evaluate the nutritional requirements of plants, a knowledge of the symptoms due to certain element deficiencies is a distinct advantage. It has been observed, that deficiency symptoms in one species frequently differ from those in another. Though considerable work has been carried out in determining these symptoms in various plants, very little has been done to determine the symptoms in potato plants in Manitoba. A study was conducted with the object of determining the major and some of the minor element deficiency symptoms in potato plants.