Influence of Mineral Nitrogen and Potassium Fertilizers on Ware and Seed Potato Production on Alluvial Soil in Eastern Ethiopia

  • Simret Burga
  • Nigussie Dechassa
  • Tekalign Tsegaw


Abstract: Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is an important food security and cash crop in Ethiopia. However, the yield of the crop is low in the country due to a number of factors among which poor soil fertility management is a major one. Therefore, a field experiment was conducted on the main campus of Haramaya University in the 2009/10 cropping season to elucidate the effect of mineral nitrogen and potassium fertilizers on growth and tuber production of the crop. The treatments consisted of five rates of nitrogen (0, 50,100,150, and 200 kg N ha-1) and three rates of potassium (0, 100, and 200 kg K2O ha-1). The experiment was laid out as a randomized complete block design in a factorial arrangement and replicated three times per treatment. The results of the experiment revealed that nitrogen had significant main effects on all parameters except tuber specific gravity whilst potassium did not influence any of the parameters studied. The maximum marketable ware potato tuber yield (21.4 t ha-1) was obtained in response to the application of 100 kg N ha-1. However, the highest yield (12.7 t ha-1) and number (5.2 tubers hill-1) of medium-sized tubers, which are appropriate for planting as seed, were attained at the rate of 200 kg N ha-1. Thus, it could be concluded that the rate of nitrogen fertilizer required to enhance seed tuber production was found to be higher than that required to optimize ware potato production, and potassium application was not necessary to produce the crop.

 Keywords: Soil properties; Solanum Tuberosum L.; Tuber number; Tuber Size Distribution; Tuber Yield


Author Biographies

Simret Burga

Haramaya University, Department of Plant Sciences, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Nigussie Dechassa

Haramaya University, Department of Plant Sciences, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia

Tekalign Tsegaw

Haramaya University, Department of Plant Sciences, P. O. Box 138, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia


Abebe, T., Lemaga B., Mwakasendo, J A., Nzohabonayoz, Z., Mutware, J., Wanda, K. Y., Kinyae, P. M., Ortiz, O., Crissman, C. and Thiele, G. 2010. Markets for fresh and frozen potato chips in the ASARECA region and the potential for regional trade: Ethiopia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Burundi and Uganda. Working Paper. International Potato Centre (CIP). Lima, Peru. 44p.
Bashour, I. I. and Sayegh, A. H. 2007. Methods of analysis for soils of arid and semi-arid regions. FAO, Rome. 119p.
Bekunda, M., Sanginga, N. and Woomer, P. L. 2010. Restoring soil fertility in sub-sahara Africa. Advances in Agronomy 108, 183 - 236.
Belay,S. C., Wortman, W. and Hoogen Boom G. 1998. Haricot bean agro-ecology in Ethiopia: Definition using agro-climatic and crop growth stimulation models. African Crop Science Journal 6: 9 - 18.
Berga, L. Gebremedhin, W. Terrisa J., Bereke, T. T. Yaynu, H. 1994. Potato improvement research. In: Edward H., Lemma D. (eds). Proceedings of the Second National Horticultural Workshop of Ethiopia held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Beyene, G. 1998. Yield, quality, and nitrogen uptake of potato as influenced by rate and time of nitrogen application. MSc. Thesis. Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture, Alemaya University. 82p.
Bonierbale, M., de Hann, S. and Forbes, A. 2006. Procedures for standard evaluation trials of advanced potato clones: An International Cooperators’ Guide. International Potato Centre (CIP). 124p.
Brown, J. R., and E. O. McLean. 1984. Crop response to lime in the Midwestern United States. Soil acidity and liming: 267 - 303. Agronomy monograph No. 2, 2nd edition
Cottenie, A., 1980. Soil and plant testing as a basis of fertilizer recommendations. FAO soil bulletin 38/2. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
Dechassa, N., Schenk, M. K. and Steingrobe, N. 2003. Phosphorus Efficiency of Cabbage (Brassica oleraceae L. var. capitata), Carrot (Daucuscarota L.), and Potato (Solanum tuberosum L). Plant and Soil. 250: 215 - 224.
DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs). 2007. Fertilizer Recommendations for Agricultural and Horticultural Crops. 6th Edn., London, TSO. 176p.
EIAR (Ethiopian institutes of Agricultural Research). 2004. Directory of released crop varieties and their recommended cultural practices. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Fageria, N. K., Baligar, V. C., Jones, C. A. 2011. Growth and Mineral Nutrition of Field Crops. 3rdEdn., Taylor & Francis Group, New York. 530p.
FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). 2006. Plant nutrition for food security: Aguide for integrated nutrient management. FAO, Fertilizer and Plant Nutrition Bulletin 16, Rome.
FAOSTAT. 2010. Agricultural data Provisional Production and Production Indices. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
Gildemacher, P. R., Kaguongo, W., Ortiz, O., Tesfaye, A., Woldegiorgis, G., Wagoire, W. W., Kakuhenzire, R., Kinyae, R. M., Nyongesa , M., Struik, P. C., Leeuwis, C. 2009. Improving Potato Production in Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia: A System Diagnosis. Potato Research 52, 173 - 205.
Haverkort, A. J., Koesveld, M. J., van Schepers, H. T. A. M., Wijnands, J. H. M., Wustman, R., Zhang, X. Y. 2012. Potato prospects for Ethiopia: on the road to value addition. Lelystad: PPO-AGV, 2012 (PPO publication 528). 66p.
Hazelton, P. and Murphy B. 2007. Interpreting soil test results: What do all thenumbers mean? 2nd Edition. CSIRO Publishing. 152p.
Hesse, P. R. 1971. A Text Book of Soil Chemical Analysis. John Murray, London.
Holford, I. C. R. 1997. Soil phosphorus: its measurement, and its uptake by plants. Aust J Soil Res. 35, 227 - 239.
Holford, I. C. R. and Cullis, B. R. 1985. Effects of phosphate buffer capacity on yieldresponse curvature and fertiliser requirements of wheat in relation to soil phosphatetests. Aust J Soil Res. 23, 417 - 427.
Jackson, S. D. 1975. Multiple signalling pathways control tuber induction in potato. Plant Physiology.119: 1 - 8.
Jadhav, S. J. and Kadam, S. S. Potato. 1998. In: Salunkhe D. K. and S. S. Kadam (eds) Handbook of Vegetable Science and Technology, Production, composition, storage, and processing. Marcel Dekker, Inc., New York, pp: 13 - 69.
Jenkins, P. D. and Mahmood, S. 2003. Physiology of vegetable crops. In: nutrient use of potato. pp. 213 - 256.
Kanzikwera, C. R. Tenywa, J. S., Osiru, D. S. O., Adipala, E. and Bhagsari, A. S. 2001. Interactive effect of Nitrogen and Potassium on dry matter and nutrient partitioning in true potato seed Mother Plants. African Crop Science Journal 9: 127 - 146.
Kleinkopf, G. E., Westermann, D. T., Wille, M. J., Kleinscmidt, G. D. 1987. Specific Gravity ofRusset Burbank Potatoes. American Potato Journal 64: 579 - 587.
Krauss, A. and Marschner, H. 1971. Influence of nitrogen nutrition, day length and temperature on contents of gibberellic and abscisic acid and tuberization in potato plants. Potato Research 25: 13 - 21.
Landon, J. R. 1991. Booker Tropical soil manual: A handbook for soil survey and agricultural land evaluation in the tropics and subtropics. Longman UK Limited, Essex, UK. 474 p.
Lung’aho, C., Lemaga, B., Nyongesa, M., Gildermacher, P., Kinyale, P., Demo, P., Kabira, J. 2007. Commercial seed potato production in eastern and central Africa. Kenya Agric. Inst. 140p.
Maier, N. A., Dahlenburg, A. P. and Williams, C. M. J. 1994. Effects of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium on yield, specific gravity, crisp colour, and tuber chemical composition of potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) cv. Kennebec. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture 34: 813 - 824.
Mengel, K., Kirkby, E. A., Kosegarten, H., Appel T. 2001. Principles of plant nutrition, 5th edition. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 849p.
Millard, P., Marshall, B. 1986. Growth, nitrogen uptake and partitioning with the Potatocrop (Solanumtuberosum L.) in relation to nitrogen application. Journal of Agriculture Science 107: 421 - 429.
Morris, M., Kelly, V. A., Kopicki, R. J., Byelee, D. 2007. Fertilizer Use in African Agriculture: Lessons Learned and good practices guidelines. World Bank, Washington, D. C. 144p.

Mulubrhan,H.2005. The effects of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilization on the
yield and yield components of potato (Solanumtuberosum L.) Grown on Vertisoils of
MekeleArea,Ethiopia.Msc. Thesis. Department of Plant Sciences, College of
AgricultureHaramaya University.
Murphy, H. F. 1968. A report on the fertility status of some soils of Ethiopia.Experimental
Bull.No. 1. Imperial College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts; Alemaya, Ethiopia, 201
Nelson, N.A. and Sommer. 1982. Photometric adaptation of Somogy method for the
determination of glucose. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 153: 375-380, 1944.
Osaki, M. MorikawaK. ShinanoT. UrayamaM. and Tadano T. 1991. Productivity of high
yielding crops II comparision of N, P, K Ca and Mg accumulation and distribution among
high yielding crops. Soils Sci. Plant. Nutri, 37:445-454.
Page, A.L.1982. Methods of soil analysis. Part II. Chemical and Microbiological properties.
Patricia, I. Bansal S.K.1999. Potassium and integrated nutrient management in potato. A
paper presented at the Global Conference on Potato, 6-11 December 1999. New
Delhi, India.
Pratt, P.F. 1965. Potassium In: Methods of soil analysis. No. 9. Agronomy (C.A. Black,
Eds.). Part II, Madison. American Society of Agronomy.
SAS Institute, I. 2002. SAS/STAT User's Guide for personal computers Version 9: SAS-
Inst., Cary, Nc.
Sharifi, M. Bernie J.Z. MohammadA.H.Mahmoud K. 2005. Dry Matter and Nitrogen
Accumulation and Root Morphological Characteristics of Two Clonal Selections Of
‘Russet Norkotah’ Potato as affected by Nitrogen Fertilization, J. of Plant
Nutri.28 (12): 2243-2253.
Sommerfeld, T.G. Knutson, K.W. 1965. Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus on the growth
and development of Russet Burbank Potatoes grown in the South eastern Idaho. Am.
Potato J.42: 351-360.
Tilahun, A. Takele, B. Endrias, G. 2001. Reversing the degradation of arable land in the
Ethiopian Highlands. Managing African Soils No.23. International Institute for
Environment and Development. 29p.
Wilcox, G.E.and Hoff, J. 1970. Nitrogen fertilization of potatoes for early summer harvest. Am. Potato J.47: 99-102.
Yibekal, A. 1998. Effects of nitrogen and phosphorus on yield and yield components, and some quality traits of potato (SolanumtuberosumL.) at Wondo Genet Area. Msc. Thesis. Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture Haramaya University.
Zelalem, A. 2009.Response of potato (SolanumtuberosumL.) to different rates of nitrogen
and phosphorus fertilization on vertisols at DebreBerhan, in the central highlands of Ethiopia Msc. Thesis. Department of Plant Sciences, College of Agriculture Haramaya University.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

Obs.: This plugin requires at least one statistics/report plugin to be enabled. If your statistics plugins provide more than one metric then please also select a main metric on the admin's site settings page and/or on the journal manager's settings pages.