If you’re interested in growing potatoes, here’s everything you need to know about it.
Potato is an important global food crop. Potatoes are cultivated commercially worldwide using both open fields and protected environments.
Hybrid seed potato varieties are grown in commercial production systems. Cultivating potatoes requires good soil fertility management practices such as fertilization and weed control. These practices are critical to maintaining high yields.
It is the third most important staple crop in the world after wheat and maize. And it is an integral part of global nutrition for millions of people across South America, Africa, and Central Asia, including central Asia. But good post-harvest management is also crucial to preserve the fruit from spoilage.
We’ll look at how to get started with a small-scale vegetable farming venture by exploring the basics of starting a new farm.
The scientific names of potatoes are Solanum tuberoses and Solanum Lycopersicum. They belong to the family Solanaceae. Potatoes are an important staple food crop and they contain protein, minerals, and a fair amount of vitamins.
Economic Importance of Potato Cultivation
Potato plays an important role in agriculture. Due to its dominant position in the agricultural consumption of households, there is a constant demand for Potatoes throughout the year.
In order to meet such demands, there is a steady increase in the production of Potatoes. India in particular and Asian countries in general are showing a rapid growth rate in potato production.
Potatoes are essential items for several industrial purposes such as for the production of starches and alcohol. In addition, laundry and textile mills are useful items for sizing yarn.
Potatoes are also utilized for the production of dextrin and glucose. As a food product self, potatoes are also popular as dry products such as ‘Potatoe Chips’, ‘Sliced’ or Shredded Potatos’.
Potatoe is a highly lucrative crop in the country even if it is a small and marginal farmer. It’s basically a profitable economic activity but you need to have formal marketing facilities and the post-harvest handling of the potatoes.
Health Benefits of Potatoes
- Potatoes contain high concentrations of vitamin C and fiber. Eating them with their skins is always beneficial.
- Potatoes also contain calcium, iron, and phosphorous.
- Potatoes contain a lot of vitamin C.
- Starchy foods include potatoes, corn, peas, beans, wheat, oats, barley, rice, etc. They’re considered good carbs because they provide lots of energy without causing spikes in blood sugar levels
- Because potatoes primarily consist of carbohydrates, they’re easy to digest and help your body break down food quickly.
Things To Consider in Potato Farming Business
- First, the initial input costs are comparatively high in potato plants. So you need to arrange the finances for them.
- Potato growing requires temperature control. You need to keep the right temperature during potato planting.
- Production losses due to pests and disease are the main cause of crop failure. To prevent them, don’t grow potatoes on the same land every season.
- Irrigation, quality seeds, and improved cultivars play an important role in getting good yields.
Best Varieties of Potato
More than four thousand types of potatoes exist. They vary in size and shape. Kufri Jyoti, Kufi Muthu, Kuffi Swarn, Kufi Thanga, Kufi Mala, Kufi Soon, and Kufi Giri Raj are the popular variety in India. Some of these early-season ones are Irish Cobbler and Yankon Gold.
While, some of the mid-season varietals are Catalina, Chivitian, French Fingerling, Golden Rush, Ida Rose, Kerrs Pink, Kennebec, Purple Viking, Pontiac, etc. To get maximum yield, you should use healthy, disease-and pest-free rubber, free from the mixture with other varietals. The seed rate depends on rubber sizes. However,
For optimal results, grow potatoes using healthy, disease-free seed tubers, free from mixtures of other varieties. Potatoes should be planted at an optimum density of between 800-1,000 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha).
Ideal Location & Agro Climatic Condition For Potato Farming
The potato has a broad range of seasonal adaptabilities. It is a cool weather crop and is moderately frost tolerant. During the growing seasons, the temperature is one of the main factors influencing yields.
Young potatoes grow best at temperatures between 24°C and 26°C. Later plantings can tolerate lower temperatures, but they may not produce as much.
Tuber (potato) yield increases when temperatures reach 20 degrees Celsius and then drops off sharply when they exceed 30 degrees Celsius. Shortening the day length is helpful for potato yields.
Suitable Soil For Potato Farming
Potatoes grow best in soils that are deep, fertile, sandy, and have good water retention capacity. They also have an impermeable layer in their roots that limits the distance from which they can draw nutrients.
Read: How to take soil samples for analysis?
In order to achieve good results, potatoes must be planted deep enough so that the entire root system is covered with earth.
They should also be given plenty of space between them, because if they grow too close together, they may compete for nutrients and moisture. Aerating the ground before planting helps prevent compacted layers of dirt around the roots.
Potatoes are grown in alkaline soil usually don’t develop good flavor. However, potatoes grown in acidified soil (with pH levels between 5.0 and 6.5) often suffer from scabby skin.
Potato Farming Basic Steps
Growing potatoes involves extensive ground prep. You must harrow your dirt until completely free of weeds root. In most instances, it requires 3 ploughings, alongside frequent harrowing and rolling, prior to the dirt reaching a suitable condition. But you must make certain a soft, well-drained, and well-aeriated area.
Plant your seedlings at a spacing of 30 cm x 20cm (12 inches by 8 inches). You may want to plant them on flat ground if you’re growing potatoes in dry conditions.
First of all, keep your soils well-watered during the entire growing season. To get the most out of your crops, you need to provide them with enough irrigation so they don’t suffer from drought conditions at any point.
Chemical fertilizers depend on the availability of soil nutrients. Potatoes require a lot of nitrogen; however, they do not respond well to phosphorus. You should consider applying manure if your soil lacks sufficient nutrients. Organic matter can also help improve soil structure and increase water retention.
During the critical period of weed control, weeds compete for light, water, nutrients, space, and soil moisture. It is important to keep the field weed free during this time. Hoe the field on the 45th day after planting without disturbing stolon roots. Earthing and second hoe can be done on the 60th day if necessary.
Plant Protection System In Potato Cultivation
Pests can cause serious damage to crops. To avoid crop loss, however, you need to implement effective methods of controlling them. These include regular inspection and protection against their natural predators.
Potatoes suffer from different pathological maladies, which result in a significant loss in yields. However, crop rotation; using tolerant potato cultivars, and healthy, certified seed tuber -can help prevent great losses. Late Blotch, Brown Rots, and Early Light are some of the potential diseases of potatoes.
Related: Crop Rotation Guide For Beginners
Harvesting & Yield in Potato Farming
Potato plants can be harvested once they reach maturity. They should not be left in the ground after harvesting because they will rot. Potatoes are stored in cool, dry conditions until needed. They should be kept out of direct sunlight and protected from insects.
Proper storage is necessary not just to avoid post-harvest losses but also to guarantee an adequate supply of seeds for the next season of cultivation.
You may like to read: Popular Modeling Hashtags to Impress Everyone