Used to brew alcoholic beverages such as vodka, potcheen, or akvavit. Used as food for domestic animals. Used in the food industry (thickeners and binders of soups and sauces)
Used in the textile industry (adhesives) For the manufacturing of papers and boards Used in culinary purposes (mashed potatoes, French-fried potatoes or chips, whole baked potatoes, Rösti or potato pancakes, grated and formed into dumplings) Used for medicinal purposes
Diseases: Phytophthorainfestans (late blight) Rhizoctonia Sclerotinia black leg powdery mildew powdery scab leafroll virus purple top Potato Brown Rot
Pests Colorado potato beetle potato tuber moth green peach aphid (Myzuspersicae) potato aphid Flea Beetle leafhoppers thrips mites potato root nematode a microscopic worm that thrives on the roots, thus causing the potato plants to wilt. Since its eggs can survive in the soil for several years, crop rotation is recommended.
Pest and Disease Control Plant certified seed potatoes (healthy tubers only) Spray fungicides (Chlorothalonil or Bordeaux)
Harvesting Tubers should be handled as gently as possible at all times with minimal drops. Harvesters should be adjusted and operated so that all chains are full. Carry enough soil over the primary digger chain to adequately cushion potatoes. Maintaining full chains will minimize bruising. Proper harvester operation calls for skillfully balancing ground speed with blade depth and proper chain speed.
Avoid harvesting when soil temperature is below about 45o F at tuber depth. Cold tubers are very susceptible to shatter bruise and mechanical injury. During cold weather, harvest later in the day and continue into early evening when soils are warmest. Avoid wet, muddy situations when possible. Wet or mechanically damaged tubers tend to store poorly.
Curing Skin-set: the skin of the potato becomes resistant to skinning damage. Curing: done after harvest to improve skin set allows the skin to fully set and any wounds to heal. normally done at relatively warm temperatures 50 °C (122 °F) to 60 °C (140 °F) with high humidity and good gas-exchange if at all possible prevents infection and water-loss from the tubers during storage.
Storage The storage area is dark, well ventilated and for long-term storage maintained at temperatures near 4 °C. For short-term storage before cooking, temperatures of about 7 °C to 10 °C are preferred. Potatoes can be stored for up to ten to twelve months
A potato storage should have adequate insulation, outside waterproofing, inside vapor proofing, ventilation, air distribution, adequate humidification, and properly designed controls for precisely maintaining the storage atmosphere. Potatoes can be stored in pallet boxes for short periods. Store at 40 to 42 F with 95% relative humidity
Control weeds by shallow and frequent cultivation. Deep cultivation may cut potato roots and slow growth. When plants are 6 to 8 inches tall, begin to mound soil around the bases of the plants to start forming a ridge or hill.
Seed Selection Use only certified disease-free seed. The potato seed is not a true seed, but modified stem tissue known as a tuber. The true seed of the potato occurs in the small, inedible orange fruit the plant produces during mid-season. Some feed and garden stores sell B-size seed-small tubers weighing 1-1/2 to 2 ounces. These tubers should not be cut before planting. If 4 to 6 ounce or larger tubers are used, cut them so that each piece is block shaped, contains at least one good eye or bud and weighs about 1-1/2 ounces. Plant immediately after cutting.
Soil Requirements A well drained, fine sandy loam soil, high in organic matter, is preferred. Potatoes need a moist, acidic soil with a pH of less than 6. Soils with a higher pH tend to harbor potato scab, a fungal disease that lives in the soil for many years.
Temperature Requirement They prefer COOL weather (higher than 28 F but lower than 90 F)
Planting Plant the seed in shallow trenches 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 inches deep and cover with an inch or two of soil. The seed pieces should be spaced 9 to 12 inches apart in rows 28 to 34 inches apart. Nine to 12 pounds of seed will be needed for each 100 feet of row when 1-1/2 to 2 ounce seed pieces are planted 12 inches apart. Plant your seed potatoes (sprouted tubers) after the risk of frost
Fertilizer Practices Liberal amounts of fertilizer are required for large yields of potatoes. Potatoes usually respond to band applications of P. Potatoes require high levels of K and S Too much fertilizer, especially nitrogen, can over stimulate vine growth and delay tuber set and maturity.
Growth and Cultivation 1st Phase: Sprouts emerge and root growth begins. 2nd Phase: Photosynthesis begins as the plant develops leaves and branches. 3rd Phase: New tubers develop 4th Phase: Tuber bulking 5th Phase: Maturation
Hilling Potato cultivation and ridging or "hilling" are performed simultaneously. Ridging provides a number of advantages including reduced sungreening, improved weed control within the rows, and improved harvest conditions. Ridges are typically broad and 8 or 10 inches tall. Ridging or hilling: piling additional soil around the base of the plant as it grows