Potassium in potato farming

The importance of potassium in potato cultivation and its influence on plant physiological and quality-forming parameters of the potato

Kartoffeln Feld_web Potatoes are one of the most important staple foods worldwide. They deliver high yields and con-tribute to a balanced human nutrition, due to their favorable nutrient composition. In order to fully exploit the potential of the plants and thus the formation of tubers, it is important to understand the processes within the plant, especially with regard to the supply of the main nutrients nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium. Potassium plays a special role in potato cultivation, be-cause it not only has a positive effect on the yield, but also controls physiological processes within the plant. This means that plants that are sufficiently supplied with potassium are better protected against abiotic stress (drought, frost, etc.) and are also of better quality concerning the formation of tubers.

In the project “The importance of potassium in potato cultivation and its influence on plant physio-logical and quality-forming parameters”, the physiology of the potato plant and the quality of the potato tuber are examined.

The following project priorities were set:

  • Investigation of a potassium (sugar) leaf application to increase the frost tolerance of young potato plants (project completed; Wilmer et al. 2020)
  • Investigation of physiological processes in the potato plant in a hydroponic approach with different potassium supply levels and under the influence of drought stress
  • Investigation of the influence of K2SO4 and KCl on tuber quality. This is studied in a 2-year field trial with several varieties

Kartoffelknollen Marabel_web
Wilmer L, Riek P, Pawelzik E, Naumann M (2020) Bessere Frosttoleranz durch optimale Kaliumversorgung. Kartoffelbau 71:42-45