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Avoid Overfertilizing Late Potatoes

Potato producers who have delayed planting due to unseasonably cool, wet conditions need to reassess their fertilizer needs.

Consideration must be given to the potential for lower yields on these fields. Adjustments to nitrogen fertilization should be made accordingly. Yields can be reduced by as much as 30 per cent due to delayed planting based on 10-year averages from crop insurance data depending on growing area (planting the last week in April versus the first week in June).

Using the same fertility program for a field that should have been sown the first week in May for a field that was actually sown the first week of June can result in detrimental impacts to tuber quality at harvest.

Specifically, there is greater potential for tubers to have lower specific gravity and be chemically immature which could result in high sugar levels.

For more information contact Susan Ainsworth at the Carberry GO Centre at 841-4032 or Tom Gonsalves at the Crops Knowledge Centre at 745-5671. – MAFRI

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