POTATO (Solanum tuberosum)
Plant Characteristics
Potato is a cool season crop belonging to the family Solanaceae. The top portion of plant is called 'haulm'. This may be erect or prostate with compound leaves. Stolens are the lateral underground branches arising from lower nodes on the above ground portion of the main stem. These stolens bend downwards and enter in to the soil. Their tips become swollen by accumulation of starch resulting into tubers.
Potato can be successfully cultivated in the high ranges of haryana. It is being cultivated in the rain shadow areas of Idukki district throughout the year.
A day temperature of 20-30ºC is optimum for growth and tuberisation in potato. Tuber formation is adversely affected, if the temperature goes above 30ºC
Varieties
Among the high yielding varieties, Kufri Jyothi (early), Kufri Muthu (medium), and Kufri Dewa (late) can be tried in the high ranges of haryana.
Seeds And Cultivation
Loose friable sandy loam or silt loam, rich in organic matter are ideal for potato. Hard clay should be avoided. Optimum pH range is 5.2-7.0
Crops can be raised as shown below in the eastern part of Idukki district.
Summer: March-April
Autumn: August-December
Spring: January-February
Whole potato tuber or cut pieces (50-60 g size) longitudinally cut from bud-end to stem-end can be used for plating. For planting 1 ha, 1000-2000 kg seed tubers are required. Seed tubers are treated with 1 ppm of GA 3 for one hour and then dried in shade for getting uniform sprouting. Tubers are filled in gunny bags after drying and kept in vertical position in well-ventilated dark room for 10 days for encouraging sprouting. Seed pieces should be treated with mancozeb (@ 1 kg in 450 litres of water) before planting to protect them from soil borne diseases.
Tubers can be planted on ridges 50-60 cm wide at a spacing of 15-20 cm between the plants. Earthing up is needed during the growing phase (30 days after planting) and 70 days after planting.
Water Management
Irrigate the crop once in a week or 10 days depending on the soil moisture.
Nutrient Management
A basal application of FYM (20 t/ha) is required during field preparation. Apply 60 kg N, 100 kg P2O5 and 120 kg K2O as basal. Topdressing with 60 kg N, 30 days after planting at the time of first earthing up is essential.
Pest Management
Cut worms, aphids and jassids are common pests of potato. Dusting with carbaryl 10 % DP immediately after planting can control cut worms. Spraying endosulfan @ 1.5 ml per litre controls leaf eating caterpillars. To control aphids and jassids spraying metasystox or dimethoate (1 ml per litre) is effective.
Disease Management
Early blight and late blight are the important fungal diseases. Spraying zineb (2 g per litre of water) is effective to control early blight. Copper fungicides can control late blight.
Harvesting
The tubers are dug out along with haulms cleaned and packed in gunny bags.
Average Yield
The yield of marketable tubers ranges from 25-35 tons/ha.
MAIN PRODUCTION AREAS-Kurukshetra, Yamunanagar, Ambala, Karnal