Cultivation Of Potato

By Punjab Agricultural University on 30 Jan 2016 | read


Climate and Soil

The crop is raised when maximum day temperature is below 30'C and night temperature is not above 20'C. Good crop growth is observed when days are sunny and nights are cool.Potato thrives well in cool climate. The highest tuberization is obtained when day and night temperature is 20'C and 14'C,respectively. Potato can be grown on different types of soils. Well drained, loose, friable, non-saline and non-alkaline loamy sand to sandy loam soils are suitable for this crop. Soil pH should be in the range of 5.5 - 8.0.

Improved Varieties

Early Varieties

Kufri Surya (2000) : It is a heat tolerant high yielding medium maturing (90-100 days) white tuber variety having field resistance to late blight. It has very good keeping quality under ambient storage conditions. It is suitable for early planting (September) and heat stress conditions as it has ability to tuberise at higher temperatures. Its average yield is 100-125 q/acre.

Kufri Chandramukhi (1968) : It is an early variety and matures in about 80-90 days. Its tuber is white, large, smooth, oval and flattened, with white skin, fleet eyes and white flesh. The tubers,though up-to-date type, are smoother, more uniform and more attractive. The variety is capable of yielding about 100 q/acre. It is susceptible to late blight.

Kufri Ashoka (1996) : Plants are tall, erect and medium compact with green foliage. It is an early bulking variety and matures in about 75-80 days under short day conditions. Its maturity is thus comparable with that of Kufri Chandramukhi. It is susceptible to lateblight. However, it escapes late blight attack due to earliness. The tubers are large, smooth, oval long with white skin with fleet eyes. It has waxy texture and is easy to cook. It yields about 110 q/acre.

Kufri Pukhraj (1998) : Plants are tall, vigorous and erect. It is an early bulking variety which gives economic yield quite comparable with Kufri Chandramukhi in 70 days. It is susceptible to late blight but escapes due to earliness. Its tubers are large uniform, oval, white with fleet eyes. It has dry matter content of 17-18 per cent. It yield q/acre in 70-90 days.

Mid Season Varieties

Kufri Pushkar (2006) : It is a high yielding medium maturing(90-100 days) white tuber variety having field resistance to late blight.It has very good keeping quality under ambient storage conditions. It gives higher yield than the other medium maturing cultivars. Due to its good keeping quality, it has wider acceptability. Its average yield is 160-170 q/acre.

Kufri Jyoti (1968) : Plants are tall, erect, compact with light green foliage. It matures in about 90-110 days and yields about 80-120 q/acre. Tubers are large, oval, white with fleet eyes and white flesh. Tubers show variable degree of cracking. The variety possesses moderate degree of resistance to late blight and slow rate of degeneration. It is suitable for planting in spring season.

Kufri Bahar (1980) : The plants are medium compact and vigorous with grey-green foliage. The tubers are large, round-oval with white flesh with medium deep eyes. It is a late blight susceptible variety, but capable of yielding about 125 q/acre in about 100-110 days. It is not suitable for processing.

Late Varieties

Kufri Sindhuri (1967) : It is a medium late variety and takes 110-120 days to mature. The tuber is medium, smooth, round with light red skin, deep eyes and dull white flesh. The tubers have very good keeping quality. The variety yields about 120 q/acre. The tubers become hollow under very high fertility condition. It is not suitable for processing. It is moderately resistant to early blight and tolerant to leaf roll.

Kufri Badshah (1979) : The plants are vigorous with smooth leaves. The tubers are large, oval, white, smooth with fleet eyes and dull white flesh. Tubers tend to develop purple color on exposure to light. It is a moderately resistant to late blight, resistant to PVX and matures in about 100-110 days, yielding on an average 130 q/acre. It is not suitable for processing.

Processing Varieties

Kufri Chipsona-1 (1998) : It is medium maturing (90-100 days),resistant to late blight and have good keeping quality. The tubers are oval and white. Tubers have low reducing sugar content (108 mg per 100 g fresh weight) and high tuber dry matter (21%) which is required for producing light colored chips. Average yield is 170-180 q/acre.With this variety even North western plains can produce potato for processing. It is a variety suitable for processing into chips.

Kufri Chipsona-3 (2006) : It is medium maturing (90-100 days),resistant to late blight and have good keeping quality. The tubers are oval and white. Tubers have low reducing content (100 mg per 100 g fresh weight) and high tuber dry matter (21.5%) which is required for producing light colored chips. Average yield is 165-175 q/acre. It is a variety suitable for processing into chips.

Kufri Frysona (2010) : It is medium maturing (90-100 days),resistant to late blight and good keeping quality. The tubers are long oval and white. Average yield is 160-170 q/acre. It is a variety suitable for processing into French fries due to long tubers with high dry matter (22%). It produces high proportion of French fry grade (75mm) tubers.

Seed Source : Obtain the seed from a reliable source. It is better to replace the seed every 3-4 years. The yield is reduced progressively if the same seed is used year after year.

Agronomic Practices

Green Manuring : Sow 20 kg of sun hemp (Crotolaria juncea)or Dhaincha for green manuring from end of June to first week of July. Burry the crop after 7-8 weeks of sowing to allow proper decomposition before potato planting.

Preparatory Tillage : Plough with a mould board or disc-plough,followed by the disc-harrow or the tiller, depending upon the soil type. In loamy sand soil, discoing alone is sufficient. Apply farm yard manure after preparatory tillage just before planting as this practices more beneficial than incorporating into the soil through cultivation.If weeds or stubble of the previous crop are not a problem, potato can be grown with minimum tillage without loss in yield.

Seed Rate : For autumn sowing 12-18 q/acre seed tubers of40-50 g weight should be used for planting. Good quality and disease free seed should be used. The seed should be produced by using the seed plot technique. If the seed raised from autumn crop is to be used for spring planting, its dormancy should be broken by dipping cut tubers in a solution of 1% Thiourea and 1ppm (one ml per 100 liters of water) Gibberellic Acid for an hour followed by air drying the treated tuber pieces for 24 hours in thin layers in shade.

Seed Potato Treatment and its Preparation : To control blackscurf and common scab, treat the tubers with Tafasan or Emisan @2.5 g per liter of water for 10 minutes after taking out of the cold storage.The seed potatoes obtained from the cold store, cannot be planted immediately. It should first be dried with the help of blowers.Keep the treated tubers in a cool place/shade exposed in diffused sunlight for 8-10 days which initiates sprouting and helps the sprouts to become strong.

Time of Sowing : The best time for sowing is last week of September to mid-October for the autumn crop and the second fortnight of January for the spring crop. However, the date of sowing in September would much depend upon the temperature prevailing at that time.

Method of Planting : After the field has been prepared well,mark rows with a row marker. A ridger should be used for planting the crop manually. Semi-automatic or automatic planters are recommended where tractor power is available. The spacing between the rows should be 60 cm and between the tubers 20 cm. In southwestern districts, potato should be planted in two rows on 50-55 cm wide beds to get higher tuber yield and saving of water.

Manures and Fertilizers :

Twenty tonnes of farmyard manure or green manuring along with75 kg of N (165 kg of Urea), 25 kg of P2O5 (155kg of SingleSuperphosphate) and 25 kg of K2O (40 kg of Muriate of Potash) per acre should be used. Application of paddy straw mulch @ 25 q/acre saves 18 kg nitrogen. Drill all P2O5 and K2O and half N at sowing and the remaining N at the time of earthing-up. Higher doses of these nutrients can be applied if the soil test shows low to very low status of these nutrients.

Note: Application of N fertilizer more than recommended is no substitute for farm yard manure or green manure.

Application of Biozyme : Biozyme granule and liquid formulation should be applied along with fertilizers in order to increase the yield of potato. Apply 8 Kg granule per acre each at the time of planting and earthing up and spray of Biozyme liquid formulation at tuber initiation stage @200ml/acre increases the yield of potato.

Earthing-up : A double mould board plough or a ridger should be used for earthing up after 25-30 days of sowing.

Weed Control : Application of paddy straw mulch @ 24 q/acre immediately after planting provides effective control of annual weeds or any one of the following herbicides can be used for controlling weeds.


1) Furrow Irrigation

The first irrigation should be given immediately after planting as it ensures better germination. The potato crop responds well to light and repeated irrigation. While applying irrigation avoid the over flooding of the ridges and the subsequent hardening of the soil surface which interferes with emergence, growth and development of tubers.The total number of irrigation will be 7-8. Application of paddy straw mulch @ 25 q/acre saves to irrigation.

2) Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation in potato results not only in increase in yield but also saves 38% of water over conventional method of irrigation. Under this system, irrigation should be applied at two days interval. The potato crop should be irrigated with a lateral pipe having dripper discharge of 2.2 litre per hour and dripper placed at 30 cm apart the following schedule :-Month Time of irrigation (min)October 20 November 25 December 45 January 20*If discharge rate is less than 2.2 liter/ hour, time of irrigation may be adjusted proportionally by the formula :-= 2.2 x Time of irrigation Discharge of dripper Fertilization saves 20% fertilizer. Apply 24.50 kg Urea, 6.6 kg Mono ammonium Phosphate and 6.7 kg Muriate of Potash (white )per acre during first month of the growing period of the crop in 7equal doses with every second irrigation (4 days interval). The first fertigation should be started after germination of the crop. The remaining amount of fertilizer 97.5 kg Urea, 26.2 kg Mono ammonium Phosphate and 26.7 kg Muriate of Potash (white) should be applied in equal doses during rest of the crop season (before last irrigation)in 13 equal doses with every second irrigation (4 days interval).


Suitable tractor operated digger has been developed and is available in the market. There should be optimum moisture in the soil at the time of harvest. The clods affect the efficient functioning of potato digger. Bullock drawn diggers can also be used. Keep the produce in the field after harvesting for 10-15 days.


After harvesting the potato should be graded.Four grades maybe made : (i) Small size (below 25 g weight)
(ii) Medium size (25-50 g weight)
(iii) Large size (50-75 g weight)
(iv) Extra large size (above 75 g weight)


It should be stored in the cold storage where temperature is
maintained at 2-40
C and relative humidity is 75-80%.

Storage of Ware Potato : Potato cultivars Kufri Chandramukhi,
Kufri Jyoti and Kufri Chipsona-1 can be stored successfully for 5
months at 10+10
C and 90-95% RH with two consecutive fogging of
CIPC at the rate of 40 ml per tonne. The first fogging is given at the
initiation of sprouting (chitting) and second after 60 days of the first
fogging. The stored potatoes maintain low reducing sugars (
and are suitable for chipping and culinary purpose.

Seed Plot Technique :
This technique aims at raising a healthy
seed crop of potato in Punjab during the period of low aphid incidence.
This pest is responsible for transmitting the viral diseases, like leaf roll,
For the seed crop, healthy seed potato, free from viral infection
should be obtained and planted in autumn i.e. in the first week of
October. Sowing at a spacing of 50 x 15 cm would ensure the
development of a large percentage of seed size tubers. An acre of
the seed crop will produce enough seed for planting of 8 to 10 acres
of the crop. Normal plant protection measures should be adopted to
control aphids and other insect pests. Rogue out otherwise unhealthy
plants noticed during the growing season to ensure the production
for better quality seed.
Towards mid-December, irrigation may be restricted and later
withheld completely so that the haulms wilt and fall down. As soon
as there are 20 aphids per 100 leaves, cut the haulms. Allow the
tubers to mature in soil for about 15 days. The harvested crop may
be graded and transferred to cold storage for planting in the following
autumn season.