Maximizing Economic Return by Optimizing Seed Management Practices for Potato
Date & Time
Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 8:30 AM

Quality seed of the ideal size and type (whole vs. cut tubers) is a critical component of achieving uniform plant stands which optimize economic returns in commercial potato production. Nonuniform emergence from Clearwater Russet is common in the Columbia Basin of WA, but not well understood. To gain a better understanding of the issue, two surveys assessed performance of commercial seed-cutting and field planting operations during 2021 and 2022. In addition, four field trials examined seed size (1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, and 3.5 oz), type, shape/cut number, and neighbor plant compensation of Clearwater Russet. Seed size performance of Ranger Russet and Russet Burbank was also tested. The average seed piece sample contained 28% < 1.5 oz, 64% 1.6 to 3.0 oz, 8% > 3.0 oz. Fourteen percent were obvious chips weighing < 1 oz. One seed lot was comprised of 34% chips and only 44% of pieces were between 1.6 to 3.0. Insufficient seed piece size and planter skips were the most common issues within commercial fields. Cut Clearwater seed produced higher yields and economic return than whole seed. As seed size increased, average tuber weight decreased and tuber number per plant increased. Clearwater yield was optimized at 3.0 oz and 2.5 oz for cut and whole seed, respectively; however, nonlinear regression indicated economic return peaked with seed weight between 2.0-2.5 oz for both types. Ranger and Burbank cut seed between 2.5-3.0 oz optimized economic return. Seed pieces with more than two cut surfaces generally performed worse than those with fewer cuts. Healthy plants neighboring weaker plants with smaller seed pieces appeared to compensate for the weaker plants, but more research is needed to confirm this trend. Growers should strive to minimize under and oversized seed pieces. Cutting Clearwater seed likely breaks apical dominance and may boost grower return.

Session Type
Parent Session
7/19 - Concurrent Sessions C