Effects of Freezing Air Temperatures on Seed Potato Performance
Date & Time
Tuesday, July 19, 2022, 3:15 PM - 5:15 PM

Freezing temperatures experienced at harvest can cause potato tuber breakdown, but it is uncertain if exposure to freezing temperatures can affect seed performance when planted the following season. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of freezing temperatures on seed performance and yield. In year one, treatments included an untreated control, 12 hours at -1.7°C air temperature, and gibberellic acid (2 ppm) spray on Russet Burbank seed. Seed was planted the day of treatment (15m plots; 5 replicates) at Kimberly, Idaho. In year two, Russet Burbank and Clearwater Russet seed were treated one month after harvest and included an untreated control, two air temperatures (-2.2°C or -1.7°C) and two temperature durations (6 or 16 hours). Incubators were used for air temperature treatments in both years. Treated seed was held in storage (4.4°C) for 190 days until planting. Plant emergence, stem number per plant, and yield were evaluated in both years. There were no significant differences between treatments in days to 80% emergence (35) in year one. Stem number per plant (2.6) was similar between treatments. There were no significant differences seen in tuber number per plant, U.S. #1, U.S. #2, or total yield. In year two, no differences between treatments were observed in days to 80% emergence for both Russet Burbank (43) and Clearwater Russet (41). No significant differences were observed in stem number per plant between the treated and untreated control for Russet Burbank (2.5) or Clearwater Russet (2.9). Regardless of cultivar, treatments did not impact yield, U.S. #1, U.S. #2, or size profile. Seed exposed to air temperatures of -2.2°C or -1.7°C for 6 to 16 hours did not alter seed quality and performance. Research addressed the effects of freezing temperatures on seed performance and helped identify risks with planting exposed seed.

Session Type
Parent Session