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November 19, 2015

Nu-Trax P+ Fertilizer Trial Shows Strong Return In Potatoes

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Good phosphorus management in potatoes is important for optimal yield and quality. Early in a potato plant’s growth, phosphorus stimulates vigorous root growth and a healthy top. It can be difficult for potato plants to access phosphorus early in the season because it is common for potato production to occur in alkaline soils, which creates an environment for P tie-up with calcium and magnesium.

In 2014, Holland Agricultural Services conducted fertilizer trials in the central portion of the Columbia Basin, near Othello, Wash. (Check out this video on crop nutrition for potatoes featuring research consultant Steve Holland with Holland Agricultural Services.) The trial field was pivot irrigated with silt loam alkaline pH soil. Umatilla Russet whole certified seed potatoes were hand planted on 10-inch intervals in 34-inch rows. The replicated trial compared four fertilizer treatments:

1) NPK
2) NPK + Nu-Trax P+
3) NPK + liquid P starter
$) NPK + liquid P starter + Nu-Trax P+

In general, the fertilizer trials showed that if phosphorus is added either as a starter or with Nu-Trax P+ coated onto the NPK blend, yield, quality and return per acre improves.

Fig2_NuTrax_Potato

The above chart indicates that both treatments with Nu-Trax P+ tended to increase total US #1’s over the uncoated treatments. The Nu-Trax P+ treatment showed the greatest yield and quality improvements over the standard dry NPK blend.

Fig3_NuTrax_Potato

 

The most important indicator of performance is return per acre. Based on $170/ton potato price, the average of both Nu-Trax P+ treatments showed a return of $350 per acre when compared to the average of the two non-Nu-Trax P+ treatments.

Just 2 lbs/acre of Nu-Trax P+ with your preplant dry fertilizer can boost your potato production and profitability. Tweet us your questions at @NuTraxP or comment on this blog.