Cultivar differences in phosphorus efficiency

Last changed: 25 October 2023

A sufficient supply of phosphorus is an important factor affecting yield and tuber quality of potatoes. However, several experiments show that phosphorus fertilization do not further improve tuber yields in soils that are already high in phosphorus. Hence, to avoid unnecessary costs and reduce the risk of phosphorus losses, it is important not to add more phosphorus fertilizer than the amount needed for optimal yield and quality. 

Plants have several adaptations to increase the availability of phosphorus in the soil. Even within the same plant species, different cultivars may differ in the ability to efficiently acquire and utilize mineral nutrients. By adding fertilizers in amounts that are adapted to the nutrient requirements of the cultivar in question, total fertilizer amounts may be reduced. Furthermore, nutrient efficient cultivars may be better suited for areas that are particularly sensitive to increased nutrient contents or prone to erosion.

The possibilities for utilizing cultivar differences in phosphorus efficiency for reducing fertilizer amounts in commercial potato production would be improved by an increased knowledge of the plant characters correlated with a high ability to take up and/or utilize phosphorus.

The aim of the project is to contribute to a more efficient utilization of phosphorus in potato production to reduce fertilizer costs for the growers and to minimize the risk for phosphorus losses. The results are expected to contribute to a better adaptation of fertilizer amounts to potato cultivars, and also to yield information on how different plant characters affect plant phosphorus efficiency.

Funding: Swedish Potato Research Alnarp

Contact: Siri Caspersen