POTATO INVESTIGATIONS LABORATORY
Mimee Report 56-2 September 27, 1955
IRRIGATION, FERTILIZATION AND.SEEDING RATES FOR POTATOES IN THE HASTINGS AREA
D.L. Myhre, E.N. McCubbin and G.M. Volk*
A factorial experiment was set up in three 16-row beds in a recently leveled
field of predominately Bladen loamy fine sand. It consisted of 2 seeding rates,
16 soil moisture levels and 4 fertilization rates.
The leveling operation in July, 1954 consisted of pushing the top six inches
of good soil aside, cutting off the ridges, filling in the low spots, breaking up
the hardpan and replacing the top soil to obtain a slope of about 3/4 inch per
100 feet. The rusty brown hardpan layer in the Leon areas, which was about 18
inches from the surface, was broken up by the bulldozer blade and incorporated with
the top soil.
Seeding rates consisted of li-ounce hole seed at 10-inch spacings in rows 40
inches apart or 1,470 pounds seed per acre, and 2-ounce htole seed planted at 8-inch
spacings or 2,460 pounds per acre. The different soil moisture levels were obtained
by running artesian water through every other water furrow adjacent to the beds.
The height of water in the wet water furrows was maintained about 4 inches from the
top of the row-by metal dikes. The fertilization treatments included:
(A) 1,700 pounds per acre of 6-8-8 at planting and 700 pounds
per acre of 6-8-8 after plant emergence;
(B) "A" plus 200 pounds per acre of nitrate of potash at mid-
(C) "A"' plus 1,000 pounds per acre of 6-8-8 about 2 weeks before
(D) "C'! plus 200 pounds per acre of nitrate of potash at mid-
Moisture Determinations.- The soil moisture content on a weight basis fluctu-
ated with rainfall, but during most of the 1955 spring growing season it was about
12 percent in the rows adjacent to the wet water furrow, about 10 percent in the
center rows of the bed and about 8 percent in the rows adjacent to the empty water
Measurements were made to determine the location of the water table. The
water table sloped downward from the wet to the dry~water furrows. It was about one
foot below the alleys nearest the wet water furrows, and about 2 feet below the
alleys nearest the dry furrows.
Potato Yields.- The yield of plots seeded at the high rate (2,460 pounds per
acre) was 301 hundred pound sacks per acre and exceeded those seeded at the low rate
(1,470 pounds per acre) by 24 sacks per acre. The average yield of potatoes on
farms in the Hastings area was about 160 sacks per acre. No significant difference
in yields were obtained due to the different fertilizer treatments.
The 10 center rows of each bed outyielded those rows near the dry and wet
*Assistant Soils Chemist-and Horticulturist, Potato Investigations bratory,
Hastings; and Soils Chemist, Agricultural Experiment Station, Gaines le resp-
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