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Title: Supplemental calcium nutrition improves tuber yield and quality of native potatoes in the Peruvian highlands

item PALTA, JP - University Of Wisconsin
item GOMEZ, R - International Potato Center
item DEL RIO, A - University Of Wisconsin
item Bamberg, John
item ROCA, W - International Potato Center
item TAY, D - International Potato Center
item ELLIS, D - International Potato Center
item SALAS, A - International Potato Center
item GAMARRA, M - Association Andes
item ARGUMEDO, A - Association Andes

Submitted to: American Journal of Potato Research
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2016
Publication Date: 6/1/2017
Citation: Palta, J., Gomez, R., Del Rio, A.H., Bamberg, J.B., Roca, W., Tay, D., Ellis, D., Salas, A., Gamarra, M., Argumedo, A. 2017. Supplemental calcium nutrition improves tuber yield and quality of native potatoes in the Peruvian highlands. American Journal of Potato Research. 94(3):211-250. doi: 10.1007/s12230-017-9581-5.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Potato tubers are known to be calcium deficient. This is because calcium moves with water and most water is transported to leaves and tubers being in soil do not have the draw for water and calcium. Calcium fertilizers are now routinely used to improve tuber quality and production in the US. Potatoes are cultivated in the slopes of the Andean mountains where soils are subject to leaching. In addition many soils in these areas are very acidic thus prone to leaching losses of cations including calcium. We have conducted multi-season and multi-location trials on the response of native potatoes grown in the Peruvian Highlands. The calcium was incorporated in the hill at planting using gypsum which is the only available. Up to 18 landraces and 6 improved cultivars were planted in 8hill plots with three replications per treatment. Treatments included two rates of gypsum applications in combination with two rates of manure. The response to calcium nutrition varied among the materials tested. Most landraces and cultivars responded positively. Both tuber size and yield was significantly increased. However some of the materials tested did not respond positively. A double dose of gypsum generally resulted in a better response. Similarly a combination of double dose of manure and gypsum was better than the single dose. In agreement with previous studies with the US cultivars in the USA, these results show that there is genetic variation in response to calcium applications in Peruvian Highlands. In several cases the increases in yields were up to 40%, indicating that there is a potential for improving yield and tuber quality with an affordable and locally available amendment. Acknowledgements: We thank the conservationist farmers of San Jose de Aymara, Huancavelica, Peru and Association Parque de la Papa, Cusco, Peru for their help in these studies.