Potato Yld

A field lysimeter study was conducted to investigate the effect of initial soil salinity and salinity level of brackish subirrigation water on tuber weight and tuber size of three potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) cultivars (Kennebec, Norland and Russet Burbank) under simulated arid conditions. Both saline and non-saline initial soil conditions were simulated in a total of 36 lysimeters. Eighteen lysimeters were flushed with fresh water (0.2 dS/m), while the remaining 18 lysimeters were flushed with brackish water (2 dS/m). For each soil condition, two subirrigation water concentrations, 1 and 9 dS/m, were used in nine lysimeters each. For each subirrigation water treatment, three potato cultivars were grown.

 In all lysimeters, water table was maintained at 0.4 m from the soil surface. Arid conditions were simulated by covering the lysimeter top with plastic mulch, allowing the potato shoots to grow through a cut in the mulch. The average root zone salinities (ECw) were found to be 1.2 and 1.5 dS/m in non-saline lysimeters subirrigated with 1 and 9 dS/m waters, respectively. The corresponding salinities were 3.2 and 3.7 dS/m in the saline lysimeters. Across cultivars, there was no significant effect of either initial soil salinity or subirrigation water salinity on total tuber weight. However, the weight of Grade A tubers was higher in non-saline soil than in saline soil. Kennebec and Russet Burbank Grade A tuber weights were not affected by the initial soil salinity. On the contrary, a significant reduction in Grade A and total tuber weight under initially saline soil was evident for the Norland cultivar.

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