Research Station Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon ART, CH-8046 Zurich

Potential for drip irrigation in potato production under changing climatic conditions

From 2008 to 2010 Agroscope Reckenholz-Tänikon Research Station ART examined the effectiveness of drip irrigation with the potato varieties Agria and Charlotte. Irrigation hoses were laid out between the rows or in each ridge of the furrow with an identical water supply. Only in 2008 there was a tendency for the gross yields produced by the irrigated methods to be higher. In 2008 and 2009, the Agria variety produced 12 to 16 per cent higher marketable yields with the irrigated methods. The percentage yield of oversized tubers (> 70 mm) was the lowest in all three years of the trial with ridge irrigation. With irrigation, Agria’s yield share in ware size rose by 2 to 9 absolute per cent in all the years of the trial. With the Charlotte variety, no effects of irrigation were noted on the percentage of ware size tubers. In two of the three years, the irrigated tubers of both varieties displayed a higher starch content. Irrigated tubers showed a higher infestation rate with powdery scab, but a lower infestation rate with common scab in netted, deep pitted and raised form respectively than non-irrigated tubers. Drip irrigation is a water- and energy-saving method for future yield and quality assurance in potato production.

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