We have shown that tuber calcium can be enhanced by supplying soluble forms of calcium near the tuber stolon region during bulking. In the present study we applied calcium nitrate or N-HIB during bulking (hilling, 3 and 6 wks after hilling) by injecting these Ca sources into sprinkler irrigation line. Field plots were established with cv `Russet Burbank' in sandy loam soil containing about 1200 Kg Ca ha-1. All plots received equal amounts of nitrogen. Plots receiving only nitrogen (as NH4NO3) at the same time served as split N controls and the plots receiving complete nitrogen by the time of hilling (non-split N) served as the grower control.
In 1990 compared to non-split-N control a consistently higher tuber yield was obtained with split-N, N-HIB (113 Kg.Ca ha-1) calcium nitrate (113 Kg Ca ha-1). However, these differences were not significant. Tuber calcium contents were increased with N-HIB and calcium nitrate. After 5 months of storage the incidence of soft rot and of internal brown spot was significantly reduced. In 1991 N-HIB (113 Kg ha-1) gave significantly higher tuber yield than other treatments. Tuber calcium contents were increased with both calcium nitrate and N-HIB treatments. After four months of storage incidence of internal brown spot was reduced by calcium nitrate and N-HIB although calcium nitrate was most effective. These results demonstrate that it is possible to improve tuber calcium contents by application of 113-226 Kg Ca ha-1 during bulking even in a soil containing sufficient calcium for plant growth.
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