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Fluid Journal : Fluid Journal 1996-1998
1 Fluid Journal Summer 1996 Summary: Experiments during the 1995 growing season (initially begun in 1994) showed that applications of potassium thiosulfate resulted in significant increase in total yield and percent tubers in the 4 to 10 oz range. Though the results were positive, the need for K and its role in Colorado potato production has yet to be fully explored. A 1996 on-farm study will compare biweekly application of KTS from planting to vine death to no supplemental K in any form. Managing K throughout the growing season--- to the same extent that nitrogen is currently managed---has not been an option for potato growers in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Thus, a study was undertaken in 1995 by our San Luis Valley Research Center to evaluate potassium thiosulfate (KTS) as a source of potassium in potato production. Location of the study was a grower's 120-acre farm in the San Luis Valley. Although temperatures over the course of the growing season were slightly below normal, conditions were good for potato production, and no technical problems occurred during the study. Double-digit jumps Potential variations in soils across the grower's field notwithstanding, yield responses in our initial trials clearly indicate KTS was advantageous to potato production in the San Luis Valley. Note how yield in the 4-10 oz tubers jumped 37 percent when KTS was applied, compared to check (Figure 1). Total yield also compared favorably in Figure 2, jumping 14 percent when compared to check. A significant reduction in yield occurred, however, when KTS was applied to U.S. #2 grade tubers. Percent stand and U.S. #1 grade tubers, as well as specific gravity, were unaffected by KTS. Dr. Richard T. Zink KTS Boosts Potato Yields Colorado researcher explores the role of potassium thiosulfate in potato production. 500 700 900 1100 1300 Gross $ Return/A - 4 to 10 oz. tubers Check KTS 100 140 180 220 260 Total Yield - cwt/A Check KTS 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 Yield - cwt/A Check KTS Figure 1. Effect of KTS on potato yield (4-10 oz. tubers), Zink, Colorado State University, 1995. Figure 2. Effect of KTS on total potato yield, Zink, Colorado State University, 1995. Figure 3. Effect of KTS on gross dollar return on potatoes, Zink, Colorado State University, 1995.
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