Crop Guides - Potato
Fertilizer Recommendations for Potato
Lono – Yield
Lono is Levity’s flagship nitrogen fertilizer which greatly improves potato yield, root growth and size distribution. Lono provides potato crops with ‘Stabilized Amine Nitrogen’ which focuses growth on reproductive areas like tubers rather than vegetative growth like conventional nitrogen fertilizers.
Albina – Quality
Albina is our highly efficient calcium fertilizer which improves shelf life & firmness of potato tubers and reduces susceptibility to disease & physiological disorders. Conventional calcium fertilizers give erratic results because tubers are not always able to absorb calcium. Albina supplies calcium in a way which is easily absorbed in tubers and is effective all season long.
Damu – Bulking
Damu is our specialist boron fertilizer which greatly improves the bulking & yield of potato crops and safeguards quality. Damu helps the plant to use its energy to bulk up the potato tuber rather than force late season leaf growth.
How Our Recommended Fertilizers Work on Potato
Use Lono To Increase Potato Tuber Numbers
Lono is Levity’s flagship nitrogen fertilizer. In this section we will discuss how Lono can be used to focus growth on the potato tuber rather than the foliage, in contrast to conventional nitrogen fertilizers which focus more growth on the foliage.
Nitrogen can be taken up by a potato crop in three forms: amine (NH2), ammonium (NH4) or nitrate (NO3). While nitrogen uptake dictates how fast the potato crop grows, it is the ‘form’ of nitrogen which dictates ‘where’ it grows.
Nitrate makes the crop produce more of the growth hormone ‘auxin’ which are made in the potato leaves. This results in accelerated vegetative growth (top growth of shoots) at the expense of reproductive (tubers) growth. While this does result in slightly higher yields, there is a large amount of growth energy wasted on excessive and unnecessary top growth which could be channelled into increasing yield much further.
So, is the answer to use conventional amine or ammonium nitrogen fertilizers instead? Unfortunately not. When either amine or ammonium nitrogen is applied to the potato crop it is also competed for by various bacteria. These bacteria compete with the potato crop for the available amine or ammonium nitrogen and convert it into nitrate before the potato crop is able to take up even a small amount. Therefore, by applying standard amine or ammonium nitrogen fertilizers we end up supplying the potato crop with nitrate anyway, which again results in excessive top growth at the expense of tuber development, and therefore, we don’t reach our full potential yield.
To create a favourable auxin:cytokinin balance we want the crop to take up amine (or ammonium) nitrogen but are unable to supply this effectively with conventional fertilizers.
How do we supply the potato with nitrogen which doesn’t favour excessive top growth?
Levity have developed the fertilizer Lono which uses ‘LimiN’ technology. Lono supplies the potato crop with ‘Stabilized Amine Nitrogen’. This form of amine nitrogen is unrecognisable to the bacteria which would usually convert amine into nitrate. This means that ‘Stabilized Amine Nitrogen’ is taken up by the crop in amine form rather than nitrate. By helping the potato crop to take up amine nitrogen we help it to produce more of the growth hormone cytokinin which favours tuber development rather than top leafy growth. This process (known as growth partitioning) helps us to minimise the amount of wasted energy and maximize your yields by helping the crop grow in the right place.