Nutrient losses due to tuber adhesion of harvesting multiple potato cultivars at different soil water contents

Document Type : Original Article


1 M.Sc. Student, Department of Soil Science, University of Maragheh, P.O. Box 55136-553, Iran

2 1- Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science, University of Maragheh, P.O. Box 55136-553, Iran 2- Senior Researcher, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institute of Bio- and Geosciences: Agrosphere (IBG-3), Jülich, Germany

3 Associate Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, University of Maragheh, P.O. Box 55136-553, Iran

4 Associate Professor, Department of Soil Science, University of Maragheh, P.O. Box 55136-553, Iran

5 Honorary Professor, Geography and Environmental Sciences, University of Dundee, DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK


Very few studies have investigated the effects of crop morphological characteristics on soil loss due to crop harvest (SLCH). The present study investigates the soil, nutrient (nitrogen, N, phosphorus, P, and potassium, K), and organic carbon losses during the harvest of different potato cultivars with different morphological characteristics. The experiment is conducted at different soil water contents (SWC) controlled by different irrigation schemes, with the last irrigation 5, 10, and 15 days before harvest. At harvest time (early fall), in addition to measuring tuber yield (which was harvested manually) and SLCH, disturbed and undisturbed soil samples were collected in the field to measure various soil physicochemical properties and soil nutrient contents exported from the field. On average, 0.79 ± 0.36 Mg ha-1 soil, 580 g ha-1 nitrogen, 3 g ha-1 extractable phosphorus, 350 g ha-1 potassium, and 4.2 Kg ha-1 organic carbon were lost from the experimental fields at each harvest. The SLCH of the farms with Fontane, Challenger, and Agria cultivars was 1.21 ± 0.03 Mg ha-1 harvest-1, which was about three times higher than the SLCH of the farms with Innovator, Banba, Red Scarlet, Sifra, and Arinda cultivars with an average SLCH of 0.46 ± 0.06 Mg ha-1 harvest-1. The highest SLCH (2.57 Mg ha-1) occurred when SWC was highest compared to the other SWC values (i.e., 0.42 Mg ha-1). For a given soil stickiness, tuber length and specific surface area (SSA) generally explained the variation in SLCH values, with elongated tubers having lower SSA resulting in lower SLCH values.


Main Subjects

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