Potato farming is a hectic business for those who are well-assured to work along each step with following the recommended operations. It has been quoted by the experts that “Once you are in this business then you will never leave”. In this article, I will discuss the farming strategies which have been adopted by the potato progressive farmers.
There are the following things that should be decided to do for potato farming
Selecting the type of potato
Seed selection is the first and foremost step towards potato farming. There are different types of potatoes according to their physical condition, such as color, number of eye buds, flesh color. Always choosing the better quality type of potatoes like choosing the Holland’s varieties means a journey towards a better quality of potatoes whereas local native varieties are less competitive than Holland’s varieties.
It is suggested that sprouted potatoes grow vigorously than unsprouted ones. So, that’s why for getting more results use the sprouted potatoes by putting them into the water for almost 12 hours and also dip into the fungicide solutions to get rid of fungal diseases.
How to plant potatoes
After soil preparation ridges are made with the help of ridger with 2.5 ft of the ridge to ridge distance. It is suggested that spread the sprouted potatoes with 8-9 inches plant to plant distance and then cover them with a slight cover of soil. This is the most recommended distance for sprouted potatoes.
When do you plant seed potatoes
There are two planting times for potatoes, one is the start of the winter season in plain areas of Punjab in September-October and the second one is the November-December. The first one is known as an early-season crop and the second one is a late-season crop. To reach earlier in the market, the second season gives the bright opportunity. That’s why according to experts, the second season is more useful for getting the profit and it becomes worthier for farmers if produce is better quality-wise.
Comparison between different types of potatoes
It is obvious that Holland varieties perform better than the local varieties due to better quality and resistance against the different diseases of potatoes. Maybe some potato chips making companies use the local seed material but quality-wise production will always be according to the selection of better variety. That’s why Holland’s varieties are preferred more than local varieties.
Integrated potato crop protection
There are two main aspects that come under this way, one is the weed problem and the second is major diseases like fungal attacks especially the most devastating Late Blight problem. Actually, in both seasons (early and late), the attack of fungal diseases becomes more feasible when raining occurs and after that definitely, soil temperature will rise up and fungal attacks become more prominent so that’s why it is suggested that we immediately should spray the fungicide.
The other challenge is the weed problem. It is well said by the experts that control the weeds until the actual plant gets dominated and then the weeds problem will be overcome.
Fertilizer recommendation for different types of potatoes
Well, before soil preparation mix up well-rotted farmyard manure and mix it thoroughly during soil preparation. Potato crop needs more potassium. So, it is suggested that nitrogen is applied in the form of splits so potassium should apply as well with each irrigation. NPK ratio for potato crop is 1:1:2 so keep in mind that to get the proper yield and good quality potato potassium requirement is very important.
What measures should taken during the application of irrigations
After seeding, irrigate the field but keep in mind that water level should not exceed above the ridges or water should not get touch directly with seed this could be dangerous in providing the feasibility of fungal diseases and disturbing the germination percentage. Irrigation should be provided according to the requirement of the crop.
Comparisons between plantation in plain areas and hilly areas of different types of potatoes
Potatoes require a cool and dry climate which can be obtained in hilly areas in the summer season of Pakistan. While, in plain areas, the temperature can be obtained in the winter season. But, quality and quantity-wise production remain better in hilly areas than the plain areas.
What is necessary to get profit in potato farming
Each step is very critical and important. That’s why a progressive farmer will always adopt the strategic way to choose the season of sowing. The selection of different types of potatoes should be wise. Crop protection against fungal diseases and weed management is very important. So, each step with hard work will lead you to profitability. Yield and profit difference among varieties with location perspective
There are two main categories described by the experts who have a vast knowledge of potato farming with technical experience. Holland varieties and secondly local varieties. Holland varieties perform better than local varieties but there is a difference according to the different purposes of growing potatoes. If you are a progressive farmer and want a quality product with higher profit then Holland varieties are recommended.
Is potato is a profitable crop
Potatoes are a profitable crop if they are well cared for and well-supervised under the supervision of experts. There are two seasons in Pakistan specially and the plain area early season of potato which starts from September to October and the second one is the end of the year in November-December. Rates in the market will be higher if you get access to the potato earlier in the market and the second season is recommended for getting profit otherwise you can lose the opportunity of getting the profit. Getting earlier in the market needs potential experience for growers.
- Soil preparation has a vital importance. It should be well pulverized and ridges should be made at a proper distance and plant to plant distance should be 8 to 9 inches.
- Seed selection is up to you but by the recommendation of experts quality seed selection is a first wiser approach towards success.
- Progressive farmers who adopted potato farming as a business should always choose the Holland variety.
- Irrigation should be given according to the condition of the crop. A plentiful amount of water with less interval is a good measurement for irrigation application.
- Be careful during the application of irrigation in such a way that it should not exceed the level of ridge height or should be touched directly with seed.
- Potassium is recommended for potato crops in higher quantities just like Nitrogen.
- Late blight is a very common disease in the potato varieties especially in local varieties this problem rises higher after the rain due to rising temperature with greater humidity level in the soil.
- Early approach of potatoes in the market gives the higher profit.
- In the last, there is a difference between professional and local just like Pepsico chips making companies will always use the local varieties because they focused more on production than quality.