American Journal of Potato Research

, Volume 88, Issue 6, pp 470–478 | Cite as

Potato Seed Piece Size, Spacing, and Seeding Rate Effects on Yield, Quality and Economic Return

  • William H. BohlEmail author
  • Jeffrey C. Stark
  • Christopher S. McIntosh


It has been observed that potato producers often focus more on the quantity of potato seed pieces being planted per unit area than on seed piece size and placement within the row. This study compared the effects of seed quantity per unit area (Mg ha−1) or seed piece size and in-row spacing on potato yield and quality. Hand-cut certified seed of three potato cultivars (Alturas, Russet Norkotah, Ranger Russet) of three size classes (42, 64 or 85 g) were planted at in-row seed piece spacings of 20, 30 or 40 cm. Three of the treatments (42-g seed pieces planted at 20 cm, 64-g seed pieces planted at 30 cm, and 85-g seed pieces planted at 40 cm) resulted in equal weights of seed planted (2.28 Mg ha−1). Increasing seed piece size from 42 to 85 g resulted in higher total yield regardless of in-row spacing. U.S. No. 1 yield was increased only at the 40-cm in-row spacing when 42- and 85-g seed pieces were planted. Increasing seed piece spacing from 20 to 40 cm resulted in lower total and U.S. No. 1 yields at all three seed piece size treatments. However, equal seeding rates of 2.28 Mg ha−1 resulted in equal total and U.S. No. 1 yields. Altering seed piece size or in-row spacing had little effect on tuber yields in the 285–397-g size category. A fresh-pack economic gross returns analysis of Russet Norkotah based on tuber size distribution less seed costs resulted in higher gross returns per ha only for 85-g seed pieces planted at 40 cm compared with planting 42- or 64-g seed pieces at a the 40 cm. At an equal seeding rate of 2.28 Mg ha−1, paired t-tests indicated there were no differences in gross returns per ha. However, the effects of seed piece size and spacing on economic return will depend on cost of seed and the selling price of the harvested potatoes.


Planting rate Plant population In-row spacing Idaho 


Se ha observado que los productores de papa a menudo se enfocan más en la cantidad de piezas de semilla que están siendo plantadas por unidad de área que en el tamaño de la pieza y su colocación en el surco. Este estudio comparó los efectos de la cantidad de semilla por unidad de área (Mg ha−1) o el tamaño de la pieza de semilla y el espaciamiento en el surco, sobre el rendimiento y la calidad de la papa. Se plantaron piezas cortadas a mano de semilla certificada de tres variedades (Alturas, Russet Norkotah, Ranger Russet), de tres tamaños (42, 64, 85 g), en espaciamientos en el surco de 20, 30, o 40 cm entre unidades. Tres de los tratamientos (piezas de semilla de 42 g plantadas a 20 cm, piezas de 64 g a 30 cm, y piezas de 85 g a 40 cm), dieron como resultado pesos iguales de semilla plantada (2.28 Mg ha−1). El incremento en el tamaño de la pieza de 42 a 85 g resultó en rendimiento total más alto independientemente del espaciamiento dentro del surco. Se aumentó el rendimiento de U.S. No. 1 solo con el espaciamiento a 40 cm cuando se plantaron piezas de semilla de 42 y 85 g. El aumento en el espaciamiento de 20 a 40 cm resultó en más bajo rendimiento total y de U.S. No. 1 para los tratamientos de los tres tamaños de piezas de semilla. No obstante, niveles de plantación iguales de 2.28 Mg ha−1 resultaron en rendimientos similares totales y de U.S. No. 1. La alteración en el tamaño de la pieza o el espaciamiento dentro del surco tuvieron poco efecto en rendimiento de tubérculo con pesos de 285–397 g . Un análisis de recuperación económica total en fresco de Russet Norkotah con base en la distribución de tamaño de tubérculo menos los costos de la semilla, resultaron en ingresos totales más altos por ha solo para las piezas de 85 g plantadas a 40 cm, comparados con la siembra de piezas de 42 o 64 g a 40 cm. A un nivel igual de semilla de 2.28 Mg ha-1, las pruebas de t por pares indicaron que no hubo diferencias en recuperaciones totales por ha. No obstante, los efectos del tamaño de la pieza de semilla y el espaciamiento respecto a la recuperación económica, dependerán de los costos de semilla y de los precios de venta de las papas cosechadas.



We acknowledge and thank Peggy Bain and Tom Salaiz for their assistance with field work, data collection and analysis. This study was conducted by scientists and faculty of the Idaho Center for Potato Research and Education. Funds in partial support of this study were provided by the Idaho Potato Commission and are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Potato Association of America 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • William H. Bohl
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jeffrey C. Stark
    • 2
  • Christopher S. McIntosh
    • 3
  1. 1.University of IdahoBlackfootUSA
  2. 2.University of Idaho, Plant, Soil and Entomological SciencesIdaho FallsUSA
  3. 3.University of Idaho, Agricultural Economics and Rural SociologyMoscowUSA

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