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Effect of soil applications of potassium, magnesium sulfate and magnesium sulfate spray on potato yield, composition and nutrient uptake


A series of replicated field studies conducted in the Matanuska Valley of Alaska from 1961 through 1963 compared the response of potatoes to two K sources, K rates, and the soil and spray applications of magesium sulfate. Foliage and tubers were analyzed for N, P, K, Ca, and Mg.

Each year K applications increased US No. 1 yield and tuber K removal and reduced the number of plants showing foliar necrosis in July and the yield of tubers showing brown sunken lesions, at the stolon end.

In two of the three years K fertilizer increased the sum of the cations (K, Ca, and Mg) in the tubers and decreased the dry matter, N and P content and Ca/Mg ratio of the tubers, and the content of Mg and sum of the cations (K, Ca, and Mg) in the tops. K increased N, P, Ca, and Mg removal by Kennebec tubers in 1963.

Each K increment increased the K content of the potato foliage and tubers, the Ca/Mg ratio of the foliage and K, Ca, and Mg removal by the tubers but reduced the content of Mg in potato foliage. The highest K rate depressed the Ca content of potato foliage.

Magnesium sulfate applications depressed the K content of both potato foliage and tubers in 1961 and the P content of the tubers in 1962. Magnesium sulfate sprays increased the K content of potato foliage but depressed the K content of the tubers and K removal by the tubers.

Soil or spray applications of magnesium sulfate had no significant effect on yield, K deficiency symptoms, N, Ca, Mg percentage or removal, Ca/Mg ratio, or sum of the cations (K, Ca, and Mg).


Una serie de estudios de campo replicados llevados a cabo en el Valle de Matanuska desde 1961 hasta fines de 1963 comparó la reacción de papas a dos fuentes de K, tasas de K y aplicaciones de sulfato de magnesio al suelo y por medio de aspersiones. Las hojas y los tubérculos fueron analizados por su contenido en P, N, K, Ca y Mg.

La aplicación de K incrementó cada año el rendimiento No. 1 US y la remoción de K por los tubérculos y redujo el número de plantas con necrosis de hojas en julio y la producción de tubérculos con lesiones pardas hundidas en la región del estolón.

En dos de los tres años el abono de K incrementó la suma de los cationes (K, Ca y Mg) en los tubérculos y redujo la cantidad de materia seca, como también el contenido en N y P y la proporción de Ca/Mg de los tubérculos y el contenido en Mg y la suma de los cationes (K, Ca y Mg) en los brotes. K incrementó la remoción de N, P, Ca y Mg por los tubérculos Kennebec en 1963.

Cada aumento de K incrementó el contenido en K de las hojas de las papas y de los tubérculos, la proporción de Ca/Mg de las hojas y la remoción de K, Ca y Mg por los tubérculos pero redujo el contenido en Mg en las hojas de las papas. La tasa más alta de K deprimió el contenido en Ca de las hojas de papa.

Aplicaciones de sulfato de magnesio deprimieron el contenido en K tanto de las hojas como de los tubérculos en 1961 y el contenido en P de los tubérculos en 1962. Las aspersiones con sulfato de magnesio incrementaron el contenido de las hojas de papa pero deprimieron el contenido en K de los tubérculos y la remoción de K por los tubérculos.

Las aplicaciones de sulfato de magnesio ya sea al suelo o por aspersión no tuvieron efecto significante sobre el rendimiento, ni tampoco sobre síntomas de deficiencia de K, el porcentage y remoción de N, Ca y Mg, la proporción Ca/Mg, o la suma de los cationes (K, Ca y Mg).

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Contribution of the Alaska Agricultural Experiment Station, Palmer, Alaska. Research partially supported by the Crops Research Division, USDA. Paul F. Martin performed the soil analyses. Margaret H. Blom determined N, and Laucks Testing Laboratories in Seattle, determined P, K, Ca, and Mg.

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Laughlin, W.M. Effect of soil applications of potassium, magnesium sulfate and magnesium sulfate spray on potato yield, composition and nutrient uptake. American Potato Journal 43, 403–411 (1966).

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  • Tuber Yield
  • Magnesium Sulfate
  • Potato Yield
  • Spray Application
  • Magnesio