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Improving Yield and Quality of Processing Potato Crops Grown in the Argentinian Pampas: the Role of N, P and S and Their Impact on CO2 Emissions


The area grown with processing potato crops in the Argentinian Pampas has been increasing steadily since 1995. The aim of this work was to assess the effects of N, P and S upon yield and tuber quality and their impact on CO2 emissions assessed with the Cool Farm Tool-Potato. During the spring-summer growing seasons 2008/2009 and 2009/2010, ten fertilization experiments to individually assess N, P and S effects were carried out in the southeast region of the Argentinian Pampas. Nitrogen (four N rates), phosphorus (four P rates) and sulfur (three S rates) were applied at planting and tuber initiation; at combined rates of 0, 50, 100 and 150 kg N ha−1, and at rates of 0, 25, 50 and 100 kg P ha−1 and 0, 10 and 20 kg S ha−1. N and P had a positive effect on total tuber yield, but tuber dry matter concentration (DMC) decreased at higher N rates. The fraction of marketable tubers suitable for processing into French fries increased with the addition of N, showed no variations with P fertilization, and decreased when S was applied. French fry colour, length/width (L:W) ratio and tuber defects were not affected by N, P and S fertilization. With regard to CO2 emissions assessed with the Cool Farm Tool-Potato, results showed that the higher the N rates the higher the CO2 emissions, but they decreased at higher yields. P and S rates did not have an impact on the CO2 emissions, which also decreased at higher yields. Under the production system of the Pampas, N should be split between planting and tuber initiation, and intermediate P rates should be applied all at planting, in order to improve crop yield and quality and to reduce CO2 emissions.

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Thanks are due to Ing Agr Sandra Silva for her assistance with the laboratory work and the McCain Receiving Laboratory staff for the analysis of the tuber samples. Results for the growing season 2008/09 were derived from the Graduate Thesis of Gastón Viani, “Incidencia de N, P y S sobre variables de calidad industrial en papa (cv. Innovator)”, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, 2010. The authors deeply recognize the valuable comments and suggestions to the original version of this manuscript made by Dr. Antonio Hall (IFEVA, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina).


This study was partially supported by McCain Argentina SA and funded by INTA Project: AERN 295561, and Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Project AGR 319/10.

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Correspondence to D. O. Caldiz.

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Caldiz, D.O., Viani, P.G., Giletto, C.M. et al. Improving Yield and Quality of Processing Potato Crops Grown in the Argentinian Pampas: the Role of N, P and S and Their Impact on CO2 Emissions. Potato Res. 61, 147–168 (2018).

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  • CO2 emissions
  • Dry matter
  • Fertilization rates
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Size distribution
  • Sulfur