The numbers of potato tubers produced by each potato plant is influenced by agronomy and varietal potential. Correct balanced nutrition is critical to influencing tuber numbers, according to Yara’s Topotato team.
They say that phosphate, potassium, and calcium have all been shown to have effects on tuber numbers.
A large number of tubers per hectare will produce a crop of predominately small tubers, ideal for gourmet fresh, salad or seed potatoes.
A relatively low tuber number provides less competition per unit area and allows the crop’s energies and resources to be used to produce larger potatoes for the fresh or processing markets.
Phosphate availability at tuber initiation is important to ensure maximum tuber set, especially if tuber numbers need to be increased for certain varieties, or where the market demands a large number of smaller tubers (e.g. seed production).
Potassium form and the rate applied can also influence the numbers of tubers which are set.