Role of Magnesium in Potato Production
Magnesium and relative yield
Severe magnesium deficiency can reduce yields by up to 15%. Regular use of magnesium on an annual basis has provided yield increases of 1 to 10% in trials. Adequate magnesium is needed during tuber bulking. If dry soil conditions restrict uptake, then foliar sprays can be very effective.
Magnesium and yield
Trials in UK also show the effect magnesium has on yield.
Magnesium and specific gravity
Low levels of magnesium will reduce the starch content of tubers and protein levels that affect the taste of the cooked potato. Trials in Australia confirm the positive benefits of magnesium on specific gravity.
Magnesium and dry matter
Magnesium also benefits tuber dry matter, as trials in Holland show.
Magnesium and tuber discolouration
Low magnesium levels can increase susceptibility to enzymatic discolouration, as studies in Katahdin (USA) show.
General guidelines for magnesium application
Uptake of magnesium is dependent upon the cation exchange capacity of the soil and its balance with the other cations, especially potassium. High concentrations of potassium in the soil can induce magnesium deficiency. In such cases, foliar applications of magnesium are beneficial.
|Magnesium at potato growth stages|
|Planting||For plant development|
|Tuber initiation||Bigger tubers|
|Bulking||Maintain tuber growth|