The effect of seed rate on the yield of potatoes

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Boyd, D. A. and Lessells, W. J. 1954. The effect of seed rate on the yield of potatoes. The Journal of Agricultural Science. 44 (4), pp. 465-476.

AuthorsBoyd, D. A. and Lessells, W. J.

This paper, which forms part of a series of investigations on the potato crop, presents evidence obtained from experiments reported in the literature on the relation between seed rate and yield of maincrop potatoes. The available experiments are sufficient to indicate what is the average relationship between seed rate and yield, but are insufficient to demonstrate any clear differences between different parts of the country, soil types or even different varieties.

Using this average relationship, optimum seed rates are presented for a range of prices of seed and produce. These optimal rates are compared with estimates from surveys of the actual amounts planted by growers in different parts of the country.

Provided the optimum seed rate is attained the precise combination of seed size and spacing distance appears to be of minor importance; that is, a grower should aim to plant at the optimum seed rate regardless of seed size. There is, however, an upper limit of spacing between sets which should not be exceeded however large the seed may be.

The optimum rate of planting at 1952 prices of ‘A’ or ‘H’ certificate seed is estimated to be 16–17 cwt. in most of the main potato-growing areas of the country, though it may be a little higher where a grower has a market for once-grown seed. Surveys indicate, however, that the normal planting rate of certified seed is over a ton to the acre in these districts.

For a grower's own once-grown seed, on the other hand, for which the cost is not more than the price received for ware, the optimum seed rate is at least one ton per acre, whilst the average weight of seed actually planted is only about 17 cwt. per acre. It is estimated that the average loss per acre due to this failure to plant at the optimum seed rate amounts to 20–25s. per acre planted with certified seed and 10–15s. per acre for once-grown seed.

Year of Publication1954
JournalThe Journal of Agricultural Science
Journal citation44 (4), pp. 465-476
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Publisher's version
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)

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