Affect of growth regulators and irrigation on potato yield in unstable moistening regions

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The article presents the results of studies (2014-2016) concerning the assessment of the use of growth regulators (Energia-M, Vigor Forte, Atonik Plus) in combination with irrigation in the field experiment during potato cultivation (Udacha variety). The study was conducted in the Ilek district of the Orenburg region, Krasnokholmskaya Agro-firm. The soil was residual meadow southern chernozem. According to the effectiveness of impact on potato yield in southern chernozem of the Orenburg region, the factors were as follows: irrigation provided yield increase from 40% (without fertilizers) to 65…66% (NPK + Regulators); mineral fertilizers provided yield increase from 41% (without irrigation) to 59% (with irrigation); growth regulators on optimal variants provided yield increase: Vigor Forte / Atonik (tubers + plants) - 12…13% for bogharic agriculture; 16…19% with irrigation to the corresponding mineral ground. The maximum yield of potatoes under irrigation was obtained on variants with 2-fold application of Atonic and Vigor Forte growth regulators (tubers + plants) - 44.2…44.5 t/ha, an increase to the mineral fertilizing (N100P120K100) - 17.9…18.6%. The optimum soil moisture was 70…75% FC in the irrigated area. This increased the payback of 1 kg NPK due to an increase in yield from 19.6 kg (mineral fertilizing, bogharic agriculture) to 55.6…67.2 kg of tubers (combination of NPK, irrigation and regulators). Water consumption decreased from 212 m3/t (mineral fertilizing) to 140…145 m3/t (combination of mineral fertilizers and plant growth regulators).

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Introduction Potential soil fertility, hydrothermal conditions, and biological features of the cultivated crop are the leading factors determining productivity of agrocenosis [1-4]. Potato cultivation on an industrial scale in regions with a deficit of rainfall is beneficial only under irrigation conditions, since potatoes produce a stable crop with sufficient moisture [2, 5, 6]. The damage from drought is enormous: 1972 and 2010 served as a vivid example, in the first case, shortage of potato production in the USSR amounted to 9 million tons, and in 2010 9 million tons were not received only in Russia [3]. Irrigation requires increased plant fertilizing, since with a sufficient amount of nutrients in the soil, the effect of irrigation is enhanced and water consumption for formation of a production unit is reduced [5, 6]. In potato practice, growth regulators are of scientific and practical interest as tools for hormonal effects on physiological processes of plants, especially in order to increase reproduction rate and yield of the seed fraction of valuable varieties and high reproductions of seed potatoes [7]. Application of growth regulators combined with irrigation should be considered as indispensable elements of potato cultivation technology in the Central region of Russia [3, 6]. The goal of the research was to increase potato yields and yield of tuber seed fraction, depending on irrigation and synthetic phytohormone analogues. Materials and methods The field experiment on growing potatoes using growth regulators (Energia-M, Vigor Forte, Atonik Plus) in combination with irrigation was conducted in 2014-2016 in the Ilek district of the Orenburg region (Krasnokholmskaya Agrofirm). The experimental scheme is given in Table 1. The following growth regulators were used in the experiment: Energia-M, (crystalline powder, a.i. - 855 g/kg of orthocresoxyacetic acid triethanolammonium salt + 95 g/kg of 1-chloromethylsilatran): pre-treatment of tubers - 4 g/t/10 l of water; foliar treatment - 20 g ha/300 l of water; Vigor Forte, (crystalline powder, a.i. - 100 g/kg of orthocresoxy acetic acid triethanolammonium salt + macro(N, P, K, Mg) and microelements (Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, B, Mo)): pre-treatment of tubers - 15 g/t/10 l of water; foliar treatment - 50 g/ha/300 l of water; Atonik Plus, (water soluble concentrate, a.i. - 9 g/l sodium para-nitrophenolate (p-NP) + 6 g/l sodium ortho-nitrophenolate (o-NP) + 3 g/l sodium 5-nitrogwaycolate (5-NG): concentration for treating tubers and foliar treatments - 30 ml/t/10 l of water and 900 ml/ha/300 l of water, respectively. Potato variety - Udacha (early). Planting pattern - 75 × 30 cm, plant density - 44,000 plants/ha. The total area of the plot is 60 m2, accounting - 40.5 m2. The experiment had three replications. Location of plots was randomized within the re replications. Pre-planting treatment of tubers with growth regulators was carried out 2 days before planting with a Kwazar hand sprayer at the rate of 10 l of operating solution per 1 ton of seed tubers. Foliar spraying of plants with growth regulators was carried out with a Kwazar sprayer in the morning or evening during budding - beginning of flowering of potatoes. The irrigation and non-irrigation unit of the experiment was located nearby on the same field. To maintain moisture content of the active soil layer in the irrigated area not lower than 75...80% FC, 6 to 9 irrigations were carried out with DM-100 Fregat sprinkler machine with 2700...3600 m3/ha irrigation rate. Different amounts of irrigation were carried out over the years: in 2014: 3 irrigations in June, 3 in July, 3 in August; in 2015 and 2016: 2 irrigations in June, 3 in July, 1 in August, irrigation rate was 400...460 m3/ha. The predecessor plant was Bromus inermis. Fertilizing was full dose (N100P120K100). Planting date was I decade of May, and harvesting was at the end of August. The soil of the experimental plot - southern chernozem, residual meadow, weakly humus, medium thick, medium loamy with a humus content of 3.2% in the arable layer, it was characterized by a low level of nitrogen mobile forms (6.35 mg/100 g of soil) and phosphorus (8.63...9.96 mg/100 g of soil), and medium level of exchangeable potassium (22 mg/100 g of soil). The accounts and observations in the experiments were carried out in full accordance with GOST (Russian State Standard) and standard methods. The significance of differences between the means was calculated by the method of two-way analysis of variance at a 5% significance level (Dospekhov B.A., 1985) and AgCStat program - add-ons for Excel (authors Gonchar-Zaikin P.P., Chertov V.G., 2012). Results and discussion The experimental data obtained confirmed the importance of irrigation as an effective factor in increasing and stabilizing potato yields (Table 1). Potato productivity without irrigation was in the range from 23.9 t/ha (mineral fertilizing) to 26.8...27.1 t/ha in variants with growth regulator treatment. Average potato yields in 2014-2016 Table 1 Варианты Rainfed Irrigated Yield, t/ha Increase Yield, t/ha Increase t/ha % t/ha % 1. No fertilization 16.9 - - 23.6 - - 2. N100P120K100 23.9 - - 37.5 - - 3. N100P120K100 + Energia tubers 25.7 1.8 7.5 41.0 3.5 9.3 4. N100P120K100 + Energia tubers + plants 26.3 2.4 10.0 43.7 6.2 16.5 5. N100P120K100 + Vigor Forte tubers 26.6 2.7 11.3 42.2 4.7 12.5 6. N100P120K100 + Vigor Forte tubers + plants 27.1 3.2 13.4 44.5 7.0 18.6 7. N100P120K100 + Atonic tubers 26.2 2.3 9.6 42.3 4.8 12.8 8. N100P120K100 + Atonic tubers + plants 26.8 2.9 12.1 44.2 6.7 17.9 LSD05 1.5; precision 1.7%; irrigation 65.5%; fertilization 27.4% Over the years of research, in the block of experiment variants on dry land, efficiency of mineral fertilizers amounted to 41.4%, growth regulator Energia M - 7.5...10.0%, Vigor Forte - 11.3...13.4%, Atonik Plus - 9.6...12.1%. The maximum potato yield was obtained in variants with double use of growth regulators (tubers + plants) - 26.8...27.1 t/ha. On average, over the research years, potato yields from irrigation increased 1.6...1.7 fold and amounted to 37.5...44.5 t/ha. In the block of experiment variants with irrigation, efficiency of mineral fertilizers increased to 58.9%, Energia M regulator - 9.3...16.5%, Vigor Forte - 12.5...18.6%, Atonik Plus - 12.8...17, 9%, i.e. when optimizing soil moisture, the effectiveness of mineral fertilizers and growth regulators increased. The highest potato yield under irrigation conditions was obtained in variants with 2-fold application of Atonik and Vigor Forte growth regulators (tubers + plants) - 44.2...44.5 t/ha, increase in mineral background - 17.9...18.6%. Depending on climatic conditions of the year, the level of yield and increase varied. Yield increases from the effect of mineral fertilizers on the dry land were as follows: 34.0% (2014) → 38.4% (2015) → 52.1% (2016); under irrigation: 62.3% (2014) → 1. % (2015) → 50.8% (2016). The largest increase from mineral fertilizers was noted in 2014 and 2015, which indicated a high irrigation efficiency in dry years. According to the increase in potato productivity in the conditions of southern chernozem of the Orenburg region, the studied factors were located as follows: § irrigation - increases from 40% (without fertilizers), 57% (mineral fertilizers) and up to 65...66% (NPK + PGR); § mineral fertilizers - 41% (without irrigation) and 59% (under irrigation); § growth regulators: Vigor Forte / Atonik (tubers + plants) - 12...13% on dry land; 16...19% under irrigation and mineral fertilizing. Combination of the optimal humidity regime and growth regulators under NPK fertilizing contributed to an increase in the number of tubers in terms of 1 bush and 1 hectare (Fig. 1). Tuber yield, thousand tubers per ha 350 Dry land Irrigated land 300 250 200 150 100 No N P K N P K N P K N P K N P K N P K N P K fertilization 100 120 100 100 120 100 + Energia tubers 100 120 100 + Energia tubers + plants 100 120 100 + Vigor Forte tubers 100 120 100 + Vigor Forte tubers + plants 100 120 100 + Atonic tubers 100 120 100 + Atonic tubers + plants Fig. 1. Yield of seed fraction depending on growth regulators, processing methods and irrigation (average for 2014-2016) On average, over the research years, the greatest yield of seed fraction was observed in the irrigation plot variants with 2-fold use of the following regulators: Vigor Forte (tubers + plants) - 310 thousand tubers/ha, Atonik (tubers + plants) - 313 thousand tubers/ha, which was 16.1 and 17.2% higher than NPK fertilizing (variant without growth regulators) - 267 thousand tubers/ha. An analysis of the data on starch yield from 1 ha in conditions of the Southern Urals showed that when irrigation and growth regulators were used with application of mineral fertilizers during potato cultivation, high starch yield was achieved - up to 52.8...59.0 c/ha, despite its lower concentration in tubers. The decrease in starch content in tubers in variants under irrigation (by 0.2...0.6%) was due to a more substantial increase in yield and marketability, i.e. due to an increase in the dimensional characteristics of tubers, however, size and quality of the commercial fraction of potatoes were in a balanced ratio, which led to a significant increase in starch per unit area. Stable and optimal soil moisture 70...75% FC in the irrigated area increased the payback of 1 kg a.i. NPK by yield increase from 19.6 kg (mineral fertilizing, dry land) to 55.6...67.2 kg of tubers (combination of NPK, irrigation and PGR). Water consumption for formation of yield increase decreased from 212 m3/t (mineral fertilizing) to 140...145 m3/t in the variants for combining mineral fertilizers and plant growth regulators (Table 2). NPK payback by yield increase (average for 2014-2016) Table 2 Indicators N100P120K100 (NPK) NPK + Energia tubers NPK + Energia tubers + plants NPK + Vigor Forte tubers NPK + Vigor Forte tubers + plants NPK + Atonic tubers NPK + Atonic tubers + plants Dry land Increase, t/ha 6.3 8.0 9.0 8.4 8.9 8.2 9.0 Payback, kg/kg 19.6 25.0 28.1 26.3 27.8 25.6 28.1 Irrigation Increase, t/ha 14.2 17.8 21.4 18.6 20.8 18.5 21.5 Payback, kg/kg 44.4 55.6 66.9 58.1 65.0 57.8 67.2 Water consumption 3 for increase, m /t 212 169 141 162 145 163 140 Conclusions Experimental data convincingly show that in unstable moistening regions of Russia, it is necessary to switch to growing potatoes under irrigation. The economic benefits of using all chemicals are doubled and even tripled if the applied agrochemicals get into evenly moistened soil and plants that are not stressed by moisture deficiency. Achieving high yields - at the level 41.0...44.5 t/ha and marketability of 88...90% in the irrigated area resulted from: 1. planting early plastic potato variety (Udacha); 2. use of balanced dose of mineral fertilizers and complex growth regulators for tuber treatment and foliar spraying. The calculation of economic efficiency according to the research results showed that the use of biologically active agents for seed treatment and combination of this agricultural method with foliar spraying with growth regulators both on irrigation and on dry land were economically effective. The use of growth regulators Vigor Forte (tubers + foliar treatment) and Atonik (tubers + foliar treatment) under N100P120K100 fertilizers in combination with irrigation was significantly more effective than using only fertilizers on a dry land: value of the conditional income increased 4-fold, cost recovery - by 6%, and production cost decreased by 30%. The use of irrigation and plant growth regulators under balanced mineral fertilization are indispensable elements of potato cultivation technology, resulting in high yields, increased number of tubers of seed fraction and increased starch content per unit area.

About the authors

Sergey Valentinovich Zhevora

Lorch Potato Research Institute

Author for correspondence.
Moscow region, Russian Federation

Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, Director


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