Assessment of potato plant development from Minitubers
In production of minitubers, mani pulation of their weight by modifying production method is common. Under field conditions plant development from minitubers can be affected by their weight, as well as cultivar. This objective of this study was to compare plant development from four minitu ber weight classes (MtC) (3 to 4.99 g, 5 to 9.99 g, 10 to 19.99 g, and > 20 g) with broken apical dominance of cultivars ‘Monta’, ‘Prelma’ and ‘Mandaga’. ‘Prelma’ and ‘Mandaga’ had a similar development pattern, and minitubers > 20 g required significantly less growing degree days (GDD) to emerge than minitubers from the lightest classes. The heaviest minitubers needed on average 176 GDD for 50% emergence and 207 GDD were needed for the lightest class. The difference in GDD between the marginal MtC was more pronounced in period between 50 and 80% emergence. MtC did not affect the final rate of emergence. Number of above ground stems (1.4 – 4.0) was significantly affected by MtC. ‘Monta’ had significantly different development – delayed emergence, lower emergen ce rate, less above ground stems, faster canopy closure. Our study showed that plant development was significantly affected by MtC and cultivar. Differences between MtC were more pronounced under adverse meteorological condi tions.