• Physical and mechanical properties of soil for ridge formation, ridge geometry and yield in new planting and ridge formation methods of potato production

      Vucajnk, F.; Vidrih, M.; Bernik, R. (Teagasc, 2012-12)
      In 2008 and 2009, a trial was performed to enhance the physical and mechanical properties of light soil for ridge formation, to increase the cross-sectional area of loose soil in the ridge, to improve the marketable yield and time efficiency, and to lower the percentage of green tubers. Three different planting and ridge formation methods applied to potato production were compared. The first method involved simultaneous planting and small ridge formation, followed by final ridge formation with a PTO-driven potato cultivator immediately before potato emergence (CL method). The second method combined planting and simultaneous final ridge formation (P+FR method), while, in the third method (BF+P+FR method), a special bed former attached to the front of a tractor that pushed the loose soil off the tractor wheels was used. The trial design was a randomised complete block with three repetitions. The BF+P+FR method produced the best physical and mechanical properties of the soil for ridge formation, while the CL method produced the poorest. Due to greater distance of the seed tuber from the ridge centre, the CL method resulted in the largest yield and percentage of green tubers. In comparison with the other two methods, the CL method gave a lower percentage of marketable tubers and a higher percentage of non-marketable tubers. Moreover, the BF+P+FR and P+FR methods were more time-efficient during planting and ridge formation than the CL method.