Effect of Plant Spacing and Nitrogen on Potato Growth and Yield

Topics: Potato, Tuber, Plant morphology Pages: 135 (45471 words) Published: September 4, 2013
DEDICATION

To
The Almighty God;
My beloved family;
My beloved supporters;
My beloved friends

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First and foremost, I thank the almighty God for his abundant blessings, guidance and protection during my studies in ISAE. I am grateful to my family members for their great support up to this arduous and challenging task. I wish to express my gratitude to Prof. Dr. KI YULL YU. And Mrs Olive TUYISHIME for their incomparable commitments to supervise this memoir from his guidance, I gained tremendous knowledge as far research skills are concerned. My special thanking again goes to all lecturers of Department of Crop Science for their advice, patience, help and professionalism they demonstrated throughout the process of my studies. I always remember our classmates with whom we shared happiness and hardships in Institute during our memorable five years. Lastly, but not the least, I acknowledge all of our friends and relatives for their direct or indirect help to this work and for their perseverance during those difficult times when we were away in pursuit of this document. God bless you!

Cassien TWAGIRIMANA

ABSTRACT
The Irish potato is one of major food tuber crops grown in Rwanda. It plays a key role in food consumption, nutritional security and reduction of hunger. Potato plant like other tuber crops requires sufficient supply of several essential elements for proper growth and function. It is a gross feeder and exploiting greater volume of soil nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium and water. Potato production has become very important in Rwanda in terms of land cropped and income generated to the potato farmers. Despite this importance, the production of potato is still low comparatively to the potential of the crop and the region. The potatoes are grown with the same spacing and the same N fertilizer application rates around the farm of Busogo. Therefore, the present work has been carried out with the aim of determining the optimum combination of nitrogen fertilizer application rate and spacing for potato plant growth. A strip split plot design and three replicates have been used. The between-row treatments were in horizontal strips, the within-row in the vertical strips, and the nitrogen fertilizer rates in the intersections of strips. In total, 3 x 3 x 4 factorial treatments have been tested, making a total of 108 treatments. Three types of treatments were tested: Between-Rows spacing was 70, 80and 90cm; Within-Row spacing was 20, 30 and 40cm and Nitrogen fertilizer rates were 0, 70, 140 and 210 kg N/ha. Different data were collected: the number of leaves, the number of shoots, the plant height, the stem diameter. These data were analyzed statistically by using Genstart 14th edition. The results from this study considering the effect of a single factor revealed that: The effect of 90cm between rows, 40cm within plant spacing and 210 kg N/ha is the one which gives best growth. The combination effect of two factors showed that: The combination of 90cm between rows with 40cm within plant spacing, the 90cm between row spacing with 210 kg N/ha and the 40cm within plant spacing with 210 kg N /ha are the ones which give the best growth. Finally the results from the combination of all the three factors were appeared that the combination of 90cm between row spacing, 40cm within plant spacing, and 210 kg N /ha rate application is the most for best plant growth and this combination is recommended for the better farming system for irish potato production around ISAE-BUSOGO. RESUME

La pomme de terre est l'une des principales cultures de tubercules cultivés au Rwanda. Il joue un rôle clé dans la consommation alimentaire, la sécurité alimentaire et la réduction de la faim. Les pommes de terre comme les autres tubercules nécessitent un approvisionnement suffisant de plusieurs éléments nutritifs essentiels pour la croissance et le bon fonctionnement. C'est un culture épuisant et...
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