Potato Review Group


Development of a typical crop

Patterns of growth of different plant parts

Potato yield potential

Further information


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Development of a typical crop

  1. Analysis of the extensive PRG database has provided the following description of an average PRG crop.
  2. This information is useful for planning but does not replace observations of individual crops.
  3. Management before the onset of tuber bulking can influence crop potential.
  4. After the onset of bulking management can maintain but not increase crop potential.


PRG typical crop


“All the future is in the starting.”

Dr. Chris Green

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Patterns of growth of different plant parts

  1. These patterns are typical for an unstressed crop.
  2. Roots begin to grow as sprouts develop into shoots below ground, i.e. before shoot emergence.
  3. Stolons begin to develop soon after (or even before) shoot emergence.
  4. Roots continue to grow while the canopy is growing; roots begin to senesce when the canopy begins to senesce.
  5. Tubers develop over a relatively short time and the final number of tubers >10 mm is achieved early in the season.
  6. The onset of linear tuber bulking (for all tubers >10 mm) is at about the time that the final number of tubers is achieved.
  7. Maximum canopy size occurs during the middle of the tuber bulking period.
  8. Tuber bulking has the potential to continue until the end of canopy senescence.

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Potato crop growth patterns


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Potato yield potential

  1. Potential potato yields have been calculated as 100 t / ha or more.
  2. High yields may be achieved most easily if a long duration of tuber bulking is possible.
  3. Duration of tuber bulking may be limited by market requirements, harvesting conditions and cultivar determinancy.
  4. Achieving a high yield from a shorter duration crop requires a high rate of tuber bulking to be established and maintained.
  5. A high rate of tuber bulking requires a sufficient number of progeny tubers growing at fast rates.
  6. Seed “quality” and conditions before the onset of tuber bulking (first tubers > 10 mm) establish the number of tubers and their rates of growth.
  7. Avoiding stress during bulking is important to maintain the rate and duration of bulking.

More …

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Further information

The links below open presentations which provide introductions to various aspects of potato physiology.

Potential potato yields 2021 (What is the potential yield of potatoes; why is the potential yield not achieved?)

Physiology 2020 (Introduction / review)

PRG research 1991 – 2020 (A summary of areas of PRG research from 1991 – 2019.)

Heat stress 2019 (Effects of heat stress and the potential to mitigate against this)

PRG data base analysis 2018 (Mean and year by year performance)

Amino acids 2017 (Physiology of amino acids and experiments on application)

Predicting the end of bulking 2016 (Can the potential end of bulking be modelled?)

Potato crop growth: a review of achieving even emergence 2016 (Uniform emergence is important for subsequent crop management)

PRG database analysis 2015 (Relationships between yield components)

Crop stress 2015 (Effects of adverse environmental conditions on crop performance and some potential treatments to alleviate stress)

Potato plant development 2013 (A review of development from seed to maturity)

Potato physiology review 2012 (The basics of potato plant growth and development)

Physiology and performance review 2012 (Aspects of plant physiology which influence performance)

Influence of nutrition on potato physiology – review 2012 (What are the physiological effects of different nutrients?)

Weather and physiological disorders 2012 (How do extreme environmental conditions affect the potato crop?)

Rate of tuber bulking 2011 (A review of influences; PRG database analysis)

Number of progeny tubers review 2009 (Influences on tuber production)

Nutrient uptake 2009 (Patterns of nutrient uptake in long and short duration crops)

PRG data base analysis 2008 (Calculation of the mean PRG crop)

Canopy development 2006 (How do patterns of canopy and tuber development interact? Analysis of the PRG data base)

Tuber size distribution 2004 (What influences this and can it be manipulated? Analysis of the PRG website)

Root growth 2004 (How are roots distributed in the ridge and how is this affected by dry soil?)

Heat and drought 2004 (How can water be managed in these conditions?)

PRG database analysis 2003 (Influence of treatments applied in experiments)

Stolons and tubers 2003 (What influences stolon formation and how does this related to tuber production?)

PRG database 2002 (Analysis of the database provides background to the Prediction of Development (PROD) model).

Tuber number and size 2002 (Can these be manipulated to produce “designer crops”?)

Number of tubers 2000 (Further details on influences on the number of progeny tubers produced)

Tuber size distribution 2000 (Tuber size distribution is generally constant for a crop)

Tuber yield 1997 (Analysis of the PRG data base for relationships between number of tubers, rate of bulking duration of bulking and yield)

Tuber growth 1997 (How does the rate of growth of individual tubers vary?)

Number of tubers 1997 (Influences on the number of progeny tubers produced)

Tuber bulking 1996 (What influences the mean rate at which individual tubers grow?)

Root growth 1996 (Rooting depth of potatoes and effect of water availbility on yield)

Canopy manipulation 1996 (In an experiment to stop canopy growth, tuber growth was also stopped)

Heat stress 1996 (Temperature at which heat stress begins and some effects on performance)

Yield potential and stability 1995 (Why do crops not achieve a theoretical yield of 100 t / ha?)

Tuber size 1995 (Changes in yield in size grades through the season)

Early nutrition 1995 (Influence of nutrition on development)

Physiology of yield 1994 (Relationships between rate and duration of bulking; influence of seed and early environment on crop performance)

Tuber size / weight relationships 1994 (An addition to the data in Seminar 2 Notes 1992 (Appendix), for converting between mean tuber weight and size)

Notes for 1993 (Chapter 4: Cultivar comparison. Chapter 5: Modelling development. Chapter 8: Imposed stress.)

Seminar 1 Notes 1992 (Chapters 2-3: Modelling potato growth.)

Seminar 2 Notes 1992 (Chapters 1-2: Cultivars and canopy senescence. Chapter 4: Yield partition. Chapter 7: tuber shape.)


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