Growing potato crop in Rabi

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Edible potato Solanum tuberosum is member of family Solanaceae. Potatoes bear tubers and are propagated through underground tubers.  

Cultivatipn of Potato crop


Well drained sandy loam and medium loam sols, rich in humus are most suitable for potato. Acidic soils with pH range 5.0 to 6.5 are suitable and at this conditions scab disease may be minimum. Higher alkalinity in soil or saline soils are not suitable for potato cultivation.

Climate requirement for potato crop

Potato is a cool season crop and grows well in soils with sufficient moisture. Tuber growth is good if soil temperatures are between 17 °C and 19°C. Temperatures above 30°C tuber development will be slow or even stops. Cooler nights and brighter sunshine is essential for reducing the spread of diseases.

Irrigation water for Potato Crop

Irrigation is required immediately after sowing for the proper tuber germination. The frequency of irrigation may vary from place to place depending upon topography and soil types. For the growth and development of potato crop sufficient moisture need to be maintained in the soil.

irrigation of potato crop

The last irrigation is usually stopped fifteen days prior to harvesting to promote hardening of tuber skin before harvesting potatoes tubers.

Seed Material for Potato Cultivation

Seed potatoes with active sprouting eyes are generally used for the sowing purpose. Small sized whole tubers or large sized seed tubers cut down into multiple pieces are used as planting materials.

Potato seed materials

The tubers for planting should be well-sprouted and weigh about 50-60g in size. Seed tubers should be treated with Ridomet 1 gm/L + Plantomycin 0.5 gm/L + Humesol 3 mL/L before sowing. The treatment will avoid soil and tuber borne diseases.

potato Seed tuber treatment

In India, the following varieties are cultivated.



Suitability region

Varietal Characters


Kufri Jyoti

o Central Plains

o Southern plains

o Deccan Plateau

Tolerant to late blight disease

Moderate resistance to cercospora leaf spot and blotch disease


Kufri Jeewan

North Indian plain states

·         High yielding variety

·         Late maturing with  resistance to late blight, wart and cercospora leaf spot diseases


Kufri Khasi-Garo

North east Indian states

·         Short duration early maturing variety

·         Moderate resistance to late blight and  early blight and viruses

·         Can be grown in hilly areas


Kufri Alankar

North Indian plain states

·      High yielding early tubering variety

·      Tubers turn purple on being exposed

to light.


Kufri Sheetman

North Indian plain states

·      Cold injury tolerant variety



Kufri Chandramukhi

o Central Plains

o Southern plains

o Deccan Plateau

·      High storability

·      White Oval tubers

·      High yielding variety


Kufri Sindhuri

o North Indian plain states

o  Round shaped light red-colored medium-sized tubers


Kufri Chamatkar

o Central Plains

o Southern plains

o Deccan Plateau

o  Early maturing variety

o  Uniform medium sized tubers with shiny and smooth surface.


Land Preparation for Potato Cultivation

Soil to be made to fine tilth with 2-3 deep ploughings and levelled with harrow. Clods need to be broke if any. The beds spacing should be 60-90 cm between the beds tubers may be sowed at 45 cm apart.

 Preparing land for potato cultivation

Recommended dose of Fertilizer Application: NPK – 50:40:50 kg/ per acre

Farm yard manure / compost @ 8-10 ton/acre, 120-200 kg Annapurna, 10 kg of Ecohume granules + micronutrient mixture aries multi-micronutrient fertiliser 10 kg/acre

Addtional nutreints for basal appliaction for potato crop

Combination 1



Combination 2



Combination 3


Urea (46 % N)








DAP (18 % N; 46 % P2O5)



Urea (46 % N)



Urea (46 % N)


MOP (60 % K2O)



MOP (60 % K2O)



MOP (60 % K2O)




Potato planting

Temperature should be less than 16 0C and tubers or tuber pieces must be planted 5 to 10 cm depth.

 Weed Management in Potato crop

Weed management is most important better harvest of potato. Weeds compete with potato plants for food, water, and light. Repeated ploughings, suitable crop rotations, proper spacing, inter - cultural operations and application of weedicides or herbicides may be followed.

Weed management in potato crop

Metribuzin 100 gm per acre in 100 litres of water as selective herbicide, 12 -15 days after planting can be sprayed as post emergent herbicide.

 Weed control in Potato

Plant protection in Potato crop - Diseases:

 Late blight

Late blight disease is caused by Phytophthora infestans oomycete. Disease infect and destroy the leaves, stems, fruits, and tubers of potato and tomato plants also. The disease will set when foliage is at fully grown and green.

 Late blight disease in potato crop

Symptoms of the disease

  • Irregular shaped brown water-soaked lesions on young leaves under humid cold conditions
  • The leaves become shrivel necrotic and die eventually with brown lesions can occur on stems and leaf pedicels
  • The fungus can also infect potato tuber, tomato fruit causing circular greasy lesions. 
  • The disease can be controlled chemically and also using bio control agents. Bio control agents need to be precautionary.

Management of the disease: Sprays

Late blight disease management in potato crop

Late blight disease management in potato crop

Late blight disease management in potato crop


  1. Early Blight

Early blight disease is a fungal infection caused by Alternaria solani .

 Early blight disease in potato crop

Symptoms of the early blight

Disease is severe when moisture is and temperature in atmosphere is more.

  • Infected leaves will possess the concentric circular black spots. Infections on fruits the disease is prominent on petioles and protruding in to the fruits at proximal end from petioles. High intensive disease will make plants defoliate.

 Management of the disease:

Spraying of broad spectrum systemic fungicides will control the disease.

Ridomet @ 0.5 gm/L OR Ridomil gold @ 2 gm/L OR Custodia @ 1.0 mL/L  

 Early blight disease management  in potato crop  Early blight disease management in potato crop Early blight disease management in potato crop

  1. Black Scurf:

Black surf disease is caused by Rhizoctonia solani fungus.

Symptoms of the Disease

Black scurf disease in potato crop

  • Dark brown to black hard mass like structures on the potato tubers called sclerotia.
  • Stem canker is the other important symptom of Rhizoctonia Scurf disease.

Management of the disease:

Seed treatment above mentioned may prevent the disease and following chemicals can be drenched to control the disease.

Brown Rot:

Bacterium Ralstonia solanacearum causes brown rot disease.

Symptoms of the Disease

Brown  rot disease  in potato crop

  • Wilting of the leaves at the ends of the branches during hot days and less at nights
  • Brown discolouration of the stem with an inch or more sized streaks above the soil line where leaves have a bronze tint.
  • On infected tubers bacterial ooze often emerges from the eyes and stem end where these infected tubers are attached.

Management of the disease:

Seed treatment above mentioned may prevent the disease and following chemicals can be drenched to control the disease.

Drenching if possible may be done with below combination to manage the infection of Black Scurf and Brown rot diseases of Potato.

Borogold 3 gm/L + Plantomycin 0.5 gm/L and 100 -150 mL per plant where ever infection is found.

Black scurf and Brown rot disease management in potato crop

  1. Viral Infections:

Mosaic virus and Leaf roll viral diseases are two common viral infections usually appears on potato. Mosaic viral infections shows the green and yellow mosaic stripes on plants and growth of the plant is stunted.

mosaic and leaf roll disease in potato crop

In case of leaf roll viral disease the leaves roll towards midrib and leaves will be leathery.

Management of Viral diseases in Potato

Since viral infections are spread by sucking pests like Thrips and whiteflies the sucking pests need to be managed.

Ammoniacal nitrogen has also positive advantage for viral infections so take care of ammoniacal nitrogen application.

Following sprays may be done to manage

First  spray: Viral out 2 gm/L+ Magnum Mn 0.5 gm/l + Phytozyme 1 mL/L+ Econeem plus 1 %- 1 mL/L

Viral diseases management in potato crop

after 10 days: V-Bind 2 mL/L + Multimax 3 gm/L + Econeem plus 1 % - 1 mL/L

Viral diseases management in potato crop

Plant protection in Potato crop - Insect pests

  1. Cutworms [Spodoptera litura]

Cutworms on Potato

  • Caterpillar worms cut the plants above the soil surface
  • Worms also eat tubers
  • Cutworms are nocturnal remain hidden during day and actively feed on crops during nights

Flooding the field is an effective way of controlling the caterpillars.

Spray with

Coragen 0.33 mL/L + Neemark 1 % -1 mL/L OR

Kill cutworms in Potato crop

Rilon 0.5 gm/L + Neemark 1 % -1 mL/L

 kill cutworms

Bait mixture may be evenly broadcasted evenly all over the potato plot to attract and kill cut worms during night as they are nocturnal.

The process of baiting can be a mixture of 3 components,

  1. Poison (Insecticide): 2. Carrier or base (Rice bran), and Attractant (Jaggery) at ratio of 1:10:1. Mix all the items with given ratio to prepare the bait mixture.

The poison may a stomach poison insecticide can be used like Malathion or Phoskill.

kill cutworms on baiting

  1. Aphids and leaf hoppers        Aphids and leaf hoppers in Potato crop                                                              Sucks the sap from the leaves, stems and tender shoots making them pale.These sucking pests secrete honey dew on the leaves slowly black molds of honey eating fungus is developed on infested plant parts. These molds reduces the process of photosynthesis

Management of Aphids and Leaf hoppers

Aphids and leaf hoppers management in potato

  • Econeem plus 1 % @ 1 ml/litre  + Asataf  @2 gm/litre

 Aphids and leaf hoppers management in potato

  1. White Grub:

White grubs in Potato crop

  • White grubs are creamish white and feed on the young developing roots making plants to dry up.
  • Tubers develop holes when infested by white grubs.
  1. Potato Tuber Moth:

potato tuber moth in Potato crop

  • Caterpillars of potato tuber moth drills and mines into leaves and later leaves develop patches.
  • Tunnel -like holes are made in to the tubers and filled with the excreta of the pest. Adult moth is yellowish with orange colored eyes.

Spray suggested for aphids and leaf hoppers will control the caterpillars of Potato tuber moth.

Management of White grub and Potato Tuber moth

  • Healthy potatoes must be stored while infested ones must be immediately discarded since the pest causes damage at the storage level.

Application of Caldan [Cartap Hydrochloride] 4 % G 5- 10 kg per acre or Ferterra may kill white grubs and larva of Potato tuber moth.

 White grubs and Potato tuber moth management


Harvesting and Storage

Harvesting is done once when the plant become dry after starting to dry from apical growth tip. Once all the leaves are dried and there is no photosynthesis in the crop, is ready to harvest.

Harvesting og potatoes

Manually or potato digger are used to harvest the potatoes without any wounds to potatoes. If the price is good they can be sold out and if to wait for good price, potato may be shared at shade with cooler ventilated conditions.



Senior Agronomist, BigHaat.

Disclaimer: The performance of the product (s) is subject to usage as per manufacturer guidelines. Read enclosed leaflet of the product(s) carefully before use. The use of this product(s)/ information is at the discretion of user.

1 comment

  • Alambasha

    Potato plants here

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