Research reports on irrigation in potatoes

AHDB Potatoes-funded research addressing various aspects of water use, including the management of common scab, susceptibility to bruising and water use efficiency.

The projects have been categorised according to the topics covered, to allow readers to identify the most relevant report(s).

Click on a project title to access more information on a project including the final report.

Water management and bruising

R445 Late season water management in potatoes (2011-2014)

  • effect of late-season irrigation on skin set and bruising

 R263 Management of tuber water status to reduce bruising (2005-2008)

  • effect of water supply, soil compaction, defoliation and root cutting on bruising

R252 Bruising sensitivity at harvest (2004-2007)

  • effect of soil moisture and crop maturity at haulm destruction on changes in sensitivity to tuber bruising at harvest

 807/227 Bruising in a Commercial Environment (BRUCE) – Factors associated with internal damage and bruising in potato tubers (2001-2004)

  • tuber dry matter content, mineral nutrient content and susceptibility to bruising

807/104 Improving quality by minimising damage (1997)

  • potassium, nitrogen and susceptibility to bruising

Other research on bruising

R436 PhD: Structure and function of cell wall polysaccharides in relation to tuber mechanical properties and bruise susceptibility (2010-2014)

  • mechanical and biochemical properties of tubers and susceptibility to bruising

807/240 Enhanced prediction of susceptibility to mechanical damage (2003-2006)

  • to evaluate the potential to develop a test to predict bruising susceptibility

 Water use efficiency

91140001 AHDB Rotations Research Partnership rotations partnership (2016-2021)

Work package 4: linking soils, water and roots with crop productivity

  • how soil management practices (irrigation) alter soil conditions, root distribution and function and crop performance
  • how soil management and genotypic differences in root length distribution interact to determine water use efficiency and yield

R406 Improving water use efficiency through understanding soil and plant water balance (2008-2011)

  • to determine the optimum soil water content for cultivation – to avoid compaction and create a clod-free tilth
  • how plants balance their water status in relation to evaporative demand under different soil conditions
  • impact of watering regimes on common scab and cracking

Climate change and water use

R404 Climate change impacts on UK potato production: industry options and responses (2008-2011)

  • impacts on yield and water use
  • impacts on land suitability and soil management

 Management of common scab

11140047 Review of Liming, pH and common scab risk in potatoes (2018)

  • review of relationship between common scab, pH, liming and calcium in potatoes

R448 Common scab control - reducing the irrigation water requirements and understanding the effects of beneficial soil microorganisms (2011 - 2014)

  • irrigation scheduling for salad crops and varieties less susceptible to common scab than Maris Piper
  • mechanisms by which irrigation reduces the population build-up of pathogenic Streptomyces
  • effects of beneficial soil micro-organisms and biofumigation
  • soil structure within the ridge/bed and optimal irrigation regimes for scab control
  • effects of over-watering on crop growth, tuber quality and nitrogen use efficiency

R429 Effect of contrasting irrigation regimes on populations of Streptomyces and potential antagonists and control of common scab (2009-2010)

  • DNA sequencing used to identify groups of microorganisms which may be responsible for suppression of scab
  • field experiments with five different irrigation regimes. Weekly sampling of tubers one to five weeks after tuber initiation to determine Streptomyces populations, and at harvest to measure yield and levels of scab

 R272 Integration of precision irrigation and non-water based measures to suppress common scab of potato (2006-2009)

  • no consistent effects of non-water based control measures (soil amendments with sulphur or rapeseed meal) or common scab

 R248 Review of research on non-water-based approaches to control of potato common scab (2004)

  • the Streptomyces species causing disease
  • knowledge on 12 non-water control options
  • a supplement to the review (written in 2005) covers the potential to use manganese to control common scab, possible biocontrol agents and the effect of organic ammendments on common scab control