Warren K. Coleman1 and Yves Martineau 2
Abstract: Although no calcium deficiencies have been reported in New Brunswick soils, deficiencies can become apparent in the growing sprouts of tubers when they exhibit sub-apical necrosis with subsequent development of multiple sprouts. An examination of soil applied gypsum levels demonstrated a significant increase in foliar sulfur content in the treated plots of the cultivar Russet Burbank. There was no effect on calcium content of the whole tuber. However, there was an apparent interaction with previous storage temperature in terms of sprout growth and the number of growing sprouts. After low temperature storage (4EC), low numbers of sprouts formed when tubers were placed into a 10EC or 20EC environment and there was no gypsum effect. However, after high temperature storage (14EC), numerous sprouts were formed after the tubers were placed into a 10 or 20EC environment. Increasing levels of gypsum led to significant decreases in the total number of sprouts per tuber. In view of the importance of stem number for optimizing tuber numbers and size, further work should evaluate the apparent interaction of gypsum soil treatments with storage temperature and subsequent seed tuber performance.
1Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Potato Research Centre, Fredericton, NB
2Land Resources Branch, NBDARD, P.O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1