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Potato Deficiencies

Magnesium is very mobile in the plant and once there translocates easily  from older to younger tissue. Deficiency appears as yellowing of the interveinal areas on the leaf and in severe cases may result in stunting and premature senescence. Varietal differences have been observed and varieties with relatively few leaves may be the most susceptible. Potatoes are one of the crops most likely to show a yield response to magnesium as they tend to be grown on lighter land.


Manganese is taken up by the plant roots but unlike magnesium is not very mobile. It is possible to find differences in susceptibility  to manganese between different potato varieties. The first symptom of a deficiency in is an initial paleness in the younger leaves. This is  followed by the appearance of blackish/brown spots along the veins and these are best seen on the underside of the leaves.



A lack of potassium may result in yield loss and quality effects without any visible deficiency symptoms. Where symptoms are identified, they generally appear at the leaf margins especially on  older leaves. The leaves first become brown and then die prematurely. In severe cases, growth can become very retarded and the leaf canopy may not close between the rows. As a result the crop  will look very uneven across the field. At this stage yield loss is likely to have occurred to an extent that it cannot be recovered by treatment. 


Nitrogen deficiency in potatoes can lead to stunted growth. Yellowing of the older leaves gives rise to dieback and there are likely to be far fewer stems. The result of these symptoms is much lower yields.

Fielder (UK) Ltd