- Worlds’ fourth largest crop
- Staple food in many parts of the world
- Plant in the toxic nightshade family
- Salinity tolerance: 0 – 7 dS/m
The potato is the fourth largest crop after corn, wheat and rice. Potatoes are originally from South America and have been introduced to the rest of the world where it is a staple food in many diets. The parts that are edible are the underground tubers, that the plant produces to reproduce itself in a clonal way. Hence, the vast majority of potatoes are planted using seed potatoes, even though the use of seed is increasingly common. Potatoes are commonly grown on ridges.
Potato is a source of many vitamins and minerals and is especially rich in potassium. In turn, it requires relatively high fertiliser input. Applying the right amount of macro- and micronutrients should always be based on a soil sample. Given the potatoes’ relative sensitivity to a number of diseases such as late blight, potatoes should always be used in a rotation system.
There are over 4000 of edible varieties of potato, representing a rich genetic diversity that may aid in the future development of salt- and drought tolerant varieties. It is relatively salt sensitive, but varieties have been identified with a threshold value of six and higher.