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Potassium humate and NPK application rates influence yield and economic performance of potato crops grown in clayey loam soils

Introduction:

  Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) is a popular vegetable crop in Pakistan. 

It is acknowledged as a supplementary food resource because it reduces the pressure on cereal crops (Lodhi, 2004). Potato production plays a vital role in the economy of the country, particularly in Punjab province, where it accounts 5.7% of total vegetables cultivated area providing economic advantages as well as creating employment opportunities. It is grown annually on an area of more than 20 million hectares with a total production of more than 330 million tons worldwide (CIP, 2014). In Pakistan, the crop is planted on an area of 161.9 thousand hectares annually with a tuber yield of 3.507 million tons. Its average yield is about 21.66 tons per hectare, which is lower than that of developed countries (Anonymous, 2014). The main problems causing low production especially in Punjab region are unavailability of healthy seed, lack of irrigation water, ill-advised application of fertilizer, attack of early blight and viral diseases.