Growing Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.) Hydroponically in Wood Fiber—A Preliminary Case-Study Report
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionAgronomy. 2021, 11 (7), 1-7. 10.3390/agronomy11071369
Potato contributes highly to the global food security. It is predicted that the production of this crop will be negatively affected by future climatic changes. Application of hydroponics for table potato production can mitigate crop loss in highly vulnerable regions. A preliminary small-scale case-study was performed to test theoretical perspectives of hydroponic production of table potatoes in wood fiber by comparing different fiber types and fertigation strategies. Potatoes were also grown in the field to obtain a reference control. Hydroponic production of potato in a stand-alone wood fiber resulted in ca. 200% higher yield, when compared to standard soil cultivation. However, the quality of the tubers was slightly reduced (lower dry matter content). Productivity of table potatoes was affected by the growing medium and fertigation strategy. Production of potatoes in wood fiber is possible and, in the future, might complement the conventional production systems, or even become an important alternative in locations where in-field cultivation is not possible. Nevertheless, the effect of wood fiber properties and the applied fertigation strategy on yield potential and tuber quality should be further studied. Optimization of these factors will be a topic of a following full-scale research.