The efficiency of pre-harvest application of calcium chloride alone, calcium nitrate alone, and combined application of calcium chloride and calcium nitrate (1:1) was evaluated in reducing the severity of P. infestans
and improving potato tuber yield. Pot experiment was conducted in randomized complete block design with four replications. The treatments consisted of combination of two potato varieties (Shenkola and Gera) and three types of calcium nutrients (calcium chloride alone, calcium nitrate alone, and calcium chloride mixed with calcium nitrate), each at three levels (5, 10, and 15 g per liter per plant) and the control treatment (0 g of calcium nutrients). In comparison to the control treatment, the application of calcium nutrients significantly decreased the severity of late blight disease and improved potato tuber yield. The effect of calcium nutrients on the severity of late blight disease and potato tuber yield differed among the two potato varieties. The maximum severity reduction (60%) was noticed in the Gera potato variety with the application of calcium chloride mixed with calcium nitrate (1:1), supplied at 15 g per plant. However, the highest average tuber yield was obtained with the application of calcium nitrate at 15 g per plant, and average tuber yield was increased by 77% in both potato varieties. Hence, foliar application of either calcium nitrate alone or calcium nitrate mixed with calcium chloride was found to be more efficient than the application of calcium chloride alone. This result suggests that the nitrate ion present in the calcium nitrate may make a difference in terms of reducing the severity of late blight disease and improving potato tuber yield. The lowered severity of late blight disease and the increased tuber yield in potato plants sprayed with calcium nutrients may be because of the higher accumulation of calcium in the plant tissue.
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