There are a lot of good Internet resources on potatoes! This makes me hungry.
A field of potatoes produces more energy per acre per day than a field of any other crop.”! And it also matures faster than any other staple (Hard to believe, but we’ll just assume they’re unusually good.) http://www.potandon.com/ss_potatoes_plant.htm
To quote smallholder (discussing British crops):
“The water footprint of a product is a measure of the total appropriation of freshwater resources in the life cycle of the product. Potatoes use approximately 130 litres of water/kg during growth, 10 litres/kg during processing and 0.1 litres/kg during preparation by the final consumer.The water footprint of a product is a measure of the total appropriation of freshwater resources in the life cycle of the product. Potatoes use approximately 130 litres of water/kg during growth, 10 litres/kg during processing and 0.1 litres/kg during preparation by the final consumer.”
But note that it is possible to underwater potatoes, but with less yield.
How many to plant depends on the method. It takes very roughly 2 – 2.5 tons of potato seed tuber per ha.
The yield per hector varies hugely. Statistics Sweden shows their crops between 13,000 and 36,000 kg/ha!
The AgMRC (Agricultural Marketing Resource Center) has great references on all kinds of crops. They note that in 2010, the average price for potatoes rose, but the yield per acre declined.
Our site users will be interested in one article cited Commercial Potato Production – Organic and Pesticide Free Production. http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/crops/potatoes/bda04s09.html
This 2011 article in ScienceDaily describes an improved planting technique that wastes less water, and may decrease nitrate soil loss. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110901105514.htm
If you want some SERIOUS discussion of water use and optimization, try this from the Natural Resources Management and Environmental Department (and don’t say I didn’t warn ya!): http://www.fao.org/docrep/U5835E/u5835e04.hthttp://www.fao.org/docrep/U5835E/u5835e04.htm
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