Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Nutrient formulations for potato seed production using aeroponics being developed by IPB-UPLB

The Aeroponics setup at IPB-UPLB (Photo by the Crops Research Division, DOST-PCAARRD)

Nutrient formulations for the aeroponics system are being developed by the Institute of Plant Breeding of the University of the Philippines Los BaƱos (IPB-UPLB). The formulations are being used to produce cheaper and clean potato planting materials through aeroponics.

Once tested for its effectiveness, the nutrient formulations will help in producing potato seeds using aeroponics, a soilless method of producing potato seeds wherein plant roots are enclosed in a dark compartment. Aeroponics requires smaller space and potentially lower input costs like labor, nutrients, water, and chemical pesticides while producing more seeds relative to conventional seed production.

Aside from the nutrient formulations, systemic pesticides and root hormones were used to improve the capability of the system.

The nutrient formulations were outputs of the project, Potato seed production through aeroponics, which is being implemented by UPLB and the Department of Agriculture Region 10 – Northern Mindanao Agricultural Crops and Livestock Research Complex (DA 10-NMACLRC) and funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD).

The project is targeting a yield of 40 mini tubers/plant, which is five times higher than that of the conventional method, which only produces eight mini tubers/plant. The current productivity in UPLB is 15 mini tubers/plant; 19 mini tubers/plant in Benguet State University (BSU); and 27 mini tubers/plant in the DA 10-NMACLRC.

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