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M A Y J U N E 2 0 1 616 POTATO GROWER Planting is here A pertinent sub- ject for the season is calculating planting rates and here is a brief overview and some tables that may be helpful. The tables pre- sented in this article can be found and downloaded from the NDSU U of M Potato Extension website toextension and utilized in a manner suitable for your opera- tion. Calculating seed potato for planting varies by row spacing within-row spacing and seed size. Typical row spacing in the Red River Valley and surround- ing area is 36 inches. However some potatoes are planted in 34 and 38 in row spacing. Row and within-row spacing will change the seed needed and plant popu- lation Table 1. Within-row spacing varies greatly depending on the cultivar selected desired harvested tuber profile and if irrigation is available. The amount of seed needed to plant at 34 36 and 38 inch row spac- ing at various within-row spac- ings is shown in Table 2. Physiological seed age or the number of stems may also cause changes to within-row spacing. There is a relationship between stem number and tuber set. As stem number increases the number of tubers increase. The number will vary by cultivar and environmental conditions. Understanding the seed age will help you make adjustment to within-row spacing. Seed size typically ranges from an average size of 1.5 to 2.5 oz per seed piece. Decisions on seed piece size will depend on seed avail- ability seed cost and cultivar. Each seed piece should have at least one eye. Some cultivars such as Russet Bannock or Shepody have a low distribution of eyes per tuber necessitating a larger seed piece. Andys Advice Calculating Potato Seed By Andy Robinson Extension Potato Agronomist NDSUUMN Table 1. Plant population based on row and within-row spacing. Within-row spacing inch Row spacing 6 7 8 9 10 12 14 Plant population number 34 30748 26356 23061 20499 18449 15374 13178 36 29040 24891 21780 19360 17424 14520 12446 38 27512 23581 20634 18341 16507 13756 11791