Crop Management (Cultivation conditions and methods)
Potatoes prefer well aerated, loamy soil with good drainage. Soil salinity, waterlogging and high levels of calcium-carbonate are undesirable for potato cultivation as they negatively affect productivity and starch content. The main problem in Iraqi soils are drought in the north of Iraq and salinity in middle and south off Iraq.
With winter minima approaching 0° C (lower at higher elevations) and summer maxima of over 40° C, conditions can be challenging.
Both spring and autumn crops are irrigated, especially in the central plain. Irrigation is particularly critical just before the autumn planting to lower the soil temperature.
Soil should be subjected to analysis for nutrient availability in order to develop an appropriate fertilization scheme.
Spring crop: Harvest occurs about four months later. Late summer: Harvest of the autumn crop may be forced by early frosts.