Nitrogen Rate and Application Timing Affect `Beauregard' Sweetpotato Yield and Quality

in HortScience
View More View Less
  • 1 Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 33446 Research Drive, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Painter, VA 23420
  • | 2 Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, 424 Smyth Hall (0403), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061

Previous work suggests that `Beauregard' sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] has a much lower N requirement than other common cultivars. Over the past 10 years, `Beauregard' has become the premier sweetpotato cultivar grown in Virginia; however, N fertilizer recommendations have not been reassessed to consider the potentially lower N requirement of `Beauregard'. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of N rate and application timing on root yield, quality, and N use efficiency for `Beauregard' sweetpotato production in Virginia. A field study was conducted each year from 2000 to 2002 at the Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Painter, Va. Nitrogen fertilizer was applied at rates of 28, 56, and 84 kg·ha-1 either before transplanting, 2 to 3 weeks after transplanting (WAT), or 4 to 5 WAT. A check treatment that received no N fertilizer was also included. Optimum N rates varied annually; under normal precipitation, root yield was greatest at the 28-kg·ha-1 rate, while 56 kg·ha-1 was required for maximum yield in wet conditions. Of note is that this range of rates is considerably lower than the current N recommendation for Virginia sweetpotato production (56 to 84 kg·ha-1). Delaying N application until 2 to 3 WAT further increased marketable root yield compared with applying N before transplanting or 4 to 5 WAT. Crude protein and N uptake increased with increasing N rate up to 84 kg·ha-1; however, N use efficiency was highest (67%) when 28 kg·ha-1 was applied 2 to 3 WAT.

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 189 73 9
PDF Downloads 420 186 16