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  • Author or Editor: Dennis E. Adams x
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Boron has been used to overcome the disorder blister in varieties such as `Jewel'. `Hernandez' is an attractive, good-yielding variety with uniform shape that will consistently pack out at 80% to 90%. Over time in storage, however, roots develop blister-like symptoms, rendering roots unmarketable for fresh market. Our objective was to evaluate the effect of different B rates and application times on the yield and quality of `Hernandez' roots. Rates were varied up to 2.24 kg actual B/ha 6 days after planting, while various soil and foliar application times (6, 34, and 69 days after planting) were evaluated at 1.12 kg·ha–1. In 1994, three row plots were arranged in a randomized complete block design and replicated four times. Planting was on a deep sand to maximize the effect of the B carrier Solubor. Roots were harvested, graded, and weighed 120 days after planting and storage roots evaluated for blister-like symptoms in Mar. 1995. No significant differences in yield were attributed to B rate or application method. Blister-like symptoms were more severe when no B was applied; however, application of B did not eliminate symptoms, as most roots had the blister-like appearance. Boron application did not solve the problem, but symptoms were less apparent when some B was applied.

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The effects of plant spacing (15, 23, 31, and 38 cm) and date of harvest on yield and economic return of `Beauregard' sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] were studied. For comparison, `Jewel' was included at one spacing. As in-row plant spacing decreased, yield of U.S. No. 1, canners, and total marketable root production increased when plants were harvested 103 days or later after transplanting. The yield of jumbo roots generally increased with in-row spacing because of less plant-to-plant competition. Total marketable and No. 1 grade yields of `Beauregard' at the closest spacing (15 cm) were greater than those of `Jewel'. `Beauregard' roots sized more quickly than `Jewel' roots regardless of spacing. The optimal time for harvesting `Beauregard' was 100 to 110 days after transplanting, while acceptable yields could be obtained as early as 90 days after transplanting depending on market prices. Economic analysis of `Beauregard' spacing data indicated that 23 cm would be the preferred spacing if a late harvest was anticipated, while the 15-cm spacing would be best if harvested at ≈110 days after transplanting. Thus, sweetpotato growers should place `Beauregard' at an in-row spacing of 15 or 23 cm, depending on projected date of harvest, on or before 10 June, to obtain the best yields with the highest return on investment.

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