Sweet Potato Hotbed Project Results
From 2009 to 2011, nematodes were sampled by taking a 500 cc soil sample from each of the main plots in February before the beds were installed and again at plant harvest in May. No root knot nematodes (Meloidogyne incognita) or other plant parasitic nematodes were found at any sampling event. Similar to nematodes, the soil analysis for potential root rotting pathogens showed no significant differences among treatments in any year (Table 1).
Valor caused some noticeable crop phytotoxicity in each year of this trial. A reduction in plant production was noticed in 2009, but this was not seen in 2008 or 2010. No significant impact on plant production was noted in 2010 from either the herbicide or fumigation treatments as compared to the untreated control (Figure 2). Root yield at the end of the season was measured to determine if there were any “carry over” effects from the any of the treatments on the ability of the plants to set roots. No differences were seen between the treatments for total yield or size.
Results in 2010 closely resemble what was observed in the first two years of this trial: weeds are the main pest issue sweetpotato growers must contend with in the hotbed area. Nematodes and disease are a non-issue. The only fumigant treatment that provided adequate weed suppression in 2011 was MeBr.