Research Papers

Agronomic performance of new cream to yellow-orange sweetpotato cultivars in diverse environments across South Africa

Published in: South African Journal of Plant and Soil
Volume 32, issue 3, 2015 , pages: 147–155
DOI: 10.1080/02571862.2015.1014436
Author(s): Sunette M LaurieAgricultural Research Council–Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute (ARC-VOPI), South Africa, Sidwell S TjaleAgricultural Research Council–Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute (ARC-VOPI), South Africa, Andre A van den BergAgricultural Research Council–Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute (ARC-VOPI), South Africa, Musa M MtileniAgricultural Research Council–Roodeplaat Vegetable and Ornamental Plant Institute (ARC-VOPI), South Africa, Maryke T LabuschagneDepartment of Plant Sciences, South Africa

Abstract

Sweetpotato is grown in diverse environments of South Africa by both commercial and subsistence farmers. The aim of the present study was to assess the stability, agronomic performance and palatability of new ARC cultivars bred for the informal market, and to make cultivar recommendations. Eight new cultivars with cream to yellow-orange flesh were evaluated in multi-environment trials using a randomised complete block design in six provinces. Data were recorded on root yield, percentage dry mass, palatability and vine vigour. An additive main effects and multiplicative interactions model was employed for data analysis. New cultivars with high potential were Ndou, Letlhabula and Monate, with root yields similar to or slightly lower than the commercial control cultivar Blesbok. Ndou and Monate had vigorous vine growth, high dry mass and good end-user acceptability and offered the best combination of important traits for the informal market. Letlhabula seemed more suitable for the commercial market owing to lower dry mass. The new improved cultivars will be advantageous, firstly, to farmers as a result of high yield and, secondly, to consumers owing to better palatibility.

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