Sweet Potato planting procedures and production techniques

The botanical name Sweet potato is Ipomoea batatas (L) Lam; it belongs to the family Convolvulaceae

Varieties: CO 3, CO - CIP 1, Sree Nandini, Sree Vardhini, Kiran, Sree Bhadra, Sree Rethna, Gouri and Sankar.

Soil: Can be grown in loamy soil with a pH range of 5.6-6.6. It requires a warm and moist climate.

Season and planting: June – July and September. Plant the terminal vine cuttings (80,000/ha) at 20 cm spacing. The cuttings should be 10-15 cm in length with 2-3 nodes and to be collected
from matured vines aged 3 months and above. Dip the vine cuttings in a solution by mixing 400 g of Azospirillum in sufficient quantity of water.

Preparation of field: Plough the field to fine tilth. The soil depth should be atleast 30 cm. Form ridges and furrows at 60 cm apart. Can be grown in beds also.

Irrigation: Irrigate before planting, on 3rd day and then after once in a week. Stop irrigation one week before harvest.

Application of fertilizers: Apply 25 t FYM/ha and 20:40:60 kg NPK/ha as basal and 20:40:60 kg NPK/ha after 30 days. If 20 kg/ha Azospirillum is applied, apply only 2/3rd dose of N. It is preferable to apply N and P in the form of DAP (Diammonium phosphate).

After cultivation: The field should be kept clean by hand weeding till vines are fully developed.
Earth up the field on 25th, 50th and 75th day after planting. The vines are lifted and turned on 50th and 75th day after planting but before earthingup to prevent root formation at nodes and to make
the originally formed roots larger. Spray Ethrel five times at 250 ppm at fortnightly intervals commencing from 15 days after planting.

Plant protection against Pests
Sweet potato weevil
1. Remove previous sweet potato crop residues and alternate host i.e., Ipomoea sp. and destroy them.
2. Use pest free planting materials.
3. Dip the planting material in fenthion 100 EC or fenitrothion 50 EC or monocrotophos 36 WSC @ 2 ml/lit.
4. Rake up the soil and earth up at 50 days after planting.
5. Drench the soil with endosulfan 35 EC or fenthion 100 EC at 2 ml/lit. Spray any one of the insecticides, if needed.
6. Harvest the crop immediately after maturity and destroy the crop residues.

Protecting sweet potato plant against Diseases
Soft rot: Spot drench with Carbendazim 1 g/lit.

Yield: 20-25 t/ha of tubers in 110 – 120 days.

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