A Win–Win Situation: Performance and Adaptability of Petite Sweetpotato Production in a Temperate Region

Luis O. Duque, Elsa Sánchez, Kenneth Pecota, Craig Yencho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


New-found interest in sweet potato production in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. has been steadily increasing in the last several years. Sweet potatoes are usually grown for fresh market use and novel marketing strategies and new consumer niches are providing farmers options of growing new sweet potato varieties with exciting colors and flavor profiles that are adapted to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. Petite sweet potatoes have gained market attention because they are easier to handle and faster to cook compared to U.S. No. 1 storage roots. The goal of this research was to determine the performance and adaptableness of eight commercial sweet potato varieties and two unreleased accessions for U.S. No.1 and Petite sweet potato production under black plastic mulch tailored for the mild temperate growing conditions of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. Two in-row spacings (15 cm and 30 cm) and two harvest dates (90 and 120 days after planting, DAP) were evaluated during the 2018 and 2019 growing seasons. Our results showed that the ideal harvest time is at least 120 DAP compared to an early harvest at 90 DAP as there was a 2-fold difference in marketable yield at both 15 and 30 cm in-row spacing with marketable yield between 20 and 54 t ha−1 . ‘Averre’ and ‘Beauregard’ produced the highest U.S. No. 1 and Petite yields under both in-row spacing treatments harvested at 120 DAP for both years evaluated, though the general effect of in-row spacing and DAP interaction (separate years) on yield performance was cultivar specific. We also found that growing degree days is a better predictor for harvest than days after planting, with an accumulation of at least ~700 GDD (base temperature 15.5C) or ~1300 GDD (base temperature 10C) for both U.S. No. 1 and Petite roots. Additional studies are required to identify the stability of cultivars tested and treatments imposed with environmental interactions in this region. In addition, there is an urgency for updated sweet potato management practices exclusively designed for sweet potato varieties for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number172
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture


Dive into the research topics of 'A Win–Win Situation: Performance and Adaptability of Petite Sweetpotato Production in a Temperate Region'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this