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Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan--Publication-Journal of Taiwan Agricultural Research

Journal of Taiwan Agricultural Research

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Effects of Mulching on the Seedling Production and Infestation of Sweet Potato Insect Pests in Winter Season of Northern Taiwan

Lo, S. F. and S. H. Huang. 2019. Effects of mulching on the seedling production and infestation of sweet potato insect pests in winter season of northern Taiwan. J. Taiwan Agric. Res. 68(3):237–245.

Effects of Mulching on the Seedling Production and Infestation of Sweet Potato Insect Pests in Winter Season of Northern Taiwan

Shu-Fang Lo1 and Shou-Horng Huang2,*

Abstract

    Covering plastic on furrow surface has the advantages of easy operation, lower investment, and increasing the soil temperature, crop growth rate and yield. This trial was conducted in winter season in northern Taiwan to evaluate the production of seedlings of two sweet potato cultivars, ‘Tainung No.57’ and ‘Tainung No.66’, under different cover treatments. From December 2014 to February 2015, the daily mean air temperature was in the range of 11.1℃ to 21.1℃. Soil temperature at 8 cm depth was the highest under the covering of black polyethylene (PE) plastic treatment, and maximum temperature difference had reached 6℃ compared to air temperature. The agronomic traits of weight of maximum vine length (452.2 g and 272.3 g), number of the vine length longer than 30 cm (7.9 and 5.4) and tuber weight (225.4 g and 209.8 g) under the covering of black PE plastic treatment were higher than other treatments on sweet potato cultivars, ‘Tainung No.57’ and ‘Tainung No.66’, respectively. The survival rate of seedling was also higher than 90%. The density of insect pests was relatively low during December 2014 to March 2015, but increased gradually in April, particularly plum moth had reached 0.7 per sweet potato vine, followed by leaf beetle reaching 0.4 per sweet potato vine. The damage number of sweet potato tuber by sweet potato weevil was low (less than 1 tuber) under three treatments, suggesting that low density of sweet potato weevil suppressed significantly by the low temperature.

Key words: Mulching treatment, Sweet potato seedling, Insect pest.


* Corresponding author, e-mail: shhuang@dns.caes.gov.tw
1 Former Associate Research Fellow, Department of Agronomy, Chiayi Agricultural Experiment Branch, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Chiayi, Taiwan, ROC.
2 Associate Research Fellow, Department of Plant Protection, Chiayi Agricultural Experiment Branch, Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute, Chiayi, Taiwan, ROC.

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