Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Four cassava (Manihot esculenta, Crantz) accessions were received from the USDA, ARS Plant Introduction Station in Mayaguez, PR on 16 Jan. 1996. The next day the 15 to 20 cm long cuttings were propagated indivdually in 1 gal. pots containing Metro Mix No. 4 for 10 wks before field setting in a transition Hidalgo-McAllen sandy loam soil at the Moore Air Base site near McCook, TX. Three plant establishment methods, control (no soil amendment), addition of 15 Mt bagasse/ha, or 50 kg cross-linked polyacrylamide/ha into the planting trench were evaluated. The 2 x 1.2 m spacings on 15 cm high beds provided 4036 plants/ha. Plants received a total of 35.8 cm of water between field planting and harvest (230 days). Mid- and late season soil moisture at 38 cm depth only was lowest in soil containing bagasse. Establishment method had little or no effect on plant size, leaf nutrients, leaf pigment concentrations, root dry matter or root yield. Accessions differed in many of these attributes except root yield, the means of which ranged from 5 to 9 Mt/ha. Only roots survived an air temperature of -5.4 C on 19 Dec.