- Vegetables: sweet potatoes
- Crop Production: greenhouses, organic fertilizers
- Education and Training: farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research
- Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
- Pest Management: mulching - plastic
- Production Systems: organic agriculture
- Soil Management: composting, earthworms, green manures, organic matter
- Sustainable Communities: community development
In NY, locally grown sweet potatoes are gaining popularity. This project will compare two methods of sweet potato transplant (slip) production identified by the grower. Varieties of sweet potato have been grown and maintained by the farmer based on acclimation to WNY climate. This investigation has two goals. The first will compare methods to determine which technique will produce ready-to plant high quality slips for mid-spring transplanting dates. The cost of production also will be a consideration. The production will start in late winter in a greenhouse.
WNY farmers have had problems obtaining good quality transplants from the South. Companies have come and gone. Shipping dates vary widely with some transplants showing up in late March or early April. Sweet potato slips need to be transplanted immediately after shipping. For growers here, some seasons, mid-May is about average. Sweet potato slips don’t hold well and often rot. The second project goal is to produce WNY-grown slips in commercial quantity to start to fill the needs of local farmers and to teach farmers to grow their own transplants
Project objectives from proposal:
This project seeks to compare methods of growing sweet potato transplants on a larger commercial scale. The sweet potato varieties used are those that have become acclimated to the northern climate having been grown by the project leader for years. The methods will be tested against each other to see which is the most cost effective while producing quantities of high quality transplants that will be made available to growers in WNY to grow out at the time of the spring that fits their needs. After two seasons of trials, the successful method will be taught to other interested growers in a workshop.