Weed Suppression by Compost Mulch in Plantains

Project Overview

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2017: $8,436.00
Projected End Date: 03/14/2018
Grant Recipient: Farmer
Region: Southern
State: Puerto Rico
Principal Investigator:
Reed Hepperly
Hepperly Enterprises

Due to damage from Hurricane Maria, the farmer was not able to complete the objectives of the project. The project was cancelled.


Not commodity specific


  • Pest Management: biological control, botanical pesticides, mulches - general, weed ecology

    Proposal summary:

    The goal of the project is to verify if mulch was a viable alternative to weed control in plantain crops, and if it could reduce or substitute the use of contact herbicides in commercial plantain production. 

    Unfortunately, the crops in Puerto Rico – as most agricultural activities in the island -were destroyed by hurricane Maria on September 20th, 2017.  Both the control and the experimental plot were ruined, and it was impossible to gather the necessary data to arrive to informed conclusions.

    One of the most important unanswered questions was if the cost of applying the compost could be recuperated by the savings in hand weeding of herbicide application. In addition, the hurricane hit right before flowering, so we were unable to determine if there was some benefit of the mulch on the yield of the experimental plot versus the control.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Due to the devastation of Hurricane Maria we were not able to meet our objectives.



    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.