Developing low-cost sustainable sweet potato production strategies to facilitate adoption in the mid-south

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2009: $185,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Region: Southern
State: Mississippi
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Ramon Arancibia
University of Missouri Extension

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: canola, rapeseed, rye
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: demonstration, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: budgets/cost and returns
  • Pest Management: field monitoring/scouting, mulches - killed
  • Soil Management: green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, soil physics


    The responses of the sweetpotato crop to rotations with winter cover crops and conservational tillage (no till) were investigated in on-farm trials as well as at the experiment station. In addition, participatory adoption of cover crops was promoted and evaluated. Sweetpotato yields after winter cover crops and under conventional or conservational tillage were comparable and in some instances were superior to the conventional fallow treatment. Insect damage was similar among cover crops except for crimson clover which tended to be slightly higher at the research station. Participating farmers in Arkansas and Mississippi have gained knowledge on sustainable production systems and three growers in Mississippi have adopted winter cover crops. The information generated was presented and discussed with farmers through field days and presentations at grower’s meetings. Results were also presented at the National Sweetpotato Collaborators Group meeting and ASHS annual meetings.

    Project objectives:

    1. Evaluate sustainable ground management strategies to improve sweetpotato production in a sustainable production system. 2. Develop sweetpotato planting strategies including planting method and type of planting material to increase production efficiency and reduce costs. 3. Promote adoption of sustainable sweetpotato production systems through farmer participation in on-farm research and demonstrations trials, workshops and publications.

    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.