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Abstract

In Puerto Rico the production of taro under upland conditions is concentrated in the central mountains of the main island. Various limitations concerning the field management were identified and documented. A research project has been conducted to obtain quantitatively based information for the improvement of the management practices for taro production under upland conditions in Puerto Rico. Experiments included evaluation for sett size, plant spacing, weed interference, and nitrogen sidedressing. Results showed that adequate yield can be obtained by using planting setts of 170 g or heavier. Plants from setts of 114 g and lighter had reduced productivity and plant dry weight. Regardless of the sett size, the use of 38.1 cm as planting distance in the row decreased yield and dry weight. Neither sett size nor plant spacing had a significant effect on the percentage of dry matter partitioning into the corm at harvest. Planting at 45.7 cm, rather than at 61.0 cm, may result in more leaf area per land area early in the crop cycle, thus reducing weed interference. There was a significant negative relationship between taro leaf area index and combined weed dry weight. Absence of nitrogen in the fertilizer tends to reduce plant dry weight, but levels of nitrogen side-dressing equivalent to 42, 96, and 138 kg/ha did not make a difference on plant dry weight or yield.

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