SENSITIVITY OF SWEET POTATO GENOTYPES TO CLOMAZONE AND WEED INTERFERENCE

ABSTRACT Sweet potato is a promising crop in Brazil due to its potential for bioenergy production. However, little information on adequate chemical weed control is found for this crop. Thus, the objective of this work was to evaluate the effect of clomazone on 20 genotypes of sweet potato and the sensitivity of these materials to weed interference. A field experiment was conducted using an experimental design with four blocks arranged in split-plots. The sweet potato genotypes Brazlândia-Branca, Cariru-Vermelha, Princesa, Tomba-Carro-1 and UFVJM (01, 05, 06, 07, 08, 10, 14, 23, 26, 30, 35, 42, 43, 46, 48 and 49) were grown for 180 days under three weed managements (soils treated with clomazone, mechanically weeded and with no weed control). The plots consisted of the weed control methods and the subplots consisted of the sweet potato genotypes. Phytotoxicity, branch growth and yield were evaluated. Plants grown with no weed interference had larger branch length. The highest yields were found in clomazone-treated soils. Weed interference reduced 81 to 99.7% of the yield. The less susceptible genotypes to weed interference were UFVJM07, UFVJM10 and UFVJM35, and the most sensitive were Princesa and UFVJM01. The root yield of plants under chemical weed control was similar to or greater than those with mechanical weed control in 17 of the 20 genotypes evaluated.