Palauan Field Trials: Hawaii

Table Taro Production Data
D. Sato
Conditions: Upland
Island: Pepeekeo, Hawaii
Elevation: 300 ft.
Irrigation: Rainfed
Date Planted: 5/22/98
Date Harvested: Chinese: 12/8/98  Palauan Taro: 1/12/99
Plot Size: 4.5 X 12
Replication: 3
Plant Spacing: 1.5 X 4.5 ft.

Soil Analysis Begin End
pH 5.8 5.9
P ppm 54 64
K ppm 268 264
Ca ppm 458 728
Mg ppm 92 202

Fertility nutrients applied by investigator. (lbs./ acre)
N  =  256   lbs./ acre
P = 60.2    lbs./ acre
K   = 199   lbs./ acre
Ca = 308   lbs./ acre
Mg = 266   lbs./ acre

Average Yield Per Corm

Average Yield Per Acre
Yield data included the estimated weight of the main corms per acre, average main corm weight, and the number of keikis per main plant. Palau-10 gave the highest corm yield, followed by Palau-20 and Palau-1. In comparison, the Chinese taro had the lowest corm yield. A leaf aphid infestation occurred in late July. Aphid feeding damage may have resulted in the very low yields for the Chinese taro.

Average Keiki Per Plant

Variety Yield (Lbs)/ Plant Yield (Lbs)/ Acre Keiki/ Plant
P1 2.93 18,889 4.17
P8 2.87 17,746 6.38
P10 3.37 20,838 7.21
P13 2.71 15,326 4.79
P20 3.28 19,427 2.92
Chinese 2.55 8,353  

Good vs. damaged leaves were averaged for each taro variety on October 13, 1998. After a rainy period in which damaged leaves began appearing. The damage to the leaves were mainly the result of Phytophthora Leaf Blight. Good leaves were viewed as marketable leaves for using in lau lau while damage meant unmarketable for use as lau lau leaves. P- 10 and P-8 had the highest amount of marketable leaves.

Variety Good Leaves Damaged Leaves
P1 2.21 1.58
P8 3.17 1.13
P10 3.33 1.21
P13 1.08 2.17
P20 2.08 1.92
Chinese 2.35 1.00

In general the Palauan taros were very resistant to the Phytophthora leaf blight and possibly foliar aphid injury and resulted in higher corm yields as compared to the Chinese taro variety. P- 1, P- 10. P-20, and P-8 were good tasting table taros but did not exhibit comparable taste qualities to the standard market variety, Lehua. Poi products made from the Palauan taros all failed at the grower and processor level in relation to color and taste. P-8 which exhibited some potential as a good leaf variety in a previous trial, failed as a chipping variety due to the acridity factor. Two wetland taro growers in Waipio plan to further propagate P- I and P-20 to further advance test these varieties in their production and market channels. Request that improved germplasm be selected and tested for market acceptance qualities.

Investigator Report