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Control of the Sweet Potatoweevil in Puerto Rico

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The most serious impediment to the development of a commercial, large-scale sweet potato industry in Puerto Rico is the sweet potatoweevil, Cylas formicarius elegantulus (Sum.). Until a few months ago, sweet potato tubers originating in Puerto Rico could not legally be imported into the United States (Federal Horticultural Board Quarantine No. 30), although other fruits and vegetables from Puerto Rico entered under inspection and certification. Even for local consumption, the public was forced to accept the very poorest and most indigestible kind of tubers because they were least liable to be weevil-infested. The fine flavored, orange or pink fleshed, non-fibrous varieties of sweet potato which are most desirable for human food could not be grown commercially because they are so greatly preferred by the weevils. And of even the inferior varieties, infestation becomes more pronounced the longer they are left unharvested in the field: the subsistence farmer's primitive method of storage. Unpromising and indeed almost hopeless as the situation seemed, the need for additional commercial crops, to, in part at least, take the place of sugar-cane, made imperative the solution of this problem.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 1955

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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