Sowing of stevia (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) in the humid tropical climate of Tabasco, México

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Josué Arcos-López
Salomé Gayosso Rodriguez
Maximiano A. Estrada-Botello
Rufo Sánchez-Hernández

Keywords

non-caloric sweetener, alternative crop, survival.

Resumen

Objective: To evaluate Stevia rebaudiana under the climatic conditions of the state of Tabasco, Mexico.


Design/Methodology/Approach: Three consecutive sowings of stevia plants were carried out for one year, progressively adapting the management and crop establishment according to the results obtained in the previous sowing. The survival percentage at 15 days after transplantation (dat) was calculated. Plant height was measured at 60 days and limitations observed in each crop cycle were recorded, as well as climatic variables.


Results: bending problems, soil splashing on the leaves, and foliar fungal diseases were recorded during the December 2019 sowing; however, 71% of the plants survived the transplant. In the April 2020 sowing, 40% of the plants survived the transplant; nevertheless, the plants showed generalized chlorosis and lack of growth, as a consequence of excessive solar radiation. Finally, in August 2020, the survival rate reached 89% and an average plant height of 20.55 cm was recorded.


Study Limitations/Implications: the rainfall that caused flooding in June and October 2020 limited the development of this research. Likewise, to determine the steviosides content and establish the quality of the harvest, the cultivation cycle must conclude.


Findings/Conclusions: Stevia can be grown in the climatic conditions of Tabasco, as long as the rainy seasons and high temperatures are avoided during the first stage of cultivation. Water is a limiting factor that causes phytopathological problems and the death of the plant.

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