Cassava ( Manihot esculenta
) is a minor crop in South Africa that has had periodic rises in interest since it was first cultivated in the country. Interest in the crop has waned over the years, but the crop is now being used as a source of high quality starch, which has again stimulated interest in its use as a commercial crop. No cassava is cultivated in the Bathurst area despite the apparently suitable climatic conditions. This study was conducted in order to evaluate the potential of this area for dryland cassava production. Eight varieties (I92/0326, I90/00330, I93/0170, TMS60444, TMS90853, ThaiI, Aunty Alice and Tokunbo) were planted at a density of 8 300 plants ha-1
using tissue cultured plants. Harvesting took place at 6, 15 and 21 months after planting (MAP), with each harvest date being established as a separate block. Tuber yields 6 MAP ranged from 8 to 22 t ha-1
, with I93/0170 producing the highest yield. After 15 months, the highest yield was around 34 t ha-1
produced by TMS90853, although no significant (P>0.05) differences were noted between varieties at this stage. TMS60444 produced a yield of 76 t ha-1
21 MAP. Only three varieties showed significant (P<0.05) increases in yields from 6 to 15 months, while yields of seven varieties increased significantly (P<0.05) between 15 and 21 months. This was attributed to the cold winter period falling between the 6 and 15 month harvest period. The Bathurst region is suitable for cassava production, but variety selection should be based upon the growing period envisaged.