Field studies were conducted in 2011 and 2012 at the Horticultural Crops Research Station near Clinton, NC, to determine ‘Covington' sweetpotato tolerance to S-metolachlor rate and application timing. Treatments were a factorial arrangement of four S-metolachlor rates (0, 1.1, 2.2, or 3.4 kg ai ha−1) and six application timings (0, 2, 5, 7, 9, or 14 d after transplanting [DAP]). Immediately following application, 1.9 cm of irrigation was applied to individual plots. Sweetpotato injury was minimal for all treatments (≤ 10%). No. 1 grade sweetpotato yield displayed a negative linear response to S-metolachlor rate, and decreased from 25,110 to 20,100 kg ha−1 as S-metolachlor rate increased from 0 to 3.4 kg ha−1. Conversely, no. 1 sweetpotato yield displayed a positive linear response to S-metolachlor application timing and increased from 19,670 to 27,090 kg ha−1 as timing progressed from 0 to 14 DAP. Total marketable sweetpotato yield displayed a quadratic response to both S-metolachlor application rate and timing. Total marketable yield decreased from 44,950 to 30,690 kg ha−1 as S-metolachlor rate increased from 0 to 3.4 kg ha−1. Total marketable yield increased from 37,800 to 45,780 kg ha−1 as application timing was delayed from 0 to 14 DAP. At 1.1 kg ha−1
S-metolachlor, sweetpotato storage root length to width ratio displayed a quadratic relationship to application timing and increased from 1.87 to 2.23 for applications made 0 to 14 DAP. At 2.2 kg ha−1 of S-metolachlor, sweetpotato length to width ratio displayed a quadratic response to application timing, increased from 1.57 to 2.09 for 0 to 10 DAP, and decreased slightly from 2.09 to 2.03 for 10 to 14 DAP. Application timing did not influence length to width ratio of sweetpotato storage roots for those plots treated with S-metolachlor at either 0 or 3.4 kg ha−1.