50th TWC, Tob. Work. Conf., 2022, abstr. 23

Developing nitrogen and potassium fertilizer recommendations for cigar wrapper tobacco in North Carolina

SHORT M.M.; VANN M.C.; CHEEK J.A.; MACHACEK J.L.; WHITLEY D.S.
North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA

Cigar wrapper tobacco is a new crop to North Carolina, and research-based fertilizer recommendations are needed to assist farmers with commercial production. Nitrogen (N) and potassium (K) rate trials were conducted in four locations across North Carolina in 2021. Nitrogen application rates of 0, 90, 179, 269, 359, and 448 kg/ha were split-applied as 28% UAN, and the effects of these variable rates on yield and quality were evaluated. In a separate trial, rates of 0, 56, 112, 168, 224, 280, and 336 kg K2O/ha were applied as potassium sulfate, and the effects of these variable rates on yield and quality were evaluated. Preliminary data from one growing season showed that higher N and K2O rates produced higher N and K concentrations in the leaf tissue, respectively, especially later in the season. Additionally, preliminary data from Coastal Plain and Piedmont growing environments suggest that the optimal N rate to maximize yield is around 175 kg/ha. The K2O rates we evaluated did not affect yield in the same production regions; however, this may be due to high initial K levels within those soil systems prior to transplanting (131 and 229 kg K/ha, respectively). Further research will be carried out during the 2022 growing season. (Reprinted with permission)