ARET, Annual Report 2001, p. 113-18.

Effects of alternative compositions of basal dressing fertilisers on the growth and quality of cured tobacco

ARET, Agricultural Research and Extension Trust, Lilongwe, Malawi
The objectives of this trial were to determine the effects of using 23:21:0:4S, as a basal fertiliser in combination with other straight fertilisers on yield and quality of burley tobacco and to establish the rate at which this fertiliser should be applied in order to supply the required nutrients. This trial was conducted at Kandiya and Mwimba Research stations using Banket A-1 burley tobacco variety in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with four replicates. The gross plot size was 6 ridges spaced at 120 cm apart. The inter-plant distance was 60 cm with 12 plants on each ridge. Only two ridges per plot contributed to the net plot. Planting stations were fumigated with EDB for nematode control. During the 2000/2001 season, various combinations of 23:21:0:4S with double Superphosphate and/or sulphate of Potash used as a basal dressing fertilisers produced cured tobacco yields, which were comparable to those obtained in plots where Super D (the control), was used as basal fertiliser. Nicotine content of the cured leaf varied significantly with varying rates of potassium as K2O applied. However, levels of reducing sugars did not differ between treatments. The effect of applied potassium on the potassium content of the cured leaf might have been masked by the high soil residual potassium content of the plot where this trial was sited. An attempt would therefore be made to site this trial on a piece of land very deficient in residual potassium.