48th TWC, Tob. Work. Conf., 2018, abstr. 84

Influence of Quadris fungicide and foliar fertilizer brands on the holdability of flue-cured tobacco

North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services-Agronomic Division, Raleigh NC USA

Over the past decade, tobacco farming in North Carolina has transitioned from many growers with relatively small acreage to fewer growers with more acreage. As a result, growers have experimented with various products in hopes of promoting holdability of tobacco. This practice would allow growers to extend the harvest season so tobacco can be harvested in a timely manner while maintaining leaf yield and quality. As of this writing, holdability of tobacco through the use of Quadris fungicide and various foliar fertilizer brands has been inconsistent. In 2016 and 2017, research was conducted at the at the Cunningham Research Station to evaluate the effects of Quadris fungicide and various foliar fertilizer brands on the holdability of tobacco. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block consisting of three replications. Nine different fungicide and foliar fertilizer combinations were applied after the second priming. The nine different combinations were as follows: Quadris, Quadris+GroStim, Quadris+Awaken, Quadris+Coron, Quadris+Rescue, GroStim, Awaken, Coron, and Rescue. Applications were made with a backpack sprayer containing a three nozzle configuration delivering 25 gallons of solution per acre. Baseline SPAD meter readings were taken prior to application to quantify leaf color. Measurements were derived from 10 random plants per plot (5 per row). Additional SPAD measurements were taken 7, 14, and 21 days after treatment (DAT). Lower stalk positions (X and C) were harvested by the cooperator prior to application, therefore; not included in the yield analysis. Tobacco leaf yield (B and T only), quality, and value were quantified after final harvest. Time of harvest of all experimental units was determined by the researchers based upon crop maturity. Results indicated that at 7 DAT statistical differences were observed between treatments, however; agronomic impacts appeared minimal. No differences were observed before application, 14 DAT, and 21 DAT with respect to SPAD readings. The following treatments resulted in a statistical yield response when compared to the check: Coron, Quadris+GroStim, Coron+Quadris, Rescue, and Quadris. A yield response was noted with materials containing the highest urea nitrogen content. Preliminary results suggest that investigation of urea-based products may be needed to further validate these findings. In contrast, holdability was not improved from any material application when compared to the check. (Reprinted with permission)