New cultivars for the Italian Burley industry
Lack of information about cultivar adaptation to specific areas is a hindrance to the progress of the tobacco industry. To provide such information for Italian Burley areas, an on-farm variety trial is underway at Vitulazio, in the province of Caserta, where fifteen lines are being tested in two replicates with cultural practices customary for the type. We report here the first year results. Cured tobacco was visually graded on a decimal scale and chemical and physical traits were determined on plot composites of three leaf positions. An equivalent yield of maximum value was obtained by multiplying yield with a summary quality index, synthesised by geometrically averaging, after normalising to 0:1 scale, the ratio of nicotine to total and nitric N, the proportion of leaf lamina, the combustibility index and the visual assessment score. The lines could be grouped in terms of earliness and yield, which were negatively correlated: late flowering lines (PM34, START AR, 737AR, FB82) yielded considerably more than early flowering ones (FB3117 e FB3119) and intermediate ones (all the others). Compared in terms of equivalent yield the late flowering lines START AR and PM34 were clearly superior, with yields around 65 t ha-1, while the two early flowering ones were markedly inferior, with yields around 3.6 t ha-1.