CORESTA Meeting, Agronomy/Phytopathology, Bucharest, 2003, A 06

New research concerning the production of tobacco seedlings in Romania using the float system with trays

MILITARU D.C.; PAUNESCU A.D.; DIMA A.; COMAN E.
Central Research Station for Tobacco Culture and Industrialization, Bucharest, Romania.

The float system with trays was first tested in Romania in 1992, knowing its numerous advantages regarding the quality of the tobacco seedlings produced and the shortening of the obtaining period. After 1997, systematic research was conducted at the experimental fields of the Central Research Station for Tobacco Growing and Industrialization - Bucharest, aiming towards the use of this system on a larger scale for producing the tobacco seedlings in our country and its adaptation to the specific ecological conditions. During these years, the research considered numerous aspects connected with this system, which are: the composition of the nutritive substrate and of the hydroponic solution, methods of sowing, the influence of the compaction degree of the nutritive substrate upon the development of spiral roots, the use of the supplementary fertilisation, the efficiency of the float system in producing the seedlings.

Presently, due to the system of tobacco growing in Romania, i.e. on small plots using the traditional methods, the float system is used only in the experimental and production fields of the National Society "Romanian Tobacco". However, the experience and skill accumulated over the past 10 years confirm the value of this system for the conditions in our country, and the perspective of its expansion along with the development of average and large sized farms for tobacco growing are proving a reality.

The main conclusions connected with the use of this system are the following:

  • the emergence and the rate of plantlet growth is more intense compared with the traditional system, recording 40 - 45 days from sowing to seedling ready for transplantation, compared with 55 - 60 days in the classic system;
  • the use of the best quality peat is compulsory for success, if not, the development of the seedling can be totally compromised;
  • the need of labour is very low, compared with the classic system, eliminating expensive and fastidious work, such as weeding, watering, spacing;
  • the percent of useful seedling is around 90%, of very good quality, hardened and with a thick stem;
  • the percent of striking roots in the field after transplantation is very high, over 95%, eliminating the completion of the empty spots, and the plants tolerate more easily the shock of transplantation, start growing faster and assure higher yields, both in quality and quantity.