Marowa Et Al

Marowa et al

Greener Journal of Agricultural Sciences Vol. 5 (1), pp. 001-013, February 2015.

 ISSN: 2276-7770 

Research Paper

Manuscript Number: 091614361

DOI: http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2015.1.091614361

Effect
of Leaf Priming Removal Level and Fertilization Rate on Yield of Tobacco in
Zimbabwe

 

Marowa Prince1, Mtaita T. A.1*
and Rukuni D.2

 

1Africa University, P O Box 1320, Mutare, Zimbabwe

2Tobacco Research Board, Harare, Zimbabwe

 

*Corresponding Author Email: tamtaita @
africau. edu
 

Abstract


Tobacco
(Nicotiana tabacum L.) is one of
Zimbabwe’s most valuable crop. It accounts for about 26 % agricultural gross
domestic product and 61 % of agricultural exports. It is therefore important to
work towards continuously improving its yield and quality. Leaf priming removal
could improve the yield and quality of flue-cured tobacco. A field experiment
was carried out at Kutsaga Research Station to investigate the possibility of
improving yield and quality of cured leaf by removing the lower leaves
(primings) and applying additional nitrogen to the remaining leaves. The
experiment was laid out as a split plot experiment in a randomized complete
block design with three replications. A plant spacing of 1.2 m between rows and
0.56 m within rows was used. All recommended agronomic practices in flue-cured
tobacco production were observed except that 0, 2, 4 and 6 lowest leaves were
removed and discarded at 6 weeks after planting. A supplementary ammonium
nitrate side dressing was applied at topping at a rate of 0, 5, 10 and 25 kg
N/ha. The removal of 4 leaves plus the addition of 10 kg N/ha at topping
resulted in a 22.42 % increase in income above that obtained from the control.
However, removal of 4 leaves plus excessive amounts of N (25 kg/ha) resulted in
very large leaves but the saleable yield was lower than that from the control
or other plots with the same priming removal level plus less additional N. The
addition of 25 kg N/ha when only 2 leaves were removed produced the highest
saleable yield and recorded 19.67 % yield increase above the control. Addition
of 10kg N/ha when 4 leaves were removed resulted in 19.04 % yield increase above
the control. The latter however had a better grade index. It was also noted
that the removal of 4 leaves plus an extra 10 kg N/ha at topping and the
removal of 2 leaves plus an additional 25 kg N/ha at topping resulted in a
substantial increase of the saleable yield for all reaping groups. Removal of priming leaves plus the addition of
supplementary nitrogen did not increase leaf expansion. It did not lower yields
but it improved the quality of the cured leaf and this resulted in better
income basing on the gross margin of the expanded project.  It is therefore concluded that the removal of
the lowest 4 leaves plus an addition of an extra 10 kg N/ha neither lowers
yield nor quality but brings with it income benefits to the farmer.

 

Keywords: Tobacco, Tobacco
Yield, Leaf Priming Removal.


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Cite this
Article
: Marowa P, Mtaita TA, Rukuni D, 2015.
Effect of Leaf Priming
Removal Level and Fertilization Rate on Yield of Tobacco in Zimbabwe. Greener
Journal of Agricultural Sciences, 5(1):001-013,
http://doi.org/10.15580/GJAS.2015.1.091614361.

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