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


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


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


(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.



Collins, W.K., Hawks, S.N. Jr., and Kittrell, B.U.1969.
Effects of plant spacing and height of topping at two nitrogen rates on some
agronomic-economic characteristics on bright tobacco.Tob. Sci. 13:150-52.


Collins, W. K. andHawks, S.N., Jr. 1993.Principles of
Flue-Cured Tobacco Production.North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. pp.
23 – 98.


Court, W.A. and Hendel, J.G. 1989. Influence of removing
lower leaves and topping height on agronomic and chemical characteristics of
flue-cured tobacco. Tob. Sci. 33:15-17.


Currin, R.E. and Pitner, J.B. 1980. Agronomic and chemical
effects of removing the four bottom from flue-cured tobacco at various stages
of growth.South Carolina Agric. Exp. Stat. Bull. 628 pp. 1-4


Edwards, P.B. 2005. Effect of management practices on grade
distribution in flue-cured tobacco.M.Sc.Thesis, North Caroline State


FAO, 1999. Agriculture, trade and food security: Issues and
options in the WTO negotiations from the perspective of developing countries –
Report on papers of a FAO symposium held in Geneva. Geneva.


Fisher, P. 1999. Cigarette manufacture and
blending.346-52.In Tobacco Production, Chemistry and Technology (D.L. Davis and
M.T. Nielson, Ed.).Blackwell Science, Malden, MA.


Flower, K.C. 1999. Field Practices pp 76-97. In: Layton
Davis and Mark Nielson. Tobacco Production, Chemistry and Technology.
Blackwell, London.


Hao, J. and Chao Yang, C. 2001.Effects of topping and leaves
remained on the yield and quality of flue-cured tobacco variety K326.Journal of
Fujian Agricultural University.2001-2003.


Khodabandeh, N. (2006). Agronomy of Industrial plants.Tehran
University Press


Nyamapfene, K.W. 1991. Soils of
Zimbabwe.FirstEdition.Nehanda Publishers (Pvt.) Ltd., Harare, Zimbabwe, pp:


North Carolina. 2013. Flue-cured tobacco production hand
book. Extension Service. North Caroline Inc.


Pandeya, R.S. Rosa, N. Wite, F.H. and Elliot, J.M. 2001.
Rapid estimation, of some flue-cured tobacco chemical characteristics by infrared–reflectance
spectroscopy.Tobacco science. 22:27-31.


Parker, R.G. 2009. Evaluation of nitrogen sources and rates
on yield and quality of modern flue-cured tobacco cultivars. DPhil
Dissertation. North Caroline State University.


Peterson, L.A. 1960. Growth and quality of tobacco as
affected by nitrogen uptake.Tob. Sci. 3:24-26.


Qi, Y.C., Ma, L., Wang, F.F. and Liu, W.Q. 2011.Construction
and analysis of roots suppression subtraction hybridization cDNA library after
tobacco topping.ScientiaAgriculturaSinica. 44(7): 1331-1337.


Reed, T.D. Johnson, C.S. Semtner, P.J. and Wilkinson, C.A.
2012.Flue-cured tobacco production guide. In cooperation with the Virginia
Bright Flue-Cured Tobacco Board. Pp: 140.


Roton, C. Wiernik, A., Wahlberg, I. and Vidal, B, 2005.
Factors influencing the formation of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in french
air-cured tobaccos in trials and at the farm level. BeitragezurTabakforschung
International/Contributions to Tobacco Research. 21: 305-320.


Sazgar, P. 1991. General chemistry of tobacco.Tirtash
Tobacco Research Institute. pp. 42-50.


Singh, K.D., Tripathi, S.N. and Pandeya, A.K, 2000.
Influence of topping on yield, physical leaf quality parameters and economic
return in chewing tobacco. Tobacco Research. 1999. P: 61.


Stocks, G.R. 1991.Lower leaf harvesting options and leaf
position effects on some agronomic, chemical and mineral characteristics of
flue-cured tobacco.Ph.D. Thesis, University of Florida.


TRB, 2010. Handbook of recommendation. Tobacco Research
Board, Harare


Tso, T.C. 1990. Production, Physiology and Biochemistry of
Tobacco Plants. IDEALS, Inc., Beltsville, MA.


UN – Zimbabwe, 2010. Reviewing the Zimbabwean economy.


Wang, T., Wang, S., Kang, X., Tang, J., Wei, X., Peng, W.
and Guan G, 2012. Effect of phosphorus and potassium nutrition on nicotine and
nutrient accumulation during topping stage of Nicotianatabacum L. Journal of
Food, Agriculture and Environment. 10 (2): 732-740.


Wolf, F.A. and Gross, P.M. 1937. A comparative study of
structural responses induced by topping and suckering. Bull. Torrey Botan.
Club. 64: 117-31.


Zimbabwe Tobacco Association. 2013. History of flue-cured



Cite this
: 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,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *