06/30/06 — Tobacco in need of nitrogen, experts say

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Tobacco in need of nitrogen, experts say

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 30, 2006 1:47 PM

The county's recent rains could require farmers to add more fertilizer to crops. Tobacco growers will need to add more nitrogen to head off yellowing in fields, crop agent Kevin Johnson of Cooperative Extension said. Once the crop yellows, it can take up to two weeks before lower leaves turn green again.

Johnson said 10-15 pounds of nitrogen per acre is adequate. In sandy soil, adding a pound of potassium per pound of nitrogen is recommended.

Foliar uptake of nitrogen and potassium is low, so sprays are not adequate for the amount of nutrients needed. In this case, the best way to get these nutrients into the plant is through the roots, Johnson said. Growers can broadcast or band dry products such as 15.5-0-0, 15-0-14, 13-0-14, 8-0-11, or they can band liquids such as 24S, 30 percent, and CN-9 to the row middles with drop nozzles.

If potassium is needed and application of a dry product is not feasible, then a complete (N-P-K) liquid product may be applied to the row middles. Using this method, solution runs down the stalk and the nitrogen is taken up by the roots at the base of the plant.

For more information, growers are urged to contact Johnson at the Wayne County Cooperative Extension Service at 731-1520.