Submitted to: Tobacco Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 19, 1994
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: As center-pivot irrigation systems become more available so do the options of using them to apply chemicals (chemigation). Liquid fertilizer may be applied to tobacco through irrigation systems instead of using granular fertilizer. Furthermore, fertilizer may be applied when needed by the crop (metered). An experiment was designed to explore the feasibility of applying liquid nitrogen fertilizer through a center pivot and comparing the tobacco grown under that method with tobacco grown in a conventional manner. Tobacco grown using metered liquid nitrogen was of similar quality and quantity to tobacco grown using granular fertilizer.
Flue-cured tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L. cv. McNair 944) was fertilized with liquid nitrogen (N) either in two applications or metered through a center-pivot irrigation system during the first nine weeks after transplanting. This tobacco was compared to tobacco fertilized with conventional granular fertilizer applied in two bands near the plants. Total N for the control plots and treatments with split applications of N were applied at 34 kg/ha N. Whereas the metered liquid fertilizer was applied at 34, 48 and 68 kg/ha N. Tobacco grown using liquid N was comparable in both yield and quality to tobacco grown using granular fertilizer. Even though the results were inconsistent among years, none of the treatment practices produced tobacco that was different from tobacco produced by any other treatment. This implies that the sytems were comparable for the production of tobacco and that chemigation of N fertilizer should be considered a viable management option.