Submitted to: Tobacco Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: There is increasing attention being given towards irrigating crops with drip tubes. Limited amounts of field tobacco are being grown with the aid of drip tubes. A project was undertaken to explore the feasibility of using drip tube for irrigating tobacco plant beds, while covers are still in place. Prior to removal of the cover for climatic reasons, irrigation of the plant beds with sprinklers may require the covers to be temporarily removed and then replaced, requiring both time and effort. Should irrigation be applied by drip tubes while the covers are in place then the benefits of having cover are maintained during that period. As a result of an experiment there is evidence to suggest that drip tube can satisfactorily be used for providing water to plants growing on a bed, underneath transparent polyethylene covers.
Technical Abstract: Tobacco transplants were grown from broadcast seed on beds, with water being supplied through drip tubes. In comparison with traditional sprinkler irrigation for out-door transplant beds, drip irrigation provided water to plants while plastic covers were still in place. By eliminating the need for removing covers while irrigating the microclimate, all the benefits of having the cover in place are maintained and there are savings in both time and effort. A satisfactory drip tube design was determined to be tubes spaced 0.38 m apart across the plant bed and positioned in grooves on the surface of the soil. Some leaching of nutrients occurred in the immediate vicinity of the tube and was compensated for by applying granular N fertilizer in that vicinity. There were no significant differences in yield, value, or chemical analysis of tobacco grown from transplants where drip irrigation had been used in comparison with tobacco grown for transplants where sprinkler irrigation had been used. It is concluded fro this study that drip irrigation may be considered an alternative to sprinkler irrigation for tobacco transplant production.