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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Burley 21

dkh2

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#1
The biggest burley 21 is all ready developing buds it's only 26 inches tall
They were transplanted outside on May 10th and the seed was sprouting March 16th so there 100 days old today But shouldn't they be a lot taller ?
Like 4 foot before they start to develop flower buds ?
 

dkh2

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#2
There not any where near a real flower yet but isn't it still a little short in height ?
None of the other plants are flowering yet in that patch.
I have 4 plants in the back yard that were a seed test from December and they started flowering about
a month ago but there three months older and I figured that was from age. Those 4 are Virginia Bright Leaf and Virginia Gold
but there age was around 150 days when they started
 

dkh2

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#3
Bent Stalk
It's always windy here and it keeps my plants moving.
But this morning I noticed the tallest plant was bent the opposite of the wind direction
and above where it's curved it is aiming it self the other direction to right itself.
If any thing it should be bent in the opposite manner
Is there any bugs or disease that might cause this ?

 

FmGrowit

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#5
I've seen that many times before. Once the stalk is bent, it never really recovers, but the new growth will try to grow straight up. Once, I had about 30-40 plants knocked over in big wind storms. They were already six feet tall and by the time I noticed, there was about four feet of new growth growing up on the horizontal plants...along with about 10 suckers almost the same height as the main stem.
 

dkh2

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#6
Yesterday I watched that plant as the sun went down and the darker it got the more the plant
leaned towards the direction of Sunrise,the bend in the stalk was just as much as before.
Now this morning at 9:30 AM it's standing straight up again????
I estimate the plants are getting 11.5 hours of direct sunlight daily at the present time of year.
Some of the soil enhancing stuff left over from last year for the Giant Pumpkins Might have something to do
with the plants activity. Biogrow- Endo Plus,Humic Acid 86,Seaweed powder,Worm Castings Horse Manure and Compost
The first two are root enhancing stuff that allows the roots to process more nutrients or so they say.
All I know is that last years pumpkin leaves were gigantic
 

dkh2

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#7
Not to sound like a broken record ....But
That Tobacco plant is 36 inches this morning and the Sunflower behind it is 40 inches tall. They should be the same height
in a couple days at this rate. Now I also have two other Sunflower plants, Same type,came out of the same seed package
and planted on the same day only difference is no soil additives and 15 feet away along the same fence there 22 inches tall

close up bent stalk and sunflower plant 6-28-2011


other two sunflower plants 6-28-2011
 

BigBonner

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#8
My question is . Are you saving that plant for seed ?

In my burley I would have topped that plant a few days ago .When plants go to flower their growing is ending . Topping Burley before the flower shoots out like that will make the leaves larger and heavier .All that extra stalk growth will go to the leaves .
 

SmokesAhoy

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#9
where do you top anyway? right below the bud or just above the leaf?
 

BigBonner

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#12
Don't top the ones you have for seed .

After topping the plant the stalk won't grow much at all but the leaves will tripple in size . The leaf is what you are after not the stalk .

After topping suckers will start you will have to apply sucker control or hand pick them as they grow . Burley tobacco after topping should be stalk cut and hung .

Tobacco is usually cut three to four weeks after topping .
 

DrBob

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#13
I thought I was smart and let the tobacco grow to tall height! I was proud of my 12'high plants 3 years ago.. I know better now.
Dr.Bob
 

deluxestogie

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#16
This is from the 2009-2010 Kentucky & Tennessee Tobacco Production Guide, issued jointly by The University of TN Institute of Agriculture (PB 1782) and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture (ID-160).

Topping Burley Tobacco

Bloom Stage
Research has shown that topping burley tobacco at 10 to
25 percent bloom generally provides the best yield and quality.
This means that 10 to 25 percent of the plants have one open
flower. Bloom stage at topping may also depend on the length
of time the tobacco will remain in the field before harvest. Yield
of burley tobacco topped at 75 percent bloom may be similar
or better than tobacco topped at 10 to 25 percent bloom if harvested
at three weeks after topping, whereas tobacco topped to
10 to 25 percent bloom and harvested six weeks after topping
may have improved yield but lower quality.
Late maturing varieties like TN 86LC and KT 200LC tend
to respond well to bud topping, while bud topping may reduce
yields in other varieties. Specific varieties may need early topping
to produce their best quality. Varieties like TN 86 tend to
produce flashy, poorer quality tobacco. Other varieties may also
have a tendency to produce a lighter, thinner bodied tobacco.
These varieties are more likely to develop better quality if
topped early. Early topping will not affect yields if other factors
such as harvest time after topping remain constant.

Leaf Number
Optimum leaf number for burley tobacco at topping is generally
22 to 24 leaves. Several marketing contracts now encourage
that there be a true tip grade (T), and topping to this height
allows the plant to produce a true tip. Yield effects of topping
height are also dependent on timing of harvest. Tobacco topped
to 24 leaves tends to yield slightly more than tobacco topped
to 20 leaves. Too many extra leaves increases stripping labor
and may increase the incidence of houseburn in old barns that
have less space between tiers. Extra leaves beyond 24 leaves do
not necessarily mean extra yield. Therefore, extra leaves usually
mean smaller leaves. Root development dictates leaf production
potential. Topping to the right number of leaves may require a
slightly later topping time in order to produce tips. However,
delays beyond 75 percent bloom will be counterproductive. A
balance must be found between extra labor required to produce
those leaves and the yield per acre and premium for tips at the
market.


Topping Dark Tobacco

Bloom Stage
Dark tobacco can generally be topped anytime between the
elongated bud stage and 50 percent bloom without causing a
significant impact on yield. Dark tobacco crops can be more
irregular than burley crops with wide variations in bloom stage
at the time of topping. It is not uncommon for some plants to
have open flowers while other plants are at the early bud or even
pre-bud stage. For this reason, it may be advisable to make two
toppings. Attempting to make one topping on irregular crops
lowers the yield potential of smaller plants. Increased yield
incurred by allowing smaller plants to catch up usually compensates
for extra labor required in making two toppings.

Leaf Number
Dark tobacco should be topped to 16 to 18 leaves. Topping
to this height maximizes yield potential and allows a distinct
characterization of lug, second, and leaf grades that are desired
by the industry. Lowering topping to 12 to 14 leaves does make
tobacco easier to handle on the stick during housing and may
cure better in older barns with narrow tier spacing but also
results in mostly lug and leaf with little or no true seconds.
Plants topped to 12 to 14 leaves do compensate somewhat by
producing larger leaves, but yield is still reduced by 200 lb/A
or more compared to tobacco topped to 16 to 18 leaves.
Although this doesn't seem directly applicable to a small number of plants in a back yard, it does give a rough estimate of the impact of the timing. If you search for this pub on-line, you can locate various versions of the document (by name or number).

Bob
 

dkh2

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#17
I need to know what 75 percent bloom means ?
If you look at the picture the pipe that goes along the top of the fence
thats at 54 inches high so about half way between the top of the Sunflower
and that pipe is 48 inches. The other two plants are budding are at 24 inches tall
or about knee high I mean........ man if I top them at such a short height there ain't gonna be nothing to smoke

New Picture the plant is almost 40 inches tall the only one this tall by the way

 
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deluxestogie

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#18
"...at 10 to 25 percent bloom.... This means that 10 to 25 percent of the plants have one open flower."

For 75% bloom, you look out at your acres of tobacco and 75% of the plants have at least one open flower. Again, this applies to a field of tobacco, rather than an individual plant.

I guess I would be inclined to top a short plant just below the bud stems, as early as you can distinguish that there are no more leaves. It doesn't matter how tall it is, but you can try to get as many reasonable-size leaves as it will give you.

If you harvest whole-plant, then the tips won't have much time to grow. If you leaf prime, then you can allow the tips to grow as big as they'll get.

Bob
 

BigBonner

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#19
dkh2

I top several acres each year . When I top my tobacco I prefer little to no blooms showing at all . this will make the leaves bigger especially the top leaves .Bud topping is best I top my plants to a 10 or bigger inch leaf . If the plants are short and still show no bloom while the rest of the row of tobacco is ready to top I top the short plants to . They will have some of the best leaves .

Example . A field may be 5.5 feet tall with 20 to 26 leaves per stalk .This field may turn out a average of 2500 pounds per acre while I may have another field that is a little shorter and less leaves . It will most usually turn out the same pounds as the larger tobacco . This is why we top before it blooms out . The growth that goes to the flower and stalk to grow the flower will go to the leaf left on the stalk .

Tobacco in full bloom and topped tall will have smaller leaves .When tobacco goes to bloom there is no way of getting them to grow taller unless you let one sucker grow at the top .This will take the gorwth from the leaves on the plant now .

Most Mature Burley plants will have 16 to 22 leaves . 14 x L8 will have around 16 to 19 leaves each plant while 204 will have 19 to 22 leaves per plant . Weight per acre will be fairly well the same pounds per acre .Leaf count is after the tobacco has been topped .

Your plant is blooming prematurely . This sometimes happens in my burley . I will find a few plants that bloom way before the others do .

I was wondering Did you start these plants inside and how old are they ? This may be why they bloomed early .
 
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BigBonner

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#20
Heres a copy and paste . Delete it if you need to Fmgrowit

I hope this helps .


TOPPING, SUCKER CONTROL AND HARVEST TIME FOR BURLEY TOBACCO

Gary Palmer



Topping

One key to achieving the quality of burley tobacco demanded in today's market is proper topping time. Old University of Kentucky publications promoted late topping because early topping produced heavy bodied, darker tobacco. Now good quality heavier bodied, darker tobacco is in greater demand than thinner, buff colored tobacco.

Once blooming begins plant energy moves to the bloom for seed production at the expense of leaf production. Removing the bloom will redirect energy to leaf production.

For most burley tobacco varieties topping when only 10 to 25% of the plants in a field have one flower open will produce the best results. Producers often misinterpret the 10 to 25% recommendation as the percentage of plants in full bloom. A field of burley tobacco that has only 10 to 25% of its plants with one flower open will look early to farmers that are use to topping late. Late maturing varieties like TN 86 and KY 8959 tend to respond well to bud topping. Bud topping may reduce yields in other varieties.

Certain varieties like TN 86 tend to produce flashy, poorer quality tobacco. Other varieties may also have a tendency to produce a lighter, thinner bodied tobacco. These varieties are more likely to develop better quality if topped early.

Early topping will not affect yields if other factors such as harvest time after topping remain constant. In addition to improvements in quality, topping at early bloom reduces sucker pressure. This is especially true for L8 hybrids that initiate sucker growth early. Since sucker development will be slight or non-existent at an early bloom stage, sucker control will be easier. Many sucker control problems are due to failure to remove suckers that have already developed beyond the size that can be control by sucker control chemicals. Because the stalk is tender and immature at this stage, topping time decreases. A clean break can mean less hollow stalk.

An early topping schedule can be an important component in an aphid management program. Removing the top before aphid populations peak could prevent excessive buildup and prevent yield loss. Aphids removed with the top can not move back up the plant.



Leaf Number

To achieve the optimum results from early topping, top down to the right number of leaves for the variety being used. Producers have a tendency to leave too many leaves. Extra leaves increase stripping labor and may increase the incidence of houseburn in old barns that have less space between tiers. Many producers think that extra leaves mean extra yield. These extra leaves not only take away from leaves lower on the stalk, but fail to develop properly.

Most varieties need only 20 leaves to produce good quality and yields. KY 14 X L8 and other L8 hybrids need only 18 leaves whereas TN 86 requires 22. Once topping height has been determined, top all plants to a similar leaf size. In many cases, discarding large leaves seems wasteful, but it is necessary to achieve optimum results. Even though it may be hard for some producers to bring themselves to throw away seemingly good leaves, most leaf spread will occur after topping. Growth of remaining leaves will more than compensate for those removed.



Sucker Control

Three types of chemical sprays for controlling sucker growth on tobacco plants are: 1) Systemic - absorbed by plants and move inside the plant to active growth sites, 2) Contact - not absorbed by plants requiring direct contact with suckers _3) Local systemic - absorbed locally by suckers, but requires contact with the sucker. Application methods for the three types of chemicals differ.

Systemic chemicals

The systemic chemicals contain maleic hydrazide (MH) as the active ingredient. Maleic hydrazide used at the proper rate does not kill suckers but prevents additional growth. Plants topped to a leaf that is no smaller than 6 inches long should spread normally.

When to Use

Topping when 10 to 25% of plants in the field h ave at least one flower open produces the best results. Remove all suckers present when topping. Although application of a systemic chemical immediately after topping performs best, but other combinations of topping and chemical applications may work as well. Applications followed by topping within two days produces satisfactory results.

How to Apply

When applying MH, use labeled rates (1.5 to 2 gal per acre) added to water to achieve a total spray volume of 30 to 50 gal/acre. New information favors a coarse spray over a fine spray for best results. For sprayers designed to run 4 to 5 mph, TG-5, CE-5 or equivalent full cone nozzles spaced 20 inches apart with a pressure of 20 to 25 PSI provide good coverage. For sprayers designed to run slower, 3 to 3.5 mph, use TG-3, CE-3 or equivalent nozzles at the same pressure. It is not necessary to spray the entire plant when using a systemic chemical.

Growers should be careful not to exceed the label recommendation of maleic hydrazide. Excessive residues on the cured leaf have in the past discouraged foreign buyers of burley tobacco. If rain occurs within 12 hours after spraying, reapplication is necessary. However, after 6 hours use a half rate only. Inspected plants daily for sucker regrowth. If suckers are green and growing, remove large suckers and re-spray.

Tobacco plants that have been growing under drought conditions absorb maleic hydrazide more slowly and, consequently, sucker control may be less effective than in a normal season. Also, poor sucker control may occur because of poor plant coverage if improper nozzles or less than 30 gallons of solution per acre are used. Applications made on bright sunny days increase the chance of chemical burn when the temperature is above 90oF.

Use of a contact chemical

The contact-type sucker control chemicals contain "fatty" alcohols (FA) as the active ingredient. Apply as a coarse spray so that it runs down the stalk and contacts the young sucker buds. With power equipment use a three-nozzle arrangement with TG3 and TG5 full cone tips or equivalent. Pressure should not exceed 20-25 psi. Direct the center nozzle (TG5) straight down and the side nozzles (TG3) toward the upper part of the plant. With a backpack or knapsack type sprayer, direct a coarse spray toward the upper end of the stalk. It is not necessary to cut off the spray between plants. To reduce leaf damage, keep the nozzles of either type of sprayer at least 12 inches above the upper leaves while spraying.

Two gallons of chemical in 50 gallons of total spray solution are sufficient for one acre of tobacco. Apply contact-type chemical immediately before or after topping or within 2 days after topping. Remove suckers longer than one inch at topping. Contact chemicals work quickly to kill suckers killing suckers within an hour if no rainfall occurs.

Precautions for using contact sucker control chemicals

Poor sucker control often occurs if plants are not in an upright position, because the chemical will not come in contact with all the sucker buds on a leaning or crooked plant. Straighten any leaning plants prior to application.

During prolonged periods of high temperature and humidity, contact chemicals can cause some loss of lower leaves because of stem rot. Higher-than-recommended rates increase the problem.

Do not mix contact sprays with insecticides for application.

Use of a local systemic

Two local systemic sucker control chemicals are currently available, Prime+ and Butralin. When applied alone application to the top of the plant is necessary. As they runs down the stalk and into each leaf axil systemic control occurs.

Prime+ should be applied when most tobacco plants are in the early flowering stage. That's important because the number and size of suckers should be small. If application is made too early, it may result in upper leaf distortion. Suckers more than one inch long must be removed at final topping.

For best results, this chemical should be hand applied to each individual plant. This can be accomplished by three different methods (dropline, backpack and jug). This chemical can also be applied with power equipment, using a course spray nozzle arrangement similar to that used for the contacts. However, sucker control may be less than that achieved by the hand method.

Dropline - This involves equipping the sprayer (trailer, tractor mounted, or hi-boy) with droplines for each row. About six to ten feet of pressure hose, equipped with a cutoff valve and a large volume nozzle is attached to each sprayer outlet. One person operates each dropline, following the sprayer down the row, treating plants that have reached the elongation bud stage.

Backpack - This method is similar to the dropline with regards to application methods. The backpack consists of a spray tank and a wand attachment with a nozzle body that can be adjusted or fitted with a course spray nozzle. The wand attachment allows the spray to be directed to top of each plant. Small acreage growers prefer this or the jug method of application.

Jug - This method involves adding the chemical to a gallon jug and pouring on about 1/2 ounce of the chemical per plant.

Rate - one gallon of Prime+ should be mixed in 49 gallons of water, regardless of the application method. An equivalent amount for the jug method is 2.5 ounces of Prime+ in one gallon of water. If a hand application method is used, 25 gallon of spray solution per acre should be used. With power equipment, a volume of 50 gal/acre is necessary. Due to the shorter growth habits of dark tobacco, when using power equipment the volume of solution can be reduced to 30 gal/acre.

Note - Sucker escapes may occur when using Prime+. MH escapes tend to grow slowly from leaf axils low on the plant, and remain concealed. Prime+ escapes, however, grow only from axils that did not receive adequate treatment, and will grow unchecked until removed. Correct application of Prime+ will result in only scattered escapes that are highly visible. Removing escapes within two weeks after application is recommended.



Handling Uneven Crops

Proper topping time is difficult to judge in an uneven crops. One option is to top only those plants that are ready and treat with a contact or Prime+ systemic sucker control chemical. Later, as the rest of the crop matures, the remainder of the plants should be topped and treated. If maleic hydrazide (MH) is used, it can be broadcast over the entire field.

A two stage topping program may not improve yield and quality enough to justify the extra cost. A better choice may be to top the entire crop as the good tobacco matures. Tobacco plants that are delayed in maturity should be bud topped to a 10 to 12 inch leaf. Many producers tend to let the good tobacco pass its peak trying to improve poor tobacco. Improvements in the poorer tobacco seldom are large enough to compensate for the loss to the good tobacco.



Timing Harvest Dates

Many producers still think that the longer the tobacco is left in the field, the larger the yield. While this is true within the first few weeks after topping, it continues only to a point. Early maturing varieties like KY 14 X L8 tend to reach this point at approximately 3 to 4 weeks after topping. Most other varieties need to be left 4 weeks, but some late maturing varieties like TN 86 and KY 8959 can stand for 5 weeks without much decline. By this time burley tobacco has had time to mature. Tobacco left for longer periods of time will start to decline and diseases that normally do not affect healthy tobacco may begin to damage the crop. Tests conducted to evaluate tobacco buyers preference for tobacco harvested at different stages after topping, revealed a greater acceptance for tobacco harvested at 3 to 4 weeks after topping. Tobacco left for 5 to 6 weeks was judged to be of poor quality and yields had drop.
 
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