Whole Leaf Tobacco

Effects of Stand Loss, Planting Date and Repant Method on Yield and Quality

Knucklehead

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"Research was conducted at one location in 2003 and two locations in 2004 and 2005 to evaluate the effects of stand
loss, planting date, and replanting method on flue-cured tobacco yield and quality. Stand loss treatments included a
10%, 20%, 30%, and 40% stand loss at two and four weeks after transplanting (WAT). In recent years, early season
infections by Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) have caused significant stand losses in North Carolina, so an additional
treatment was included to simulate the effects of plant loss to tomato spotted wilt. Simulated losses consisted of a 10%,
10%, and 20% stand loss at 3, 4, and 5 weeks after transplanting, respectively. Planting date treatments included
planting at the normal transplanting date and at 2, 3, 4, and 5 weeks after the normal transplanting date. To evaluate the
effects of replanting method, tobacco was replanted at 2 or 4 weeks after normal replanting on an existing row ridge, a
rebedded row ridge, and a tilled and rebedded row ridge. Due to excessive rainfall, stand loss and planting date had no
effect on yield or quality in 2003. In 2004, the TSW stand loss simulation reduced yield at one location, but no differences
were observed in other treatments. In 2005, yield and value were consistently reduced with stand losses of 20% or
greater 4WAT at both locations, but results were less consistent when stand losses occurred 2 WAT. Delaying
transplanting by 5 weeks at one location, by 4or 5 weeks at two locations, and by 2 or more weeks at one location,
reduced yield but did not affect quality. Replanting treatments had lower yields compared to the respective delayed
transplanting date in 2003, but there were no affects on quality. Yield and quality were not consistently affected by
replanting method in 2004 or 2005 when compared to the respective delay in transplanting. General conclusions and
recommendations for growers to manage stand losses from TSW or other causes are not clear. Inconsistent affects
observed across years in our experiments were primarily attributed to variability across growing seasons. However,
the environmental variability observed in these experiments is typical of tobacco producing areas of the United States.
Because stand losses from TSW are gradual, it is likely that by the time growers reach the levels of stand loss that
significantly reduce tobacco yield, the yield loss associated with delayed planting would prohibit replanting from being a
viable management option."
 
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