Close-Grown Tobacco: Agronomic Characteristics, Total Alkaloid, and Sugar Content1
- C. R. Campbell,
- J. F. Chaplin,
- W. H. Johnson and
- G. S. Miner2
The development of synthetic smoking materials has prompted researchers to consider non-conventional production methods as a means of producing a low cost, flue-cured tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) material which might be used in the manufacture of cigarettes. In order to evaluate yield potential, chemical content, and physical characteristics of close-grown tobacco, plants were grown in the field at populations of 45,448, 90,896, and 136,344/ha with different planting designs (twin or equidistant), nitrogen levels (84, 168, 252, and 336 kg/ha), and topping regimes (topping or no topping). The soil was a Durham loamy sand (fine loamy, siliceous, thermic, Typic Hapudult). The entire plant was flue-cured and separated into lamina, midrib, and stalk for yield and chemical analysis. A wide range of yield, chemical content, and physical characteristics of the harvested material was produced by manipulating various cultural practices. Topped plants averaged 26% lamina, 12% midrib, and 62% stalk as compared to 19% lamina, 10% midrib, 54% stalk, and 17% top material for plants not topped. Yields increased progressively with N-rate through 252 kg/ha and/or increased plant population. Twin or equidistant row spacing had no effect on yield. Topping decreased whole-plant yield but increased the concentration of alkaloids and reducing sugars and the lamina: stalk ratio. Total alkaloids ranged from 0.18% for wholeplant nontopped tobacco receiving 84 kg N/ha to 0.84% for topped plants receiving 336 kg N/ha. Total reducing sugars averaged 8.0 for nontopped and 9.6% for topped plants.
Results indicate that high yields can be obtained by utilizing the close-grown production system and harvesting the entire plant. Desirable chemical content and physical characteristics of close-grown tobacco might be obtained by manipulating cultural practices.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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