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Tobacco production manual using drip irrigation (Natafim)

Abstract: Drip irrigation in tobacco is not new. In the early 1990’s, drip irrigation was successfully used in Flue Cured tobacco in both South Carolina and Georgia. Yield increases have been obtained ranging from 20% - 40% at the same time improving the quality with a grade improvement of 10-20%. In the last couple of years, drip irrigation has caught on in Kentucky and Tennessee with growers who experienced dry weather when the tobacco plants were knee high. They placed a thinwall dripline (8 mil) in between 2 rows of tobacco. The row spacing varies from region to region with 40 inches in Kentucky and 46 inches in Ontario, Canada. Since supply lines and submains and the driplines are above ground, such a system can be quickly installed and removed. On a medium (loam) or heavy (clay) soil, the water spreads evenly between the beds, and the root system of the plants, already established, can easily access the water. On sandy soils, the driplines must be installed at planting time and each row requires a dripline. Under drip the tobacco plant forms a dense fibrous root system.

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