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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Relations Between Fe in Irrigation Water and Leaf Quality of Cigar Wrapper Tobacco1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 63 No. 6, p. 938-940
    Received: May 10, 1971

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  1. F. M. Rhoads2



Damage, appearing to result from irrigation water, reduced the value of cigar wrapper tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.) from about $4.00 per pound to $0.25 in 1969. Dark leaf tips and dark spots over the entire leaf rendered damaged leaves unfit for wrapper use. Leaf analysis indicated that Fe and Mn were associated with the dark coloration.

A study was made in 1970 to determine the effect of Fe in irrigation water on quality of cured wrapper tobacco leaves and to find a potential source of Fe contamination of irrigation ponds. Two forms of Fe were added to irrigation water applied to field plots, and Fe content of leaves, leaf quality, and leaf tensile strength were used to evaluate the effects. Soil and organic material were collected from a shallow area of a “problem” pond, after it had been drained, for use in laboratory studies.

Damaged tobacco, similar to that observed in commercial fields, was produced in field plots in 1970 when Fe was added to the irrigation water. Laboratory incubation studies showed that pond sediments were a potential source of Fe buildup in irrigation water. Leaf strength decreased with increasing content of Fe in the tissue. A visible coating was produced on green leaves in the greenhouse when 5 and 10 ppm Fe in water were sprayed on the plants.

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