Relatively large amounts (1500 to 3000 lbs per acre) of inorganic fertilizers are commonly broadcast preplant in the production of burley tobacco. Such high rates of fertilizer increase both the salt content of the soil solution and soil acidity, often causing reduced stands, manganese toxicity, plant molybdenum and calcium deficiencies, delayed growth and maturity, and reduced yield and quality of cured leaf. Manganese toxicity alone is thought to cost growers 30-40 million dollars each year from yield loss and the costs associated with growing extra acreage the following year to make up their quota¥ Improved fertilizer management systems are needed to increase early plant growth and fertilizer use efficiency. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of banding fertilizer 10 to 12 inches to the side of the row, as compared to preplant broadcast applications, on concentration of manganese and growth of burley tobacco during the early season.

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