Since the late 1970's, farmers in the Wheatley Community of Owen county have reported seeing potassium (K) deficiency on tobacco during the growing season. Most of them had been following University of Kentucky fertilizer recommendations for burley production. Analyses of cured leaf samples from one such crop in 1980 confirmed K deficiency. It was decided that the problem warranted conducting some field experiments in order to define the problem and hopefully develop a solution. Consequently, we located a field on the Harold Malcomb farm near Wheatly, that tested low in soil K and designed a field experiment with the objectives of (1) testing the effectiveness of UK soil test recommendations for potash, (2) testing K rates applied pre-plant, sidedressed, and in combination, and (3) since soil Zinc (Zn) levels were low, we also decided to test for a tobacco yield response to fertilizer Zn. Subsequently, K studies were conducted in different fields of the Malcomb farm during 1981, 1984, 1985, 1986, and i987, and in a field on the Steve Simpson farm near New Columbus in 1986. The following report summarizes what we learned.

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