The use of nitrogen (N) fertilizer for tobacco production is necessary because (1) tobacco takes up sizable amounts of N, and (2) most soils cannot provide adequate amounts of N. Rates of fertilizer N recommended by the University of Kentucky for burley tobacco production vary based on past cropping history, and under certain conditions can be as high as 350 lbs. N/A However, since tobacco is a high value crop, and profit margins are high, farmers often apply more N than is recommended as insurance against crop losses. The perception of widespread over-application of fertilizer N has resulted in increased concern among tobacco buyers, and environmental groups. Burley tobacco farmers need to be aware of these concerns.
Pearce, Robert C. and Palmer, Gary K., "Should Burley Tobacco Farmers be Concerned About High Rates of Nitrogen Fertilizers?" (1995). Soil Science News and Views. 79.