What is in this article?:
• Before the rains, Kentucky tobacco was sufferubg nutrient deficiencies directly related to poor root development.
• Rains and the sudden development of severe spotting after the heavy rains has raised concerns that a new and explosive leaf disease is occurring.
AFTER heavy rains left the crop crippled, Kentuck tobacco specialists are concerned that a new and explosive leaf disease is occurring in the state.
Massive amounts of rain has led to a number of problems for Kentucky burley tobacco, such as drowning, leaf scald and black shank, as we would expect.
We have also begun to see rapid development of spotting on lower leaves, weather flecking and in many cases severe scorching of bottom leaves.
Before the rains came, we were already seeing foliar symptoms of deficiencies of nutrients like nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, which we suspected were directly related to poor root development resulting from generally wet soil conditions that had prevailed during the early season.
The presence of symptoms before the rains and the sudden development of severe spotting after the heavy rains have raised concerns that a new and explosive leaf disease is occurring.
However, even though some of the symptomology is similar to what we would see with angular leaf spot (which, in fact, is present in some areas); we have examined numerous samples and are sure that this problem is not caused by a pathogen. Instead, what we are seeing is the result of an interaction between stressed tobacco and the environment.