Tobacco is typically grown on an annual basis on farms across the world. Following germination in either cold frames or hotbeds, the tobacco is moved to the field where it will remain until it reaches full maturity. It requires a warm climate with fertile, well-drained soil in order to thrive as a crop. In the year 2000, there were approximately 4.2 million hectares of tobacco being cultivated all over the world, which resulted in the production of over seven million tonnes of tobacco.
Area and production of Tobacco
The states of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar are the most important for the cultivation of tobacco in India. The state of Gujarat is responsible for 45 percent of the total land area (0.13 million ha) and 30 percent of the total production (0.16 M t). In addition, productivity in Gujarat is the highest (1,700 kg ha-1), followed by productivity in Andhra Pradesh.
Soil and climate for Tobacco
Tobacco is grown in India at a time of year when the average temperature is between 20 and 27 degrees Celsius. When grown as a rainfed crop, it requires a minimum of approximately 500 millimeters of well-distributed rainfall throughout the crop growing season. It is not typically cultivated in areas with annual precipitation totals that are higher than 1200 millimeters. Rainfall is undesirable during the maturity stage of the crop because it washes away the gums and resins that are on the leaf. During the growing season, India receives very little rain, which results in all varieties of tobacco, with the exception of the cigar, filter and binder tobaccos, and chewing tobacco grown in southern India.
Sandier to loamier red soils are used for the cultivation of cigar and binder tobaccos in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore, Tiruchirapalli, and Madurai districts. It requires a significantly increased quantity of nitrogen, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Bidi tobacco thrives in light to medium loams that originate from old alluvium the most. Red soils that drain well are ideal for cultivating chewing tobacco in Tamil Nadu, specifically in the districts of Coimbatore, Tanjore, Salem, and Madurai.
Tillage for Tobacco
In general, preparatory tillage is virtually universal for all types of tobacco. However, the number of times you should turn the soil depends on the physical characteristics of the soil you are working with. It is also common practice to dig the field using cow bars as soon as possible after the harvest of the crop that came before it. It is necessary to resort to the manual removal of weeds during the active monsoon season in order to keep the field free of weeds. This is necessary because ploughing of heavy soils is impractical.
Fertilization and spraying for Tobacco
- 1) Before sowing: basal dose is given at this stage- FYM 6-7 t/acre, Urea 35kg/acre, DAP 20kg/acre, MOP 20kg/acre. This should be done by the method of soil application.
- 2) Seed treatment: this is done at the time of sowing. Utkarsh Microbes is given 3gm/kg.
- 3) After germination: this step takes place at the 5 leaves stage, and is done by the method of drenching. The products used are Utkarsh Microbes 1kg/acre and Utkarsh Vamoz-L 1 litre/acre. 20 days after germination, Utkarsh Horse Power 7 litre/acre, Utkarsh Roots Multiplier 1 litre/acre, and Utkarsh Stress Free 1 litre/acre should be applied by the method of drenching.
- 4) Leafy growth: 25 days after germination, by the method of spraying, Utkarsh Prime All 2gm/litre and Utkarsh Stress Free 2ml/litre should be given. After 35 days of germination, Utkarsh Combi-2 2gm/litre, and Utkarsh Stress Free 2ml/litre should be applied by the method of spraying.
- 5) Leaf expansion stage: after 55-60 days of germination, by the method of spraying, Utkarsh Bhim Plus5ml/litre, F enhancer 1gm/litre, and 0.0.50 7gm/litre should be given.
Harvesting of Tobacco
- The various types of tobacco each require a unique set of harvesting procedures and maturity indicators. Priming and stalk cut are the two primary techniques that are used during the harvesting process.
- 1) Priming: In tobacco plants, the lower leaves are typically the first to mature, followed by the leaves further up the plant in sequentially ascending order. The harvest is accomplished by stripping the mature plants of a few of their leaves at regular intervals. Priming is the name given to this particular method of harvesting. Priming is the process that is used to harvest tobacco for use in cigarette and wrapper production.
- 2) Stalk cut method: Tobaccos used in cigars, cheroots, chewing tobacco, bidis, and hookahs are all harvested using the stalk cut method. Using a sickle, the plants are cut off close to the ground using this technique, and then they are typically left out in the field overnight to wilt. The subsequent handling is different depending on the type of curing done. When the greatest number of leaves have matured, you should begin harvesting the plant.
Curing for Tobacco
Curing is a slow process of a starvation phenomenon that produces dried leaf that has suitable physical and chemical properties. These properties are attained by utilizing various ventilation, temperature, and humidity control regimes. Curing is also known as “drying.” Even though the leaf is inactive from a biological perspective once the curing process is complete, there is still a possibility that some active enzymes remain in the leaf. The newly harvested leaf can be broken down into three distinct parts, any one of which may undergo a transformation during the curing process. There are three different classes: the static group, the dynamic group, and the nitrogen group.
The nitrogen group is where some of the changes take place, but the static group is more stable and is made up of things like crude fiber, cellulose, hemicellulose, pectins, and tannins, among other things. Proteins, soluble nitrogen compounds (such as ammonia, nitrates, and amides), alkaloids, and nitrates are among the components. Sugars, starches, and organic acids make up the dynamic group, which is responsible for the significant changes that take place.
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