Commercial Farmers Union of Zimbabwe

*** The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union. ***

Recommended tobacco transplanting agronomic practices

Recommended tobacco transplanting agronomic practices

Farmers are encouraged to transplant ideal seedlings which would have been hardened in the seedbed to prepare them for the anticipated harsh field conditions

Farmers are encouraged to transplant ideal seedlings which would have been hardened in the seedbed to prepare them for the anticipated harsh field conditions

Buhle Nkomo Correspondent
September 1 is the earliest legislative date for transplanting tobacco from the seedbed to the field.

In preparation for this date, farmers are expected to have destroyed tobacco stalks and re-growths which are hosts for pests and agents for the carryover of diseases on or before May 15.

Tobacco farmers are also encouraged to take their soil samples to Tobacco Research Board or other laboratory for soil testing as soil tests results establish soil pH as well as levels of major and minor nutrients in the soil such as Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potassium, Magnesium, Sulphur and Boron which in turn determines fertiliser to be applied in the tobacco fields.

Another critical success factor that should be achieved before transplanting tobacco plants is proper land preparation, a process which entails ploughing, disking and ridging.

Disking is done to break soil clods into a fine tilth to enhance uniform ground therefore allowing equal distribution of water.

At least five litres of water must be applied per planting station two weeks before transplanting commences. This is aimed at linking the applied water with ground water or residual moisture.

Farmers are encouraged to transplant ideal seedlings onto a piece of land that is free of weeds.

Ideal seedlings should have been hardened in the seedbed to prepare them for the anticipated harsh field conditions.

The seedlings should be pencil thick in diameter and about 15cm in length for the conventional seedbeds and 12 cm for the float tray system.

Seedlings ought to be clipped before transplanting so that evapotranspiration is minimised and to ensure they are of the same size.

Uniform seedlings should be selected to attain a uniform crop and should be erected in the planting hole whilst there is still water.

It is very important that the seedling must be firm in the planting hole and if seedlings are too long they should be planted as deep as possible to avoid goose necks.

Most importantly farmers should ensure that only seedlings which are old enough to be planted are pulled out.

They should not be allowed to come in contact with surface heat and preferably should be kept in a shed with vlei grass covering them.

Seedbeds can however be maintained until December 31, as farmers may need to do gap filling or for other reasons. Gap filling is mostly done 10 to 14 days after transplanting so that uniformity is maintained in the crop.

Tobacco growers should apply systemic aphicides and nematicides during the transplanting stage of tobacco to avoid the spread of insect transmitted diseases.

A systemic aphicide is an insecticide which is used to guard against aphids whilst a nematicide is an insecticide used to kill parasitic nematodes.

Aphicides such as Actara should be applied for plant root uptake to protect the plant from aphids for a period of six to eight weeks from transplanting time.

These are applied through inserting them in the planting hole before the water sinks ahead of planting.

Another systemic aphicide that can be applied in the planting hole is Imidacloprid so that it is integrated into the crop system for prevention against aphid attack. Aphicides help in reducing the spread of insect transmitted diseases and also guard the tobacco plant from having a bushy top.

Pesticides are applied to avoid nodules which are ground insects that chew on the roots and stem of the crop.

In addition farmers are urged to apply nematicides in a bid to fight nematodes which cause galls on the plant roots, Galls are swellings on the plant roots that inhibit the movement of water and nutrients from the soil into the plant, resulting in reduced leaf weight.

As the water in the holes sink, Compound B or Compound C fertiliser should be applied as recommended by the Tobacco Research Board.

Top dressing should be applied not too far nor too close to the plant as phosphates should be accessible as early as possible as they are not mobile in the soil.

The planting holes must be covered with dry soil soon after planting so that moisture does not get lost through evaporation.

Farmers, particularly the 20 000 plus new growers for the 2017 /18 season are encouraged to attend calendar based trainings at Tobacco Research Board or contact Tobacco Industry & Marketing Board for information on trainings held in the different tobacco growing Districts.

 For additional Information contact TIMB on telephone numbers 08677004624 /6 or 0772145166 /9 or 0279-22082 /21982 or 025-3439 or 067-24268 /29246 or 0277-2700 or 064-7280 or 0271-6772 or Toll Free Numbers 08006003 / 0731999999 / 0712832804 or Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter # timbzim or WhatsApp 0731999999 or E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Contact Us

Harare Show Grounds,
Harare, Zimbabwe.

P O Box WGT 390, Westgate, Harare, Zimbabwe.

phone  +263 4 770029 / 770057 / 770059
                   770071 / 771079

email  Email us here

Places  Find us on Google Maps

Name (*)

Invalid Input
Your Email (*)

Invalid Input

Invalid Input
Message (*)

Invalid Input
Please enter the text below
Please enter the text below
Invalid Input