Tobacco Applied With Durabloom Produces Orange Colored Leaves
Our second visit to the farm of Victor Valledor in Brgy. Labting, San Juan, Ilocos Sur confirmed our earlier observation on the effects of Durabloom bio-organic fertilizer on flue-cured tobacco.
Vic, an agriculture graduate of the Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU), is a contract grower of Trans Manila Inc. and his farm is just opposite the Barangay Demo Farm of the provincial government of Ilocos Sur.
In 1 hectare planted with flue-cured tobacco, Vic applied 20 bags Durabloom as basal fertilizer and side dressed 9,000 sq. m. with the full inorganic fertilizer recommendation consisting of the following: 4 bags 18-46-0, 4 bags 13-0-46, 3 bags 7-1423, 2 bags 0-0-50, and 1 bag 21-0-0 (ammonium sulfate). In 1,000 sq. m., however, he reduced the inorganic fertilizer by 20 percent.
Transplanting was done on two separate dates – November 15 and November 29. Topping was done 55 days after transplanting.
The area planted on November 15 had been primed four times already, while the area planted on November 29 had been primed twice only. In both fields, the size of the leaves was much bigger than tobacco plants elsewhere that were not applied with Durabloom. And there were more leaves, 16-18 per plant.
What amazed us more was the color of the cured leaves-orange, which is the desired color, with some spots.
Even as Vic had not yet primed half of the leaves, 90 percent of the cured leaves are orange-colored with some spots. Only 10 percent would be classified as reject. On the average, the largest leaves are 24 inches or 2 feet long. I would like to imagine that the percentage of orange-colored cured leaves would turn out to be higher. Experience has shown that leaves in the initial priming are normally of lower quality than those in succeeding priming.
For farmers who are still in flue-cured tobacco production, this is something to watch. Undoubtedly, a much higher percentage of orange-colored cured leaves with some spots would mean more and higher income.