FLORENCE, S.C. – For the first time in several years, flue-cured tobacco official variety trials (OVTs) are being grown in South Carolina this season.
Growers can learn more about how this and additional Clemson University tobacco research will benefit them by attending the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service Tobacco Field Day at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center (REC), 2200 Pocket Road, Darlington, SC 29532, on June 24.
The field day is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Participants will travel to the tobacco research field plot at 9:30 a.m. The field day is slated to end at 11:30 a.m. There is no charge, but registration is required. Go to https://forms.gle/2DbLaK1sStdv1FFE9 to register.
Matt Inman, row crop agronomist and Extension tobacco specialist based at the Pee Dee REC and assistant professor for the Clemson Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, said presentations will center around variety development and diseases. No flue-cured tobacco official variety trials have been conducted since 2015.
“Being able to grow flue-cured tobacco OVTs will allow growers to have local data to help them decide what varieties will best suit their management practices, disease pressure and leaf buyer needs,” Inman said.
Tobacco transplanting typically starts in early April and harvesting begins in July and/or August in South Carolina.
In addition to learning about OVTs, participants also will hear about research being done on Granville wilt (bacterial wilt). This disease is the most destructive, yield-limiting soil-borne disease of flue-cured tobacco in South Carolina. To help determine how bacterial wilt can be better managed, research is being conducted in the bacterial wilt disease nursery at the Pee Dee REC.
Participants also will learn about several herbicide studies being conducted to generate data and provide growers and stakeholders with answers to common production questions. In addition, the field day also will include discussions related to biological fungicides and transplant water fertilizers being evaluated for efficacy and best use practices.
Other field day topics include updates to the tobacco production economic budgets, preliminary nematode work in tobacco and water quality surveys being conducted to stress the importance of water quality in greenhouse and field production, as well as during pesticide applications.
The S.C. Tobacco Board is scheduled to meet after lunch.
For information about the field day or tobacco research at the Pee Dee REC, contact Matt Inman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture shows tobacco is one of the top 10 crops grown in South Carolina. The United States Department of Agriculture reports almost 8.5 million pounds of tobacco were harvested from 6,000 acres for a production value of more than $16 million in the state in 2020. Acreage is expected to be closer to 10,000 acres this year.