Topping Height of High Leaf Number Potential Varieties

Grants and Contracts Details


The Council for Burley Tobacco funded this project in 2015 and 2016; we are applying for funding for a third year to consolidate the information from the first two and confirm the test results in seasons with different weather patterns. The 2015 test showed it probable that a small change in the topping and harvest management of the new, tall KT varieties could markedly increase the ease of handling the crop post-harvest without jeopardizing yield. The 2016 crop has not yet been stripped. The newer burley hybrids are considered "late-maturing" because they only produce flowers once they have a high number of leaves. If these hybrids are topped at the same stage of flowering as the earlier maturing varieties, they could have as many as six leaves more than the older varieties that are topped to 22 - 24 leaves. There are potentially several advantages of topping these high leaf number hybrids earlier, when leaves 22 - 24 are 6-8" long: curing during warmer weather, stripping costs reduced, shorter stalks are easier to handle after cutting, sucker control would be more effective, the crop will be less prone to lodging in high wind and there would be less insect pressure and need for insecticide. A major advantage would be the possibility of chemical topping that would further reduce labor costs.
Effective start/end date4/1/173/31/18


  • Council for Burley Tobacco: $9,500.00


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