Much of the Georgia tobacco crop received some needed rainfall during the last two weeks. This resulted in rapid growth and very tender leaves. Recent temperatures and bright sunshine have combined to cause minor speckling of upper expanding leaves on rapidly growing and tender plants. Now as much of the crop is again water deficient tobacco is under moisture stress and is wilting after mid-day.
Contact fatty alcohols should not be applied to wilted tobacco. Even when contact fatty alcohols have been applied at minimum concentrations and at 20-22 psi and during the mid-morning time period, tender top leaves have been speckled as the fatty alcohols have caused similar damage as that intended for the small emerging suckers.
Growers are encouraged to start these applications as the dew dries on sunny days and to stop spray soon after mid-day to avoid excessive damage. In some cases it may be necessary to reduce the mix rate of contact by one quart or more per 50 gallon mix as the sun heats up temperatures to the low- to mid-90s.
For more management strategies, visit the latest University of Georgia Tobacco Guide.