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5 > Image 5 of Kentucky farm and home science, special report 1, July 1955

Part of Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station

does not mean that it will be necessary for farmers to from continuous tobacco Helds to a system of breaking aim at low yields. The very highest quality of burley their tobacco land out of sod each year or at least i tobacco can be grown on land broken out of sod, with every other year, without piling on more fertilizer yields of around 1,800 pounds per acre. Fertility can than the crop needs, the result will be a gradual build- _ * be kept at a good level on the sodland by proper use ing up of burley stocks of better smoking quality and e of grasses and legumes, t`ei~t11tzeis, and ground lime- lower nicotine content. Such stocks of burley will per- ' * stone. In plots at the Kentucky Agricultural Experi- mit manufacturers who now are loaded up with burley ment Station where these practices have been followed, of undesirable quality to mix in the undesirable it is not unusual to produce burley all of which is of stocks gradually and work them off. lt will also allow Y good smoking grade, and moderate in nicotine. Such the ntanufacturers to gradually use the stocks held by _ tobacco, while not highest in yield, returns tnore profit the pools without great injury to cigarette quality V per acre than any other grown at the Experiment such as will occur if manufacturers must use the ob- Station. l<`armers can do the same. jectionable tobacco in too large quantities at any one [11l1C. Eh 9|'0W| must did lt will take time to save the situation and regain the a lf individual growers, itt large numbers, will take it good reputation and demand for burley tobaceobut y upon themselves to go after the kind of quality II1Elllll if the industry is to be saved this is the only way out facturers want, and to change as soon as they can that now seems practical. Q aid burley breeding program 4 By R. B. Griflith, Agronomy Department \Vl1at the burley tobacco industry needs today, in known that very little of the nornicotine but muclt of tlte opinion of many people, is a quick and simple test the nicotine in tobacco is carried in the smoke. - for nicotine that would be practical for testing crops The new method uses a "paper chromatography" of individual farmers on the market fioor. Only with technique for separating the nicotine front other, , such a test could buyers be sure they were bidding 011 closely related compounds. In the procedure, small the kind of tobacco they Wtillf. lf they could be sure drops of sample extract are placed on treated hlter of this, their wants would probably be reflected in the paper and through suitable manipulation of the paper prices they would pay. l~`armers, in turn, would have the different substances in the sample extract are E {lll inmtediate incentive to produce the kind of burley separated from each other. The different substances wanted by the manufacturers. become visible and appear as colored spots on the A "quitk nicotine test" developed at the Kentucky paper. ln a carefully made test, the spot of color for Station during the past year is not yet rapid enough the nicotine appears in one position on the paper, and simple enough to be practical for testing individ while the spot for nornicotine, a closely related com tial crops on a wide scale on the market floorsbut it pound, appears in another. The size of the spot in is a vast improvement over previously used cumber- each case depends upon the amount of nicotine or some methods of analyzing tobacco for nicotine, and nortticotine in the sample. By comparing samples of has been very useful in the tobacco variety breeding the saute tobacco plants before and after curing, it is + program. easy to see which plants have the characteristic of _ So far. the new method has been used chiefiy in changing nicotine to nornicotine during the curing "* finding lines or strains of tobacco within the existing process. i burley varieties which have the characteristic of chang- During the past year a great many suth analyses Q_ ing part of their nicotine to "nornicotine" during the were made. The plants showing the change of nico- curing process. This search was made in the hope that tine to nornicotine during curing were classified as r a milder burley could be developed, as it was already "conversion plants." ln the breeding program, crosses Y AGRICULTURAL Exrizmxriznr STAT1oN 5 i