April 5, 1999 | By: Mark Eclov

changes the current regulation governing the amount of chlorine in bulk tobacco fertilizers.

The regulation will help reduce the cost of bulk tobacco fertilizer by allowing some substitution of muriate of potash in the place of sulfate of potash while prohibiting the application of more than 50 pounds of chlorine per acre. The ruling went into effect immediately.

"Last year this regulation was enacted to compensate for low supplies of potassium sulfate," said David Terry, assistant director and fertilizer program coordinator for Ag Regulatory Services in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.

"This year the regulation will help reduce the cost of bulk fertilizer. Muriate of potash normally costs about a third the price of sulfate of potash," added Terry. "The key is to be sure that no more than 100 pounds of muriate of potash are applied per acre."

"By maintaining the low level of chlorine applied to the tobacco crop, we not only reduce the cost of fertilizer but also help maintain the high quality of Kentucky Burley tobacco," said Terry.

"If there is too much chloride in the leaf, you get fat stems and it takes longer to cure," said Ken Wells, Extension agronomist in the UK College of Agriculture. "Cured leaf with excessive chloride levels have poor burn characteristics for cigarette manufacturing."

The change only applies to bulk fertilizer sold or represented for field crop tobacco.

The maximum chlorine (CL) guarantee should indicate 50 pounds per acre. The guarantee is to be prominently displayed on the invoice or shipping document that accompanies bulk sales.

The invoice or shipping document must state the rate of application expressed in pounds per acre of the blended fertilizer.

Bagged tobacco fertilizers are exempted from this emergency regulation and shall continue to be guaranteed not to exceed two and a half percent chlorine.


Writer: Mark Eclov

Source: David Terry