AbstractThe data herein reported on two experiments carried on at Gurabo, P.R., during 1960 and 1961 show that there are no significant differences in yields when topping Selección Olor, a filler-type tobacco, at various heights. Thus since suckering in low and intermediate topping will increase the cost of production without compensation either in yield or in cash value of the crop, high topping or no topping at all seems advisable. As the development of leaves after topping depends upon various factors such as variety, weather conditions, fertilizing levels, planting distance, and leaf maturity, additional research is necessary to determine how these factors interact with topping effects. It is obvious that topping increases leaf size and thickness, but the changes recorded in our experiments were not sufficient to compensate for the leaves lost with topping. Although the chemical properties determining leaf quality are improved by topping, farmers do not receive any benefit, since tobacco grading is mainly done on a basis of physical properties of leaves rather than on an objective chemical basis. Low or intermediate topping is not advisable when growing Selección Olor, although it might be favorable for short or intermediate varieties.
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