The Sunday Mail
Topping and sucker management significantly stimulates growth and improves the quality of tobacco leaf, Kutsaga Research has said.
Topping refers to the removal of the terminal bud or inflorescence of the tobacco plant to inhibit flowering of the crop, while suckering refers to the removal of any suckers during the growth of the crop.
“This procedure significantly increases the weight, size and uniformity of the tobacco leaf,” said Kutsaga Research in a statement.
“It increases crop yield, improves grade quality, increases reducing sugars, nitrogen content as well as nicotine content in tobacco-cured leaf.
“These properties augment flavour and quality of the golden leaf.”
Zimbabwe is currently in the tobacco planting season, which typically runs from October to early December.
The agricultural research hub said sucker control also reduces aphid and whitefly pest build-up on the crop, as extra foliage for breeding will have been discarded.
Kutsaga urged farmers to do sucker control through manual hand-suckering or chemical control using permitted suckercides.