Members of the Kentucky Tobacco Research Board will be briefed later today on efforts to lessen cancer-causing compounds in burley and dark leaf. Tobacco Extension Specialist Andy Bailey is scheduled to present on work involving the use of fertilizers on tobacco plants.
Ling Yuan is director of the Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center. He said research has shown use of a sulfate-based product can lower carcinogen levels.
“Depends on what kind of fertilizers you use. Mainly it’s comparing potassium chloride versus potassium sulfate. The two types of fertilizers that can be used for tobacco growth,” noted Yuan.
Yuan said studies have indicated about a 30% reduction in tobacco specific nitrosamines, which comprise one of the most important groups of carcinogens in tobacco products. The research center director added more research is warranted since this type of fertilizer could adversely affect leaf quality.
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