Leaf Drop (Boron Deficiency ?)

In recent years some producers have complained about leaf drop in their tobacco fields.  The symptoms are not unlike
that seem where skunks try to climb plants looking for hornworms.  However, instead of the leaves broken at the stalk,
they are broken more than an inch and sometimes several inches from the stalk.  Although the exact cause has yet to be
determined, boron is the most likely culprit.  High soil pH is known to influence boron uptake, but the usual symptoms of
bud damage is not always apparent in these cases.  However, a few bud damage symptoms have been seen (see bottom
picture).  Some affected areas are know for boron deficiency in other crops and in others lime applications and higher soil
pH has been established.  Boron applications are not recommended at this time due to the small amount of boron needed
by tobacco plants and the potential for toxicity.  

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