Masters Theses


Robert G. Ary

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Agricultural Extension

Major Professor

Cecil E. Carter Jr.

Committee Members

Gilbert Rhodes, Donald Fowlkes, Lewis Dickson


The major purpose of this study was to characterize Tennessee dark fired tobacco producers, their farm operations, their use of recommended production practices, and the number of contacts they had with Extension. Data were obtained through personal interviews by County Extension Agents with randomly selected dark fired tobacco producers in six counties where production is important. Information was obtained about the general production characteristics of dark fired tobacco producers, their use of recommended production and marketing practices in 1983 and the number of contacts they had with Extension Agents over a 12-month period. The data were coded and punched on computer cards and computations were made by the University of Tennessee Computing Center. The Chi Square statistical test was used to determine relationships between the dependent and independent variables, with the 0.05 probability level indicating significance. Major findings included the following; 1. Seventy percent of the dark fired tobacco producers had a high school education or less and 63 percent were full-time farmers. 2. Fifty-five percent of producers grew 4 acres or more of dark fired tobacco in 1983 and almost 60 percent leased additional acreage. 3. Dark fired tobacco producers averaged 7.4 Extension contacts during the 12-month period prior to the study. They attended 0.6 tobacco meetings, made 2.6 visits to the Extension office, telephoned the Extension office 2.8 times, and received 1.3 visits from the Extension Agent during those 12 months. 4. Seventeen percent of producers reported no Extension contacts during the 12 months studied. 5. Producers growing 5 acres or more had higher yields per acre than smaller producers. 6. One third of the producers surveyed grew dark fired tobacco varieties other than those recommended by Extension. 7. Yields of dark fired tobacco increased as the percent of land fertilized by soil test increased. 8. Fifty-two percent of producers did not lime any of their tobacco land by soil test. 9. Fifty-nine percent of producers applied nitrogen at the recommended rate per acre. 10. The percent of producers applying 160-200 pounds of nitrogen per acre increased as the number of Extension contacts increased. 11. Thirty-four percent of producers had none of their tobacco land in permanent sod within the last 3 years. 12. Forty-one percent of producers surveyed had black shank present on their farm, while only 30 percent of producers used a black shank resistant variety. 13. Producers topping their tobacco in the button and early flower stages had higher yields per acre than those topping later than early flower. 14. Producers harvesting their crop when 50 percent or less was ripe had lower yields per acre than producers harvesting when more than 50 percent of tobacco was ripe. 15. Seventy percent of producers sold their tobacco while it was in the barn. Recommendations were also made.

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