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Tobacco as a commercial crop has a unique place in India, as it generates a substantial amount of about Rs 23,318 crores to the national exchequer in terms of excise revenue and foreign exchange of Rs 6058 crores. Tobacco is grown under different agro-climatic conditions viz., monsoon and also in post rainy season under conserved soil moisture. It is grown under irrigated (furrow irrigation) conditions in the West Godavari and East Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh and Khammam district of Telangana to an extent of 28,000 ha. As the soils are light-textured (sands and sandy loams) in this zone, water and nutrient use efficiency are low with furrow irrigation. 

Drip fertigation with 100% RDF proved its superiority over Drip irrigation with RDF and furrow irrigation with RDF. Drip fertigation with RDF recorded increased green leaf yield by 27%, cured leaf yield by 12%, and grade index yield by 11% when compared to drip irrigation with RDF. When compared to furrow irrigation with RDF, the green leaf yield increased by 47%, cured leaf yield by 32 %, and the grade index by 28% per hectare. Drip fertigation with 80% RDF recorded yields comparable to Drip fertigation with 100% RDF and significantly higher than drip irrigation with RDF and furrow irrigation with RDF thereby saving fertilizers to an extent of 20%. 

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