Sunday, June 5, 2011

Crop Report: Flue-cured states

If it weren’t for the fact that much of Georgia is 10 inches behind in rainfall and sweltering in intense heat, J. Michael Moore would be delighted with the prospects for the Type 14 crop. “The uniformity and appearance are good,” says the Georgia/Florida Extension tobacco specialist. “I frankly don’t see how it could look so good, considering the drought and extreme heat.” The temperature in the tobacco-growing area reached 100 degrees on June 1, only about a week before sucker control would need to start. “At this stage of growth, it is critical for the tobacco plant to receive water,” says Moore. “Fortunately, nearly 100% of our crop can be irrigated, and unless it rains, I expect we will see a lot of irrigation in early June. If it gets enough water, we have the potential for an excellent crop.”

Tomato spotted wilt virus damage may not be too serious on Georgia-Florida tobacco, says Moore. “About 10% of our plants are showing some signs of TSWV, but it apparently developed later than normal, so we may not lose as many whole plants.” The incidence was generally less where Admire Pro or Actigard or both were used, he says.

North Carolina had it hot, too, by June 1, when much of the eastern part of the state experienced 100-degree temperatures. Sandy Stewart, N.C. Extension tobacco specialist, says, “We are getting dry in some spots.” Planting of the flue-cured crop was done in a timely manner, and Stewart says he thinks growers planted all the acres they intended to. “I have to believe we have as much acreage as last year and possibly a little more.”

South Carolina’s tobacco-growing areas--except for the coastal areas--got significant rains the last weekend of May. “Up to then we were getting dry,” says Dewitt Gooden, S.C. Extension tobacco specialist.  “Now, I would say the crop has pretty good prospects. We finished transplanting three weeks ago, and most is between layby and starting contact sprays.” The only problem so far: A little tomato spotted wilt. “But I am hopeful we can grow out of that.”

NOTE: These four items and the posted just before them on Kentucky and Tennessee appear in the June issue of Tobacco Farmer Newsletter, mailed June 5, 2011, The newsletter contains additional editorial material on tobacco management beyond what appears here. If you are not now receiving TFN and would like to be on the list, email the editor at If you grow tobacco, note what types  or what other tobacco affiliation you have, Also include the state where you live.

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