Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chaos in flue-cured country

Flue-cured report: The N.C. flue-cured situation is still chaotic. Loren Fisher, N.C. Extension tobacco specialist, says that in the east, a substantial portion was destroyed by the hurricane, and more was abandoned afterwards because of difficulty harvesting it. On what remains, many farmers are facing issues of limited barn space or delayed ripening. Fisher is trying to look on the bright side, but there are estimates that the total flue-cured crop (all states) could fall a third short of earlier estimates… There is one potential bright spot: The Piedmont flue-cured crop looks good. Unfortunately, much remains to be harvested because of dry weather earlier. “This is one year when we would really like to get through the whole month of October before frost sets in,” says Fisher… Georgia, too, is headed for a good flue-cured crop and is in little danger of frost. “We have a high yield and good quality,” says J. Michael Moore, Georgia Extension tobacco specialist. “But it has been a very expensive crop. Farmers used lots of irrigation.” But the big cost item was sucker control. “Farmers needed a hand crew to remove the misses, and I know of some who had to spend $10,000 a week for a six- or seven-week sucker crop. “

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