Sunday, May 27, 2012

A bigger burley crop in the offing

Burley plantings are clearly up, and Will Snell is a little surprised. That's because prices for feedgrains and beef are fairly high, and the Kentucky Extension ag economist says he would have thought they would have soaked up any expansion. Although there will definitely be more burley, Snell is not sure yet if the USDA projection of four percent in Kentucky will prove close to accurate.

Thanks to the weather, plants grew quickly in burley greenhouses in the mountain burley area of Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. David Miller of Abingdon, Va., who sells plants from two 30 x 96-foot greenhouses and also produces plants for his own seven acres of burley, says the plant crop in the area was at least a week earlier than normal. The first plants from Miller's houses were set May 5, and transplanting got going in earnest midway of the next week.

What's the most important practice in producing greenhouse transplants? Frequent inspection, says Miller. “You've got to practically live with them,” he says.“We inspect ours five to 10 times a day.”

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