Saturday, July 7, 2012

Last minute plantings swell burley acreage 9%

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued its first acreage report for the 2012 tobacco crop at the end of June. Burley plantings increased noticeably since the Prospective Plantings projection in march, from 94,700 acres, which would have been a seven percent from last season, to 96,800 acres, up nearly nine percentMuch of the increase for this season is coming from the two leading burley states. Kentucky's burley acreage has risen 3,000 acres since the March projection, to 71,000 acres, which is almost 11 percent over 2011, while Tennessee burley plantings are down 1,000 acres since March but are still up seven percent from 2011. The small Virginia burley crop is up a whopping 35 percent from 2011 at 2,700 acres, same as projected in March. Ohio is up a healthy 12.5 percent at 1,800 acres, close to the March projection, but North Carolina appears to be disappearing from the burley scene: It was projected down 13 percent from 2011 in March, but since then it has dropped another 400 acres to 1,600 acres, down 30 percent from last season. Pennsylvania has gained 300 acres since March to 4,700 acres, but is nevertheless down six percent from 2011. All that acreage, by the way, appears to have migrated to Pennsylvania seedleaf, the traditional tobacco type in the state, which is air-cured and is harvested and cured very much like burley, as is Southern Maryland, which produced almost entirely in Pennsylvania--acreage is 2,900 acres, down 3.3 percent.

Statistics for flue-cured appear below. USDA will issue a production estimate for flue-cured on Wednesday and an analysis will appear in the Tobacco Farmer Newsletter.

North Carolina―154,000 acres, down 3.7%; Virginia--21,000 acres, up 7.7%; South Carolina--13,500 acres, down 12.9%; Georgia--10,500 acres, down 11.7%. National--199,000 acres, down 3.8%.

Kentucky--71,000 acres, up 10.9%; Tennessee, 15,000 acres, up 7.1%; Virginia--2,700 acres, up 35%; Pennsylvania, 4,700 acres, down 6%; North Carolina, 1,600 acres, down 30.4%; and Ohio, 1,800 acres, up 12.5%. National―96,800 acres, up 8.8%.

Southern Maryland (Pennsylvania)--2,900 acres, down 3.3 %; Fire-cured―15,350 acres, down 6.4%; Dark air-cured―4,600 acres, down 16.3%; Cigar types--5,090 acres, up 17.2%.

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