Monday, January 28, 2013

Harvesters at the So. Farm Show
Manufacturers will be looking to sell harvesters and barns at the Southern Farm Show. In 2012, representative Len Erdelac described the DeCloet Italy lastover harvester to Nathan and Travis Unruh of Greenville, N.C.
The Southern Farm Show takes place in Raleigh, N.C., this week, and perhaps we will learn there whether there will be enough curing barns to go around this season. Manufacturers will be at the show looking for orders. "We have already received a number of them and can handle more," says Billy Price of World Tobacco Inc. "We would like to have all orders in by the end of February if we can, so we can be sure to deliver them to the farm no later than June 15. But we will accommodate later orders if we can." Price says his company is exhibiting this year for the first time with Evans MacTavish Agricraft of Wilson, N.C., which manufactures the barns for World Tobacco. The show takes place January 30, 31 and February 1 at the North Carolina state fairgrounds. For details and directions, go to the website For a report on the show and on the growers meeting, watch for the next issue of TFN in early February.

The show will end with the Annual Meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina in the Holshouser Building on Friday, February 1. It starts at 10 a.m. and ends after a sponsored lunch...On the same day, the East Tennessee/Southwest Virginia/Western North Carolina Tobacco Expo will be held at the Appalachian Fairgrounds on Lakeview Street in Gray, Tn. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and activities conclude at 1 p.m., with GAP training available afterward (see below). For more information, call the Greene County Extension office at 423-798-1710... On February 5, the Tennessee --Kentucky Tobacco Expo is scheduled in Springfield, Tn., starting at 9 a.m. and running till 3 p.m. GAP training is available afterward (see below). The location is the Robertson County Fairgrounds Community Building 4635 Hwy. North in Springfield. For more information, call the Robertson County Extension office at 615-384-7936

Southern Farm Show Exhibitor Update. Following is a list of businesses who would like a visit from you at their exhibits at the Southern Farm Show, January 30-February 1.
  • #222 World Tobacco Inc., exhibiting with Evans MacTavish Agricraft.  Curing barns.  
  • #807 Mechanical Transplanter Co., Inc. Transplanters, seeding equipment and other related items for tobacco and vegetables. 
  • #808 BulkTobac (Gas Fired Tobacco). Tobacco curing equipment, curing controls, poultry brooders, pig heating, space heaters. 
  • #1002 TriEst Ag Group, Inc. (formerly Hendrix & Dail). Fumigation supplies.
  • #1104 GoldLeaf Seed. Tobacco seed.
  • #1116 Cross Creek Seed. Tobacco seed along with tobacco transplants, greenhouse tray sterilization/steaming, tray washers and seeders. 
  • #1220 F.W. Rickard Seeds, Inc. Flue-cured, burley and dark tobacco seed. 
  • #3135 Southern Container Corporation of Wilson Inc. Packaging, bale sheets and wire. 
  • #3605 MarCo Manufacturing Co. / Powell Manufacturing Co.  Mechanical harvesters (flue-cured and burley) and other equipment. 
  • #3714 Cureco, Inc. Curing controls. 
  • #5027 Flue Cured Tobacco Services LLC. Curing controls. 
  • #8011 Taylor Manufacturing, Inc. Curing barns and other tobacco equipment. 
  • #8104 Evencure Systems. Curing barn systems. 
  • #8127 Carolina Tobacco Services. Powell curing barns, mechanical harvesters, heat exchangers. 
  • #8128 DeCloet Italy, exhibiting with S & P Equipment Co. Curing barns, mechanical harvesters, and other tobacco equipment. 
  • #8205 Walters Air Assist-Plant Release System.
  • #8217 Granville Equipment. Wide variety of tobacco equipment from the fields to the barns. 
  • #8301 Tytun Ltd. Curing barns and other tobacco equipment. 
  • #8617 Long Tobacco Barn Company, LLC. Curing barns and related agricultural equipment, including barn service parts.  

    Bridging the GAP: Several Good Agricultural Practice meetings are scheduled soon. Find below the date and location of each meeting and the phone number to call to assure a place is available.
  •  February 5, 10 a.m. Scottsburg VA. Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department. Contact: Halifax County Extension Office at 434-476-2147 or Stephen Barts (
  • January 31:  GAP training at 5 p.m. Eastern Time with production meeting to follow. Woodford County Extension Office. Versailles, KY.  Contact (859)-873-4601.
  • February 1: Production Meeting at 11 a.m. Eastern Time with GAP training immediately following lunch about 12:30 p.m. Larue County Extension Office.  Hodgenville, KY. Contact: (270) 358-3401.
  • February 1: 1:30 pm Eastern Time. Following the East TN/Southwest VA/Western NC Tobacco Expo, Commercial Building #2, Appalachian Fairgrounds, Gray, TN. Call Paul Denton at 865-974-8839 or the UT Washington County Extension office at 423-753-1680 for more information.
  • February 4:  GAP training at 5:30 Eastern Time with production meeting to follow. Garrard County Extension Office. Lancaster, KY.  Contact (859)-792-3026.
  • February 5:  GAP training at 5 p.m. Central Time with production meeting to follow. Adair County Extension Office. Columbia, KY.  Contact (270)-384-2317.
  • February  5: GAP training at 2 p.m. Central Time Following the TN/KY Tobacco Expo, Robertson County Fairgrounds, Springfield, TN. Call Paul Denton at 865-974-8839 or the Robertson County Extension office at 615-384-7936 for more information.  
  • February 12: Production meeting at 10 a.m. Central Time with GAP training at 11:20 Central Time.  Center Church of Christ, Center, KY. Contact: (270)-524-2451.    
  • February 12:   GAP training at 5 p.m. Central Time with production meeting to follow. Allen County Extension Office. Scottsville, KY.  Contact (270)-237-3146.
  • February 21:  Production meeting at 10 a.m. Central Time with GAP training at 11 a.m. Central Time.  Breckinridge County Extension Office, Hardinsburg, KY. Contact: (270) 756-2182
  • February 26:  10:30 a.m. Central Time.  Macon County Fairground, Lafayette, TN. Call the Macon County Extension office at (615)-666-3341 for more information and to reserve a place.
  • February 27:  GAP training at 1 and 6 p.m. Eastern Time followed by production update.  Washington County Extension Office. Springfield, KY.  Contact: (859) 336-7741.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Curing barns near Dunn, N.C.

The looming shortage of barns to cure the 2013 crop is especially urgent for flue-cured growers, who were very short on barn space in 2012 anyway and appear to be looking at more contract pounds. The age of the existing barns could make the problem worse. "A lot of our flue-cured barns are 20 to 25 years old," says Jay Boyette, commodity director for the North Carolina Farm Bureau. "At some point we will have to replace them. That time may have come. Even if it hasn't on individual farms, it is clear that as time marches on, this will become more of an issue." With the crop American flue-cured growers had last year and the prices it received, there will certainly be more demand for tobacco this year, and some new barns will have to be purchased. Boyette recommends you make any needed arrangements soon. "It's not like 15 years ago. Back then, a manufacturer might build barns on spec. Now, no one is going to build barns without a solid order, maybe even a guaranteed one. There is no readily available inventory of any tobacco equipment anywhere."

A new barn should be as heat efficient as possible, says David Reed, Virginia Extension tobacco specialist. Look for a unit that gives 11 to 12 pounds of cured leaf per gallon of fuel and is as well insulated as possible. And insulate the barn pad, he advises. The payback on that is very quick. Even if the crop was the same size as last year's, some new barns would be needed. "We don't have enough curing capacity now," says Reed. "Much of the 2012 flue-cured crop here was cured in October, mainly because the farmers didn't have enough barns to cure any faster." That is playing chicken with the average first frost date, October 15 in most of Virginia's flue-cured area. 

Two more bulk barn manufacturers have come to the attention of Tobacco Farmer Newsletter: Carolina Tobacco Services of Bennettsville, S.C., has an all-steel 10-box barn that has gotten good results in recent curing efficiency tests. For more information, call Dale Hutchins at 843-479-3804...World Tobacco Inc. in Wilson, N.C., is selling two models this season. The actual assembly is being done by Evans MacTavish, also of Wilson. For more information, call Billy Price at 252-230-1032. Other manufacturers of bulk barns previously reported: Long Tobacco Barn Company LLC in Tarboro, N.C. Call Bob Pope at 252-824-3794. Taylor Manufacturing of Elizabethtown, N.C. Call Ron Taylor at 800-545-2293. MarCo Mfg. of Bennettsville, S.C. Call Tom Pharr at 843-479-3377. Tytun Ltd. of Simcoe, Ontario, Canada. Call 519-428-0044DeCloet SRL, Italy. Call Len Erdelac at 519-983-0432 in Ontario.

There is no great demand among burley growers for new barn space, at least not yet, says Paul Denton, Kentucky-Tennessee Extension tobacco specialist. "Whatever enthusiasm growers felt about the prices for the 2012 crop have been tempered by the problems they faced in finding harvest labor." But if there turns out to be a need for new curing facilities later this year, Denton doesn't think it will be met with traditional tall barns. "I think that outdoor curing structures or low-profile barns would be better choices. You would want the lowest possible initial cost." 

If more barn space is needed, burley farmers are more likely to seek unused existing barns than to build new ones, says Daniel Green, chief operating officer of the Burley Stabilization Corporation in Springfield, Tn. "It takes a lot to build a conventional barn, and although the outlook for burley is good, there is a lot of uncertainty in the short term." There are many unused barns remaining from the years when growers produced much more than they will in 2013. Unfortunately, they are frequently not in the areas where growers are expanding.  


The perfect gift for tobacco people
Written by historian Billy Yeargin, this softcover book from History Press recounts the Bright Leaf's contribution to Tar Heel history. A terrific gift for tobacco-oriented individuals. Price is $21.99. Also available: A companion work called "Remembering North Carolina Tobacco," also by Yeargin. Price is $19.99. To order, specify which or both books you want and send check or money order to Billy Yeargin at 112 N. Webb St, Selma NC 27576. For more information email Yeargin at

Long barns consistently produce the top grade tobacco that companies demand
Come see us at the Southern Farm Show, Exhibit 8617.

Editor's Note: The next issue of Tobacco Farmer Newsletter will cover tobacco machinery on display at the Southern Farm Show and other winter shows, plus details on the Tobacco Grower Association of North Carolina's annual meeting. Watch for it in late January. If you want more information about Tobacco Farmer Newsletter--or to share your thoughts--call me at 919-789-4631. Or send me an email at chrisbickers Or use the comment apparatus on this blog. --Chris Bickers


Visit us at Exhibit 808 at the Southern Farm Show.