Thursday, January 9, 2014

The sequestration threat is over

Last year's show
Visitors at last year's Southern Farm Show look over cultivating equipment at the KMC exhibit.

Victory in the sequestration war: Federal buyout payments to tobacco farmers won't be reduced by any across-the-board budget cuts, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said Monday. Funds that had been held back as a result of the "sequestration" cuts during the federal fiscal year are available for this year's payments. Funds held back this year could be used at the start of the next fiscal year in October "to complete the final payment," Vilsack wrote. Larry Wooten, president of the N.C. Farm Bureau told the media, "[This was] a misguided effort all along. But in any event, the real win is that people are [going] to receive these final benefits."

The Southern Farm Show is coming in a month. Below is a list of exhibitors who will have products of interest to tobacco growers on display at the Southern Farm Show, Wednesday, February 5, to Friday, February 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. The Show is free as is parking. On Friday, the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina will hold its annual meeting in Dorton Arena, followed by a hosted meal. For more information, go to If I left out any exhibitor who wants to be in this list, let me know via email at 

This has been a good week to have heat in your burley stripping area. Jerry Rankin, a warehouse operator and farmer in Danville, Ky., said the temperature was four degrees below zero Tuesday morning. When I talked to him in the afternoon it had only gotten up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. "In temperatures that low, you can't get much tobacco taken down," he says. "And you can't work the leaf in an open barn. You are not stripping it, you are just jerking it." Rankin's stripping room is heated and insulated. "We find that leaf stripped in a heated room will soften a little before it gets dry."

Burley prices are holding firm. Rankin held a contract sale at this warehouse Tuesday, and the average price appeared to be about $2.06:5 per pound. Perhaps because farmers were anxious to deliver before the cold set in, the volume was a floor-busting 700,000 pounds. He expected more-normal volumes of 150,000 pounds on Wednesday and 200,000 pounds on Thursday. "We might end up with a million pounds sold this week," he says. "But we will be lucky to get half of that next week, thanks to the cold."

The saving grace of Bluegrass burley in 2013 has been the color, says Rankin. "The color has been fantastic. But it has not yielded well (in processing). I hope that doesn't cause problems down the road."

Looking ahead to greenhouse seeding: The outdoor temperature when you seed your greenhouse is important. "We can produce viable transplants in 60 degree temperature in the greenhouse," says Matthew Vann, N.C. Extension tobacco specialist. "You can heat the air, but if the temperature outside is low, it may be worthwhile to wait until it is warmer. "For instance, if you are planning to seed on a day when it is 20 degrees outside and weather predictions say it will be 50 degrees two days later, it may pay to wait, Vann says. "You will save some fuel," he says.
Seed of the flue-cured variety NC-71 will apparently not be available this season, thanks to certification problems. It has played a big part in variety choice: In North Carolina alone, it accounted for four to six percent of flue-cured acreage in recent years, says Vann. "Some of that acreage may go into NC-196 and K-326," he says.
Steaming greenhouse trays has proved to be a good alternative to treating them with methyl bromide, says Vann. "It is just as effective and is better for the environment."
Tobacco-related exhibits at next month's Southern Farm Show
  • 221 Taylor Mfg. Curing barns, wood furnaces.
  • 222, 8301 Evans Mactavish Agricraft / World Tobacco. Bulk fertilizer handling equipment. Curing barns.  
  • 227 Kelley Manufacturing Co. Agricultural equipment.
  •  704, 8131 Agri Supply. Agricultural materials.
  • 807 Mechanical Transplanter Co. Transplanters and seeding equipment.
  • 808 BulkTobac (Gas Fired Products). Curing equipment and controls, poultry brooders, pig heating, space heaters.
  • 1002 TriEst Ag Group (Formerly Hendrix and Dail). Fumigation supplies.
  • 1005 Flue Cured Tobacco Services. Curing controls
  • 1015 Yara North America. Fertility products.
    • 1104 GoldLeaf Seed Co. Tobacco seed.  
    • 1116 Cross Creek Seed. Tobacco seed.  
    • 1121 AAA Scale Co.  
    • 1202 Reddick Equipment Company Inc.
    • 1220 F.W. Rickard Seeds. Flue-cured, burley and dark tobacco seed.
    • 1302 Mid-Atlantic Irrigation Co. Irrigation equipment.
    • 3127 and 8611 Benchmark Buildings & Irrigation Inc. Pre-fabricated metal buildings, transplanters and irrigation equipment.
    • 3135 Southern Container Corporation of Wilson. Bale sheets and packaging.  
    • 3522 First Products Inc. Fertilizer boxes for cultivators and tool bars.
    • 3714, 8615 Cureco, Inc. Curing controls.
    • 4037 Hog Slat Inc.
    • 4151 GrassWorks Manufacturing. 
    • 5007 ABI Irrigation. Irrigation equipment.
    • 5023 Walters Air Assist Plant Release System. Plant release system.
    • 5108 MD/Barnmaster of the Carolinas. Farm Buildings.
    • 7025 Drexel Chemical Company. Sucker control chemicals.
    • 7323 Berger. Plant growing mixtures.
    • 7327 Teeterville Garage & Weighing Systems. Moisture controllers for tobacco barns and weighing scales.
    • 8011 Equipmax. Tobacco spray equipment. Sprayer conversions.
    • 8122 Carolina Tobacco Services. Curing barns, mechanical harvesters, heat exchangers.
    • 8150 Long Tobacco Barn Co. Bulk tobacco curing barns.
    • 8701 Tytun Ltd. Bulk flue-curing barns.
    • 8204 Wilson Manufacturing. Farm trailers.
    • 8217 Granville Equipment. Tobacco Machinery. 
    Bridging the GAP--again. You will need a grower ID card to participate in any of the GAP Recertification meetings this winter. You can obtain one before the meeting by going online at and printing it on your printer. It will be scanned at the meeting and will help you keep track of and share your compliance records with potential companies.

    GAP meeting dates: Here are the meeting dates that have I learned so far. Pre-registration by phone is required. Call the number listed for the meeting you want to attend. Look here for listings for other states and other types as they are available.

    North Carolina
    • January 8: Wayne County Extension Center, 208 Chestnut St., Goldsboro, N.C. Phone: 919-731-1520. Starts at 10 a.m.
    • January 9: Wilson County Agricultural Center, 1806 Goldsboro St., Wilson, N.C. Phone: 252-237-0111. Starts at 9:30 a.m.
    • January 9: Johnston County Extension Center, 2736 NC 210 Highway, Smithfield, N.C. Phone: 919-989-5380. Starts at 4 p.m.
    • January 10: The Farmer's Market, 1006 Peachtree St. Rocky Mount, N.C. Phone: 252-459-9810. Starts at 10 a.m.
    • January 20: McSwain Extension Center, 2420 Tramway Rd., Sanford, N.C. Phone: 919-775-5624. Starts at 10 a.m.
    • January 21: Forsyth County Extension Center, 1450 Fairchild Rd. Winston Salem, N.C. Phone: 336-703-2857. Starts at 10 a.m.
    • January 21: Sampson County Ag Expo Center, 414 Warsaw Rd., Clinton, N.C. Phone: 910-592-7161. Starts at 10 p.m.
    • January 22: Caswell County Civic Center, 536 Main St. East, Yanceyville, N.C.. Phone: 336-694-4158. Starts at 10 a.m.
    • January 23: Cunningham Research Station, 200 Cunningham Rd. Kinston, N.C.. Phone: 252-747-5831. Starts at 9:30.
    • January 28: Granville County Expo Center, 4185 US Highway 15 South, Oxford, N.C. Phone: 919-603-1350. Starts at 10 p.m.
    • January 30: Cumberland Co. Ag Expo Center, 301 E. Mountain Dr., Fayetteville, N.C. Phone: 910-321-6872. Starts at 10 p.m.
    • February 3: Pitt County Extension Center, 403 Government Circle Greenville, N.C. Phone: 252-902-1702. Starts at 9:30.
    • February 7: Holshouser Bldg., N.C. State Fairgrounds. During Southern Farm Show. Starts at 1 p.m. Contact your county agent.
    • February 12: Surry County/Yadkin County, N.C. Location to be determined. Phone: 336-371-0189. Starts at 10 a.m.  
    • January 22, 4 p.m. Meherrin River Hunt Club (near South Hill), 435 Dry Creek Rd., Baskerville, Va. Contact: Taylor Clarke (434-738-6191).
    • January 23, 9 a.m. Southern Piedmont Center, 2375 Darvills Road,  Blackstone, Va. Contact: Margaret Kenny (434-292-5331).
    • January 23, 4 p.m. Olde Dominion Ag Complex, 19783 US Highway 29, South Chatham, Va. Contact: Stephen Barts (434-432-7770).
    • January 27, 10 a.m. Scottsburg Volunteer Fire Department. Scottsburg, Va. Contact: Chris Brown (434-476-2147).
    • January 17, 9 a.m. Tobacco Expo, Hyatt Hotel/Lexington Convention Center, 401 West High Street, Lexington, Ky. Contact: Kathy Sanford, 859-252-3561,
    • January 27, 6 p.m. North Central Ky. Tobacco Meeting, Harrison County Extension Office, 668 New Lair Rd., Cynthiana, Ky. Contact: Gary Carter, 859-234-5510, DL_CES_HARRISON@EMAIL. UKY.EDU.
    • January 28, 6:30 p.m. Central Kentucky Tobacco Meeting, Woodford County Extension Office, 184 Beasley Rd., Versailles, Ky. Contact: Adam Probst, 859-873-4601, DL_CES_WOODFORD@EMAIL. UKY. EDU.
    • January 30, 6 p.m. South Central Kentucky Tobacco Meeting, Lincoln County Extension Office, 104 Metker Tr., Stanford, Ky. Contact: Dan Grigson, 606-365-3238. DL_CES_LINCOLN@EMAIL.UKY. EDU.
    • February 3, 6:30 p.m. South Kentucky Tobacco Meeting, Allen County Extension Office, 200 East Main Street, Scottsville, Ky. Contact: Steve Osborne, 270-237-3146, DL_CES_ALLEN@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
    • February 6, 10 a.m. Center of Kentucky Tobacco Meeting, Green County Extension Office, 298 Happyville Road, Greensburg, Ky. Contact: Ricky Arnett, 270-932-5311, DL_CES_GREEN@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
    • February 11, Noon. Wayne/Pulaski County Tobacco Meeting, Wayne County Extension Office, 255 Rolling Hills Blvd., Monticello,   Contact: Glen Roberts, 606-348-8453, DL_CES_WAYNE@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
    • February 18, 6:45 p.m. Bath/Montgomery Regional Commodity Night, Bath County Extension Office, 2914 E. Hwy. 60, Owingsville, Ky. Contact: Gary Hamilton, 606-674-6121, DL_CES_BATH@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.
    • February 20, 6 p.m. Estill and Powell County Tobacco Meeting, Estill County Extension Office, 76 Golden Court, Irvine, Ky. Contact: Eric Baker, 606-723-4557, DL_CES_ESTILL@EMAIL.UKY.EDU.


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