Monday, April 7, 2014

THE GROWING SEASON HAS BEGUN

Workers prepare to transplant
In eastern North Carolina, workers get ready to take plants to the field (file shot).
For the past three weeks, growers in Florida have been setting plants out, says J. Michael Moore, Georgia-Florida Extension tobacco specialist. A few fields in Georgia have been planted. "Mainly just the dry hills," he says. "Next week they will be going full steam." A lot will be planted, he thinks. "The Prospective Plantings projection for Georgia (13,300 acres) is too low," he says. "I am seeing new growers in Georgia, and Florida too, and many existing growers are increasing their plantings. I think 15,000 acres would be closer to the mark in Georgia, with an increase in Florida too." 
 
Warning: Plants could be hard to come by in much of the Tobacco Belt. Tobacco Farmer Newsletter has learned from sources in several states that:
  • In North Carolina, the availability of plants in North Carolina is fairly tight. Matthew Vann, N.C. Extension tobacco specialist, says. "I think growers may fall about 10 percent short of what they originally set out to produce." Many growers hope to go to the field in 10 to 15 days, he says. "It seems we are out of the cold spell. But the weather could certainly get bad again, and it IS possible that it could be a month or so before we really get going in the field."
  • In Georgia, greenhouses are full, and most of the plants are committed. "It's been hard to find anyone who can give us a tray or two for a test plot!" says Moore. So far, the Type 14 plant crop looks very good, with very satisfactory germination, he adds.
  • In Kentucky, there is no overabundance of plants either, says Bob Pearce, Kentucky Extension tobacco specialist. But there appears to be plenty of demand, and he is looking for a big crop. "I think plantings will be strong this year based on what transplant growers are telling me," he says.
  • In Tennessee, plant production is considerably delayed in the north central part of the state, says Bill Corbin of Springfield, Tn. Corbin produces greenhouse plants for sale and for his own use and grows burley and dark. He tells TFN, "I am a week to 10 days behind on my greenhouses. I would like to get my first plantings out in the field by May 10 for customers who double crop their curing barns. But I don't know if I am going to make it." Besides the problems of cold temperatures and limited sunshine, the recent ice storm delayed a lot of deliveries of materials needed for greenhouses. "It's going to take a lot of luck and maybe some magic to get this crop started," he says. "I hadn't realized how accustomed I'd gotten to mild winters."  
In other production news:
  
The loss  of the flue-cured variety NC 71 for this season may lead to more Georgia-Florida growers trying out the three new flue-cured varieties: GL 395, NC 925 and CC 143. "They will be very interested in any of these varieties that show good resistance to Race 1  black shank," Moore says. GF 318, which is only a few years old, may also pick up some of the slack.
 
Potassium sulfate may be in short supply this year, and it is the most popular form of potash. "If you have to buy a different form, be sure that the level of chlorine is very low," says Vann. "Chlorine can affect the quality of leaf."

GAP Recertification schedule: A few more GAP Recertification sessions remain to be held. The last that is currently scheduled is set to take placeApril 30. More could be scheduled. Following is the schedule published to date in the GAP website. For more information, please call 865-622-4606 or visit  www.gapconnections.com.
 
KENTUCKY (Burley)
  • April 15, 6 p.m. Bale Tobacco Marketing, 203 Production Ct.,  Elizabethtown, Ky. Contact: 270-360-8436.
  • April 17, 6 p.m. Receiving Station, 1711 S Danville Bypass. Danville, Ky. Contact: 859-236-1180.
  • April 286:30 p.m. Marriot Griffin Gate Hotel, 1800 Newtown Pike,
    Lexington, Ky. 
  • In addition, there will be two on-line meetings--on April 16 and 22-- that will be carried over a conferencing system that will be hosted at some, but not all, county offices. If you are interested, contact your local extension office to find out the nearest location you can attend.
OHIO
  • April 7, 6:30 p.m. Gallia County Extension Office, 111 Jackson Pk., Gallipolis, Ohio. Contact: Jeff Moore 740-446-7007.

INDIANA
  • April 81 p.m. Southern Indiana Tobacco Meeting, Orange County Community Center, 1075 No. Sandy Hook Rd., Paoli, In. Contact: Levi Berg 812-723-7107berg31@purdue.edu.
TENNESSEE
  • April 297:30 p.m. Trousdale County High School, 262 McMurry Blvd. W, Hartsville, Tn.
  • April 307:30 p.m. Trousdale County High School, 262 McMurry Blvd. W, Hartsville, Tn. 
  • April 3010:30 p.m. Robertson County Extension Office, 408 North Main St., Springfield, Tn. Contact: pehart@utk.edu615-384-7936.

 
USDA-NASS Prospective Plantings Report (3/31/2014)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture projected modest increases in acreage for all tobacco types this year in its March plantings report, with a two percent increase for flue-cured and a one percent increase for burley. All individual states were projected either up or unchanged in acreage except for the mountain burley states of Virginia and North Carolina and for Ohio (also burley). State projections follow. 
 
FLUE-CURED:  North Carolina--182,000 acres,  up  one  percent.  Virginia--22,000 acres, up two percent. South Carolina--15,000 acres, up three percent. Georgia--13,300 acres, up four percent. All flue-cured--232,300 acres, up two percent. 
 
BURLEY: Kentucky--75,000 acres, up one percent. Tennessee--14,000 acres, up four percent. Pennsylvania--5,100 acres, no change. Virginia--2,200 acres, down eight percent. Ohio--2,000 acres, down five percent. North Carolina--1,800 acres, down five percent. All burley--100,100 acres, up one percent.
 
FIRE-CURED: Kentucky--9,200 acres, up two percent. Tennessee--7,200 acres, up four percent.  Virginia--380 acres, up nine percent.  All fire- cured--16,780 acres, up three percent.
 
DARK AIR-CURED: Kentucky--4,300 acres, up two percent. Tennessee--1,100 acres, up 10 percent 10 percent. All dark air-cured--5,400 acres, up four percent.
 
CONNECTICUT/MASSACHUSETTS--3,320 acres, up 26 percent.
 
SOUTHERN MARYLAND--(All in Pennsylvania) 2,000 acres, no change. 
 
PENNSYLVANIA SEEDLEAF--(All in Pennsylvania) 2,000 acres, up 11 percent. 
 
ALL TYPES--361,900 acres, up two percent.  

 WTI 
Tytun 2014
 

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