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 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 place . 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.
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.
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.