Sunday, January 10, 2016


Field of black shank
Black shank on flue-cured plants in a research plot at the Upper Coastal Plain Research Station near Rocky Mount, N.C.

The arsenal for battling black shank has gotten larger since 2014. J. Michael Moore, Georgia Extension tobacco specialist, says a combination of one application of Ridomil Gold SL, one of Presidio and one of the Orondis Gold 200 could improve black shank control for many growers this year. Orondis, a new fungicide from Syngenta, employs a new mode of action that is different from the standard treatment Ridomil and from Presidio, which has been labeled for tobacco just one year. "Use of multiple fungicides with differing modes of action should help prevent developmentof resistance to any one fungicide," says Moore. "We will definitely have more tools than we had a few years ago." He says the key to good results with Orondis--which is sold in a co-pack with Ridomil Gold SL--will be to get it in early and incorporate it in the root zone.

But what is still the best defense against black shank? Rotation, and the longest you can achieve, says Moore. There have been problems recently with black shank appearing in rotated fields, but he thinks that might be due to other factors, especially moving soil from infected fields to uninfected ones and irrigating with water from infected ponds. Sadly, the lack of a variety highly resistant to Race 1 continues to be a problem. The three varieties that appear to give the best resistance to black shank among flue-cured varieties tested on-farm in Georgia are NC 925, CC 143 and GL 395, Moore says. "But sometimes you pay a price in yield and/or quality for the improved resistance."

At-planting application is out for Presidio: The manufacturer Valent has withdrawn labeling of the fungicide Presidio for use in transplant water. "There were some unanticipated plant responses in a few areas in 2015 and until we get a handle on what happened, we think it is better to be safe than sorry," says Kenneth Seebold, product development manager for Valent. The transplant water use will remain off the Presidio label for the foreseeable future, he adds. By the way, the injury issues occurred entirely on flue-cured tobacco. Presidio will still be labeled as a soil directed spray at first cultivation or layby. No more than two soil applications can be made.

The quality of the burley crop appears to be living up to hopes so far. "We are about half way through marketing in terms of volume," says Bob Pearce, Kentucky Extension tobacco specialist. "The quality is variable but overall it is better than what was expected a few months ago." So far, most farmers seem satisfied with the price they are receiving.

Zimbabwean production appears down: The number of farmers who registered to grow tobacco dropped from over 86,000 last year to slightly above 69,000 through November, according to the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB). Growers complained about the low price of  the 2014/2015 crop. Now, harvest has begun on the irrigated portion of the 2015/2016 crop. Most of the irrigated crop is in good condition but in some areas, there were problems of constant power cuts, said the minister of agriculture. "The dry land crop was affected by poor rains that started very late, and we do not expect high volumes of tobacco this season," said  Davis Marapira ... Climate change could affect the current crop, said TIMB  chief executive Andrew Matibiri. "According to the Meteorological Department, we will experience a shorter season," he said. But he was not sure if yield would be affected. "This is more or less the environment we experienced last season, and we are adjusting and adapting through investing in irrigation infrastructure."

Which way contracting? My assessment of the demand-supply situation is that a modest increase in flue-cured purchases for 2016 and a larger one for burley would make a certain amount of sense. But when did the tobacco business ever make sense? I have heard from a reliable source that one of the domestics is substantially cutting its pounds to growers, in some cases down to zero. I sincerely hope that this does not reflect significantly lower need on the company's part and instead represents its desire to shift purchasing to dealers. I will try to confirm this and have more details by my next issue, in about two weeks.

Growers to meet: The annual meeting of Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association will take place on January 15 at 3 p.m. at the Owensboro Convention Center during the Kentucky Cattlemen's Association trade show. The annual meeting of the Council for Burley Tobacco will take place at 12 p.m. the next day, also at the show.

Editor: Chris Bickers  | Bickers Editing Service | 903-9 Shellbrook Ct. | Raleigh NC 27609  | 919-789-4631 


  • January 16, 9 AM. Owensboro Convention Center, 501 W 2nd St., Owensboro, Ky., in conjunction with the Tobacco Expo. Contact Bob Pearce at rpearce
  • January 18, 12 PM. McLean Co. Extn. Office, 335 West 7th St., Calhoun, Ky. Contact Cary Hicks at
  • January 2, 2016 10 AM. Webster Co. Extension Office, 1118 U.S. Hwy 41A South, Dixon, Ky. Contact Vicki Shadrick at
  • January 28, 6 PM. Woodford County Extension Office, 184 Beasley Rd. Versailles, Ky.  Contact Adam Probst at 873-4601.
  • January 29, 9 AM. Shelby County Extension Office, 1117 Frankfort Rd. Shelbyville, Ky. Contact Corinne Belton at
  • January 29, 1 PM. Henry County Extension Office, 2151 Campbellsburg Rd., New Castle, Ky. Contact Levi Berg at 502-845-2811.
  • February 2, 6 PM. Allen County Extension Office, 200 East Main St., Scottsville, Ky. This meeting is in Central Time Zone (CST). Contact Steve Osborne at
  • February 2, 6 PM. Warren County Extension Office, 3132 Nashville Rd., Bowling Green, Ky. This meeting is in Central Time Zone. Contact Joanna Coles
  • February 3, 1 PM. & 3 PM (two sessions). Washington County Extension Office, 211 Progress Ave., Springfield, Ky. Contact Rick Greenwell at rick.greenwell@
  • February 4, 6 PM. Harrison County Extension Office, 668 New Lair Rd., Cynthiana, Ky. Contact Jessica Barnes at
  • February 9, 9 AM. Green County Extension Office, 298 Happyville Road, Greensburg, Ky. This meeting is in Central Time Zone (CST). Contact Ricky Arnett at            
  • February 23, 12 PM. Wayne County Extension Office, 255 Rolling Hills Blvd., Monticello, Ky. Contact Glen Roberts at
  • February 23, 5:30 PM. Albany RECC Building, 715 Snow Rd., Albany, Ky. This meeting is in Central Time Zone (CST). Contact Chelsey Pickens
  • February 25, 5 PM. Muhlenberg County Extension Office, 3690 State Rte. 1380, Central City, Ky. Contact Darrell Simpson at
  • February 25, 6 PM. Maysville Community and Technical College, 1755 US 68, Maysville, Ky. Contact Tad Campbell at
  • February 29, 4:30 PM. Blewitt-Bradley Building, 309 North High St., Franklin, Ky. Contact Jason Phillips at
  • February 29, 6 PM. Clark County Extension Office, 1400 Fortune Dr., Winchester, Ky. Contact David Davis at
  • March 2, 6 PM. Lincoln County Extension Office, 104 Metker Trail, Stanford, Ky. Contact Dan Grigson at
  • March 3, 10 AM. Breckinridge County Extension Office, 1377 Hwy. 261 S., Hardinsburg, Ky. This meeting is in Central Time Zone (CST). Contact Carol Hinton at      
  • March 8, 2 PM. Cherry Expo Center, 101 College Farm Rd., Murray, Ky. Contact Matt Chadwick at
  • March 8, 6 PM. Livestock Classroom Fairgrounds, 1471 Concrete Rd., Carlisle, Ky.  Contact Clay
  • March 9, 2 PM. Graves County Extension Office, 251 Housman  St., Mayfield, Ky. Contact Trent Murdock at
  • March 10, 2 PM. Logan County Extension Office, 255 John Paul Rd., Russellville, Ky. Contact Leann Martin at
  • March 10, 6 PM. Owen County Extension Office, 265 Ellis Hwy., Owenton, Ky. Contact Steve Musen at
  • March 11, 9:30 AM. University of Kentucky Research & Education Ctr., 1205 Hopkinsville St., Princeton, Ky. Contact Andy Bailey at
  • March 15, 5 PM. Laurel County Extension Office, 200 County Extension Rd., London, Ky. Contact Glenn Williams,
  • March 16, 5:30 PM. Pendleton County Extension Office, 45 David Pribble Dr., Falmouth. Contact Lindie Huffman at
  • March 23, 5:30 PM. Barren County High School Trojan Academy, 505 Trojan Tr., Glasgow, Ky. This meeting is in Central Time Zone (CST). Contact Chris Shalk at
  • February 2, 9 AM. Robertson Co. Fairgrounds Bldg., 4635 Hwy. 41 North, Springfield, Tn. in conjunction with Tobacco Expo. Contact Paul Hart or 615-384-7936.
  • February 8, 4 PM. Montgomery Co. Ext. Office, 1030 Cumberland Heights Road, Ste. A, Clarksville Tn.  Contact Rusty Evans at or 931-648-5725.
  • February 9, 9:30 AM. Stewart County Visitors Center, 117 Visitors Center Lane, Dover, Tn. Contact Joe Griffy at or 931-232-5682. 
  • February 24, 1 PM. Saddle Club, 710 Fairgrounds Rd., Scottsburg, In.  Contact Megan Voyles at or 812-752-8450.
  • February 24, 6 PM. Switzerland County Extension Office, 708 West Seminary St. Vevay, In. Contact Kyle Weaver at or 812-427-3152.
  • March 7, 1 PM. Orange County Extension Office, 205 East Main St., Paoli, In. Contact Paul Vining at or 812-723-2107. 
For earlier announced North Carolina and Virginia meeting dates, see Tobacco Farmer Newsletter December II 2015.


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