Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Canada tobacco off to a good start

The rejuvenated tobacco crop in southern Ontario looked “quite good” through June 18, said Dan Van Hooren of the Canadian Tobacco Research Foundation. He characterized the planting of this crop, which is all flue-cured, as "early to normal. A little was transplanted in June but the majority was planted in May. The planting season was warm for the most part and conditions were generally good for the young plants.” A farmer who raises tobacco near Lake Erie said the crop in his neighborhood appeared to be four or five days ahead of normal. “The stand in the field is good,"  he said. “A few farmers are making layby treatments but no one has made his final plowing.”

Canadian growers (almost all of whom are in Ontario) got a modest boost back in March when China announced that it would contract for 12 million pounds from them. They hadn't bought any in any recent year. That lead to a five percent increase in volume from 2011, up to 52 million pounds, according to the grower cooperative. About 19,600 acres have been planted, up 700 acres over.

Ontario's bright leaf looks like an excellent fit in China because of the Chinese taste for "lemon" leaf.  "There is a demand in China for this type of leaf that goes back to the introduction of English style cigarettes," says W.K. Collins, retired N.C. Extension agronomist. "The bright looks and smoking characteristics that Canadian leaf has should be very compatible with this longstanding demand."

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