Thursday, November 5, 2015


Beginning to look up: a A ground level shot looking up at burley 
curing in a barn near Wilson, N.C. The yield of this year's crop is 
down, but the quality looks good.
The last of Kentucky's burley has been in the barn for several weeks, 
and from 10 percent to perhaps 15 percent has been stripped, estimates 
Bob Pearce, Kentucky Extension tobacco specialist. "The quality is better 
than what we expected," he says. There had been a dry spell late in the 
summer (see Tobacco Farmer Newsletter, October I 2015). "But since then, 
there has been pretty good moisture, which may have helped darken the leaf," 
he says. "Now, temperatures are a little above average: We are looking at 
early November temperatures in the mid Seventies (in Lexington). That should 
help improve the quality of the later harvested tobacco." But nothing is going 
to help the weight of this crop, which appears to be low due to the wet weather 
experienced early in the growing season, Pearce adds. "We could be looking at 
an average yield that is off 20 percent from recent years."

The quality was good for dark fire-cured in western Kentucky and Tennessee, 
but burley and dark air-cured suffered through a dry curing season, says 
Andy Bailey, Extension dark tobacco specialist. Prices are good. "Unless there 
is some major problem, our leaf is bringing $2.70 per pound for fire-cured, $2.40 
for dark air-cured."

The marketing season for Virginia fire-cured began on October 30. "That 
was a little early," says Bruce Jones, the Extension agent for tobacco in 
Appomattox County. "Farmers I have talked to were pleased with the prices 
they received, which fell mostly in the top end of the price structure." They 
were glad with the early opening too--humidity the last few weeks posed a 
problem in keeping their tobacco, which they place in a cardboard box after 
stripping. But this season, some stripped it, packed it again and didn't "box" 
it until close to marketing. The Appomattox fire-cured was sold at a delivery
 station in Oxford, N.C.

Burley is grown in Appomattox County too, frequently in tandem with dark. 
"Our burley has all been harvested, but most is still hanging in the barns," says 
Jones. "If farmers have dark tobacco, they will work it first before they start on 
the burley." This was not by any means a bumper burley crop. "But from what
I have seen, the quality looks really good." There are also two organic flue-cured 
growers in the county. "Both seem well pleased with their crop," Jones says.

It was a tough year for black shank in many parts of the flue-cured belt, so bad 
that rotation seemed to lose much of its effectiveness in limiting the disease. "Any 
tobacco field that was in less than a four-year rotation was vulnerable," says 
Alton Roberson of Kinston, N.C. He used chloropicrin and two applications of 
Ridomil. "But they were not much help either," he says. Next year he will lengthen
rotations where he can, and he also may change his soil treatment, perhaps using Presidio.

If conditions are bad enough, nothing will prevent black shank, says N.C. 
Extension plant pathologist Mina Mila. "But rotation will still be the best tool 
over time." As Roberson found out, "The longer the rotation the better," she says. 
Presidio has shown some promise in the field in its first year on tobacco in the 
field, and a new fungicide, Orondis from Syngenta, may be labeled for tobacco 
for next season.

Orondis has received EPA approval and is expected to be available for 2016. 
Its active ingredient is oxathiapiprolin, and it provides a new mode of action for 
control of black shank and blue mold. Initially, Syngenta will market Orondis for 
use on tobacco as multi-packs containing either:

  • Orondis and Ridomil Gold fungicide for control of black shank or
  • Orondis and Revus fungicide for control of blue mold.

When approved by the EPA and individual states, these products will be sold 
as premixes under the brand names Orondis Gold and Orondis Ultra.


--December 3. N.C. Tobacco Day 2015. Johnston County Extension 
Center, 2736 N.C. Hwy. 210, Smithfield, N.C. Starting time to be 
announced but the meeting will end with a sponsored lunch.


209 Harding St., Danville, Ky.
PH: 859-236-4932

Full-service burley warehouse

Jerry Rankin, Owner

  Call for information.


1723 Goldsboro St. SW, Wilson, N.C., 
in the old Liberty Warehouse
Mann Mullen is the owner of Big M auction warehouse in Wilson, N.C.
We hold sealed bid auctions
We promise 
We will be GAP certified 
For more information, contact Mann Mullen at 919-496-9033 
or the warehouse switchboard at 252-206-1447.

Bigger is better


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