Wednesday, January 27, 2016


A new float tray sanitation system from Long Tobacco Barns of Tarboro, N.C., will be on display at the Southern Farm ShowThe "Steaming Eagle" has the capacity to sanitize 1,029 two-inch high trays or 729 2.5-inch high trays per steaming cycle. It can be cycled several times per day and is designed to handle trays for 100+ acres per day.

The Southern Farm Show will take place at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C., from Wednesday, February 3, through Friday, February 5. It will be held at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh, N.C. There is no charge for admission or parking. The annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of N.C. will take place Friday from 10 to 1. A list of exhibitors with displays of particular interest to tobacco growers appears below.

How to explain the market downturn for flue-cured in 2015? Large inventories and large changes in exchange rates seem to be the prime factors, says Blake Brown and Will Snell, Extension economists in N.C. and Kentucky respectively. "Inventories accumulated in 2014 after larger production and unexpected lower demand in a number of markets," they wrote late last year. Then, the U.S. dollar strengthened against currencies like the euro. At the same time, the value of the currency of Brazil, the biggest competitor to U.S. flue-cured, fell. "The rising dollar and falling Brazilian Real mean that Brazilian products are much cheaper in the world market than U.S. products," they say.

Stability for burley? Looking forward to 2016, it appears burley is in a much better global supply/demand balance compared to last year, wrote Blake and Snell. Following a 17 percent drop in world burley production in 2015, Universal Leaf iscurrently projecting stable global burley leaf output for 2016.

What are the key factors  affecting US burley and dark leaf production in 2016? Snell points to: 
--An improved balance of global supply and demand as the year begins may minimize changes in contract volumes; 
--Slowing sales of snuff should result in stable production of dark this season;
--A drop in the value of Kentucky tobacco to below $350 million in 2015 and 2016 seems likely after the post-buyout high of $448 million in 2014.

What are the major challenges facing American flue-cured in 2016? Brown suggests the following: 
--Unfavorable exchange rates, particularly with the Brazilian reale; 
--Continued erosion of cigarette consumption in developed countries due to health concerns. 
--Hostile regulatory and tax environment for cigarettes in the EU and U.S. 
--Changes in nicotine delivery technology to products that use less flue-cured than conventional cigarettes, such as e-cigarettes.

The final count for 2015: USDA issued its summary report on tobacco production in the season just ended on January 12. As in previous USDA estimates for this crop,volumes were down substantially for the two major types, and down to some extent for all other types except the cigar types of the Connecticut River Valley, although the fire-cured and dark air-cured types were down only slightly... The estimate for flue-cured is 482 million pounds, 16 percent less than last year and up three percent from the last USDA forecast in October. For burley, it is 145 million pounds, 32 percent less than last year and down five percent from the last forecast. Among individual states:

  • NC: 374 million pounds, down 17 percent.
  • VA: 49 million pounds, down eight percent.
  • GA: 32 million pounds, down six percent.
  • SC: 26 million pounds, down 21 percent. 
  • KY: 104 million pounds, down 36 percent.
  • TN: 19 million pounds, down 20 percent.
  • PA: 10 million pounds, down 15 percent.
  • OH: 3.6 million pounds, down 16 percent.
  • VA: 2.4 million pounds, down 17 percent.
  • NC: 1.8 million pounds, down 30 percent. 
  • Fire-cured was down seven percent at 55 million pounds.
  • Dark air-cured was down only 2.5 percent, at 17 million pounds.
  • Massachusetts and Connecticut cigar types were up seven percent, at 4.5 million pounds.
  • Pennsylvania seedleaf was down 21 percent at 3.7 million pounds.
  • Southern Maryland light air-cured was down 25 percent at 3.5 million pounds.
Good news from Wall Street...sort of: "We expect favorable cigarette volume trends to continue next year," says Bonnie Herzog, Senior equity research analyst with Wells Fargo. "Cigarette volume trends should down around two to three percent." That is above the historical average decline.

Tobacco lost two good friends in the last 30 days. 
  • Joe Priest, a native of Hoke County, N.C., attended N.C. State University, graduating in 1967, and began a 48-year career with the U. S. Department of Agriculture and N.C. State. Among many accomplishments in that period, he is remembered particularly by his colleagues for serving for more than 20 years as coordinator of the regional Tobacco Growth Regulator Committee, which facilitates and plans plant growth regulator research in the flue-cured tobacco states. "He always did more than expected and did it correctly," says W.K. "Bill" Collins, his longtime co-worker. "He inspired the respect of the people he worked with."
  • Eddie Baker, also a native of Hoke County and also a graduate of N.C. State, was president and founder of Cross Creek Seed, Inc., of Raeford, N.C. By the end of his career, Cross Creek was producing tobacco seed, pelletizing tobacco seed, growing tobacco transplants, sanitizing tobacco greenhouse trays and producing tobacco leaf. "He founded and developed a full spectrum company for the tobacco world," remembers his son Ed. "This wide view approach gave my father the insight and experience to better serve the farmers of tobacco world, of which he was a happy member.  Combining all this under one roof, Eddie did what no other U.S. seedsman has done.  And of that he was proud."

Listed by location on the N.C. State Fairgrounds

Jim Graham Bldg.  
  • 221 Taylor Mfg. Curing barns, wood furnaces.
  • 222 Evans Mactavish Agricraft.
  • 227 Kelley Mfg. Co. Agricultural equipment.
  • 704 (also 8131) Agri Supply. Agricultural materials.
  • 807 Mechanical Transplanter Co. Transplanters, seeding equipment.
  • 808-9 BulkTobac (Gas Fired Products). Curing equipment and controls, poultry brooders, pig heating, space heaters.
Kerr Scott Bldg. 
  • 1002 TriEst Ag Group (Formerly Hendrix and Dail). Fumigation supplies.
  • 1005 Flue Cured Tobacco Services. Curing controls.
  • 1015 Yara North America. Fertility products.
  • 1104 GoldLeaf Seed Co. Tobacco seed.
  • 1114 Transplant Systems. Greenhouse systems.  
  • 1116 Cross Creek Seed. Tobacco seed.
  • 1121 AAA Scale Co.
  • 1201 Carolina Greenhouse & Soil Company.
  • 1202 Reddick Equipment Company Inc.
  • 1302 Mid-Atlantic Irrigation.
Exposition Bldg.
  • 3127 (also 8611) Benchmark Buildings & Irrigation Inc. Pre-fabricated metal buildings, transplanters and irrigation equipment.
  • 3135 Southern Container Corporation of Wilson. Bale sheets and packaging.  
  • 3522 First Products Inc. Fertilizer boxes for cultivators and tool bars.
  • 3605 MarCo Mfg. Tobacco machinery.
  • 3714 (also 8615) Cureco, Inc. Curing controls.
Tent 1
  • 5007 ABI Irrigation. Irrigation equipment.
  • 5023 Walters Air Assist Plant Release System. Plant release system.
  • 5110 Britt Technical Services, Inc. Rotem Curing Controls.
Scott Tent
  • 7025 Drexel Chemical Company. Sucker control chemicals.
  • 7323 Berger. Plant growing mixtures.
  • 7327 Teeterville Garage & Weighing Systems. Moisture controllers for tobacco barns and weighing scales.
  • 8035 Equipmax. Tobacco spray equipment.
  • 8122 Carolina Tobacco Services. Curing barns, mechanical harvesters, heat exchangers.  
  • 8204 Wilson Manufacturing. Farm trailers
  • 8217 Granville Equipment. Tobacco Machinery.
  • 8301 World Tobacco. Bulk fertilizer handling equipment. Curing barns.
  • 8323 De Cloet SRL. Tobacco machinery.
  • 8546 Kelley Mfg. Co. Agricultural equipment.
  • 8604 First Products Inc. Fertilizer boxes for cultivators and tool bars.
  • 8705 Evencure Systems. Curing controls. 
  • 8701 Tytun Ltd. Bulk flue-curing barns.
  • 8712 Long Tobacco Barn Co. Bulk tobacco curing barns. 

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