Here is the January III issue of Tobacco Farmer Newsletter. If you haven't signed on to receive the newsletter regularly or if you need to change an address, please click on "Join our mailing list" and follow the prompts. For more information, you can call me at 919-789-4631 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southern Farm Show starts Wednesday, January 30, and runs through Friday at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. Gates open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. Admission is free and there is no charge for parking. There will be some new exhibitors, including the Spapperi company of Italy, which will have setters on display and may also demonstrate one of its flue-cured mechanical harvesters. Booth 9004. For more information about the Show, go to https://southernshows.com. See list of tobacco-related exhibitors below.
Growers meet: The annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association will take place at the show on Friday, February 1. It starts at 10 a.m. in the HolshouserBuilding and ends at lunch. GAP training will be available afterward.
Finally, hemp legalized! The 2018 Farm Bill has opened the way for southern farmers to get into industrial hemp production, once the individual states submit plans to regulate production of the crop.
Kentucky leads the way. Kentucky has already applied to USDA to approve its hemp program, and is the first state in the nation to do so, thanks to the commitment of Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. "Kentucky's regulatory framework perfectly aligns with the requirements spelled out in the [new] farm bill," Commissioner Quarles said. "Now we are eager to take the next step toward solidifying Kentucky's position as the epicenter of industrial hemp production and processing in the United States."
More than 1,000 Kentucky farmers have applied to participate in the program in 2019. In 2018, farmers in the program grew more than 6,700 acres, more than double the acreage grown in 2017. Other states are seeking USDA approval also.
An opposing opinion. A leaf merchant has responded to the story "Our Competitors Expand..." in last week's issue of this newsletter. His response follows. (The author requests anonymity): While it is true that our competitors (at least some of them) are expanding production, it is doubtful that this has anything to do with reduced production in the U.S. Why?
Instead, the decline in the U.S. for flue-cured leaf most likely reflects the ongoing downward trend in U.S. cigarette consumption and the absence of Chinese purchases due to the ongoing trade war. The downtrend is also impacting U.S. burley production and sales as are declines worldwide in consumption of American blend cigarettes.
SOUTHERN FARM SHOW
EXHIBITOR LISTINGS (TOBACCO RELATED)
Jim Graham Bldg.
Kerr Scott Bldg.
DATES TO REMEMBER