|A transplanting crew on a burley farm in Ohio prepares to go back in the field after reloading plants in this file photo by Chris Bickers.|
Weather definitely affects germination in the greenhouse, according to the N.C. Extension tobacco team. Cool, cloudy conditions of the type reported in Kentucky in March can delay germination. But unseasonably warm temperatures in February and March can increase the rate of plant growth, causing problems with stem and root diseases, particularly if the seeds are planted in the greenhouse too early. Consult weather forecasts before seeding.
Following: Field dispatches through mid-April
(From NASS Crop Progress and Condition Report)
In Georgia, growers had planted 46 percent of the crop by mid-month while in South Carolina growers had planted five percent. Georgetown County, S.C., farmers began setting the week ending April 14, said Kyle Daniel, Extension agent. Heavy rain the week before slowed progress for a few days. In North Carolina, wet conditions continued. Significant acreage had not been fumigated, said Don Nicholson, N.C. Agriculture Department agronomist in central N.C. "Others are planning to begin trans-planting as conditions dry." In Virginia, planting was for the most part still in the future. But in Greensville County, Extension agent Sara Rutherford said beds were being prepared. Liming and fertilizing continue as the weather allows."
In Kentucky, intermittent rain continued to stymie progress of finishing field work, according to NASS. Three quarters of the crop was seeded in the greenhouse by April 14. Of that, seventy five percent of the transplants were under two inches, with 22 percent two to four inches, and three percent above four inches. Transplants were report-ed as in mostly fair to good condition. In Tennessee, some sunshine and warmer temperatures have made things look better, said A. Ruth Correll, Wilson County Extension Service. "This has allowed field work for crops along with lots of spraying and fertilization projects."
Zimbabwe market not improving. Through April 4,the eighteenth day of marketing, a total of 12.3 million kilograms of tobacco, mostly flue-cured, had been sold on the auction and contract markets in Zimbabwe. That was 62 percent less than had been sold at the same point in last year's sales. The price too was way off from last year: US$1.72 per kilogram so far compared to $2.76 per kilogram. Severe drought conditions during the season lead to an expected drop in production. Quality was apparently significantly lowered also.
Disaffection among farmers may be part of the reason for the low level of deliveries. Shadreck Makombe, president of the Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers' Union, told NewsDay of Zimbabwe some farmers were holding their tobacco in hopes of better prices. "The opening prices were low, and they demotivated farmers," he said. "The buyer is saying this year's quality is lower than last year. But as farmers we are saying the quality is good. It seems they [buyers] don't have money."
The basics of hemp production, Part 3: Variety selection will be the key to success for industrial hemp in the south. One of the most important consideration is days to maturity. Varieties bred primarily for grain production could have significantly different maturity dates relative to each other and would have very different establishment dates for maximum yields and harvestability with standard equipment. Research varieties based on what you want to harvest--fiber, grain/fiber or cannabinoids--then choose varieties that are proven performers..--Derived from writings of D.W. Williams, Plant and Soil Sciences, and Rich Mundell, Kentucky Tobacco Research and Development Center.
DATES TO REMEMBER
GAP training events:
- Apr 23, 6:30 p.m. Owenton, KY.
- Apr 26, 9 a.m. Lawrenceburg, TN.
- Jun 25, 5 p.m. Hopkinsville, KY.