Making merger a reality: Kenneth Kelly (center) describes his plans for a new auction warehouse company combining Wilson, N.C., companies Horizon Ltd. and Big M Tobacco. Listening are employees Fred Sorrell (left) and Billy "Buzzard" Nichols. Kelly will manage the new auction, which will be held in the Big M warehouse in Wilson.
There will be one new flue-cured auction this season. The Virginia-Carolina Tobacco Warehouse is located at 11621 US Hwy. 15 South in Clarksville, Va. It is roughly halfway between Raleigh and Richmond and five miles north of the N.C. state line. Call 434 736 2130 for more information. This warehouse will be operated by Mac Bailey and his family who were until recently the owners of Baileys cigarette brands and who as buyers strongly supported auction sales since they were revived about 10 years ago.
But there will be one less flue-cured warehouse in Wilson, N.C. Big M Tobacco, which occupied the historic warehouse at the corner of Goldsboro St. and Ward Blvd., has merged with Horizon Ltd., which for the last three years has conducted auctions in a building on Black Creek Road, will conduct both live and silent auctions once a week in the Big M building. Speak to Kenneth Kelly at 252 292 8822 for more information ...A long history: The Goldsboro St./Ward Blvd. building was the Liberty Tobacco ware house for many years before it was acquired by Big M. Before that it was the Centre Brick warehouse. It was built in 1950.
The American Tobacco Exchange will again offer live auctions at its location on 2101 Miller Rd. in Wilson. Call auction manager Tommy Faulkner at 910 585 2708 for more information. "This could be a good crop in this area," Faulkner says. "We have had unusually hot and dry weather up till this week. But now we have gotten some water, and the temperature has backed off."
Old Belt Tobacco Sales will conduct live auctions again this season in his warehouse near Rural Hall, says owner Dennis White. Call him at 336 416 6262 for more information. The Rural Hall area got two inches or more of rain Tuesday to end what had been a bit of a hot, dry spell. Tobacco reacted very well. "It has been a hot summer, but the temperatures have been lower since heavy rains fell on July 23," White says. Farmers in the area around Winston-Salem have just started priming. "We seem to have the best crop we've had in several years," he says. "It appears to be heavy with good quality."
Watch for a report on burley auctions in a future issue of Tobacco Farmer Newsletter.
In other tobacco news:
The heat wave and drought had created some up and down crops in much of North Carolina prior to July 23. In Franklin County, N.C., north of Raleigh, some tobacco there was only knee high, while some was head height. In Craven County, between Greenville and Wilmington, heat and lack of rainfall had stressed crops and delayed field work, and insect pests had reached threshold levels in a few scattered fields.
In Virginia, flue-cured growers got relief from the heat and drought a week sooner than N.C., when rainstorms fell Monday through Thursday last week. In Greensville County on the Southside, 1 ½ to three inches fell in most places. Water was standing in some fields, causing some drowning. In some locations it was too wet to get equipment in for herbicide applications.
In Georgia, an estimated 28 percent of the crop had been harvested, while in South Carolina, 74 percent had been topped and 10 percent harvested.
BURLEY & DARK
In Kentucky, precipitation from remnants of Tropical Storm Barry fell early last week in many tobacco areas. But it was followed later in the week by excessive heat, and the crop showed signs of stress. An estimated 37 percent of the crop was blooming, and 15 percent had been topped by July 22.
In Tennessee, little field work could be done last week, due to off and on rain showers. Topping and sucker control progressed as producers could get into fields. The crop generally looks good. "However, we could use a little drier weather for a while," said an Extension agent. The USDA report estimated that 43 percent of the tobacco had been topped.
The season started out wet, and it stayed wet in Macon County, Tennessee, and Monroe and Allen Counties in neighboring Kentucky. "One farmer with 100 acres of burley got four inches of rain in two hours last Friday (July 19). It fell hard, and the soil already had had too much water," says Keith Allen, Macon Co. Extension director. I am not sure if he is going to make anything." One small bit of good news. "It has been sunny with lower humidity this week, and we have been able to get field work done."
Yield potential has definitely been lowered in this area, which lies north and east of Nashville, says Allen, but as with tobacco everywhere, good weather from now to season's end could lead to some recovery. Allen makes a very rough estimate of production in the county at 2 ½ million to three million pounds, a big reduction from the seven million plus pounds of just a few years ago. Much of that is due to reduced plantings since Alliance One ceased buying American burley before last season. It formerly bought a lot of burley in this area.
DATES TO REMEMBER
GAP Farm Safety & Compliance Events:
GAP Connections will host a number of Farm Safety & Compliance Training Events this summer. Attendees will rotate through interactive stations as they learn about safety and compliance topics required by the GAP Program. Registration is free except that at some, there will also be an opportunity to earn CPR & AED certification during the events at a registration fee of $25. You must pre-register. For more details, visit www. gapconnections .com or call GAP Connections at (865) 622-4606. Dates and places appear below.
- August 5, 5 p.m. Danville, KY. English. Includes CPR Certification (Growers only). $25.
- August 5, 5 p.m. Danville, KY. English. Free.
- August 7, 9 a.m. Hardinsburg, KY. English. Free.
- August 7, 9 a.m. Hardinsburg, KY. English. $25.
- August 7, 2 p.m. Hardinsburg, KY. English. Free.
- August 7, 2 p.m. Hardinsburg, KY. English. Includes CPR Certification(Growers only). $25.
- August 9, 9 a.m. Gallatin, TN. English. Free.
- August 9, 9 a.m. Gallatin, TN. English. Includes CPR Certification (Growers only). $25.
- August 9, 2 p.m. Gallatin, TN. English. Free.
- August 9, 2 p.m. Gallatin, TN. English. Includes CPR Certification (Growers only). $25.