CROP REPORT 2021 -- WHO IS FARTHEST ALONG IN PLANTING?
A farm worker loads trays of plants onto a setter in this file photo showing burley transplanting. Photo by Chris Bickers.
In South Carolina, a small amount of the crop—maybe 10 percent—had been set out through last Friday, says Matthew Inman, S.C. tobacco Extension specialist. There might have been more, but a freeze on the Thursday and Friday before Easter delayed almost everyone. But now farmers are transplanting full bore. Plants in the greenhouse appear to be satisfactory. “Considering that it was rainy and cloudy for extended periods, the season went about as well as it could,” says Inman...In Georgia, transplanting was far further along, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The last word on pesticide choice should always be your contract, says Matthew Vann, North Carolina Extension tobacco specialist. “Just because a pesticide is labeled for tobacco does not mean it is accepted by your contracting company,” he says. “There are major differences in what various buying companies have deemed acceptable for application." There is no longer a one size fits all approach for Extension recommendations, he says. "There is usually information in a tobacco contract that outlines specific pesticides that cannot be used to grow a crop," he says.
In Kentucky, the weather has been good for transplant production, and it looks like there will be a good crop of plants when farmers go to the field around May 1 or later, says Bob Pearce, Kentucky Extension tobacco specialist. As far as he knows, none has been set out so far…Pearce thinks USDA’s estimate of burley plantings in Kentucky of 36,000 acres (down slightly from 2020) may be about right.
In the Virginia Piedmont, Appomattox County’s burley and dark fire-cured growers are not rushing to take plants to the field the field, says Bruce Jones, Extension agriculture agent. “Most are waiting till around May 10,” he says. Plants look good in the greenhouse at this point.
In Tennessee, a new Extension tobacco specialist has taken his post on the campus of the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He is Mitchell Richmond, a Kentuckian who most recently was tobacco team leader of the Canadian Tobacco Research Foundation. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. or by mobile phone at 606-316-4536.
REPORT FROM OVERSEAS
ARGENTINA: The governor of the province of Jujuy thinks tobacco growers in the province should replace tobacco with cannabis. Jujuy Province Governor Gerardo Morales said in the Buenos Aires Times he hopes that 10 years from now “we will stop planting tobacco and [instead] plant cannabis.” That would result in farmers earning a lot more money, Morales said, “and they are going to provide more income to the province.” Jujuy, in northwest Argentina, is one of the two significant flue-cured-producing provinces in Argentina. The other is the neighboring province of Salta.
MALAWI: The tobacco marketing season will begin on Tuesday of this week. The first sales will take place in the capital city of Lilongwe, according to the Tobacco Commission.
ZIMBABWE: Sales of tobacco in Zimbabwe have been projected to increase by 8.7 percent over the last season The reason? Production areas received the highest rainfall in three years, the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board said.
CORRECTION: in the April I 2021 issue, the date of the USDA Prospective Plantings report for 2021 was incorrectly given. The correct date was March 31, 2021.
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