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Author Archive: speccomm

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Rotation That Works
February 18, 2014 |

Rotation That Works

At a loss for how to plan out a favorable crop rotation program? Let the experts help. The Virginia flue-cured guide offers the following examples of successful programs Virginia growers have used: 1-year rotation: Tobacco followed by small grain or ryegrass cover crop 2-year rotation: 1st year: Tobacco followed by small grain and fescue or […]

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Establishing Roots
February 18, 2014 |

Establishing Roots

Right now, everything’s just getting a move on. Animals and insects are peeking out of their winter refuge, the weather is pushing toward warmer days, and plants are beginning to spread their leaves and grow. You’re getting a move on, too. You’re bringing your plants from the winter warmth of the greenhouse and putting them […]

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Leaching vs. Drowning
January 3, 2014 |

Leaching vs. Drowning

When plants are exposed to too much water, it’s hard to determine whether they are drowning or suffering from nutrient leaching. Leaching occurs when some nutrients sink below normal rooting depth because of an excess of water percolating through the root zone of deep, sandy soil. If a grower’s soil is composed of clay within […]

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Burley Demand
December 18, 2013 |

Burley Demand

Although 2013 weather was damaging to Kentucky  burley fields—experts estimate that about 5 percent of the crop was lost—curing conditions were better than average. Even though the yield was lower, the quality, because of the good curing, was higher, leading to higher prices. Bob Pearce, tobacco agronomist at the University of Kentucky, predicts that high […]

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A Better Budget
December 12, 2013 |

A Better Budget

The first step to financial security is establishing a budget. Here’s how it works: 1. Start with the expected yield per acre and multiply it by the number of acres to be planted. 2. Multiply that number by the price you expect to receive (the total of your anticipated gross receipts). 3. From that number, […]

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H-2A Program Updates
December 12, 2013 |

H-2A Program Updates

Experts estimate that about 75 percent of total labor hours in tobacco production are performed by international seasonal workers. To employ these workers, growers must use the H-2A visa program—a program that can seem complicated and difficult to navigate. Last year, Congress passed no new legislation on the H-2A program; however, a few promising program […]

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European Regulation
November 19, 2013 |

European Regulation

In early October, the European Parliament voted to postpone a ban on menthol cigarettes to 2021 and scale down the size of health warnings on cigarette packets. Instead of approving the proposal that health warnings should cover 75 percent of packaging (up from the current requirement that warnings cover 30 percent of the front and […]

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Winter’s No Break
November 19, 2013 |

Winter’s No Break

Yes, you’ve packed away your equipment or taken it to get those necessary repairs. Yes, your fields are taking a break from tobacco, at least for now. But you know your work doesn’t end with the growing season. Winter’s the best time to get your ducks in a row, to start planning your contracts and […]

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When It Rains, It Pours
August 14, 2013 |

When It Rains, It Pours

This summer has probably left many of you wishing you had giant umbrellas for your fields. After years of worrying about drought, the skies opened up on many growers’ fields, dumping more than 30 inches in just a few short weeks on some fields in the East. With drenched and drowning plants growing thin and […]

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2013 Market Outlook
August 14, 2013 |

2013 Market Outlook

Tobacco country weather puts a web blanket on crop reports According to the USDA’s July 11 Flue-Cured Crop Production Report, total flue-cured tobacco acreage planted was up about 11,000 acres in 2013 from last year. Georgia planted 5,000 additional acres for a total of 15,000, and North Carolina planted an additional 6,000 acres for a […]

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