banner ad

Author Archive: speccomm

rss feed

Topping Timetable
June 23, 2015 |

Topping Timetable

The Fair and Equitable Tobacco Reform Act of 2004 either bought out growers or freed them from quotas and restrictions. The end result: fewer tobacco growers planting more tobacco acres. Just four years after the buyout, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported flue-cured farms had increased in size by 50 percent, and burley farms […]

Read More

Black Shank
June 16, 2015 |

Black Shank

Florida and Georgia witnessed the United States’ first black shank appearance in 1915. Having crept into Tennessee, Kentucky and North Carolina in the 1930s, black shank could be found in almost every flue-cured tobacco state by the year 2000, causing losses ranging from 1 to 2.5 percent per year in North Carolina alone. Are these […]

Read More

Transplants
June 16, 2015 |

Transplants

A successful season stems from a great beginning. With tobacco, that means transplants. The growing of transplants can often prove to be a delicate and time- consuming practice, prompting many growers to purchase plants instead of growing them on their own. Whether buying or growing transplants best fits your operation, experts offer tips and information […]

Read More

Going Green
June 16, 2015 |

Going Green

For most tobacco growers, cultivating tobacco without the use of chemicals is like starting a fire without matches. Sure, you could do it. But why would you want to? Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (SFNTC), a North Carolina-based manufacturer committed to the production of premium tobacco products with additive-free tobacco, contracts with an increasing number […]

Read More

Breaking The Mold
June 16, 2015 |

Breaking The Mold

During burley curing, a small amount of mold always grows on the curing leaf, and it’s no big deal. Some years, though, temperature and humidity conditions are just right for mold growth, and in those years, mold populations can intensify, jeopardizing growers’ health and safety. Small fungi that feed on dead and decaying plant matter, […]

Read More

Rain Effect
June 16, 2015 |

Rain Effect

For crops, rain is a good thing, right? Lately, Southern tobacco farmers might disagree. As of August 2014, the Southeast as a whole received about 10 inches more rain than average this year. While dealing with an excess of water drenching tobacco fields can be quite challenging, experts share strategies that can help protect crops […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More

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 […]

Read More