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Author Archive: speccomm

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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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