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Author Archive: speccomm

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Fill ‘em Up
[ 0 ] April 22, 2013 |

Fill ‘em Up

Tobacco media typically consists of peat mixed with a combination of vermiculite (a natural mineral that expands with the application of heat) and perlite (naturally forming volcanic glass that also expands with the application of heat) in various proportions. The Kentucky and Tennessee guide points out that research has not yet found any specific combination […]

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Tobacco Float Trays: Choosing the Right One For You
[ 0 ] April 22, 2013 |

Tobacco Float Trays: Choosing the Right One For You

While there are a few different types of trays on the market for use in tobacco float systems, most trays are made of polystyrene. Standard options for growers include high-density, low-density, shallow-well and glazed trays. While high-density polystyrene trays are more durable, they are also more expensive, as they tend to be bulkier and heavier […]

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From Seed to Transplant
[ 0 ] April 22, 2013 |

From Seed to Transplant

How do you have the most successful final product possible? You must have a successful beginning. For tobacco farmers, this means starting out with strong seeds that grow into healthy transplants. With a seed so small its volume ranges from 10,000 to 20,000 seeds per gram, transformation from the fragile seedling stage into hardy transplants […]

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Smart Budgeting
[ 0 ] April 22, 2013 |

Smart Budgeting

This economy has everyone taking a hard look at what they spend versus what they take in. Modern tobacco farmers are no different. They are constantly reviewing their input costs to see what they can trim from their expenses without sacrificing the quality of their product. Keeping a record of how every dime was spent […]

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Help Wanted
[ 0 ] April 19, 2013 |

Help Wanted

Labor is the largest variable expense in tobacco growing, especially when it comes to burley. Tobacco production studies have generally indicated that despite some gains in labor efficiency over the years, it still takes 150 to 200 hours of labor to grow an acre of burley tobacco. Still, you can take some steps to help […]

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World Leaf News: First Quarter
[ 0 ] February 14, 2013 |

World Leaf News: First Quarter

2013 Outlook Uncertain Coming on the heels of a very good 2012 growing season, many growers are registering guarded optimism for the 2013 season. According to the most recent U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report estimate, 2012 flue-cured production increased to 494.6 million pounds from 344.5 million pounds in 2011. The excellent quality of the […]

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Keeping Good Records
[ 0 ] May 14, 2012 |

Keeping Good Records

The best way to keep good records is to do whatever is easiest for you so that you can track your operations on a daily basis. Laura Powers, University of Kentucky Extension specialist, says she knows of growers who keep a pocket calendar on hand, transferring their handwritten notes to an electronic expense tracking system […]

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Clipping Tips
[ 0 ] January 12, 2011 |

Clipping Tips

Clipping is an important technique for tobacco farmers. It can improve the health and strength of a transplant, help keep all stem lengths and diameters alike, and be used to delay planting if field conditions are adverse. However, these benefits will only happen if you make sure to properly clip your transplants. Improper clipping can […]

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Common Greenhouse Diseases
August 20, 2010 |

Common Greenhouse Diseases

A quick look at some common greenhouse diseases: Angular leaf spot (ALS), or “blackfire,” can overwinter on old tobacco debris and is favored by continuous moisture. Angular leaf spot is typically treated with streptomycin on a weekly basis. Anthracnose is a fungal disease that causes small, depressed spots that appear watersoaked in the early stages, […]

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Just Add Water
[ 0 ] February 28, 2010 |

Just Add Water

Making sure your transplant is healthy continues with ensuring its source of water is optimal. You can verify the state of your water by collecting from and testing your water source, which will reveal both the alkalinity levels as well as the nutritional suitability for transplant production. Your county’s Cooperative Extension center can assist in […]

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