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 prices in 2013 will bring new players to the field in 2014. “More interest will be shown in growing the crops, and companies will be looking for buyers,” says Pearce.
For more on curing, order your copy of the 2013-2014 Tobacco Farm Quarterly Production Guide.