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 out into the world. You’re digging holes, laying the foundation for an excellent season and giving your seedlings the best chance you can as they establish roots and flourish this year.
Establishing a healthy foundation takes careful planning, and that means integrating a comprehensive tillage strategy into your soil preparations. From no till to deep till, we help you get to the bottom of all the different tillage strategies, weighing the pros and cons of each with the experts who know on page 8 so you can be ready to put your plants in the ground.
In this month’s Meet What Eats Your Profit section on page 14, we take a look at tobacco mosaic virus, or TMV, which can start to rip through your fields around transplant time. We tell you what it does, how to spot it and how to keep it off your plants.
Laying the groundwork for a profitable season also means taking care of yourself and being aware of all the regulations that might affect you in the coming season. On page 12, we explore new changes made to fit-testing regulations for growers using fumigants. These changes can save you time and keep you and your workers safe.
We also help you firm up your roots in your family tree on page 16, as Robin Sutton Anders finds out how you can keep your land in your family long after you’re gone, without going broke in the process.
Finally, in this month’s Looking Back section on page 18, Melody Worthington, curator of the Tobacco Farm Life Museum, tells us about our roots as tobacco growers, which extend hundreds of years in the past and hopefully will help us reach into the future. The Tobacco Farm Life Museum is committed to preserving those roots for us.
Speaking of future, don’t forget to check in with us online regularly at www.tobaccofarmquarterly.com, where we continue to provide you with the most up-to-date information on tobacco production as we receive it.
As you break ground this spring, building healthy foundations and bringing strong, new life, we at Tobacco Farm Quarterly wish you success. May this be a healthy, profitable season for each of you.
— Eleanor Spicer Rice Robin Sutton Anders