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 which seeds to plant so that when it’s time to sow again you’ll be ready. Here at TFQ, we want you to be as prepared as possible so 2014 is your most profitable year yet.
This issue, we’re giving you the ultimate prep guide. On page 12, Chris Trlica investigates which new seed varieties could work best in your fields next year, and gives you the scoop on which ones have high yield and which resist pests and diseases like nematodes, black shank and bacterial wilt.
Chris delves deeper into new variety development on page 16, where he talks to Dr. Bob Miller, the principal investigator at the Kentucky-Tennessee Tobacco Improvement Initiative, a tobacco breeding program that reduces tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs). Soon, production companies may be preferring plants with lower levels of these potentially harmful chemicals, and Chris gets you to the forefront of Miller’s important research.
In addition to getting the best seeds, you’re going to need to get the best contracts. In this quarter’s “Getting Green for Your Green,” Robin Sutton Anders takes a closer look into a growing trend in contract acquisition: co-ops. On page 18, she talks to experts who help explain the benefits of this increasingly popular option.
Next year also marks a monumental change for many growers: The financial benefits for the federal tobacco buyout end. Heath Gardner, a new and excellent member of the TFQ team, gives us the 2014 economic forecast in light of the buyout’s end on page 8.
In this quarter’s “Looking Back,” we hear from Matt Luck, an architect who tells us how his summers growing tobacco changed his life and tied two brothers together.
TFQ also has an exciting announcement for you. We have a new and updated website, where you can get the latest growers’ news, subscribe to our email newsletter and offer your comments, so you can communicate with us and with other growers about the issues that matter to you the most. We’re proud to provide you with the best, most up-to-date information, all at the click of a mouse. Check us out at www.tobaccofarmquarterly.com.
It’s important to kick back and take a break, especially after 2013’s water-logged season washed away many growers’ profits. But with careful planning and armed with the knowledge of what’s to come, you can make the most of next year.
We’re looking forward to the year ahead and are glad we’ll share it with you.
— Eleanor Spicer Rice Robin Sutton Anders