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Author Archive: speccomm

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Covid-19’s Impact on Tobacco Farmers
December 11, 2020 |

Covid-19’s Impact on Tobacco Farmers

Over the last few months, spread of the coronavirus impacted our lives in ways we never imagined or thought possible. Closed borders, stalled travel, shuttered businesses: Few industries and communities have been spared.   As we head into summer, tobacco farmers are hoping for the best while bracing themselves for the worst. While a cure […]

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Surviving Blue Mold
December 11, 2020 |

Surviving Blue Mold

On a cool, rainy summer day, a breeze rustles through the trees surrounding tobacco fields. Silently riding the wind are the spores of Peronospora hyoscyami f. sp. tabacina, otherwise known as tobacco blue mold. During summers like this one, when the rains just won’t stop and June feels more like early spring, conditions are just […]

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Applied Nitrogen
December 11, 2020 |

Applied Nitrogen

Nitrogen can be a grower’s best friend or worst enemy. If plants don’t get enough of the nutrient, their growth is stunted. If they get too much, the excess leaf growth that results can attract pests and disease. That’s why savvy tobacco farmers apply nitrogen in a calculated manner, taking into account recommendations based on […]

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Working Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
June 25, 2020 |

Working Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

Over the last few months, spread of the coronavirus impacted our lives in ways we never imagined or thought possible. Closed borders, stalled travel, shuttered businesses: Few industries and communities have been spared. As we head into summer, tobacco farmers are hoping for the best while bracing themselves for the worst. While a cure and […]

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Fire Ants
March 20, 2018 |

Fire Ants

Though their tiny jaws never chop your tobacco leaves, red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) can be a huge pain (literally) as they build their big mounds in greenhouses and fields. Ever since they marched their way across the American South in the 1930s, fire ants have made themselves known with their burning, pustule-forming stings […]

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Double-Duty Coverage
March 20, 2018 |

Double-Duty Coverage

For many years, burley tobacco growers have used cover crops in the offseason to protect the soil and scavenge nutrients. Because many tobacco growers also produce livestock, a team of researchers at the University of Kentucky is examining the entire enterprise as one system. The team includes assistant professors Ben Goff in forage and grazing […]

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Avoiding Pythium Root Rot in Float Bed Systems
March 20, 2018 |

Avoiding Pythium Root Rot in Float Bed Systems

Using float bed systems has many advantages over growing transplants in outdoor beds. It requires less labor, and there’s less worry about the effects of weather. Also, greenhouse-grown transplants typically lead to a more uniform crop in the field. This growing technique does have one major disadvantage, however. It can create near-perfect conditions for the […]

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Young Farmers:  Stepping Up to the Plate
March 20, 2018 |

Young Farmers: Stepping Up to the Plate

Over the past decades, the number of farms in America has decreased while farmers have grown a little grayer—a third of primary operators are now 65 or older. Now, however, those stubborn demographics are shifting. For the second time in a century, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) census on agriculture shows an increase […]

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Winter Greenhouse Prep
January 24, 2017 |

Winter Greenhouse Prep

By Turner Walston Follow these five tips to make greenhouse spring cleaning a breeze. With tobacco out of the fields and cover crops planted, ‘tis the season to prep tobacco greenhouses for 2017 transplants. “Sanitation is the key word,” says Dr. J. Michael Moore, professor and tobacco Extension agronomist at the University of Georgia. “That […]

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Optimizing  Nicotine in  Tobacco
January 24, 2017 |

Optimizing Nicotine in Tobacco

By Julia Ellis In the field and in the laboratory, researchers are investigating ways to optimize nicotine concentration in tobacco for the noncombustible market. U.S. tobacco has traditionally been prized for its taste and quality. In the e-liquid market, however, taste is irrelevant. Nicotine content is the valued commodity. Currently India and China are known […]

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