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Category: Magazine

Linking Farmers to Land
December 11, 2020 |

Linking Farmers to Land

  Across the state, growers and landowners are turning to NC FarmLink for help making valuable connections.   By Lara Ivanitch   Some things belong together—salt and pepper, bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly. Other things are so intertwined that it’s hard to consider one without the other, like clouds and sky or a […]

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Back to Basics: Curing and Harvesting Fundamentals
December 11, 2020 |

Back to Basics: Curing and Harvesting Fundamentals

by John Capetanos To care for tobacco crops, a couple of factors are necessary. One is a targeted eye at keeping the plant healthy while it grows, and another is identifying when you want to harvest and how long you want to cure. Regardless of the first half of the process, your approach to harvesting […]

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Tobacco and Alternative Plastics: New Materials for a Changing World
December 11, 2020 |

Tobacco and Alternative Plastics: New Materials for a Changing World

by John Capetanos Of all the plants you’d think to be targeted for replacing the presence of plastics, tobacco doesn’t immediately come to mind. Yet tobacco has emerged as an early standout in the search to find a reliable alternative to commonly used plastics and synthetic woods. For bioengineers working on these new substances, tobacco […]

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Embracing Drone Technology
December 11, 2020 |

Embracing Drone Technology

In every industry, leaders are asked to do more with less as their margins are squeezed from every direction. But tobacco growers may be in a league of their own. For generations, farms of all sizes have faced decreased demand and contract uncertainty. Even in the best of years, the next year isn’t guaranteed. As […]

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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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