Chris Bickers

Tobacco planting begins with slightly brighter outlook
Despite a rare mid-April freeze, tobacco planting got going in earnest in much of the Tobacco Belt later that month. And the government’s first production estimate suggested it would not be the sharply reduced crop that had been expected by many.
Why the 2015 tobacco crop was a near disaster
It’s official: The 2015 tobacco crop experienced a nearly disastrous drop in production compared to the season before.
Severe flooding finalizes bad year for tobacco farmers
Disease, flooding and drought plagued Southeast tobacco farmers in 2015.
Burley tobacco swamped: Even driest land faces major yield losses
Wet, Kentucky weather hurt the state's burley tobacco crop in 2015. Even on the driest land, farmers experienced significant yield loss ranging from a 10 percent to 25 percent.
Sweet potatoes: Juice, pet food products could increase market demand
When you think of consuming sweet potatoes, the image that comes to mind is usually orange tubers baked, split open and doused in butter. In recent years, a few new uses — like sweet potato chips and fries — have found a place in the consumption picture. But what about sweet potato used as an ingredient in vegetable juices?
Weather delays planting for tobacco growers
Late winter and spring were really wet in much of the tobacco belt. How wet? In Kentucky, Bob Pearce, Extension tobacco specialist, said March and April combined were the wettest those two months he had ever been in the Lexington area.
Tobacco farmers deal with chaotic market, emphasize quality
There is one certainty about the chaotic market situation tobacco growers are facing: The best chance for success will come from producing the best possible quality.
tobacco, burley, expansion
Why burley tobacco has worked for some new growers but not others
“My yield (on burley) was way down by the end of that time, and I never could put my finger on why. For the first four years, we were always able to get 2,300 to 2,400 pounds per acre. But the last two years, we got only 1,400 pounds per acre.”
trade shows, farm, outlook
What’s hot and what’s not after 2015 Southeastern trade shows
“Peanuts seem to have gotten favorable treatment in the farm bill. Right now, we are selling a lot of equipment to peanut growers.”
tobacco, plantings, 2015
Tobacco farmers fear big planting cut this season
“Every conversation among growers is about a bleak forecast in terms of real leaf demand. It isn’t easy to understand how we seemingly find ourselves in this oversupply situation all of a sudden.”
Tobacco growers must grow more leaf for less in 2015
It was a tense winter for tobacco farmers, as contracts for the 2015 crop were very difficult to obtain. Prices were down, too, putting growers in the position of needing to make the most tobacco possible at lowest realistic production cost.
S.C. AgriBiz, farm, tradeshow
Crop choices still troublesome among farmers at S.C. AgriBiz Expo
“This was the Expo’s third year, and we didn’t see any falloff in either attendance or farmer interest. The innovative side of current agriculture was well represented in our exhibits, and it gave farmers an excellent opportunity to interact and get caught up.”
fruits, vegetables, Carolinas
A season that just wouldn’t end for Carolina fruits and vegetables
Managers at state farmers markets in North and South Carolina and an Eastern North Carolina county agent told Southeast Farm Press in early December that the fruit and vegetable marketing season got off to a slightly delayed start in the spring.
US tobacco growers learned some things in 2014
“Prices offered (for contracts) are moderate…but still aren’t bad. Much still depends on how the current Brazil crop turns out.”
Tobacco growers say “no” on child labor
At the beginning of October, the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina went on record as opposing hired child labor on U.S. tobacco farms.
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