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.
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?
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.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
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.