In an effort to insure burley tobacco farmers an alternative market to sell their tobacco, Burley Stabilization Corporation (BSC) is working with some existing loose leaf burley auction warehouse operators to insure that the farmers in the traditional operating areas (western North Carolina, Tennessee and southwest Virginia) have access to open and fair markets for their crop.

BSC will provide auction sales in Asheville, N.C., Abingdon, Va., Greeneville, Tenn. and Carthage, Tenn.

This initiative provides a marketing alternative for those farmers not producing under a private marketing contract and also for farmers with a tobacco crop that was grown, but not purchased under a contract.

The co-op is only offering a marketplace. There will be no price guarantees or price support loans available for the 2005 season.

This alternative marketing opportunity is viewed as an investment in the future viability of tobacco production in the Tennessee-North Carolina-Virginia region.

Farmers interested in selling at auction are encouraged to call Burley Stabilization for additional information — 1-865-525-9381.