Eight cents might not sound like a lot. But the way James Brixey figures, it could mean an extra $18,000 to $20,000 in his pocket selling his flue-cured tobacco through contract.

“I see nothing wrong with contracting as of today,” Brixey says.

The Robeson County, N.C., producer contracted his 65-acre crop this year with S&P through Philip Morris.

When he gets ready to sell his tobacco, he calls the receiving station for a reservation. “With the contract deal, you get your money within an hour and you're gone,” Brixey says. “When you take good tobacco to sell, most of the time you're going to receive good money for it.”

Brixey sees little difference between selling his tobacco directly to companies or on the auction floor.

“The only difference is there's about eight to nine cents not coming out of my check for warehouse charges and grading fees,” Brixey figures. “Eight cents doesn't sound like much when you say eight cents, but eight times 3,000 pounds — that's $240 out of every barn of tobacco I'm getting that I didn't get before. That times 60 barns of tobacco — that's $18,000 to $20,000.”

It adds up to big money, Brixey says.