A number of new or relatively new varieties should help in production of all the major types this season:

Flue-cured: A second-year variety from Gwynn Farms—GF 318 — has attracted considerable attention in Florida and Georgia this season, said Moore. Marketed by Gold Leaf Seed, GF 318 is comparable to NC 196 but has mosaic resistance and is seven to 10 days earlier in maturity, he said. The two varieties should fit together well to extend the season. “Plant GF 318 early and it can help fill your barns until the rest of the crop ripens,” said Moore.

A new flue-cured variety from Cross Creek Seed called CC 143 will be planted on about 500 farms this season. "It produces better quality, high to very high yields, a bright style of leaf and excellent holding ability," said Sam Baker, Cross Creek vice-president. "What's more, it has very high resistance to Granville wilt and both races of black shank."

Dark: The new dark variety PD 7319 from Rickard’s can be produced for either dark air-cured or fire-cured production and is making an impact in Kentucky and Tennessee in its first  full year of use. It is the first dark variety with high resistance to race 0 black shank and some resistance to race 1 black shank that performs well as an air-cured variety, according to the breeder, Rickard Seed. It also has resistance to tobacco mosaic resistance.

Burley: A new variety from theKentucky-Tennessee joint state breeding program, (KT) 212, gets much of its genetic background from the old standard burley variety KY 14 x L8, but is a little earlier maturing.

KT 212 is the only commercially available variety with early maturity, high yield potential and a significant level of resistance to race 1 black shank. “This variety will be a good choice for growers who need an early maturing variety for early harvest but who can’t successfully grow KY 14 x L8,” said Pearce.