Tobacco acreage is up this season, but the increase didn’t appear through mid-May as had been predicted by many observers this year. The situation in Kentucky is similar to many of the other tobacco states. Extension Specialist Pearce expects a small increase in burley acreage, perhaps five percent.

“In the central Bluegrass, there is much more interest in growing burley than in the past. But in western Kentucky, some growers are cutting back.”

Why? Good prices for crops that compete well for tobacco land have been part of the reason. Also, the new crop insurance rule that tobacco can’t be planted on land that was in tobacco the two previous crop years is causing some growers to look at other alternatives.

But one segment of tobacco has increased more dramatically. The rising demand by consumers for products containing organic tobacco has led to an increase in contracts for tobacco grown in this style.

One of them is Adams, the Knightdale farmer. “I am going to plant 
organic tobacco this year for the first time,” he said. “The price will be attractive this year.
 if I make the pounds.”

• One potential source of flue-curing barns for U.S. farmers this season didn’t materialize. The Canadian company Tytun Ltd. hoped to build barns in the U.S. this year (see Southeast Farm Press, Jan. 15, 2013).

But it wasn’t able to find a suitable facility. As a result, it sold only four in this country in 2013. All four were made in Tytun’s Simcoe, Ontario, factory. An executive of the company told Southeast Farm Press that it still hopes to manufacture barns for the U.S. market in the future.

 

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