Tobacco farmers know that to properly cure burley, they have to depend on many factors including facilities, management and especially the weather.

A new tool developed by specialists at the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture may give farmers an edge in determining what’s best for their crop at any given time.

“Each year we have good and less favorable periods of weather for curing,” said Bob Pearce, UK Extension tobacco specialist.

“Overall, the natural air-curing in Kentucky and surrounding states produces high-quality burley tobacco, but when weather conditions are challenging, proper management is critical.”

Pearce and John Wilhoit, UK Extension agricultural engineer, collaborated with retired UK Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering faculty George Duncan and Linus Walton and with UK agricultural meteorologist Tom Priddy and information technology support specialist Wanhong Wang to create a Burley Curing Advisory website.

The site, which features an interactive electronic curing advisory developed by Duncan and Walton based on their wealth of experience and expertise with tobacco curing, offers real-time guidance on curing management.

Access the advisory site at http://weather.uky.edu/burley_curing.html.

“The plan is that this tool will give burley growers important information they need to properly cure their crop, whatever the conditions are,” Wilhoit said.

“The site gives guidance based on many years of curing studies and experiences by burley and weather specialists.”