Flue-cured tobacco growers in North Carolina will vote Jan. 23 on whether to continue an assessment to fund export promotion and expansion activities by Tobacco Associates Inc.

The amount of the assessment would be no more than one-fifth of 1 cent per pound of flue-cured tobacco sold. The assessment would be in effect for the 2013 through 2015 marketing years.

Voting will take place at N.C. Cooperative Extension offices in counties where flue-cured tobacco is grown. Any tobacco farmer who is at least 18 years old and was engaged in the production of flue-cured tobacco during the 2012 crop year is eligible to vote.

“The future of flue-cured tobacco production in North Carolina depends on the continued growth of international markets,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Through the assessment, growers are investing in their future.”

The value of tobacco exports from North Carolina totaled $460 million in 2011, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Raleigh-based Tobacco Associates is a grower-financed organization that focuses on promoting and expanding international markets for U.S. flue-cured tobacco. Recent projects have focused on developing markets in Hungary, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.