When the National Agricultural Statistical Services of USDA issued its Prospective Plantings Report for 2012, it included some surprises.

Probably the biggest was that it projected the national burley crop will increase from 89,000 acres in 2011 to 94,700 acres this season, with big increases in Tennessee and Virginia.

Flue-cured plantings, on the other hand, are projected to be down six percent, from 206,700 down to 194,500 acres.

It had been predicted by some that demand for flue-cured might increase a bit since so much of last year's crop was lost to to Hurricane Irene. But all flue-cured-producing states were down in expected acreage except Virginia, which is projected up eight percent to 21,000 acres.

All the secondary tobacco types are projected to be down modestly in acreage except the cigar types, which are projected up 11percent from 4,330 to 4,800 acres.  

The report is based on a farmer survey conducted in March, before any tobacco setting took place, so actual plantings may vary in either direction.

The report's projections by type:

FLUE-CUREDacreage is estimated at 194,500 acres, down six  percent from the 206,700 acres of 2011. Among the individual states, North Carolina is down six percent, from 160,000 to 150,000 acres. South Carolina is down 13 percent, from 15,500 to 13,500 acres andGeorgia is down 15 percent, from 11,700 to 10,000 acres, while Virginia is up eight percent, from 19,500 to 21,000 acres.

Burleyacreage is up seven percent, from 89,000 to 94,700 acres. Among the individual states, Kentucky is up four percent from 64,000 to 68,000 acres, Tennessee is up 14 percent from 14,000 to16,000 acres, Virginia is up 35 percent from 2,000 to 2,700 acres, Ohio is the same as 2011 at 1,600 acres, while Pennsylvania is down 12 percent from 5,000 to 4,400 acres and North Carolina is down 13 percent, from 2,300 to 2,000 acres.

Southern Marylandacreage inPennsylvania, the only significant producing state, is down three percent from 3,000 to 2,900 acres.

Dark air-curedacreage in all dark air-cured states is down seven percent from 5,500 to 5,100 acres, Kentucky is down nine percent from 4,400 to 4,000 acres and Tennessee will plant 1,100 acres, same as last year.

Fire-curedacreage is down three percent from 16,400 to 15,950 acres. Virginia is down 12 percent from 400 to 350 acres, Kentucky is down four percent from 9,100 to 8,700 acres, while Tennessee will plant the same acreage at 6,900 acres.

Cigar TYPEacreage is up 11 percent from 4,330 to 4,800 acres.Pennsylvania is up 18 percent from 1,700 to 2,000 acres, while Connecticut Valley cigar wrapper (Connecticut and Massachusetts) is down six percent from last year. Cigar binder — also produced in the Connecticut Valley — is up 12 percent.