PVH 2310, a new variety from F.W. Rickards, is said to mature early, ripen quickly and can be harvested much earlier than traditional varieties. Rickards suggests the variety could potentially be harvested and cured before you even began harvesting other varieties.

“We hope to use it to maximize barn space,” said Yarbrough. “We still plant a lot of K 326 and some NC 196. We harvest by hand and cure almost all in boxes. We are moving away from racks.”

He is also planting about a third of his crop in PVH 2110. “It's a Rickard's variety with similarities to K326 but with possibly higher yields, he said.

Rod Kuegel, a burley and dark tobacco grower from Owensboro, KY, is looking at two burley varieties that might help in his operation:

KT 212 is an early maturing variety comparable to KY 14 x L 8 but with higher resistance to Race One black shank and similar high resistance to Race Zero.

HP 4488 is a new variety from F.W. Rickards that appears to be medium-late in maturity with  high yield potential and quality at least equal to other popular varieties. It has high resistance to Race 0 black shank and medium resistance to Race One.

In other tobacco news, one key to controlling Palmer amaranth pigweed in tobacco is to control weeds in field borders, says Matthew Vann, North Carolina State University Extension tobacco specialist. “Large weeds can enter mechanical harvesters as they are transported through field borders.” And natural weed seed dispersal mechanisms can be a problem also. “Weed seed can move from field borders into production areas if control measures are not properly implemented,” he said.