Tobacco Asia

Volume 18, Number 3

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64 tobaccoasia As June ended, the two major tobacco types in the United States had been planted, with perhaps a struggling farm or two in some of the northern tobacco states. The most notable characteristic of this type was its lateness. In Georgia, at the southern end of the tobacco belt, farmers reported it was the latest crop they'd ever had, thanks mainly to cold temperatures in April. "Most of our crop got set out at the very end of April," said Fred Wetherington, a grower in Hahira in south part of the state. "In Georgia, you don't [typically] set out tobacco so late. We're done by mid-April normally, at the latest. I'm real nervous." The Georgia-Florida crop started out about two weeks behind in both states but by mid June had caught up considerably. Extension tobacco specialist J. Michael Moore expected harvest to be- gin around July 1. He estimated that 15,000 acres (6,070 ha.) were planted in Georgia and 1,500 acres were planted in Florida. US Tobacco: Late Planting But Prospects Still Good Any damage from a late crop could largely dis- sipate if the weather cooperates from here on. A bigger threat had occurred earlier when the cold winter affected the growth of plants in the green- houses. There was much fear that not enough plants to meet the needs of farmers. But as of the end of June, there were few reports of acres un- planted because of lack of plants. There was definitely a shortage of plants in Georgia and Florida. "We saw quite a scramble at the end," says Moore. "All ours [produced in Georgia and Florida] were set, and the last plants that went in were from North Carolina. But I think nearly everybody was able to plant the acres they wanted to." In the N.C. Piedmont, Dennis White, owner of the Old Belt Tobacco Sales auction warehouse in Rural Hall, N.C., near Winston-Salem, said on June 17, "There weren't many plants to spare but everyone was able to plant the acres they wanted." "At one time, we were afraid we would fall 10-15% short of having the plants we needed in There were concerns about the supply of transplants this year, but most farmers seem to have have been able to meet their own needs. Here, David Miller of Abingdon, Va., shows what a healthy burley plant looks like. By Chris Bickers

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