Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 4

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Page 62 of 83

tobaccoasia 63 North Carolina – 160,000 acres, down 16%; Vir- ginia – 19,500 acres, down 13%; South Carolina – 14,300 acres, down 9%; and Georgia – 13,000 acres, down 13%. BURLEY: Total US – 84,000 acres, down 17%; Kentucky – 62,000 acres, down 18%; Ten- nessee – 13,000 acres, down 16%; Pennsylvania – 4,700 acres, down 7%; Ohio – 1,900 acres, down 5%; Virginia – 1,300 acres, down 13%; and North Carolina – 1,100 acres, down 21%. OTHER TYPES: Fire-cured (Kentucky/ Tennessee/Virginia) – 17,450 acres, down 6%. Dark air-cured (Kentucky/Tennessee) – 6,200 acres, up 1%. Cigar types (Connecticut/Massa- chusetts/Pennsylvania) – 4,500 acres, down 6%. Southern Maryland (Pa.) – 2,000 acres, no change. The Blue Mold Epidemic That Wasn't There was one piece of good news in the states: fears of an outbreak of the fungal disease blue mold dissipated as August began, as none of the several incidences of blue mold developed enough to become virulent. Back on June 2, there was justifiable concern when blue mold was found on burley transplants in Greene County in northeastern Tennessee. Cu- riously, the site was a greenhouse on the grounds of the University of Tennessee tobacco research station in Greeneville. No one expected the dis- ease to turn up in such an extremely controlled environment, with extreme sanitation. But as a state plant pathologist pointed out, the cause was apparently a shower of blue mold spores, presumably from the south, that was on such a small scale that affected only the one scale greenhouse. Such a transmission is perfectly credible given the nature of the disease, which is spread by wind- blown spores that drop to the surface when the wind subsides. The station staff destroyed all plants in the house and thoroughly sanitized it so that there certainly were no carried-over spores. But since this appearance occurred early in the season when extensive rains could reasonably be expected in the area, farmers and tobacco profes- sionals took a deep breath and hoped that blue mold would not make a comeback. It didn't. A small amount was found a few weeks later in a field near the greenhouse, and small amounts were also found in several nearby Tennessee counties and in Madison County, N.C, which adjoins Greene County to the south. But there was not enough to create an econom- ic problem in any of the locations. Some weren't even treated except for early topping, which makes the plant less attractive to the disease. A new fungicide was available to tobacco growers this season and another is expected next year. Both are effective on blue mold and more importantly, both are effective on the more prob- lematic disease black shank. Presidio, marketed by Valent, was in limited use on farms and report- edly performed well. Orondis from SynGenta is expected to do well against both diseases, hope- fully beginning in 2016. Still another, Zorvec from DuPont, which features low rates of application, could be labeled for tobacco in the not too distant future. Flue-cured leaf comes pouring off from a field near Winston-Salem, N.C. This farmer tries to harvest 100% of his crop with this me- chanical harvester, although the develop- ment of plants in the field sometimes prevents it. These migrant laborers cut and stick burley near Wilson, N.C.

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