Growers Looking For Tobacco Plants


It’s the time of year when tobacco growers are setting plants, and many either find themselves a little short, or a little over.  Johnston County Extension Director Bryant Spivey says your Extension agent can help:

“What happens when growers get to transplanting full bore, which they are right now.  Those that haven’t started with surely start by the end of this week or early next week, we transplant a lot of tobacco in late April or early May, and growers start to find out they’ve either got too many, or not enough.  And so, we try to help make connections with growers that need some with somebody that’s got too many.

“We try to help make connections with growers that have too many, and plants always seem to be in tight supply in late April, because a lot of times growers don’t want to turn loose of extra plants until they make sure they’ve got enough, have a good stand, that kind of thing.  And then they’ll begin to let go of them in early May to mid-May, and plants will become more plentiful at that time.”

Many growers will go ahead and seed a whole greenhouse, knowing at the outset that they won’t use them all:

“Once you determine you’re going to plant a greenhouse, the cost of those extra trays isn’t that much.  And it’s probably a good management tool to have a few extra plants, because, unforeseen things do happen.  And that’s also what catches growers, at times…you know, like in April, if something happens to a greenhouse there’s not time to recover and reseed and do those kinds of things.  So, if a grower has some type of catastrophic problem with a greenhouse, like they get too hot one day, for instance, the curtain controller fails, that puts them in the position of needing to find tobacco plants.”

So, if a grower finds himself in one position or another, county extension agents can help:

“I would encourage a tobacco grower in the state that needs tobacco plants, certainly, to reach out to their Extension agent, and let them know what they need, and how much they need.  And also, if there’s growers out there at this time that know they’re going to have extras, let their Extension agent know as well.  The agents can get that information listed on the tobacco growers information portal which is, and then other agents throughout the state can pick up that information and help make those connections.

You know, sometimes we can do that locally, we know a grower that’s got a few plants, and we know of a grower that needs a few, and we certainly do that.  Many times, those don’t get listed on the portal.  But, the other times, local resources may not be enough to be able to handle that.  So, it’s really good to let the Extension agent know and get that information listed.”

Director of Johnston County Extension, Bryant Spivey.

A native of the Texas Panhandle, Rhonda was born and raised on a cotton farm where she saw cotton farming evolve from ditch irrigation to center pivot irrigation and harvest trailers to modules. After graduating from Texas Tech University, she got her start in radio with KGNC News Talk 710 in Amarillo, Texas.