Best Tobacco Crop…Ever

Best Tobacco Crop…Ever

Like most crops, tobacco had something of a shaky start this spring, with persistent cold, wet weather.  Don Nicholson, region 7 agronomist, with North Carolina Department of Agriculture says the crop is now some of the best he’s ever seen:

“Our tobacco crop is pretty much done and we have the best stand that we have seen in my life. We had a shaky start with the wet and cold but the crop has done very well. We have had very few acres that folks have had to go back and reset or having problems with. My phone has been very quiet and there are not the problems we have had in the past.”

Unlike  last year where there were too few plants to go around, Nicholson says this year there’s a bit of an over run:

“There are plenty of plants out there if people need them. Contact your local extension agent or local agronomist. They are really good plants.”

There’s also been little reason to replant acres this year, adding to the excess.

Nicholson says he’s seen very producers over plant their contract this year:

“Most have some sort of cuts. Most are doing what the contract calls for and not dong over planting. Acreage is down about 25% due to that partly.”

Nicholson outlines where he’s seen those spare tobacco acres go:

“I think bean acres will increase and corn acres will go there as well especially in the east where it’s been wet and they don’t want to roll the dice and plant May corn. Cotton acres will slide over due to cost of production. We have a few growers with renewed interest in sorghum and there may be some increase acres there. At this point folks are planting beans and sorghum. Those with corn have generally quit for the year.”

We’ll talk with Don Nicholson further on crop conditions next time on Inside Agriculture.'

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.