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North Carolina

What a difference a year makes, this time last year, producers were looking for a way to salvage a sorry tobacco crop, ravaged by heat and drought, only to be finished off by Hurricane Irene in late August. Gordon Johnson, Sales Manager, Gold Leaf Seed says this year’s crop, while not trouble-free is in much better shape going into the barn:

“So far we have been very fortunate that there are no hurricanes going on. This year as you drive around North Carolina, a lot of areas started out very wet. Then everyone went through a June that was hot and dry. A lot of the tobacco did suffer in June but in July we started to get a lot of rain. There are places in the east that right now have excess moisture and there is likely a lot of premature tobacco that is starting to break and become mature. As you get into the central area of Wilson there is a lot of good tobacco there. Normal height and normal leaves, it looks really good. As you go further south toward Roseboro and Fayetteville they also have a very good crop. Just last week I was in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area and you could tell their tobacco crop was dry. It didn’t have a lot of height to it but it had the right leaf count. Yadkinville had some really good growing tobacco at the right height. Growers said its one of the better crops they’ve had.

All of what we have harvested so far has looked extremely good for color and quality. I understand from the growers that its selling well. Over all I think we are going to have a very good crop in North Carolina in 2012.

Most producers have done that bottom first pull. One thing that happened to many was they started to pull the bottom cut and then it turned green. But a lot of growers were able to go back to where they pulled the first cut and start pulling the second. They had to wait for those other bottom lugs to come off but they have been able to keep going. Right now everyone is looking at the calendar and how many days they have left hoping that there are no storms in the future.”

And that’s Today’s Topic from Southern Farm Network. Find more topics, including our series on Celebrating Carolina Women in Agriculture, HERE is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.