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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Local tobacco growers have fought this season's fickle weather like most other farm folks. The long wet spells kept them from making up their fields for planting, and when prepared, the land most often got wet again and added to planting delays.

By the third week of June, most tobacco in these parts would be nearly knee high and laid by, or lay by would be occurring. This tobacco was planted the last week of May, about 3 weeks late, and had not been cultivated. Another wet spell set in soon after planting. This was cultivated for the first time a day or two after these pics were taken. Normally tobacco here would have been cultivated 3 to 4 times by now.

I saw it again today, and it is growing and looks much better. The grower however is gonna have to hoe it to clean it up right.


 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco(pics)

Looks like it's starting to take off, but, yea he's got some spots with a lot of cleaning to do.
Looks dry enough now to get in there to till it. ;)
 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco(pics)

It is good to see that at least it's going to come through, with the season we've had anything should be counted for the good. Hopefully he has a set of cultivators, I know I would hate to attack that with a hoe (the back of picture 2.) Any idea how wide those rows are Jimmy? I don't have the eye for that kind of thing like a lot of you all do - especially in a photograph. To me they look wider than you see down here but it could just be the picture or the way I'm seeing it.
 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco(pics)

single tree farm said:
It is good to see that at least it's going to come through, with the season we've had anything should be counted for the good. Hopefully he has a set of cultivators, I know I would hate to attack that with a hoe (the back of picture 2.) Any idea how wide those rows are Jimmy? I don't have the eye for that kind of thing like a lot of you all do - especially in a photograph. To me they look wider than you see down here but it could just be the picture or the way I'm seeing it.
Brandon, this grower has about 200 acres of tobacco, and I saw him this week. He said he managed to get it all cultivated before our last wet spell. He will still have his workers hoe it.

His rows are either 44" or 48". He uses 4 row planters, and he either skips every 5th or 9th row so he can get tractors and tobacco trailers through the field. He probably uses a two row lister. He applies fertilizer just to the side of the row at planting. I don't know if it is in one or two bands.

Last Sunday afternoon, I saw a 140 cultivating in one of his fields. It was unusual to see someone working a one row tractor for him. I gotta feeling that anything he had with a set of cultivators was at work to get as much done as possible before the rains came again.
 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco(pics)

Who knows- there could have been a mule with an old horse-drawn set on the back 40 :lol: If I was pressed enough I wouldn't be above it! I'm glad he got it plowed out though - and I'd say that he is too. Out of curiosity - what row spacing did you all used to plant on?
 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco(pics)

Looks like its taking hold pretty good and geting ready to go. With the weather we've had this year I sure would hate to try and get 200 acres set and plowed but I'm sure he is geared up to handle it but as I'm sure you know all to well if the weather don't agree it don't mater what you got you just have to wait, which is a hard thing to do sometimes.
 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco(pics)

single tree farm said:
Who knows- there could have been a mule with an old horse-drawn set on the back 40 :lol: If I was pressed enough I wouldn't be above it! I'm glad he got it plowed out though - and I'd say that he is too. Out of curiosity - what row spacing did you all used to plant on?
Brandon, I skipped every fifth row and planted mostly on 48 inch rows. I had a little planted on 44 inch rows too. It just depended which offset I used to layoff the fields. I preferred the 48 inch rows cuz it gave one a little more room in the row middles to work. Toting big arm loads of tobacco and loading them in the trailers was easier. In a good crop that got its growth, the leaves would still meet in the middles and leaf breakage was more likely to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco-Updated(pics)

Most local tobacco has really grown the last few weeks despite soggy soil and little sunshine. It has grown so fast that I wonder if it will have much weight. Some fields show signs of fertilizer leaching, and the plants are yellowing. The tobacco near us was dusted by hand last week for budworms. That usually works better here than spraying. I know for sure that this baccer was cultivated once. If the farmer got through it a second time, he was lucky and has had very few dry days to get it done.

 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco-Updated(pics)

Glad to see that there's some place that the crop is doing good! This wet season we have had has really taken a toll on the farms here... ours included. Hopefully it will come out of it but who knows.
 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco-Updated(pics)

Brandon, I have not been around too far to see other growers' crops, but I have been told that right much of the baccer here is showing signs of too much water, especially in the low spots of fields. These pics were took on the high end of the field.

Here is a link to an article that is in the Greensboro News and Record today that talks about the poor state of the nation's tobacco crop. There's lots of discussion about the Ky burley crop in the article.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/ ... TE=DEFAULT
 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco-Updated(pics)

Jim the rains on the 4th of this month hurt our tobacco pretty bad. Got a lot that's fired up all the way to the top. I'd say about 2 thirds of the field is this way. Makes you feel kind of sick to see this happen but aint nothing you can do with the weather but the best you can. In all the times I've seen tobacco I have never seen it drowned in this field. Some will come out of it and some won't, about a third is still looking good. I talked to the extension agent Friday and he said from the fields he has been in he wouldn't be surprised if we saw as much as 50 percent of the yield in Madison county effected. He gave me some papers from UK with some pictures of what they had been seeing and there was some sad crops.
 

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Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco-Updated(pics)

Gordon, I am so sorry to hear this. I know that yall were looking forward to renewing your farming roots. Yall know far more about your ground and burley far more than I, but from what I know about flue-cured, there is an advantage to planting it on a ridged row. From the pics I have seen over the years, most burley is planted flat. As it is cultivated, dirt is pushed to it. I wonder what the Ky extension folks view is on planting burley on more of a ridge? I can see how it might be a little harder when cutting, but it would provide better drainage. I don't know but the burley variety might be more easily damaged buy excessive water than flue-cured.

What I have planted here at the new farm is growing very slowly. I have a few plants at home in the garden that were planted a week to ten days after the plants at the other farm, and they are ahead of them all. I planted a few about 2 weeks after the first ones, and they are catching up with the first ones. I hope the late ones will stand until the first of November, if we have no frost, for the Persimmon festival.

I have had flue-cured in the past that specked up during extended wet spells when coming into top. After topping, which enhances root growth, and drier weather, it usually cleared up. Will drier weather and sunshine help you any?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: Local Flue-Cured Tobacco-Updated(pics)

I took these pics at dusk 4 days ago. Yall can see that the tobacco is beginning to flower. Also, the grower was able to cultivate once more since the last pics. He got it cleaned up pretty good, but it sure was big to be cultivated. I went by it this afternoon, and his workers were topping it. It's 2 to 3 weeks late, but if soil moisture remains ample, it should mature quickly. Then the race to harvest before a frost begins.


 

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Gordon , sorry to hear that about the tobacco crop. Our Blackberries on one side dried up vines
after a rain shower in that 90 degrees+ weather the first of July. That weather was hard on things.
 

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Looks like his field has come around pretty well given the conditions of this summer! I'm impressed that he got it plowed out at that size as well, but if it worked for him that's all that matters. How long will it be before they start harvesting?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
single tree farm said:
Looks like his field has come around pretty well given the conditions of this summer! I'm impressed that he got it plowed out at that size as well, but if it worked for him that's all that matters. How long will it be before they start harvesting?
Brandon, weather and moisture will determine when harvesting. My guess would be 2 to 3 weeks. Most of this farm has gray, loamy soil. A week to ten days of good soil moisture and warmth will fill out the top leaves, and ripening will begin.
 

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Looks like he's come out with a good crop this year. Hope he gets it in without any damage to it. How heavy do you all let yours bloom before you top it and do you spray before or after topping?
 

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Gordon, it was being topped yesterday and was in a late button to early bloom stage. I'm not sure if it all is being topped in one pass, or if another trip will be needed. This grower sprays sucker control, but I'm not sure if it is applied before or after topping.

With my tobacco crops of the past, I felt fortunate if I could get my fields topped in two trips over it. My land varied so much, and in dry years it was common to go over it 3 times, each about a week apart. I applied sucker stuff by hand. If I got my baccer planted when I wanted, I topped usually the last 3 weeks of July, but sometimes wouldn't finish until the middle of August because of hot, dry seasons. I liked to leave top leaves about the size of my hand when topping in the button or early flower stage to prevent stunting from the sucker control chemicals.
 
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