Daily Archives: August 5, 2009

Tobacco Lost because of Rain and Disease

Tobacco plants as many other plants have foes. One of them is tomato spotted wilt virus, which is transmitted by small insects called thrips. Over the past few years, it has infected 15 percent of the plants.
Researchers found that this year, as much as 30 percent of plants statewide have shown symptoms of the disease. Many plants have died and yields have been reduced.
Tobacco specialists reported that unsteady spring weather and diseases have left Georgia’s tobacco harvests harming, as tobacco farmers prepare to harvest what could be their worst yields in decades.
Earlier this spring, farmers had one of the toughest times in recent memory just trying to get the tobacco crop firmly planted, said J. Michael Moore, a tobacco expert with UGA Cooperative Extension.
In this spring repeated rain inundations of five and six inches across south Georgia, where the crop is grown, washed away planting beds, chemicals, plants and delayed planting all together.
Farmers eventually planted 15,000 acres by May 1, Moore said. Then came more rain followed by a hot, dry June. And at the end the diseases hit — hard.
This year, in Georgia damages have increased due to the weather. Moore added: “We know there is a relation to the type of weather we had and this disease pressure. But at this point we don’t know exactly what that relation is.”
Due to the excessive rain, two other diseases called target spot and white mold also caused problems for farmers.
Researchers reported that of the 15,000 acres planted 1,700 acres were lost either to extreme rain or disease. Due to weather- and disease-related problems, tobacco yields are expected to average 1,700 pounds per acre or 400 pounds per acre less than last year. This is the lowest average yield since 1973.
However, Georgia tobacco farmers are expected to harvest 23.8 million pounds of tobacco this year, or 29 percent less than last year. Harvest will start in a week, a month behind the typical schedule.
The number of tobacco farmers continues to decline in Georgia because of extreme rains and tobacco diseases. For example today, only 200 farmers actively grow the crop.
Farmers now can grow as much tobacco as they feel they need to fill contracts they get directly from tobacco manufactures or marketing companies. For decades, South Georgia has been a place to get sweet-flavored, aromatic tobacco, the kind manufacturers add to tobacco blends to ameliorate taste.
But unfortunately delivering quality tobacco this year will be hard for Georgia, only because the bad weather.

Should we legalize marijuana

Well as we all well know there has been a lot of debate over whether we should legalize marijuana. Now there are a lot of supporters and people who oppose the legalization of marijuana.


The recent expansion of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) was funded by an increase in federal excise taxes on tobacco products. Congress increased the federal tax on cigarettes by 61 cents per pack and raised the tax on other tobacco products, with the goal of equalizing the tax per pound of tobacco. Using tobacco tax increases to fund health care for low-income children is a bad idea. As the taxes imposed on tobacco products increase, revenues are likely to fall — requiring increases in other taxes. In addition, small businesses and their employees are likely to suffer, and the impact on public health is likely to be negligible, or even negative, says David Weeks, a research assistant at the National Center for Policy Analysis.

Tobacco auction returns to Wilson

Starting today, tobacco will once again be sold at auction at the former Liberty Warehouse in Wilson.

Pictorial warnings on tobacco packages are effective

WATERLOO - Shocking pictures of diseased lungs, a brain damaged from a stroke and other disturbing images that appear on cigarette packs in Canada are effective in informing people about the harms of smoking and motivating smokers to quit, says a new University of Waterloo review article.

Electronic Cigarettes are much safer than tobacco cigarettes - FDA report

Last week the FDA announced that their laboratory tests detected carcinogens (tobacco-specific nitrosamines) in electronic cigarettes and warned electronic cigarette smokers to stop using electronic cigarettes, also known as e-cigarettes. This scare tactic certainly made front page news, but it was not the entire story.

London, Campbellsville approve smoking bans