Tobacco is set around the state.
About 30 percent of the expected crop was planted, but we missed the important part: the rain.
“We need a good rain,” said Andy Bailey, a specialist in the expansion of the University of Kentucky, which focuses on dark tobacco, but also working with Burley, which is common in Central Kentucky.
U.S. Department of Agriculture expects that the national area of tobacco to fall 2 percent on an annualized basis, up to 317,950 acres in 2012. In Kentucky, it is expected that by 4 percent, to 80,700 acres.
Bailey, who works at Princeton in Western Kentucky, said Central Kentucky, where Burley is dominant, is in “great shape, lots of water wise” than in the western part of the state, where the dark tobacco used in snuff and other products is increased.
“The state of the crop still looks good,” Bailey said, warning that irrigation may be required in June, and not typical of early July.
Bob Pierce, the expansion of the UK tobacco specialist in Lexington, said he was concerned about the transplanted tobacco.
“We had a difficult situation with greenhouses. When it was so warm in the early stages, many of our greenhouses simply became too hot, and we had many problems with the uneven growth of plants,” said Pierce.
He said farmers typically receive about 85 percent to 95 percent from the convenience of these plants, but they are probably running 75 percent to 85 percent this year.
“Usually, it’s not such a big deal, because if you come a little short, someone got a few” Pierce said. “But this year, it seems, everything is a little short.
“We have to see how it plays out.”
Kentucky tobacco harvest peaked in 1919 with 648,000 hectares of crops, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.