Jessamine County

Kentucky tobacco crop 'looks really good,' expert says

Gregory Mason of Lexington cut tobacco Monday for A.J. Baker Properties on Brannon Road near Nicholasville. Mason said that he grew up raising tobacco on his family's Scott County farm but that before this season he hadn't worked in tobacco for more than 20 years. He said he is cutting about 500 sticks a day.
Gregory Mason of Lexington cut tobacco Monday for A.J. Baker Properties on Brannon Road near Nicholasville. Mason said that he grew up raising tobacco on his family's Scott County farm but that before this season he hadn't worked in tobacco for more than 20 years. He said he is cutting about 500 sticks a day. Herald-Leader

Kentucky's 2012 tobacco crop, very much in doubt only a month ago, suddenly has burley farmers smiling again, thanks to recent rains.

Weeks of drought left many tobacco fields in bad shape by late August, the plants small and the leaves lacking weight. But several days of rain earlier this month provided a timely boost for tobacco still in the field, and fostered curing of leaf in the barn, said Roger Quarles, president of the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association.

"It looks really good at the moment, about as good as anybody could hope," Quarles said. About 20 percent of the crop has yet to be housed, "but I can't imagine that anybody is complaining right now," he said.

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