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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