By Clint Thompson
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agronomist J. Michael Moore says the bulk of Georgia’s tobacco crop is planted. And there’s little incidences of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) being reported.
In his weekly Georgia Tobacco Crop Report, Moore 95% of the crop has been transplanted. There’s only 3% to 4% of TSWV being reported so far. It’s a good start for Georgia producers, as no other pest problems have been reported.
“Essentially all of the crop is transplanted with only about 350 acres left to go. However, this belongs to a limited number of growers and it may take until May 4 to complete this process even if rain forecasted for Wednesday is not excessive,” Moore said.
Tobacco was first transplanted in GA about March 24. However, most growers waited until April 7 to start. By Sunday, April 19 nearly half the crop had been transplanted before rain delayed transplanting until Tuesday, April 21. Transplanting continued until last Thursday before another strong storm, containing high winds, tornadoes, hail and 2 inches to 5.5 inches of rain across the state and the tobacco-growing counties.
There were tornadoes reported from Pelham, all the way to Homerville, Georgia. No tobacco farmers reported building or crop damage.
“I have since heard of some hail damage near Teeterville (Ga.) that the grower does not expect to require re-planting. This rainfall stopped all transplanting, cultivation and fertilizer application until (today),” Moore said.
According to the UGA Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development, Georgia’s tobacco crop generated $44.2 million in farm gate value in 2018. It was grown on 12,677 acres, mostly concentrated in the southeastern part of the state.