The first burley tobacco auction sales of the post-buyout era will begin Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the Farmers Tobacco Warehouse in Danville. While tobacco is primarily sold through direct contracts with manufacturers, 15 auction warehouses in the burley-belt have announced plans to host auction sales this year.
Additionally, the Burley Tobacco Growers Cooperative Association (BTGCA) has announced plans to participate in the sales and purchase tobacco for export customers. The tobacco buyout legislation passed by Congress in 2004 eliminated all price support regulations, so the auction markets will have no minimum price guarantees.
Roger Quarles, President of the BTGCA said the presence of an alternative market offers growers something to fall back on and the BTGCA's involvement as a buyer adds competition to the marketplace. "While this alternative market is a small part of the total market, having one more purchaser of burley tobacco is good for all growers," said Quarles.