LEXINGTON — With harvest nearing completion, high humidity levels caused by an exceptionally moist year could cause curing problems for growers of burley and dark tobacco, said specialists with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture.
Much of the early-cured burley and dark air-cured crops are showing signs of houseburn or barn rot.
Andy Bailey, UK dark tobacco extension specialist, estimated that as much as two-thirds of the dark air-cured tobacco crop has at least small traces of the rot, which also is called "sweat." Barn rot can cause leaves to fall off the stalk, significant leaf weight reductions and increased levels of undesirable chemical constituents in the cured leaf.
While barn rot is widespread, its levels are small enough on most dark air-cured crops that it should not pose quality problems at the receiving stations.
"A lot of the companies understand what our growing season has been like, and they expect to see some of that," Bailey said. "Unless there's a major problem, there should not be a major price reduction based on a single year situation."