Tuesday, August 21, 2001

N. Ky. burley expected to be solid crop

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — Despite heavy summer rains, Northern Kentucky's tobacco crop is in good shape as growers begin cutting the burley crop from fields, according to local agricultural officials.

        “The rains actually helped give us big crop this year,” Boone County Agricultural Extension Agent Gerald Brown said Monday. “And it looks like it's going to be a good crop, though it's going to loose some weight after it dries out.”

        Rain adds water and weight to tobacco when it is still in the field, Mr. Brown explained.

        As the tobacco dries in the barn - and before it goes to market late this fall — it will lose up to 40 percent of its field weight, he said.

        That extra weight makes it more difficult to cut, harvest and hang in barns, said Kim Kinman, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency office in Burlington.

        “It's tough on the hired hands in the field because it's so heavy,” Mr. Kinman said. “It takes twice the work getting the crop in the barn.”

        The Farm Service Bureau expects 2,793,926 pounds of tobacco to be grown in Northern Kentucky — less than 3 percent — 1,672,672 pounds in Boone County; 753,053 in Kenton County; and 368,201 in Campbell County.


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