Some U.S. growers ready to call it quits, others stick it out
Nearly half of the 1,000 flue-cured tobacco growers in Georgia, USA, will exit farming and accept the tobacco buyout, according to Michael Moore, a tobacco specialist at the University of Georgia.
Moore says that many Georgia farmers have begun auctioning off their curing barns and other tobacco equipment. Some growers will switch to other crops, such as peanuts and cotton.
Farmers in other states are not as quick to pull out of tobacco growing. Lioniel Edwards, general manager of the Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative Stabilization Corp., says that a few growers in Virginia are leaving but most plan to continue.
David Smith, a tobacco specialist at North Carolina State University, says that half of North Carolina’s growers may eventually exit, but that few are leaving this year.