Tobacco has been double hit this year with rain and now bacterial disease. University of Kentucky’ Dark Tobacco Extension Specialist Andy Bailey says farmers are harvesting up to two weeks early to beat Angular Leaf Spot, a bacterial disease that tends to appear after tobacco has been damaged due to extreme weather conditions.
“We don’t see it as much with Burley, but with Dark Tobacco that’s been a major disease in that area and it’s really ran faster this year through fields than it has in the past,” said Bailey.
Bailey says harvesting early can negatively affect yields by as much as 125 lbs per week. He says while the wet weather has been good for most grain production it's been hard on tobacco, particularly in the Purchase Area of the Commonwealth.//Bailey estimates a production loss of 20 to 30 percent for tobacco so far this year.