Georgia tobacco farmers plan strategy for another cut -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Georgia tobacco farmers plan strategy for another cut

December 15, 2003

(Tifton-AP) -- Georgia's flue-cured tobacco growers meet in Tifton in south Georgia to discuss yet another cut that could force some to abandon the golden leaf that was a mainstay in the rural South for much of the last century.

They also will re-emphasize the need for a tobacco buyout.

Lamar Deloach is president of the Tobacco Growers Association of Georgia. He says cuts will mean the loss of 25 percent of the growers in Georgia.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has reduced production by 46 percent since 1998 and is expected to order another 22 percent cut for the 2004 crop today.

Growers also expect the assessment they pay for storing surplus tobacco and funding their North Carolina-based cooperative to jump from five cents to 12 cents per pound next year.

Deloach says he expects 500 of Georgia's 1,500 tobacco growers to attend the meeting at the University of Georgia's Rural Development Center in Tifton.

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