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Farming has changed dramatically over the past ten years.

When it comes to tobacco auctions... even the voice behind the auction is changing.

It's being replaced with a handheld computer device.

WALB NEWS 10'S KATHRYN SIMMONS HAS MORE.

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[NAT; AUCTION]

Two years ago, you couldn't even keep up with the tobacco auction speedy lingo...

[NAT; 25 IS RIGHT, ACCORDING TO THE MACHINE ]

But, now that's replaced with small talk

[NAT: BEEP ]

and a quiet beep.

[Jimmy: It's a silent auction now, we auction with the computers. ]

Wireless computers, called palm pilots.

[NAT 1.39 COOP...]

With a push of a button...tobacco companies can bid an extra penny.

[Jimmy: It's a different world.]

And a world of difference for long time tobacco farmers.

[Jimmy: They seem to be taking it pretty well, you know, everybody misses the chant, but you know, but everybody seems to be adapting to it pretty well. ]

Last year was the guinea pig year, of course, in Georgia you don't need that many palm pilots. There are only two buyers...Diamond International and Export Leaf. And the amount of auctions are dwindling too.

[Jimmy: There are only four in Georgia now, Vidallia, Statesboro, Nashville and Moultrie that still have auctions.]

So, as the four auctions continue to survive...

[NAT: OLD AUCTION:]

the old way of auctioning will become a thing of the past.

Kathryn Simmons WALB News 10, Moultrie.

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The tobacco auctions will be once a week until mid October.

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