KY Tobacco Crop Continues Decline

Farmers in Kentucky and elsewhere are preparing to plant the fewest burley tobacco acres on record, according to government estimates.

The National Agricultural Statistics Service says farmers intend to set 94,750 acres of burley overall this year. That would be the lowest burley acreage in nearly a century of records, falling below the current low of 97,500 acres in 2008.

In Kentucky, growers intend to set 67,000 acres of burley. Leland Brown, director of the agency’s Kentucky office, says the record low burley acreage in Kentucky was 70,000 in 2005 and 2008.

This will be the first spring in 55 years that Harrison County farmer Chapel Mastin hasn’t grown burley. Tobacco money put his kids through college, but he says he grew one crop too many after last year’s struggles.