The Georgia-Florida Tobacco Tour recently swung through Columbia County with a stop at the R.T. Dicks Farm. The tour was led by Dr. J. Michael Moore, Extension Tobacco Agronomist with University of Georgia. Participants started in Waycross, Georgia and visited 16 farms before ending the two day tour in Lake City. Tobacco industry representatives and Extension specialists from throughout the southeast were on hand to evaluate the tobacco crop and learn about practices and demonstrations at each farm. Tour stops included educational discussions on newly introduced disease resistant varieties, variety comparison trials, crop protection chemical trials, and organic tobacco production.
R.T. Dicks farm is completing tobacco harvest at this time. The growing season was challenging with an extremely dry spring and and extremely wet summer at the farm in south Columbia County. Supplemental irrigation eased the plant stress in April and May, but excessive rainfall in June led to thinner, lighter tobacco leaves and lower yields.