03/19/04 — Duplin farmers prepare for tobacco season

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Duplin farmers prepare for tobacco season

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on March 19, 2004 2:00 PM

Duplin crops survive the cold

KENANSVILLE -- Duplin County Extension Agent Bryant Spivey says the recent cold snap won't harm this season's tobacco crop.

It is early in the growing season and tobacco transplants are still in the green houses. He said they look pretty good.

But he also said he has seen plants in the greenhouses that have been harmed by the cold.

Meanwhile, farmers have been tilling the land the past couple of weeks and fumigating to control nematodes and soil borne diseases. It will be another three weeks before they transplant from the greenhouse.

Farmers are also getting their equipment ready to plant corn. Several plan to start next week, said Spivey.

Farmers have just finished top-dressing their wheat and will be watching the crops for signs of serial leaf beetle some time in April.

"They start laying eggs in late March and early April," said Spivey. "The growers need to be on the look out for that pest and ready to spray if they have threshold levels."

The larvae are very easy to see, he said, but you have to look closer to find the eggs.