Burley and dark tobacco growers in the U.S. make hundreds of decisions every growing season that impact the yield and quality of the crops that they produce. These decisions may include choosing appropriate varieties, planning effective pest control measures or perhaps deciding the best time to top or harvest a crop. Increasingly, tobacco growers are being required by the industry to record and justify their management decisions and actions. The most comprehensive example of this is the U.S. Tobacco Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) program that was initiated during the 2013 growing season and expanded in 2014. Under this program, all growers who sell tobacco to GAP Connections member organizations are required to attend training sessions on the principals of GAP and to keep detailed records of their production practices. Training requirements may change, but growers are currently required to attend training every season in which they plan to sell tobacco. Additional information about U.S. Tobacco GAP can be found by contacting GAP Connections.

The written U.S. Tobacco GAP guidelines often refer growers to “University Tobacco Production Guides” for specific recommendations regarding management decisions. The information and recommendations provided in this guide have been developed and reviewed by tobacco production specialists and scientists at the University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina State University. The purpose of this multi-state guide is to provide all burley and dark tobacco growers with the most current research-based recommendations for the production of high-yielding, high-quality tobacco. The guide provides advice on industry-accepted practices that may be applied across the burley and dark tobacco growing regions, although in some cases, growers may be referred to their local extension offices for additional information relevant to their specific situation.

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