Hurrying To Harvest Before Ernesto

Tobacco farmers are working to get in their crop before Ernesto enters Eastern Carolina's weather picture.

About 1,900 acres of tobacco have already been lost this year in Martin County alone because of high winds and heavy rains. At an average of $3,700 an acre, that's a gross loss of more than $7 million dollars in tobacco revenue. Insurance covered about 75% of that, more than $5 million dollars.

Martin County farmer Rob Turner says it's not Ernesto's rains he is worried about.

"Having to deal with the 25 inches early, we found out that five-six inches is not going to be too much of a problem," Turner said. "But if there's too much wind, then it could be always a concern."

North Carolina is the nation's #1 producer of flue-cured tobacco, even though the crop uses less than 5% of the state's tillable land.


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