I have been working with the Roosevelt & Travis Dicks Farm here in Columbia County to get their tobacco out of the field and they are helping me to collect yield and quality data for a dozen released varieties. Things are going well on the farm and they are harvesting a high quality crop. However, I am hearing and reading about many acres of tobacco losses in Georgia, the Carolinas, and Ohio due to excessive rain. Conditions have been good for the tobacco crop this year, and although harvest has been wet at times everything is going well. Mr. Roosevelt is always around and the highlight of my time is the history he shares and the stories he tells all the workers. He told me that before tractors were common, the farmers used to go into Lake City in January where train cars of mules were delivered from Missouri. Farmers would pick out a new mule and hire local workers and would start working the land for the spring season.
I made this video over several days on the farm. I did most of the jobs shown here as well, and hope I shared the physical nature of what is going on as well as the unique combination of equipment and manpower to harvest, cure, and deliver tobacco. The labor is mostly local high school students making some money for the summer. There are a few tobacco “veterans” around that no longer grow tobacco but fill in after their day jobs and on weekends.