Tobacco Update from Dr. Will Snell
The 2022-23 tobacco marketing season is beginning to wind down following challenging growing/curing conditions for the 2022 crop. Buyers indicate that the subpar-quality crop turned out slightly better than expected. Grower prices will end up higher, but profitability will be lower given lower yields and inflated input prices. Consequently, a large number of the depleted grower base are indicating that they will likely exit the industry given more profitable opportunities for other ag enterprises. Our last official count from the 2017 Ag Census indicated around 2,600 farms growing tobacco in Kentucky in 2017. I would anticipate this number to hover around 1,000 farms when the 2022 Census data becomes available, with less than 1,000 farms remaining in the industry in 2023.