Well OT, based on what you stated in your post, I called up my dad and simply asked him about what you posted. I am sort of proud of my father because he is 82 years old and was mowing hay when I called. He still does about 90% of what he has always done.<quoted text> Well "Pete" we do disagree again, and this time on everything in this post ! Since tobacco is a legal product, sold everywhere, outsourcing production did nothing to curtail use, it just transferred the income from Tennessee farmers to Brazilian and Argentinian farmers, meanwhile, the price of cigarettes went up, and regulatory control of what is used on leaf by those farmers is no longer under USDA purview. Destroying the Tn. tobacco farmer, if it had saved some lives would be a good trade off, but it didn't save a single one. It just made RJR and Phillip Morris more money, and that was their plan.
Ask your dad how many acres of corn it would take to generate the income from one acre of tobacco, and how many calves it takes to replace the income from a 10,000 pound tobacco base. I already know, but then you will too.
Smoking isn't any different than drinking in my opinion. Both introduce a drug into the body, although, come to think of it, I haven't ever heard of any deaths from a driver who had sucked down a few cigarettes, at least not ones made with American tobacco.
Anyway, I digress. He stated in his own way of stating things that income is not important. He said what you keep is more important than what you sell tobacco for. He also stated that it depends on what type of tobacco you are growing and how you cure it. I have no idea what he means by this. I am certainly no expert on this matter. Anyway, he said in our area, Burley tobacco was the predominant tobacco grown. I am assuming you know what that is because I don't.
He also stated that tobacco is a lot more labor intensive and a lot more costly than raising cattle. He also stated that tobacco didn't have a market price. He said you had to negotiate the price with the buyer directly during every sale. He stated in some years, he would have a great crop and great yield, but the buyers would collude together and finagle a low price to all tobacco farmers. He said negotiating was just as important as farming when it came to tobacco farming. He said he quit growing tobacco because there were fewer places to sell it and he could profit just as much doing something else.
He said that currently, beef prices are very high. He also said that the price for hay is very high in drought stricken areas. That is what he is doing and he says his farming profits are at an all time high, and that he doesn't have to spend a whole lot of time raising cattle and growing hay. Anyway, that is his two cents.
He said one little tidbit at the end of our conversation that I found interesting. He said that a lot of U.S. grown tobacco is exported. I never knew that. His statement regarding tobacco production outsourcing was quite simple. His answer to that was if there is a 40% or higher tax on cigarettes, less people are going to demand tobacco. He stated that is why cigarette manufacturers import tobacco. He said before the taxes were so high, U.S. cigarette manufacturers would never import tobacco due to quality and complexity.
Anyway, I realize this is simply my father's opinion and his sole experience. Yours may be different. He seems a lot happier and less stressed now so I am guessing everything worked out for him. He also said the going rate for corn is about $6.00 per bushel and that is close to a high point for corn. He said demand for corn is going up, demand for tobacco is going down.