Tobacco Farmers Face Uncertainty in Post-Buyout World
Posted January 13, 2005
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — As planting season nears, tobacco farmers face a dilemma.
Many have yet to decide whether to take a chance on tobacco in a post-buyout world.
While some farmers say they'll stick with the crop that has provided a good living for decades, others say tobacco is just not worth growing anymore.
Congress in October passed a $10 billion buyout of a Depression-era price support system.
No longer is a good price guaranteed, and uncertainties abound. Tim Priest is a 49-year-old farmer who tends to about 250 acres near the Moore County town of Carthage.
Last year, he grew 40 acres of flue-cured tobacco, and he plans to stick with it this year.
Priest has been offered a contract to grow directly for Philip Morris, the nation's largest cigarette maker, but says he's weighing his options.