Winston-Salem — Governor Jim Hunt says he's written a letter urging U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman to pull some strings and
soften an expected tobacco quota reduction.
The federally set quota determines how much tobacco growers can raise and sell. Analysts say the quota will drop by as much as 20 percent this year.
Hunt spoke to about 800 farmers and agriculture-related business people today at the North Carolina Farm Bureau Federation's annual meeting.
Glickman is expected to make the quota announcement on December 15th. He can change the recommended reduction, which is based on expected demand, by as much as Three percent.
State agricultural officials have estimated that a 20 percent reduction in the quota could have a 200 to 300 million dollar effect on North Carolina's economy.
The quota is expected to be cut because of decreased demand due to the national tobacco settlement and because of large amounts of surplus leaf which remains unsold in warehouses.
Copyright ©1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.