USDA Announces Preliminary Burley Poundage Marketing Quota Referendum Results. Preliminary results from a mail referendum held February 23 through February 27 show that burley tobacco growers voted to continue marketing quotas on a poundage basis for the 1998, 1999 and 2000 marketing years. Results show that 117,914 of the 120,925 producers who voted in the referendum (97.51 percent) voted to approve the quotas. A vote of at least two-thirds in favor was necessary to continue poundage marketing quotas. Burley tobacco is grown in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
1997/98 U.S. Burley Auction Update: With the 1997/98 burley and dark tobacco auction season beginning to wind down, total gross sales of burley tobacco (type 31) through the 49th sale day reached 303,593 metric tons, up 19 percent from last year when 254,054 tons were sold. Prices for type 31 are averaging $4.16 per kilogram this year, down 8 cents per kilogram from last year. So far this year about 17 percent of sales have gone under loan compared to no tobacco going under loan last year. Sales of Virginia fire-cured (type 21), and Virginia sun-cured (type 37) were reported to be higher this year, while sales of eastern district fire-cured (type 22), western district fire-cured (type 23), one sucker (type 35), and greenriver (type 36) are lower. Prices were averaging higher for dark type tobaccos in all markets this year when compared to last year with the exception of western district fire-cured (type 23). Loan take for dark tobaccos so far this year is unchanged or lower with the exception of (type 22), and (type 23) which is higher.