By Brad HaireUniversity of GeorgiaIn an industry slowly fading in Georgia, tobacco growers got a recent kick in the pants when their major purchaser announced it would no longer buy from them.At a meeting in Alma, Ga., Oct. 14, Philip Morris USA announced to more than 75 growers that it would honor the three- and five-year contracts it still has with growers, as long as they meet the contracts’ requirements. But it will not give new contracts, said J. Michael Moore, tobacco specialist with University of Georgia Cooperative Extension.The company will stop buying from Florida growers, too, essentially ending its business in the two states.“This was no doubt a major blow. Not only to participating growers, but also to south Georgia’s economy,” said Moore, who attended the meeting.In 1996, Georgia’s tobacco crop was worth $206 million. Last year, it was worth $57 million.The company buys roughly half of Georgia’s crop, Moore said. The announcement affects half of the 200 to 225 tobacco growers left in the state.Growers and industry leaders are currently trying to get the remaining three companies still buying in Georgia to buy more or persuade new companies to do business in the state, Moore said. “We hope this is something we can overcome,” he said.But it’s going to be a challenge.With higher federal taxes on U.S. cigarette consumption and the Federal Drug Administration’s newfound regulatory sway over the product, companies aren’t looking to carry a big inventory of tobacco. It’s estimated that some have enough low-quality tobacco now to last them for the next decade, Moore said.The number of tobacco growers continues to decline in Georgia. There were around 350 two years ago. In 2004, there were 1,000.That same year, the federal government ended its Depression-era tobacco quota program at the growers’ request. It provided price support but restricted how much they could grow and where. Growers and quota owners were compensated for the end of the program. They now can grow as much tobacco as they feel they need to fill contracts.Filling those contracts was a challenge this year in Georgia, where disease and wet, stormy weather hit springtime planting and summer harvest hard. Of the 15,000 acres planted, Moore said, 1,700 acres or more were lost. According to the Georgia Agricultural Statistics Service, Georgia’s average yield this year is 1,500 pounds per acre, or 600 pounds per acre less than last year. This is the lowest average yield ever recorded in the state.The decision to grow tobacco in Georgia has become harder and harder for growers to make in recent years, Moore said. Many have sold their tobacco-related equipment, which can’t be used for any other crop. Canadian growers are looking to get back into the tobacco business, calling down their interest to buy good equipment. If a Georgia grower is too uncertain about next year’s crop, he said, they may want to think about selling equipment while they can get a good price for it.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Ah, year-in-review season. That magical time when we get to take a look back at the past 12 months and see which stories our readers liked the most and wonder aloud, why?As usual, there are a few head-scratchers in the list, but for the majority of the most-clicked stories, their popularity was obvious.Join us on this annual trip down local news memory lane…10) Glen Cove Stabbing Leaves Woman DeadThe heartbreaking nature of this story was surely the reason readers needed to know more. The victim was on her way to pick up her daughter when she was killed.9) Suffolk Jail Stars in New Season of MSNBC’s LockupWhat’s not to like about this uplifting story? It’s got reality TV, candid crooks and a close-up look at the underbelly of Scruffolk.8) Center Moriches Man Accuses Suffolk Police of False ArrestGiven how videos of alleged police misconduct regularly make national news of late, it was unsurprising that readers dove into a local story about such accusations.7) MTA OKs LIRR 4% Fare HikeReaders were likely more outraged than loving this must-read story about how the region’s legions of Long Island Rail Road commuters must shell out even more to get to work.6) Greenlawn Gang Members Nabbed in $15K Drug Bust, Cops SayOf all the stories about gangs, drugs and people getting arrested this year, we can only guess that the reason this one was so popular was because it happened in Greenlawn, of all places.5) Record-shattering Numbers of LI Students Opting Out of Common Core TestingHave you heard? Neither many parents nor many students like the new Common Core education standards and all the tests that come with them!4) Long Island Chick-fil-A to Open This FallThis was such a big deal that people actually camped outside the Port Jefferson store the night before it opened to be first on line to get one of those juicy chicken sandwiches.3) Great White Shark Tracked Off Long IslandDid you know that sharks live in the ocean? Well, if you missed that day in class, a shark research group tagged a bunch of big fish so we can see where they swim, including off LI.2) Portuguese Man-o-war Stings Child on Fire IslandIt’s not every day that these sea creatures wash up on LI beaches, and rarer still that someone locally is stung by one.1) LI Teacher Refuses to Administer Common Core Tests, Urges Others to Join HerOK, apparently it’s not just parents and students. Some teachers hate Common Core, too!
If there is a place to play the Cubs in 2019 it’s on the road.With Chicago’s 11-1 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday, the Cubs are now 0-10-2 in their last 12 road series. MLB rumors: Much-maligned pitcher Matt Harvey to sign with Athletics Jake Arrieta injury update: Phillies pitcher (elbow) could be done for season They have only been swept once in that time for what it’s worth, but still, it’s not what you want.The Cubs are now 0-10-2 in their last 12 road series after losing 11-1 tonight.This will essentially mean they’ll go just about 3 calendar months without a road series win.They’ve been swept only once. Will attempt to avoid that tomorrow.— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) August 15, 2019With their loss Wednesday, Chicago is now 23-37 on the road in 2019. That is the worst of any team currently in a playoff spot and better than just seven teams in all of MLB. Related News The Pirates are 13 1/2 games back of the Cubs in the National League Central but have a better road record than the Cubs.The Cardinals are now tied with Chicago atop the Central after a 6-0 win over the Royals, their fifth-straight victory. The Brewers are 1 1/2 games back after their win over the Twins.Studs of the NightYuli Gurriel went 3 for 4 with two home runs and three RBIs for the Astros, but James McCann hit a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning to lead the White Sox to a 13-9 win. McCann finished 2 for 4 on the day.James. McGrand. pic.twitter.com/ZL4P2dm4rf— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) August 14, 2019Xander Bogaerts went 3 for 4 with two home runs and four RBIs. His three-run homer in the seventh put the Red Sox ahead for good in a 5-1 win over the Indians.Gary Sanchez went 3 for 3 with a home run in the Yankees’ 6-5 win over the Orioles, their 16th straight victory over Baltimore. Dud of the NightReds starter Trevor Bauer gave up nine runs in 4 1/3 innings of a 17-7 loss to the Nationals. Eight of those runs came in the fifth inning alone in which Washington put up a 10-spot.HighlightAlbert Pujols made history with an RBI single against the Pirates. He now has the most hits all time for a foreign-born player in MLB history, passing Adrian Beltre.With that hit, Albert Pujols got the Halos on the board and now holds the top spot for most career hits for a player born outside the United States!! What a Milestone!!⚾🔥👏@Angels | @PujolsFive pic.twitter.com/co6XKahKhM— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) August 15, 2019What’s NextIndians (72-49) at Yankees (81-41) 7:05 p.m. ET — The Indians need every win they can get as they are in a heated division race for the American League Central with the Twins. The Yankees have a nice cushion on the best record in the American League after Houston lost to the White Sox twice in a three-game series this week. New York now has its sights set on the Dodgers for the best record in all of MLB. The two teams face off in an important series starting Thursday.
It does not take much more than money to purchase an NFL team. We know there is a screening process for those who make the attempt, because we know particular individuals have failed to gain clearance, but given that Daniel Snyder was able to purchase the Washington franchise in 1999, it’s obvious the other owners aren’t always so discerning.They opened their club to Snyder when he was 34 years old. He was a proven genius in the advertising business. He had joined with his sister, Michele, in starting with money from her credit cards and a small loan from their parents to build a company that sold for $2 billion less than a decade later. What else did the NFL know about him by the time he acquired the Skins, though? The Skins ranked No. 1 in attendance as recently as 2008. A year ago, they were 20th, drawing 65,488 on average to FedEx Field, which holds 82,000. By percentage of capacity, they were third from the bottom. WUSA reported last fall the team’s Nielsen ratings in the D.C. market had declined by 42 percent over six years, and the loss to the Jets was watched by fewer local viewers than a game between the Eagles and Patriots.Washington’s NFL team has been an embarrassment on the field. Many in the media have declined for years to use its nickname on general priciple. Fans have evacuated by the thousands. And, as it turns out, the worst aspect of the operation was not fully revealed until this week.If the NFL is bold enough to give Dan Snyder the Donald Sterling treatment, we only can hope the league’s stewards will be more circumspect before his potential replacement attempts to dazzle with extreme personal wealth. Not everyone who is good at business is good at football. Not nearly enough.MORE: Why Washington’s new name, logo could take a whileSnyder’s tenure has been a two-decade banquet of acrimony, incompetence and, according to a report Thursday from The Washington Post, hostility and bias. Though not accused directly of any personal impropriety, Snyder presided over an organization whose operations led 15 female former employees to allege that they had been sexually harassed while working for the team.The dysfunction within the franchise has moved beyond and below the persistent failures on the field to a front office whose culture is an embarrassment to the league. We can say this without qualification because three employees mentioned in the report as involved in misconduct either resigned this week or were fired.Snyder’s intransigence, his defiance, over removing a team name that was widely considered offensive back when he purchased the team had been considered by many to be his principal failing as team owner, even more so than the 18 seasons without a playoff win, 16 without a playoff appearance, 15 non-winning seasons, 13 losing seasons and the abject inability even to flirt with reaching the Super Bowl.Now we can see it is even worse than we imagined.There were many fans, last November during a home loss to the Jets, who chanted at Snyder, “Sell the team!” They no doubt were motivated by the terrible results. However, those who responded to a Twitter poll taken Wednesday by WUSA, the D.C. market’s CBS station, most likely were aware of the Post report. The result: nearly 85 percent said Snyder should sell.My friend Seth Davis of The Athletic, a passionate fan of the team, tweeted, “It’s not enough to change the name. Change the owner. Enough is enough.”It’s not enough to change the name. Change the owner. Enough is enough. Great work by @washingtonpost https://t.co/JXJHPnhWSL— Seth Davis (@SethDavisHoops) July 16, 2020It is not as though Snyder had been reveling in a moment of triumph recently with the announcement that the club would at last abandon the nickname that Dictionary.com defines as “disparaging … offensive … contemptuous.” He’d been all but forced to make a change when FedEx promised to withdraw its name sponsorship of the team stadium if such a move were not forthcoming. Pepsi and other sponsors followed, and Nike removed team merchandise from its website.Could he be forced to sell the team, as well? It’s possible, through a clause that permits commissioner Roger Goodell to make the demand in cases where an owner is judged to have engaged in “conduct detrimental to the welfare of the league or professional football.” That probably is a legal fight Goodell would not want to pick, but the decline of the Skins has affected, if only slightly, the bottom line of the other 31 owners.MORE: What to know about allegations inside Redskins organizationSave for the perpetually offensive nickname, the Washington franchise long has been one of the jewels of the NFL. It has a vast fan base eager to support a successful team and yet no longer tolerant enough to continue buying tickets and merchandise as that zeal turned to desperation over the course of Snyder’s tenure. It is one of the most profitable teams, valued at $3.4 billion according to Forbes. That figure almost certainly is depressed by Snyder’s ineptitude, though.