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Cutting tobacco: Farmers feel the crunch

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By Kate Darnell

On their family farm off Mt. Vernon Road, brothers Jerry Prows and Steven Prows are preparing for this year’s tobacco crop.

Tobacco farmers in Harrison County for over 25 years, the Prows brothers know this year will be different.

Their tobacco crop will only be half.

There will be no contract.

And, there will be no guarantees.

The family found out two weeks ago that its contract with Universal Leaf Tobacco Company has been cut.

“They called me last Saturday night,” Jerry said Monday afternoon, as he worked to prepare tobacco seed trays alongside his brother and mother. “They said they were just cutting back.”

Jerry said he had speculated cuts would be made, but he didn’t think his tobacco contract for 54,000 pounds would be dropped entirely.

“We didn’t figure it would be that bad out here,” he said.

“It’s just about like a factory worker getting his pay cut in half,” Steven said.

Despite the family’s other income from cattle and a small amount of tobacco plants, Jerry said the money made from tobacco served as the major chunk of income for him, his wife and two kids.

 

For more on this story, see this week's Cynthiana Democrat.