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for Watkins, Rupert W
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Studies conducted at North Carolina State University indicate that wood can be used as the sole curing fuel for bulk tobacco barns. Tobacco uses roughly one half of North Carolina’s agricultural energy, excluding livestock. Meanwhile, it has been estimated that North Carolina forests annually produce more than enough wood to cure the total crop.
More than half of North Carolina’s huge flue-cured tobacco crop is now cured in bulk barns. This milestone was reached in 1977 and the trend toward bulk barns is expected to continue. The main reason farmers have switched to bulk barns is to save labor, as well as energy.