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by George A. Duncan

232 pages
This book describes numerous innovative methods, structures, machines and methods that have been devoted to Kentucky agriculture, particularly burley tobacco, over a half century of the golden leaf era.

Paperback $47.00   + $6.95 shipping & handling (USA)
(add $2.00 S&H per additional copy)
Category: Science
(requires Adobe Reader)
About the Book
Burley tobacco thrived in Kentucky and elsewhere for over a century as a profitable farm cash crop with intensive manual labor requirements. Many efforts were made to reduce labor required for production methods. This book describes over 140 innovative methods, structures and machines that have been created during this period. Brief performance data and adoption comments are made about each innovation.

Additionally, over 85 patents are listed on machines and processes.

The more successful labor reducing developments were the float tray transplant production and the small bale packaging and marketing method. The Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation leaders were instrumental in pursuing changes in the state and federal regulations necessary for the bale method to be accepted.

New varieties, fertility management, pest and disease abatement also have contributed greatly to yield and quality gains. All these innovative concepts and methods could be the greatest number of advances for any agricultural crop, animal or product related to Kentucky in a half century.

The book summarizes the multitude of technological innovations to be remembered and discussed for years to come. Buy a book and enjoy reading about the journey of the golden leaf.


How wonderful it is to have an old friend write a book about a product that I spent years cutting, housing, stripping, buying and selling – burley tobacco. George Duncan has taken us thru the early years of pegging and hand-tying to the controversies of loose-leaf baling. Enjoy the journey and pass the historical conquests on to your children and grandchildren.
- Ben Crain
George Duncan has been involved in some way in nearly every technological innovation in burley tobacco production in the past half century. This book provides detailed description, along with excellent photographs, of the important innovations in harvesting and preparation for market of the crop—a crop that has been central to Kentucky agriculture and therefore to culture and economic well-being.
- Dr. Ann Ferrell
Burley innovations, George Duncan and others have helped greatly in my tobacco operation. My brother John and I, and one other person, cut and housed twelve acres of burley for $83 per acre out-of-pocket costs with the cable-hoist system. We made “A”-frames to support the cable-hoist beams in the field allowing us to load the beams quickly and avoid rain damage. Baling cured tobacco cut stripping costs 40- to 50-percent. Float plants were a great help in getting the crop set in the field.
- Evan McCord



About the Author
George Duncan was reared on the family farm near Auburn, KY, and graduated from the University of Kentucky with Agricultural Engineering degrees. He devoted his career to serving Kentucky farmers, youth and families with the Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service providing technology on farm building designs, burley mechanization and 4-H youth development.



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