Relevant story, Smoke and mirrors: the death of tobacco in WNC, here.
But for those who chose to remain in the game, the deregulation made it hard to turn a profit. Within a year, the price of tobacco had dropped from $1.98 a pound to $1.50. And with no price guarantees and substantial shipping costs to get their product to the nearest market, farmers risked incurring significant losses.
For many growers, the prospect of starting over with a different crop or even a whole new business proved less appealing than simply cashing out. “There’s some truth to the saying ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’” notes Duckett. “Unfortunately, a lot of that land [in Buncombe County] is growing septic tanks right now.”
Thanks for reading through to the end…
We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.
We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.