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Old Leaf Takes New Turn As Danville Warehouse Reopens

Piedmont Warehouse in Danville will open for the sale of flue-cured baled tobacco on Monday, Aug. 16, former tobacco auction warehouse operators Harry Lea and Jim Eggleston announced Friday.

The reopening of the former Piedmont Warehouse, located at 301 Trade St. in Danville, marks the first time tobacco will be sold in the warehouse since 1971. 

The warehouse was leased for 38 years to Corning, Inc. 

The tobacco auction system, which lasted for over a century, was replaced in 2000 with contracts agreed upon by growers and their respective receiving stations. 

This current situation allows growers no opportunity to market excess tobacco.

The rejuvenation of Piedmont will allow growers an alternative opportunity in a collective setting whereby growers and buyers can meet, said Lea and Eggleston when making the announcement.   

Baled tobacco will be received, weighed, USDA graded and moisture tested. 

Tobacco will be received by appointment Monday through Wednesday. 

Tobacco will be separated into lots based on stalk position and quality.  On Thursday of each week, buyers will be invited to inspect and submit sealed bids.  At the end of these days, the bids are opened and both the seller and buyer notified of the results.  The grower can accept or reject the bid, the owners explained. 

The grower may offer tobacco on three occasions.  If there is no sale after the third offering, the grower must remove their tobacco from the warehouse.  Both the seller and buyer will pay a fee to the warehouse, they said.

All transactions are confidential, warehouse owners said, reminding growers that tobacco is processed according to stalk position. 

Prices weaken considerably for primings, lugs and cutters after the second week of September, the owners added.