The Pee Dee Research and Education Center, located near Florence, S.C., is the base of much of the tobacco research and public service work done by Clemson University. Research and education efforts are focused primarily on efficient, cost effective and environmentally sound production, management and curing practices as well as greenhouse production of tobacco transplants.
The 2004 Tobacco Buyout drastically changed the tobacco landscape in the United States, but tobacco still plays an important role in South Carolina agriculture. Tobacco is produced in 12 Pee Dee counties located predominately in the northeastern part of the South Carolina. Tobacco acreage is around 15,000 acres with an annual value of about $56 million dollars. The crop is grown by approximately 250 farming operations under contract with tobacco companies.