Title: Cuban tobacco in Polk County, Florida
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/FS00000082/00001
 Material Information
Title: Cuban tobacco in Polk County, Florida
Series Title: Cuban tobacco in Polk County, Florida
Physical Description: Book
Creator: Board of Trade (Bartow, Fla.)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: FS00000082
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Florida State University
Holding Location: Florida State University
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Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA1029

Full Text

,I .. .
*n~ Rr c o R STAnTE UN

STciall. . . . f
4 Polk Gounty


August, 1897.
A Compendium of
who contemplate better-
inf their condition finan-
cially..... . .

.. Compiled by Experts for...
Au4ust, 1897.


rolk 'County, F T

E c)LK COUNTY is the right place to locate
j in Florida. Its climate is the best to be
found in the State. Its soils are varied, con-
sisting t i hammock, high pine, flat woods, prairie,
and muck. Its products include the entire list of
semi-tropical fruits.
It has a most excellent system of public schools-
tuition entirely free to all of school age.
This county is the center of the Pebble Phosphate
The county has an assessed valuation of over $3,-
500,000 and is entirely free from debt, with a good
surplus in the treasury.
A system of good hard roads is being built up
throughout the county. The material used for
paving roads is convenient in all sections, and a
like material is found in no other county.
Has more deep clear water lakes than any ooun-
ty in the world.
Has a large area of grating lands suitable for cat-
tle aid sheep raising which is a prominent and
profitable induHtry.
Building material is 0heap and abundant-best
pine lumber $9. per 1000,feet delivered;
las a large number of fine bearing orange groves
which will bear many thousand boxes of the choic-
est golden fruit this season.
Her farmers are rejoicing over the largest corn
crop in the history of the county, which is being
harvested now.
Pineapple growing is becoming a yery common
and profitable business. No finer pines are grown
in the State than here.

' Tobacco Growing.--
S Since the war in Cuba there has been a large and
rapidly increasing demand for fine cigar tobacco,
Sand Florida has had to come to the rescue. Polk
county has made such a phenomenal success at pro-
ducing the genuine Vuelta Abajo cigar leaf, that
the eyes of the tobacco world have been turned this
way, and in order to meet the deo.and for infor-
mation, which eomes from every quarter of the
earth, the Bartow Board of Trade has collected the
most reliable information obtainable on the subject
'and presents it herewith beginning with an inter-
view with a gentleman of integrity and splendid
intelligence, who says that he is sixty years old,
and seventeen years a tobacco grower in Cuba, and
who furnishes the Board of Trade answers to the
following questions:
Ques. How many counties have you examined
in Florida, and which one presents the largest area
of land especially adapted to the growing of Cuban
Ans. I have examined several counties, especl-
ally DeSoto, Lee and Polk. I am satisfied that
Polk has the best land that is adapted to the grow-
ing of Cuban tobacco, although I am not now en,
gaged in raising tobacco in Polk county, but if I
were to select lands for others I should certainly
select them in Polk county.
Ques. What color ought the soil to show and
what sub-soil should it have?
Ans. The soil should have a darkish color and
mixed with a yellowish sub-soil.
Ques. What is your reason for selecting this
class of soil?

Ans. Because it gives a finer and more silky leaf
and requires les fertilizer. It furnishes more gum
to the leaf and makes it more elastic for the a
pose of wrappers, -'
SQues. What is the difference between the tob. -..
do grown upon white, sandy soil, of which you see
o much in Florida, and the tobacco grown on the
oi you d.epribe4 in. your last answer? _
:Ao& '~.eaQit. j~ s described suffers less from
awd 'ti the leaf less, while the sandy rsil
Sa light-weight leaf and requires a great
s. aCmt of fertilizer.
* o ;u~n. Do you always analyze the soil before
i; jaa riska crop on it?
SAna.. I do not. I can judge it by the eye from
Ony loCg experience.
Ques. Does all soil which looks alike on the sur-
tace-always analyze the same?
SAns." It does nct. Sometimes there is mere of
one ingredient than another, which is necessary fqr
the tobacco plant, and it is better to select that soil
bwhich contains the greatest amount of nature i
plant food. This class of land can be easily selected
Sby one of long experience.
Ques. Will you explain in your own way just
what the soil must contain before you would plant

SAnes. pamonia, potash, lime in small quantity,
and phosphate.
i Ques. Will you say what fertilizer you would
Sjalway nus#a nd how many pounds you would put
o the acre? Also its cost per ton ,
S Ans. Peruvian guano with at: least 200 pounds
bf poft h to the acre, and if possible, a plenty gf

'"' ... '"

stable manure. i should use thirty pounds of gu-
ano at planting and thirty pounds 4t the second
hoeing, td every 1,000 plants. The cost of this fer-
tijizer is about $50.00 per ton: There is no real Pe-
ruvian guano-it is all manufactured.
Qu"... How many plants would you put to the
acre and how far apart do you plant them?
Ans. About 12,000 to the acre, allowing for space
not occupied, to be set in rows thirty-four inches
apart and the plants twelve to thirteen inches apart
in the rows. .
Ques, How many pounds, pole cured~ ought you
to get from the first cutting per acre?
Ans. This depends largely upon tae season. As
as general average the first cutting will yield 300
pounds per acre.
Ques. how often can you cut from the crop
which is set out about the middle of February?
Ans. Three times. And from the first to the
middle of September planting you can cut two
crops, virtually making five crops a year from two
seed plantings.
Ques ow many pounds per acre will the sec-
ond cutting yield as comlpred to the first tultting?
How much less?
Ans. That depends on the seasop, but you can
calculate the second cutting to be alios as good as
the first, or about 200 pounds to the acre.
Qies. Will the second cutting be of as good qual-
ity easthe first, and will it bring as good a price.
AMs. It will be a smallerleaf but a finer texture,
and-t.will yield more of the medium wrapper than
* the first cutting, and therefore it is the more valua-
ble cutting of the two.

Ques. How will the third cutting, compare in
weight, quantity and quality and price with the
former ones? .
Anis. The 'third and last cutting will mostly
make fillers for, cigars, with some few binders. In
weight in, good. eason, the third cutting will be
nearly as good as the second, and will yield nearly
ap.many pounds per acre.
Quies. How many acres can one mran attend in
'one yeir, and what will be the cost to hirm besides
his owvn labor, per acre?
Ans. One man could attend to 18,000 or 20,000
plants, or about one and a half acres.
Ques. At the present prices of tobacco, what
ought one man to clear, net, of all his expenses, in
one year, doing all the work himself?
Ans. He ought to clear from $300 to $400. This
of course would depend largely upon the kind of
season had.
Ques. Can five men working together make five
times as much as one man working by himself?
Ans. Two men, however, can work together to
the best advantage.
Ques.p It you were to hire all the labor done, buy
all the fertilizer; what profit could you make upon
the best Polk courity tobacco lands per acre, at the
:present price of tobacco?
Ans. With intelligent l4bor one should clear
from $150 to $2(F per acre..
Ques. Do you know of lands outside of Polk
c.ountv, in Florida, that would yield you the same
results? :
Ans There are no other such lands that I have

f' v,

Ques. What would the average barn, large
enough for five acres of tobacco cost it you labbred
on it yotirlf?
AuB. A five acre crop would require a barn48
byv80, by 1.0 feet high, and the cost would be about
$200. .
SQues. How many poles required ,Usually to the
acre--their length.and cost, and bow long. wll they
last t? ... : :
. AXs. About 250 poles to the acre.. Thirteen feet
long, two inches square; sawn poles will cost five
cents each, the round pole with the bark taken off,
delivered, coats three cents each, and with proper
c re will lWat a number of years.
Ques. How many days (average) after planting
the seed before they are large enough to set out,
and when do you plant your sed beds?
SAns. Generally forty-five days, when land has
plenty of fertilizer. Seed should be planted for the
fall crop in July, and for theepring crop about the
15th or 20th of December. : :
Ques. How many days after. planting. in the
field averageg) before the plants are ready to cut?
Ans. From forty-five to fifty daya.
Ques. After cutting, how long. (average) before
the tobacco is ready for the bale and the market?
Ans. Can be sold as 'pole cured" within sixty
days, but for the finihed product it will require
about five months. ,r .. ;:..
Ques. How long after the first cutting before
you out the second crop, or suckers? And the
Ans. A man that understands it will begin to
cut the second crop in about twenty-one days, if he

knows when to let the suckers start upon the orig-
inal plant. And the third cutting follows in about
twenty-one days after the second cutting.
-Ques. Ar the worms any more numerous in
Florida than in Cuba?
An.~ In the fall crop I think they are much less.
There are many less here than in Cuba. In ,the
spring crop the number of worms are about the
SQues. Can you raise exactly, in every respect, as
fine a quality of tobacco in Polk county, Florida,
considering colot, weight, aroma and flavor as you
have raised in Cuba?
Ans. I think that the tobacco raised in Polk
county will come up fully to the average of any
Cuban tobacco, as t as I a m able to judge at the
Ques. With pisent prices and the present duty
Supon Cuban tobacco, can tobacco growing in Flor-
S da be as profitable as it has been in Cuba before
t li present war.
'Ans. With the present prices aidd the duty,
SPolk county tobacco gives just double the amount
ot money to the grower that it did in Cuba before
the present war began. The duty: a one on tobacco
Sis more than we would ever get for a pound of our
tobacco f .Cuba, consequently, a man can make
Twice as much money in raising tobacco in Polk
County as he could in growing it in Cuba, and can
produce, in my present opinion, exactly as good an
SThe author of the foregoing answers is not a land
Agent nor interested in any land or tobacco compa-
Sny in Polk county, nor does he own any land in
Polk county.

SOnme Actual Results.
The statemrent.s is to the yield per acre and the
amio nts realized for the crops have been fully veri-
fl4d ji i. number of instarces this spring.
The. CORIVMR-INFORMANT, of Bartow, in its issue
of August 4th, contained the following authentic
notices of sales: .
,''Mr. Sam M. Wilson. wbio resigned his position
as deputy. postmantar lasi .spring to engage in the
tobacco '-,b~ iess, sold his crop of 1.000 poles for
$1,000, which, as he figures, id more than 50 cents
per pound, the buyers taking it down'and removing
it at their oni exppense.
'Mr. Wilppn harvested these thousand poles from
about four.acres of tobacco and really got only one
cutting, Wi4n, if the weather had been favorable,
he6 o.ubt t hve had two cuttings at least. The
entire 'xpilpe of. putting this crop into the barn
wpa about 1.470, Mr,-; ilson having hired allwork
done. ,'Th.s i will.be seen that the pet profits were
over.l fi er acre, and. this from one cutting and
everytbf4g kiaed.e
"For *-, crop, grow on lees than half an
acre, y Po44I htsey and Kose Laiipkin, at a cash ?
outlay Of the purchasfte paid $125 taking it a a
slumping tt. Uncle Mose, who is an old darkey,
nrad ,hi.s' .pt odd times, keeping up all his
o6ber.work uaal, sothat he figures his $62.50 as
adikue no icked up. d ,s
Mr. I. iahas jist. disposed of his crop of
5,000 poundat4ken from eleven acres, at 40 cents
per pound di*astIeven $2,000. "
Col. E. L. .oehe, the president of the Board of

Trade, fo)r himself and his asseciatek, Messrs. J. M.
Reed and. L. T. Drane had seven and a half acres
cultivated this spring, from which they harvested
2, 100 poles. This crop they disposed of the day be-
fore we go to press at highly. satisfactory prices-
such prices in fact as to warrant us in saying that.
they realized 100 per cent on their investment in
making the crop. They will largely increase their
acreage for the fall crop.
Quite a large riumber of additional sales might be
mentioned, but as the price has been about the same
int all CasHs, it appears useless to refer to others.
Every grower, who has sold, is highly pleased, and
will continue in the business with the full assur-
ance, too, that the succeeding crop will be even
better in- quality, quantity and price.
All these sales were of the pole dried tobacdo-
the purchasers will bitutne, select and bale it, and it
will th en be worth two to four times as mucji as
they paid.
Outside Testimony.
Hon. John M. Estes, of Wisconsin, Special To-
bwaco Agent of the Government, who was employed
t9miakea Htour. all tho tobacco districts of the
..nited States and report facts specially for the
orld'sFair 't Chicago, says: "We 'know thlt
r several years Florida has produced the highest
grade of cigar leaf."
Ftorida wrappers and fillers were awarded both
,.eals at the Concinaai Centennial in 1888 and
have won highest awards at several other exposi-
U. 8 Senator Pasco, of this state, whidse home is

Sin the Middle Florida tobacco belt, in discussing the
Snew tariff measure on the floor of the Senate, said:
S"So far as the rates of duty are concerned, the
i, people in mly state are interested not only as cigar,
manufacturers, but as tobacco raisers. A very fine
quality of tobacco is raised in Florida, and the far-
Smers and planters who raise tobacco believe that it
Scan be used successfully instead of the Havana to-
bacco for a wrapper. This fine quality of tobacco
is raised in several of the counties of my state, and
in Polk county it is claimed that a grade of leaf is
Raised that can hardly be distinguished from the
real IHavana. "-Congressional Record, page 2,363.
Dr. Battle of the North Carolina Experiment Sta-
tion, reports on samples from every tobacco district
in the United States:
"The sample furnished Dr. Battle from Florida
was grown on hummock land which had never been
touched with domestic or commercial fertilizers. It
was from the sixth crop on the same land. In his
table showing the comparative analyses of typical
tobacco from all the tobacco districts in the United
States, the sample from Florida showed the 'highest
marks of superiority of any other,' except Pennsyl-
Svania seed leaf, which exhibited a fraction more
. potash, but of course that was supplied in the heavy
application of fertilizer used, but it showed also
more chlorine. It is conceded that the burning
quality is the chief point of excellence in cigar leaf.
The match was applied to thirty-two different sam-
ples at the end of the prepared strips, and the Flor-
ida sample was the only one that burned completely
out to the ot:er end, consuming the entire strip."
The issue of the Toledo, Ohio, Sunday Journal of

August 1st, contained an admirable description of a
trip to this county, Tby Mr. C. 0. Packard, the own-
er and editor of the paper, from which we extract
the following:
"Tobacco is becoming a favored and profitable
industry touching which I will not undertake now
to say more than merely that many are now en-
gaging in tobacco raising and finding it profitable;
that before the war South Florida tobacco ranked
as high as that of Havana, and that today tobacco
is hanging on the sticks at Bartow which, later, we
of the north will smoke and consider it favored leaf
from Cuba. Indeed, this is one the chief difficll-
ties under which the Florida tobacco growers suf-'
fer, for the reason that much of their production is
vended under the name of Havana goods, thus de-
priving them of their due and proper credit. It is
now selling for 35 to 40 cents per pound (on the
poles), at which price there is a handsome compe-
tency each year for the moderate tobacco farmer."

Final Conclusions.
It is known that many of the small growers sold
their tobacco, both last fall and this spring, on the
pole, which is only about sixty days after the cut-
ting, to purchasers at from 40 cents to 65 cents per
pound. Pole cured tobacco includes the main stem
as well as the leaf and represents only about two
thi-ds of the actual leaf weight; henoce it can be
seen that even at 500 pounds per acre, a very large
profit is quickly in hand to the grower, and with
this money in his pocket he is ready to grow an:
other and still larger crop.
The tobacco grown in this county last fall was,

bituned, graded, as the Cubans grade it, some thir-
teen or more different grades, and put into pack-
ages tied rith strings of bamboo and the bale en-
cased in the leaves of royal palm, and delivered to
the manufacturer of cigars in Tampa, who pur-
chased the same, in the same manner as tobacco, is
prepared and shipped from Cuba to Tampa and the
cigars made therefrom have been most highly sat-
The new tariff bill has fixed the rates of duty at
$1.85 per pound on wrapper, and 35c. on filler, and
provides that same must be collected upon the
weight of the package upon arrival, while the to-
bacco is damp. This will largely increase the duty
and will have the tendency to still further increase
the demand for Florida grown tobacco which is in
reality superior goods.
It is to be seen from the foregoing and there is
abiudant evidence from other sources to prove, that
a man can employ hands nnd superintend them and
not do any manual labor himself, and net at pres-
sent prices and tariff on tobacco, from $150 to $200
per acre per year. over and above all expenses per-
taining to the growth, curing and sale of the crop.
The question arises, what other country in the
United States can yield such a profit to labor per

Sugar Gane Industry
Louisiana and Cuban experts pronounce Polk
county lands of a fine grade for growing sugar
They have proposed a sugar mill, to manufacture
our cane into sugar, costing from $125.000 to $170.-
000. If a sufficient crop of cane be secured, we will
get themills.
From twenty to forty tons to the acre can be

The grower will get from' $80 to $150 per acre for
his cane, delivered at the mill.
Cane is planted but once in four or five year--
as it rattoons, or comes up from the stubble, every
year. It is less trouble and expensive than a corn
crop. :-. .
The mill will buy the cane, or convert it into
sugar and syrup, take out toll. and. deliver
back your portion, which can be held indefinitely
for the highest market price.
Best fertilizer "cow-penning" or cotton-seed meal;
500 to 1,000 pounds to the acre-cost from $5 to $10
South Florida is the only portion of the United
States where cane has as fully matured as it does
in Cuba.
One man from his own labot can grow and har-
vest five acres ot cane each year, besides other small
crops. : .. .' *
In tobacco and cane, we have two important,
profitable and staple products for which the lands
of Polk county are more especially adapted than
any other county in Florida, and which are not
perishable like other products that have to be sold
whether the market price is ligh or low, but which
can be held by the producer' without damage or
loss until the highest possible market price is ob-
Tobacco is like wine, at improves with age and
then brings i higher price as it grows older-it is
an interest bearing article.
Cane can be reduced to sugar and syrup and
wait for the best prices.

Price of Lands.
Improved and unimproved lands within the to-
bacco region of Polk county can be bought from
$5 up to $25, owing to their relative location to the
towns, macadamized roads ani the railroad sta-
tions, as also the character of improvements. We
would suggest that a personal investigation be
made by all who are interested.

Bartow,' FPlorida.
Bartow ia the county seat of Polk. It is 310 miles
south of Jacksonville, on the Plant system of rail-
Has 6, population of 2,500 and continues to grow
Tlhe iUth Florida Military Institute, fostered' by
the tats.
An excellent system of water works, owned by
the municipality.
All the leading Evangelical churches have good
houses of worship.
The sale of intoxicating liquors is prohibited both,
in the city and county.
There ar ,several small hotels, but a most excel-
lent opening for a larger one.
There are lodges of Masons, Odd Fellows, Knights
of Pythias and Woodmen of World.
Summerlin Institute, a $20,000 public ohooli
b!il4dig, in which are employed ten. teachers.,
Tiebsty miles of the now famous "Bartw [aec-
adii'* atreets-the finest in the State for wheeling
And ag
conveniences of a small city, such as an
Ite o ati y, a National Bank, Opeta house, Print.
ing lC Livery Stables, Machinq Shop, an Elec-
tric 4 0t Plant, a -large Brick 4latket, owned by
the e, are here.
'.W4r ad Polk county want :tb ~h who are
t ,rehome in the most desirile p0Mtion of this
d Jel l nd to come and see for themselves.
Th 'jterested can bave a handsome illustrated
p ilmailed free by addressing the
'BOARD OP TRADB, Bartow, Fla.
B. L. ROCHB, Prelsdent.
D. W. STANLEY, Secty.

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