by Fred Clark and S. L. Brothers
STATE OF tLO.bMi1- UniV. O orf
DEPARTMENT of AGRICULTURE
BULLETIN NO. 40-DECEMBER 1960R
S. L. Brothers
University of Florida
STATE OF FLORIDA
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
DOYLE CONNER, COMMISSIONER
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 1
PRODUCTION OF FLUE-CURED
TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Fred Clark and S. L. Brothers
According to early historical records, tobacco (Nicotiana
tabacum L.) was planted in Florida in the late 1820's. However,
there is no definite information available as to when flue-
cured tobacco was first introduced.* Flue-cured tobacco is often
called bright tobacco and gets its name from the curing process
which consists of heaters and flues to furnish controlled heat.
Flue-cured tobacco is the principal cash field crop in Florida,
and contributes more than fifty percent of the total income
on farms where it is grown. Comparing two ten year periods,
1941-1950 and 1951-1960 the average yearly yield has increased
from 931 pounds to 1324 pounds per acre. The average yearly
gross return has increased from $4,855,837 to $11,176,972.
The complete history of flue-cured tobacco production from
1923 to 1959 is shown in Table 1.
There are other types of tobacco-cigar wrapper (Type 62)
and cigar binder (Type 56)-grown in the state. However,
the purpose of this bulletin is to describe the cultural and
environmental conditions under which flue-cured tobacco is
grown in Florida.
DESCRIPTION OF TOBACCO
Tobacco is native to the new world and belongs to a large
family of plants, known as the solanaceae family. There are
approximately 85 genera containing over 1,800 species in this
*For more complete information on flue-curred tobacco in Florida, see
Florida Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Series No. 1032, Soil
and Crop Science Society of Florida.
TABLE 1 FLORIDA FLUE-CURRED TOBACCO DATA
Acres Harvested Actual Cents Gross
Year Allotted Acreage Production Yield Per Lb. Value
1923 0 200 130,000 660 22.0 28,600
1924 0 2,500 1,690,000 677 19.5 329,550
1925 0 4,500 3,260,000 724 15.1 492,260
1926 0 3,100 2,480,000 800 22.7 562,960
1927 0 5,400 4,070,000 754 19.0 773,300
1928 0 7,100 4,430,000 625 12.3 544,890
1929 0 6,800 5,100,000 750 18.1 923,100
1930 0 7,300 5,770,000 790 10.4 600,080
1931 0 6,000 4,350,000 725 6.6 287,100
1932 0 2,000 1,200,000 600 11.0 132,000
1933 0 5,000 3,700,000 740 12.0 444,000
1934 4,300 4,700 3,410,000 725 20.0 682,000
1935 6,800 7,000 6,020,000 860 17.7 1,065,540
1936 8,400 8,000 7,200,000 900 22.0 1,584,000
1937 8,800 16,800 14,110,000 840 21.1 2,977,210
1938 13,500 16,300 15,890,000 975 20.3 3,225,670
1939 14,500 29,500 20,650,000 700 12.3 2,539,950
1940 13,600 12,700 11,750,000 925 17.5 2,056,250
1941 13,699 11,155 8,045,468 721 21.3 1,713,684
1942 15,168 12,649 10,934,130 864 32.3 3,531,723
1943 15,391 13,599 11,698,786 860 40.8 4,773,105
1944 19,911 18,952 16,953,254 895 36.2 6,137,077
1945 21,681 19,093 16,887,724 884 38.8 6,552,437
1946 24,602 20,287 18,891,830 931 47.7 9,011,403
1947 25,786 22,245 23,120,702 1,039 39.0 9,017,073
1948 18,739 16,082 16,302,721 1,014 47.5 7,743,792
1949 19,995 18,730 20,233,098 1,080 37.8 7,648,111
1950 20,198 17,875 18,241,731 1,020 51.8 9,449,217
1951 23,353 22,256 26,971,201 1,212 52.1 14,051,996
1952 22,700 22,700 25,878,000 1,141 51.3 13,275,000
1953 21,200 21,200 22,684,000 1,070 51.5 11,682,000
1954 21,500 21,500 27,735,000 1,290 54.5 15,116,000
1955 21,356 20,897 29,650,170 1,419 45.7 13,561,000
1956 18,822 17,559 21,662,765 1,234 48.6 10,538,911
1957 15,110 11,284 15,361,273 1,361 56.6 8,703,697
1958 15,140 10,965 16,482,441 1,503 57.2 9,424,660
10.rQ 1 Q 179 'Q In 90mnn -'....
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 3
Tobacco is classified in the division of Spermatophyta in
the following manner:
Division ..... ------------- Spermatophyta
Sub-division ------------ -- Angiosperm
Class ----.. ....--. --------------- Dicotyledon
Order --..----------------- Tubiflorace
Family ....----------------- Solonaceae
Genus -- ---------------------------- Nicotiana
Species ------------- Tabacum
Variety ...------ .. . . 402
Selection ---- -------
Tobacco belongs to the genus Nicotiana which was estab-
lished by Linnaeus in 1753 and in his original classification
only two species wore included, those being cultivated by the
American aborigines and early colonists, namely Nicotiana
tabacum and N. rustic.
Nicotiana tabacum has 24 chromosomes, and it is generally
accepted that it is a natural cross between N. tomentosa and N.
sylvestris. Species of N. tabacum may be mammoth, inter-
mediate or dwarfed in size; however, N. tabacum as grown in
Florida is of the intermediate type of growth with an average
height of 5 to 6 feet.
Nicotiana tabacum may vary in growth characteristics, length
of internodes, color of flower, pubescence of leaf, venation,
color of leaf and many other morphological characteristics, as
well as usage characteristics, which aids in separation of
Flue-cured tobacco as grown in Florida is used principally
for cigarette manufacturing.
The overwhelming popularity of cigarette tobacco, N. tabacum,
is due primarily to its aroma and other smoking qualities of
the leaf. These qualities are mostly chemical in nature and
may be greatly affected by weather conditions during the
Chemical properties are also influenced by soil, climate,
fertilization, cultivation, curing and fermentation and are re-
4 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
sponsible for the wide differences in composition of the various
commercial types of tobacco. See Table 2.
Flue-cured tobacco is widely noted for its high sugar and
medium nicotine content which makes it ideally suited for
cigarette tobacco. The flue-cured tobacco grown in Florida
meets all necessary requirements for good cigarette tobacco.
Some of the early leaders and growers of flue-cured tobacco
in Florida were J. J. Sechrest, former county agent in Hamilton
County, R. S. Adams, E. C. Corbett, J. L. Law," J. C. Cameron,
Hugo Leslie, A. C. Witt, Isaac Blanton, A. C. Fowler, and
C. 0. Lewis. There are many more who could be named as
pioneers in establishing the industry. B. B. Saunders and Nat
Smith, tobacco warehousemen of Valdosta, Georgia, were very
active in their support of the industry in Florida as well as in
The type of soil on which flue-cured tobacco is grown greatly
influences the physical appearance as well as the chemical
properties of the leaf; therefore it is important that the best
adapted soils be used for growing tobacco.
Good leaf appearance and best quality are generally produced
on well-drained soils of low to medium fertility. Florida has
a considerable acreage of soil low to medium in fertility.
The principal soil types on which tobacco is grown as present
are:* Norfolk fine and loamy fine sand; Blanton fine sand;
Arredondo fine and loamy fine sand; Gainesville loamy fine
sand; Archer fine and loamy fine sand and fine sandy loam;
Hernando fine and loamy fine sand and fine sandy loam;
Newberry fine sand; Ruston loamy fine sand; Marlboro;
Tifton; Orangeburg; and several others. Approximately fifty
percent of the cultivated soils west of Gadsden County are
Norfolk and Ruston, which are classified as excellent tobacco
soils; however, very little flue-cured tobacco production is
found in that area.
* Soil Classification-Courtesy of J. R. Henderson, Soil Technologist,
Florida Agricultural Extension Service.
Showing Some Characteristic Differences Between Major Types
% Volatile Bases (VB) as Ammonia
% Volatile Bases minus Nicotine as
% Glutamic Acid
% Aspartic Acid
% Nitrate as N03
% Reducing Sugars (Before Inver-
sion) as Dextrose
% Pectin as Calcium Pectate
% Volatile Acids (VA) as Acetic
% Formic Acid
% Volatile Acids (VA) minus Formic
% Malic Acid
% Citric Acid
% Oxalic Acid
% Volatile Oil
% Alcohol Soluble Resins
% Calcium as CaO
% Potassium as K20
% Magnesium as MgO
% Chlorine as C1
% Phosphorus as P205
% Sulphur as S04
Courtesy of American Tobacco Company
6 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Although the acreage of tobacco has not increased appreciably,
it is necessary that good farm practices be used in caring foi
tobacco soils if satisfactory production is to be obtained. Plant-
ing of flue-cured tobacco has been mainly on soil that is newly
cleared, or on soil that the individual grower knows has pro-
duced other crops without damage by root-knot. Another crop-
ping system has been the use of "layout" land or weed land,
which has proved best for tobacco production. This practice
is not always practical as many growers are reluctant to set
aside weed land for tobacco in their farm program. The number
of general farm crops is limited for good rotational plantings
with tobacco. Corn, peanuts and oats are crops generally grown
preceding tobacco, while watermelons may be grown, when
planted on newly cleared soils.
Leguminous cover crops are not recommended to precede
tobacco. Several crops that are highly susceptible to root-knot
and which tend to increase the nematode population are cow-
peas, okra, cucumbers, squash, cantaloupe, lupines and sweet
potatoes. Growers should not use these crops in rotation with
tobacco. In addition to the preceding crops, Florida Pulsey1,
Richardia brasilinsis (Moq.) Gomez, a native weed, is one
of the more common host plants for root-knot in Florida soils.
Fig. A Tobacco plant field in South Florida. "
:-." L-.. id% hrr'._-.. ;
Press bulletin 629 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Gainesville,
-* : .* .* ... --_fi .* ,-/ ^ 1. -- ** '
"; -- "-'- -. -- "
^ ...a ,- .;--. t. ,1* 1. -<-_,. ^ ,
s l i 629 Foi .Agricult ua E p ie Station, Gainesvill...e,, "" 4_
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 7
Tobacco varieties are classified on the basis of leaf char-
acteristics, and are grouped as follows:
1. Narrow to medium leaf: Oxford 1-181, White Gold, S. C.
58, Hicks and many others.
2. Broad or wide leaf: 402, Golden Harvest, Virginia Gold,
Virginia 21, and Golden Cure.
The selection of tobacco seed and variety to grow is a matter
of individual preference. Where diseases such as black shank,
Granville wilt, and mosaics prevail the choice is restricted to
Recent reports indicate that black shank is becoming quite
widespread in Georgia, and to date there is no co-mingling of
black shank and Granville wilt, such as is now prevalent in the
Carolinas and Virginia.
Varieties recommended when black shank occurs are:
1. N. C. 73, C-187, C-187-Hicks, McNair 121, and C-316.
Varieties recommended where both black shank and Gran-
ville wilt occur are:
1. McNair 121 and C-187.
There are no varieties presently recommended that have re-
sistance to nematodes.
8 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
At present the only area where diseases are a limiting factor
is the black shank area of Gadsden County.
The Orinico type or Narrow-leaf tobacco varieties together
with the broad leaf varieties are very popular in Florida be-
cause they generally produce high yields of good quality tobacco
which has the desirable chemical properties for good cigarettes.
Color prints 402 and Hicks represent the broadleaf and Orinico
There are two methods of growing tobacco plants in Florida:
Open field grown plants are shown in figures 1 and 2. There
has been an increase in field production of tobacco seedlings
in recent years, and growers feel. that plants can be more
easily and cheaply grown. Open field production begins near
Ocala and will extend down as far as the Homestead area.
These open fields will vary from one-fourth acre to one hund-
red acres. Plant quarantine regulations prohibit interstate ship-
ment of plants into Georgia and South Carolina from certain
areas of Florida, because of a disease complex. Growers inter-
ested in open field production of plants should consult the Flor-
ida State Plant Board. It is recommended for the industry as
a whole that growers exercise caution to prevent the spread of
mosaic. There are numerous hosts for many of the mosaics,
and it is conceivably possible that in time, serious production
troubles could arise from a permanent establishment of plant
viruses in the production area.
The average acreage of tobacco per farm in the flue-cured
area is less than three acres. The average plant population
per acre will vary from six to ten thousand plants per acre,
and a good tobacco plant bed of 100 square yards should
supply from 20,000 to 30,000 plants. Therefore, 100 to 200
square yards is more than adequate to transplant the average
Successful plant production is dependent upon several factors:
LOCATION OF BEDS
The area selected to plant a tobacco plant bed should be well-
drained, near a good water supply, protected against cold winds
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 9
from the north and west, and not shaded. The site selected may
be responsible for plants being ready when planting in the field
is desired. A poor site may delay planting in the field as much
as two weeks, under unfavorable weather conditions.
Preparation of the seedbed should begin four or more weeks
ahead of seeding date. When the site is cleared of roots and
other trash, and is ready for turning or disking, apply uniformly
200 pounds of chicken fertilizer, chopped peanut hay, peat moss,
or other organic material, for each 100 square yards of bed.
Incorporate the organic material used by broadcasting material
on the bed area and turning or disking it into the soil. The ap-
plication of these materials and their incorporation into the
soil is much better if completed at least 30 days ahead of plant-
ing date. The bed should be re-worked and leveled by hand-
raking just before treating with methyl bromide for weed and
nematode control. When the bed is prepared as outlined, the
side and end walls should be constructed of boards or logs so
they extend 6 to 10 inches above the ground level. See that
all joints of the walls fit snugly so cold winds will be shut out,
and runoff water, which might bring in weed seeds, will be pre-
vented from entering the bed. Disking down weeds around the
bed area will help reduce the possibility of windblown seed
entering the bed.
In late December, a week or more before seeding the bed, but
after it has been fertilized, and when the temperature is above
50 degrees F., apply one pound of methyl bromide per 100 square
feet of bed area, using the following procedure for a 100-square-
1. Subdivide the bed into 3 plots of equal size and place a
gas receptacle, such as an open quart Mason jar or a No. 2
tin can, at the center of each plot in an unright, or slightly
2. Place the outer end of the tubing of an applicator in each
receptacle and extend the tubing 2 or more feet beyond the
outside of the bed.
3. Stretch a gas-proof cover over the entire bed, and to the
ground outside the bed on all sides, and bank edges of
cover with soil to prevent escape of the gas to be released.
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
4. Release 3 pounds of methyl bromide gas into each recep-
tacle, by use of the special applicator.
5. Remove cover 24 to 36 hours after treatment.
Methyl bromide is highly poisonous. The gas should be re-
leased and the cover removed from the windward side of the
bed so that any escaping fumes will be carried away from the
Fumigation generally reduces the population of soil nitrify-
ing organisms; therefore, a good plant bed fertilizer should
contain at least 25 percent of the total nitrogen as nitrate
nitrogen. All ammonia forms of nitrogen should be used with
Apply 150 to 200 pounds of a 6-9-3 fertilizer grade containing
one percent water soluble magnesium, and having sulfate of
potash as the source of potassium, one week prior to seeding.
Spread uniformly as possible and rake into the top one to two
inches of soil. The bed should be moist at the time the fertilizer
When tobacco plants are about the size of a dime, a top-
dressing of nitrate nitrogen should be applied. Five pounds of
nitrate of soda, or similar nitrate material, mixed in 50 gallons
of water and drenched on the bed, will stimulate growth. This
material can be broadcast on the top of the bed if the plants
are dry, and then watered in. Applied in either of these ways,
the material will not burn the plants.
This top-dressing should be repeated in ten days to two weeks,
and then eliminate application of fertilizers altogether, as the
plants should have sufficient plant food to attain the growth
desired for transplanting in the field.
When top-dressing, ammonia forms of nitrogen should be
used with caution. The following excerpt was taken from the
summary of an article by Dean, Seltmann, and Woltz of North
Carolina State College, "Some Factors Affecting Root Develop-
ment by Transplanted Tobacco Plants," 1960 issue of Tobacco,
Vol. 150 No. 6.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
"Very young tobacco plants seemed unable, for the most
part, to utilize nitrogen in the ammonium form. After grow-
ing plants for 40 days on nitrate nitrogen, a change to am-
monium nitrogen caused a slowing of the growth rate and a
darkening of the leaves. These plants produced fewer roots with
a lower dry weight after transplanting than did plants receiving
nitrate nitrogen continuously."
The date of seeding is determined largely by the grower,
as there are growers who like to transplant their tobacco in
early March and have plants ready for transplanting at that
time. Many will plant their beds in the middle of December
or not later than Christmas. Weather conditions, however,
have a very important part in seedling growth, and many
growers have found that they may have plants too early for
best field production. Tobacco is a crop that requires warm
weather to grow satisfactorily. The largest number of growers,
therefore, generally plant their beds between December 25_
and January5, and by doing so-they are able to have plants
for setting from March 20 to April 10 which is considered
the best transplanting time.
The amount of seed to use will be determined by the type
covers used, and whether or not irrigation or watering will be
used to supply moisture, as needed. If plastic covers are to be
used, and if moisture will be added as needed, then 1/4 to 1/2
ounce of seed of the chosen variety will be sufficient for 100
square yards of bed.
Fig. 4: One type frame for plastic cover
Where cloth covers are used, one-half ounce to one ounce of
seed per 100 square yards is recommended. Some growers, how-
ever, prefer to use less, and some more. The seed should be
mixed with 4 to 8 quarts of filler, such as part of the bed
12 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
fertilizer, sand, or dolomite, to insure uniform seed coverage.
The seed should not be mixed with tankage, cornmeal or cotton-
seed meal, because these materials attract insects and may cause
algae to develop on surface of soil. After seeding, the soil
should be tramped or rolled to firm the seed into the soil. If
temperature and soil moisture are good the seed will begin to
germinate in 7 to 10 days after seeding. It is during this period
after seeding that frequent bed checks should be made to see if
top soil moisture is adequate for best germination.
For large field plantings the seed is mixed with filler and
may be sown and packed with a cultipacker or some similar
ij------_---S ,- o o. ------------ f
Fig. 5: Another type frame for plastic cover
Almost all of the plants grown in the production area are
covered with a cheesecloth with mesh ranging from 18 to 32
threads per square inch. These covers aid in maintenance of
better moisture and prevent damage from wind and frost.
(See Figs. 4 and 5) It is often advisable to provide extra protection
on extremely cold nights. However, the cloth should be removed
after plants attain the size of a quarter so that they will toughen
as they grow. The beds should be covered on all frosty nights.
Hardened plants survive best when transplanted to the field.
Plants grown in open areas may b3 scorched from frost and
appear damaged. If given additional growing time, however,
they will recover and make satisfactory field growth unless
the bud was damaged.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 13
..P .. : ,.. . -.;*
.-. 9^ % .
Fig. 3: Tobacco Plats Damaged by Frost
A series of experiments over the past three years have shown
that plastic film (polyethylene or vinyl) covers are equal or
superior to cheesecloth in the production of tobacco seedlings.'
In each of these three years, 1958 to 1960, climatic conditions
varied considerably. Beds covered with plastic film had trans-
plants within a week of 60 days while for cheesecloth the time
ranged from 75 to 100 days.
If plastic film is used, the bed should be prepared in the same
manner as for cheesecloth, except more attention should be
given to the construction of the frames for holding the plastic
covers (see figures 4 and 5).
The plastic should be stretched over the bed as soon as the
bed has been seeded and watered. Be sure the plastic is stretched
tight to prevent water collecting and sagging if it should rain.
Daily inspection of the bed should be made to check on soil
moisture. This is important for both cheesecloth and plastic.
Don't let the top soil moisture dry out, as seedling germination
may be severely retarded.
aData furnished by E. S. Saunders and E. B. Whitty, Research Assistants,
Agronomy Department, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
,> .. '^^^ ^^ _.pe
Agronomy Department, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
After the plants are well established, and as they grow larger,
some ventilation may be required. Temperatures above 120 F.
have not caused any damage where the soil was kept moist and
where humid conditions existed.
Rapid growth requires more soil moisture; however, just
because a plant is grown under plastic film doesn't mean that
it is a tender plant. Quite the contrary, because there is less
leaching of the fertilizer, moisture can be more easily controlled,
particularly under excessive rains which reduce the need for ex-
cessive top-dressing applications.
Since plastic film is necessary in applying fumigation for
weed control. it reduces the need for purchasing additional
In summary, use only clear polyethylene or vinyl film. Do not
use black film over the seedlings. These advantages have been
observed: Plant production can be more adequately controlled,
regardless of climatic condition; fewer seed are necessary; less
watering is necessary; less fertilizer and a better use of fung-
isides and insecticides; and a better stand of fast-growing plants
will be assured.
For growers who use cheesecloth, plastic may be used quite
advantageously under stress conditions.
-g 6 P... ...n-g "- lant." fr T .
r - I -,
Fig. 6: Pulling Plants for Transplanting
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 15
Water is most essential for establishing plant stands and
is very essential for maximum plant growth. Excess water,
particularly in low, poorly drained areas, may injure plants,
and in some instances plants will drown because of poor
aeration in wet soil. The amount of water and frequency of
application may be governed by atmospheric conditions and
vigor of plant growth. When pulling plants for transplanting
it is advisable to water the bed before pulling and sprinkle
the bed after pulling to settle the soil around the plants. (See
SUMMARY OF 1958 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO ALLOTMENTS
Planted Acreage and Actual Yield
6,967 15,140.40 10,965.43 1,503 4,582 0
Total Production: 16,482,441 pounds
16 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
There are twenty-nine counties in which flue-cured tobacco
is grown in Florida at the present time, and there are some
6,633 growers producing approximately 15,142 acres. Tables
3 and 3A shows counties and the harvested acreage for these
counties in 1958 and 1959. It should be noted that the bulk
of the acreage occurs within the Suwannee Valley area. The
soils of that area are quite suitable for tobacco production.
Soil management, however, is an important factor in crop
production, and tobacco is a crop that is affected by cropping
and management practices.
1959 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO ALLOTMENTS,
ACREAGE AND PRODUCTION
Allot- Allotted Harvested Total Per
County ments Acreage Acreage Production Acre
Alachua 680 1,954.83 1,683.00 2,342,203 1,392
Baker 180 262.62 227.62 213,058 936
Bradford 108 252.24 176.66 176,514 999
Calhoun 2 2.60 1.89 1,408 745
Columbia 874 1,646.43 1,518.43 1,988,003 1,309
Dixie 76 114.49 103.58 152,884 1,476
Duval 2 1.90 1.18 472 400
Gadsden 172 218.44 159.23 195,360 1,227
Gilchrist 279 396.77 332.75 396,659 1,192
Hamilton 503 1,930.83 1,889.39 3,075,025 1,628
Hillsborough 2 1.10 0 0 0
Holmes 36 42.87 39.30 29,878 760
Jackson 133 169.30 140.17 158,122 1,128
Jefferson 252 345.37 280.09 388,540 1,387
Lafayette 425 1,116.79 1,078.92 1,560,863 1,447
Leon 31 40.63 29.58 36,112 1,221
Levy 116 153.67 114.99 110,512 961
Liberty 2 1.22 0.80 916 1,145
Madison 1,058 1,967.63 1,820.97 2,650,774 1,456
Marion 12 20.42 3.90 4,632 1,188
Nassau 43 64.73 52.15 52,366 1,004
Orange 4 2.10 0 0 0
Polk 1 0.37 0 0 0
Sumter 39 41.14 28.34 24,534 866
Suwannee 1,571 3,684.71 3,429.42 4,960,345 1,446
Taylor 211 308.12 278.99 415,759 1,490
Union 209 454.83 391.44 392,066 1,002
Volusia 2 1.34 0 0 0
Washington 1 1.34 0 0 0
7,024 15,168.83 13,782.79 19,327,005
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 17
There has been a wealth of virgin land in the flue-cured
tobacco area of Florida, and growers have used newly cleared
land for a major part of their production. Today, with very
little good tobacco land left to be cleared and with the trend
toward more intensive farming through the use of the tractor,
there is greater need for a cropping system. Land is so valu-
able today that the farmer can't afford to follow the old
cropping system of idle land. (Sometimes called cracker
There are several problems closely related in handling- a
rotation for tobacco. It is highly desirable that the crops
be handled so that the soil will be in the best condition for
tobacco. Several years of research have shown that weeds
are excellent for improving the soil and getting it in condition
for tobacco. It is practically impossible to set up one rotation
for each individual tobacco farm. As a general rule, it is
possible to crop the land to lupines, crotalaria, or hairy indigo
and follow this with corn or the millets and then follow the
corn or millets with oats or rye in the fall. The crop is grazed
or cut for grain, weeds are allowed to grow in the summer and
the following year the land is planted to tobacco.
Oats and rye may also be turned under as a green manure
crop. If this is done, however, they should be planted early
and turned early in February to permit ample decay and
to reduce possible wireworm and cutworm damage to the
tobacco plants. It should be noted that when the more root-
knot susceptible crops are grown in rotation that less sus-
ceptible crops should be planted ahead of tobacco. Corn, millet,
oats, and rye are the most promising crops to precede tobacco.
Even some species of weeds are susceptible to nematodes, and
this makes it almost necessary to establish a system of plant-
ing resistant crops which need clean cultivation to further
reduce nematode buildup.
Grass sods: Many growers are now finding that renovation
of grass sods by using a crop such as tobacco, corn, or water-
melons, is highly advantageous and provides a soil condition al-
most comparable to new ground. Pensacola Bahiagrass is the
grass most commonly used; however, this suggestion is offered:
for the fertilization, particularly of tobacco, additional nitrogen
will be needed because of the extremely high organic matter
18 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
content of the soil. Where grass sods are well established and
not severely contaminated with weeds, many growers have
found that they could forego the use of a fumigant where tobacco
was grown immediately after renovating the grass sod.
In addition to rotations, soil fumigation for nematode control
Fig. 7: Tobacco Fumigated in Background, Not Fumigated in Foreground:
'j' ,- "*--"* '"
4 '- I
. .r .*
Fig. 7: Tobacco Fumigated in Background, Not Fumigated in Foreground
Tobacco Was Irrigated
Soil fumigation has contributed to the crop returns of many
tobacco growers. (See figure 7) For review of the materials
and how they are applied the following suggestions are made
on the recommended fumigants:
ETHYLENE DIBROMIDE (EDB) 40 and 85
Application: These fumigants may be applied at the follow-
ing rates in the drill row: Seven to 8 gallons of EDB-40, or
2 to 21/2 gallons of EDB-85; or 9 to 10 gallons of D-D per
acre. For broadcast applications: 15 gallons of EDB-40; or
6 gallons of EDB-85; or 20 gallons of D-D. (See Table 4)
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 19
EDB-85 should be used at the rate of 2.5 gallons per acre
in the drill row and 5 to 6 gallons in broadcast applications.
Rate of Fumigant Row Width Ft. Amount & Distance
(gals./A.) (pint) (feet)
8.75 4 1 156
10 31/2 1 156
6.5 4 1 207
7.5 31/2 1 207
2.5 31/2 '/3 207
When to Treat: The soil may be treated in early fall, or
not later than three weeks ahead of transplanting. For flue-
cured tobacco one month to not less than three weeks time
prior to transplanting is preferred.
Soil Preparation: The soil should be prepared thoroughly,
as a trashy or roughly prepared soil may reduce effective-
ness of the treatment by allowing the fumes to escape too
rapidly from the soil. A moist soil also aids in retaining
fumigants and a soil moisture suitable for good growth is
recommended at the time of fumigating. The fumigants should
be applied from 8 to 10 inches deep.
Methods of Application: There are numerous types of ma-
chines that may be purchased or made and preference is de-
pendent upon the grower. Florida Agricultural Experiment
Station Circular S-29 illustrates construction of home-made
applicators which have proved very satisfactory.
Management of Treated Soils: If the fumigants are applied
broadcast, the cost per acre is increased; however, there is
more flexibility in later cultural practices than with the drill
row method of application. The drill row method costs less
and is just as effective provided some consideration is given
to the management of the soil at fumigating time to properly
work the drill row. This is best done by bedding the drill
row at the time of application. Several management practices
may be used.
Many growers have transplanting machines which will place
the fertilizer, water and transplant in one operation. This is
ideal to use with the drill row method of fumigation. (See
20 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Another practice which has been used
apply one-half of the fertilizer at the time
soil. Then there is little need to disturb the
successfully is to
of fumigating the
soil again, because
#1 L 1~rn
Fig. 8: Tobacco Planter, which Fertilizes and Waters at the Same Time
the other half of the fertilizer is side placed. Better plant
stands and more effective nematode control are definitely
possible with this method. Good results may also be obtained,
however, when the drill row is opened and the fertilizer applied
and re-bedded at a later time. Very careful cultural practices
are required if this method is used.
FERTILIZATION OF FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
It has often been stated that good seed, soil and climate are
the three most important things necessary for success with
tobacco. Maximum success cannot be obtained without balance
in all of these and this includes fertility of the soil as well.
In Florida tobacco is grown on a wide range of soil types;
however, the inherent fertility may vary considerably. Good
tobacco soils are sandy to sandy loams with yellow to red
subsoil and good surface and internal drainage. In recent
years more of the poorly drained or flatwoods soils have been
used for tobacco because they have better moisture holding
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Legend: Rates of fertilizer and yield of tobacco
with a constant number of plants.
Rates of fertilizer and yield of tobacco
with 300 plants added for each 200
pounds increment of fertilizer.
600 --- =
Rates of fertilizer per acre
The effect of spacing and fertilization on the yield and
selling price in dollars per hundred pounds of tobacco.
22 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
capacity. Many of these soils are virgin and the pH is often
lower than is desired for tobacco, therefore, moderate liming
is recommended to raise the pH value. For example, soils
which have these pH values, the following liming practices
pH 4.5 to 5-Apply from 1/2 to 1 ton of dolomitic limestone
at the first land preparation mixed in the soil well.
pH 5 to 5.5-Soils in this pH range need careful consideration
before liming because often a fertilizer will contain a limestone
filler which when applied in the drill row would provide
enough lime for good growth. In absence of a limestone filler,
however, application of 500 to 1000 pounds of dolomite per
acre should provide ample calcium.
pH 5.5 to 6-This pH range is considered ideal for tobacco.
There may be instances, when the available calcium is con-
sidered inadequate. Caution should be exercised, however, be-
fore making an application of lime under these conditions
because the calcium content of most tobacco fertilizers will
generally provide sufficient calcium for good growth.
Flue-cured tobacco is very responsive to fertilization and
over fertilization may result in a product of unsatisfactory
quality and value.
-' .'*i .-: ,. ". .. "t-, .
-- .- -. . .- -*"-- -. -', .
.- o. .4-' -.'. ., -.
" "-'- a" *..... - *t.-. .-
":' " v" ',cff :'*. ^'
.- 'P .-4 .,-P . ,'
-, :'en *I P.- .. -
.- - -.^,' -
--- : '-; i -. "" -- ,: -- '
Fig. 9: Leafroll caused by lack of Nitrogen in available form or Ammonia
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 23
Recent tests with irrigation shows that there is little need
to increase the rate of fertilizer when irrigation is used prop-
erly. Excessive rates, when used with irrigation, result in
lower quality as is the case without supplemental water. These
conclusions are based on the assumption that irrigation rates
are not excessive. The following fertilizer sources and rates
Nitrogen has been credited by many research workers as the
element which contributes most to physical plant growth. (See
Figure 10) In discussing its recent recommendations regarding
the quantity of nitrogen to be used, the Fertilizer Committee of
the Flue-Cured Tobacco Worker's Conference pointed out that
since nitrogen is closely associated with many constituents of
quality, a low nitrogen level will result in low yield and quality.
Over-fertilization, however, may produce undesirable results.
The amount and form of organic matter; texture of the surface
soil; and depth to subsoil (clay) are important characteristics
influencing the quantity of nitrogen required. For sandy loam
soils of average fertility, the follow guides indicate quantities
of nitrogen which have been found to be generally adequate:
Dept of Clay Nitrogen Suggested,
in Inches Pounds per Acre
Tobacco should not be grown directly after a legume since
it is difficult to predict the amount of nitrogen needed in the
commercial fertilizer under this condition. The time and rate
of liberation of nitrogen from the decomposing legume plant
may be such as to lead to the production of tobacco of an
undesirable quality. Heavy broadcast applications of manure
are not recommended for the same reason. Light applications
of manure, however, particularly on the poor spots in the
field, may be used advantageously provided the manure is
free of tobacco diseases.
It is recommended that not less than one-fourth of nitrogen
be derived from nitrate nitrogen. A one-third ration of nitrate
nitrogen is not excessive and when used under growing con-
24 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Fig. 10: Left shows 1000 0-8-6 (N-P-K). Right shows 1000 pounds of a
3-8-6 (N-P-K) Showing the Importance of Nitrogen for Tobacco Growth.
editions such as shown in figure 9 this leaf roll condition does
Figure 9 shows tobacco leaves damaged by excessive am-
monia nitrogen. This type of growth has been observed on
soil of low pH value and also on soils of good pH for tobacco.
A low nitrate carrying fertilizer, on a medium acid soil or
on one that has been fumigated will also give similar growth.
As the nitrifying organisms build up and with warmer weather
this growth condition will change to normal leaf development.
Comparison can be seen in Table 5.
High organic nitrogen fertilizers have not been any more
desirable than all mineral or chemical sources of nitrogen under
both irrigated and non-irrigated conditions in Florida. Tests
have shown that only approximately 25 percent of the total
nitrogen from organic sources would become available during
the tobacco growing season. If water insoluble organic are
used, therefore, it is recommended that organic sources
such as cottonseed meal, soybean meal, dried blood or castor
pomace be used. These materials do aid in physical condi-
tioning of the fertilizer mixtures. Principal consideration, how-
ever, should be for available nutrients.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 1 25
Phosphorus: A liberal supply of phosphorus is important in
stimulating early growth of plants, and often an important
factor in producing high quality cigarette tobacco.
Soils differ in levels of available phosphorus. Most of the
soils of the flue-cured tobacco region are low in phosphorus
in the virgin state. Phosphatic fertilizers do not leach as
quickly as some of our other plant nutrients; therefore, on
soil with a long history of heavy applications of phosphate
fertilizer there is a great deal of phosphorus available to
Because of the variation in amount of available phosphorus
in soils, the amount of phosphorus needed in the fertilizer
may vary widely, from a few pounds to a hundred or more
pounds per acre. One hundred to 140 pounds of available P205
per acre applied in the row will meet the needs of the tobacco
plant for phosphorus under most conditions. Super phosphate
is recommended as the source of phosphoric acid. The effect
of phosphorus on tobacco growth is shown in figure 11.
Effect of Row Fumigation on Nitrification and Nitrate Loss;
and Nutritional Leaf Roll Correlation with Soil Nitrate Level.*
Row Nitrogen PPM. NHa-N PPM. NO.-N
Fumigant Source 4/12 5/1 5/19 6/13 4/13 5/1 5/19 6/13
EDB (1 from NO.) 59 34 23 6 45 21 6 .8
DD ('/ from NH.) 50 40 19 4 35 20 2 .7
Check (1/ from urea) 67 31 22 5 61 23 4 .7
EDB (60% above) 62 36 20 4 36 19 5 .9
DD (combination) 68 43 22 4 32 16 4 .7
Check (40% organic) 69 37 18 4 41 21 3 .6
EDB Uramon 127 45 28 5 8 12 4 .7
DD Uramon 94 50 29 3 5 5 2 .4
Check Uramon 151 68 32 4 8 14 4 .7
EDB Nitrate 21 18 17 3 163 44 23 2.4
DD Nitrate 24 21 17 3 163 69 27 2.9
Check Nitrate 21 18 17 4 98 35 13 1.2
*Details found in Fla. Agr. Exp. Sta. Annual Report, pp. 109-110, 1951.
Analysis courtesy Dr. G. M. Volk, Soil Chemist, Fla. Agr. Exp. Station.
Tobacco set 3/26/51.
Data average of three replicated plots.
All Uramon plots showed nutritional leaf roll 4/13/51, no leaf roll on
Note effect of fumigation on efficiency of high NOs application, and lack
of effect on nitrification.
Third cropping on 6/13/51.
26 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
S <-.. _
.. .. .
.- 5 'g;. / '
-4 A *;l
, 4 '
A A, d6
2; . ",t. "- ._
- t, .' .- o2 '
"" . .7 **
"r. ,,, h /. -
, ,. .'. a
Fig. 11: The Effect of Phosphorus on the Growth of Tobacco. Left: 40
pounds per acre; Right: 120 pounds per acre.
Potassium: Potassium requirement for flue-cured tobacco
is high on light sandy soils.
Figures 12 and 13 show the effect of low levels of potash
on tobacco growth. This type of growth was once common in
many fields of tobacco in Florida; however, in recent years
tobacco as shown in figure 14 has become common. Most of
Florida flue-cured tobacco soils are low in potassium, re-
quiring the use of fairly heavy rates of potassium for good
A relatively high potassium content in the cured tobacco
leaf is desirable from the standpoint of smoking quality. Plants
showing potassium deficiency symptoms on the leaves are
more subject to attack by leaf disease organisms. Soils vary
in supply of available potassium, depending upon fertilizer
used, cropping history, and soil type. A supply of 120 to
180 pounds of potash (K20) per acre is adequate for most con-
ditions. When high potassium fertilizers are used it is advisable
to mix the fertilizer thoroughly before transplanting, unless
several days elapse between applying the fertilizer and trans-
DEPATMEN OF GRICLTUR 27
. 12: Low Potash under Field Conditions
- -..: s, - ."- /
-]- :' '+ "<^ :.: ',
".. -. '
p. . .
Fig. 13: Potash Deficiency on Left-Normal Leaf on Right
mwl- I 9 '.- J--
14: Tobacco Fertilized with a 4-8-10 Showing All Plant Food Needs
.o z 'i.. ,.,.'"
'P t .',.+ -,. .'".. ir.
Fig. 14: Tobacco Fertilized with a 4-8-10 Showing All Plant Food Needs
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
28 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
The need for use of rates beyond the above recommendations
appears to be of little value for best agronomic growth and
economical returns in Florida. If more potash is needed this
may be supplied by sidedressing with sulfate of potash.
Chlorine: Chlorine is not considered an essential element
for most plant growth. Sizable quantities of this element,
however, are found in most mixed fertilizers. It has been
shown that a small quantity of chlorine (about 20 pounds
per acre) in tobacco fertilizer increases the acre value and
yield of the crop. On the other hand, experiments have shown
that excessive amounts may injure the growth of the plant
and reduce the quality of the leaf. Excessive chlorine in the
plant results in a thick, brittle leaf which when cured be-
comes thin, soggy and dull in color. It also has an unfavorable
affect upon burning quality.
Soil types, moisture holding capacity of the soil and the
amount of rainfall are factors that are known to influence
the uptake of chlorine. The nature and magnitude of these
influences, however, are such that they can only be given
small consideration in arriving at a satisfactory rate of chlo-
rine. It is recommended that the application of this element
be held between the limits of 20 and 30 pounds per acre.
Chlorine from all sources should be considered.
Figure 15 shows the effect of excess chlorine on leaf develop-
ment. The use of not more than 2 units of chlorine cannot
be stressed too strongly, because if more than 30 pounds total
chlorine per acre is used, leaf thickening will result. In
addition, the hygroscopic or wetdog appearance may become
evident and the tobacco will darken during handling. For
success in both production and in marketing it is recommended
that full cooperation of all agencies is needed to hold the
chlorine content of tobacco fertilizers well within the range
of tolerance for good production and processing.
Calcium: Calcium is used in sizable quantities by the tobacco
plant. Where this element is very low in the soil, or where the
pH is below 5.2, it is recommended that adjustments be made
through the application of dolomitic limestone. The amount
to be added should be determined by soil analysis. The fertilizer
should contain calcium in an available form in an amount
equivalent to a minimum of 60 pounds of CaO per acre. Most
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 29
- ,, ., / "
Fig. 15: Shows the Toxic Effects of Chlorine on Leaf. Note Curled Leaf
Margins. Left-40 Pounds Chlorine per acre. Right-20 Pounds Chlorine
of the commercial grade fertilizers supply the needed calcium
on soil of suitable pH. Liming practices for tobacco soils
have already been discussed. Soils with a pH above 6.2
are generally not recommended for tobacco.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a constituent of chlorophyll. Car-
bohydrates cannot be manufactured in the absence of this
material. The fertilizer should contain magnesium in an avail-
able form (at least one-half water soluble in the mixed fer-
tilizer) in an amount equivalent to 20-30 pounds of magnesium
oxide per acre.
Sulfur: Seventy-five to one hundred pounds per acre of SO3
equivalent in an available form is sufficient. There is a siz-
eble tolerance in the amount of sulfur that may be applied.
Calcium sulfate's solubility is so great that in areas of heavy
rainfall, an appreciable amount is lost through leaching. The
loss may be accentuated by excessive irrigation in addition
to rainfall, therefore, it seems advisable to use fertilizers con-
taining slightly more sulfate.
Minor Elements: The need for boron, copper, manganese
and zinc in tobacco soils has not been demonstrated in a suf-
ficient number of cases to warrant their application. It is
definitely known that when these elements are applied in
too large a quantity they are very toxic to the plant.
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Boron deficiency on tobacco has been observed in a very
few instances. Under such conditions not more than one-
fourth pound of boron per acre (approximately 2.5 pounds
borax) may be applied in the fertilizer.
Nutrient Starter Solution: Information at hand does not
justify recommendation of nutrient starter solution. In many
instances where starter materials have been tried by growers
they have not proved advantageous.
Fertilizer should not be applied in such a way as to come
in direct contact with the roots of newly set plants, in many
instances this causes a loss of plants and retardation of early
growth. On the basis of present knowledge the placement of
fertilizer in two bands approximately seven inches apart and
to a depth slightly below the root crown with the plants set
between the bands will reduce fertilizer injury to a minimum.
If band placement is not possible mix the fertilizer with soil
or place well below the roots.
In most cases the nutrients requirement of the tobacco can
be met through proper amounts of a complete tobacco fertilizer.
If needed, however, additional nitrogen or potash may be
applied. For this purpose part or all of the nitrogen should
be in a readily available form. Potash fertilizers low in chlorides
Pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash supplied by
various analyses such as 3-9-9, 3-9-12, and 4-8-12, with and
without 6-0-24 top-dressed are given in table 6. From this
table one can compare the pounds of plant nutrient sup-
plied by each analysis, as well as the pounds of nutrients
added by each increment of top-dresser. Figure 16 shows to-
bacco of excellent leaf quality when fertilized with a 4-8-12
To fertilize tobacco where irrigation is not used 48 to 60
pounds of nitrogen, 96 to 120 pounds of phosphoric acid and
120 to 160 pounds of potash per acre are recommended.
Where irrigation is used, and particularly where little regard
is given to amounts of irrigation water applied, and on very
sandy soils, rates of 60 to 72 pounds of nitrogen, 120 to 140
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 31
pounds of phosphoric acid and from 140 to 180 pounds of
potash may be needed to produce the desirable leaf quality.
Preparation of Soil for Transplanting: The shift from the
use of horses and mules to tractor preparation of soil for
planting tobacco, has aided in providing for a better soil
tilth. The earliness of preparation depends on the kind of
vegetation growing on the area, and to the decision of the
grower as to the need for fumigating the soil for the control
POUNDS OF NITROGEN, PHOSPHORUS, AND POTASH
SUPPLIED BY VARIOUS FERTILIZER ANALYSES,
SUCH AS 3-9-9, 3-9-12, OR 4-8-12,
WITH AND WITHOUT A 6-0-24* TOP-DRESSER
3-9-9 3-9-12 4-8-12
Pounds per Acre N1 POs5 KO N PsOs KO20 N' PsOs K2O
1000 lbs. 30 90 90 30 90 120 40 80 120
50 lbs. 6-0-24 33 90 102 33 90 132 43 80 112
100 lbs. 6-0-24 36 90 114 36 90 144 46 80 124
150 lbs. 6-0-24 39 90 126 39 90 156 48 80 136
200 lbs. 6-0-24 42 90 138 42 90 168 52 80 148
300 lbs. 6-0-24 48 90 162 48 90 192 58 80 172
1200 lbs. 36 108 108 36 108 144 48 96 144
50 lbs. 6-0-24 39 108 120 39 108 156 51 96 132
100 lbs. 6-0-24 42 108 132 42 108 168 54 96 144
150 lbs. 6-0-24 45 108 144 45 108 180 57 96 156
200 lbs. 6-0-24 48 108 164 48 108 192 60 96 168
300 lbs.6-0-24 54 108 180 54 108 216 66 96 192
1400 lbs. 42 126 126 42 126 168 56 112 168
50 lbs. 6-0-24 45 126 138 45 126 180 59 112 152
100 lbs 6-0-24 48 126 150 48 126 192 62 112 164
150 lbs. 6-0-24 51 126 166 51 126 204 65 112 176
200 lbs. 6-0-24 54 126 174 54 126 216 68 112 188
300 lbs. -0-24 60 126 198 60 126 240 74 112 212
1600 lbs. 48 144 144 48 144 192 64 128 192
50 lbs. 6-0-24 51 144 156 51 144 204 67 128 172
100 lbs. 6-0-24 54 144 168 54 144 216 70 128 184
150 lbs. 6-0-24 57 144 180 57 144 228 73 128 196
200 lbs. 6-0-24 60 144 192 60 144 240 76 128 208
300 lbs. 6-0-24 66 144 216 66 144 264 84 128 232
*6-0-24 Top-dresser of nitrate of soda and sulphate of potash.
'=Pounds of nutrients.
32 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
W,_- 4"93. .. 0
Fig. 16: Tobacco with excellent leaf quality fertilized with 4-8-12.
N --^.- f. "^ .- .. ^. 3
*-- -'A /^- ^A^ 4 A (':- .
A~4~ ~ 4r
Fig. 17: Fertilizer
Placed in Drill Row Not Mixed. Poor Plant Stands
Plcdi D-r ill Row Tot: Mixd. oorPat Sand
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 33
Fig. 18: Fertilizer Placed in Bands to Side of Plants
Pasture grass sods generally require a longer period of
time between preparation and planting than most other types
of vegetation to allow for the better decomposition of the sod
roots. Deep plowing at preparation time is also helpful. Disk-
ing ahead of applying the fertilizer will control winter weeds
and put the soil in fine tilth before applying the fertilizer.
Methods of Applying Fertilizer: From tests and observations
tobacco has responded equally well from no fertilization at
transplanting time as it has when all or part of the fertilizer
was applied ahead, or at transplanting time. There are many
ways that fertilizer may be applied to tobacco, (1) drill row,
(2) side placement, (3) part drill row plus side placement and
by (4) broadcasting the fertilizer over the area.
The first consideration in using fertilizer is to make the
plants grow; however, if the fertilizer is not applied properly
poor plant stand may result from fertilizer burn to the young
plant roots, thus causing poor stands and uneven plant growth.
(See figure 17 and 18).
Most of the fertilizers are applied by a horse or tractor
drawn fertilizer distributor. There are transplanters available
which are used for transplanting and putting out the fertilizer
at the same time. At present more growers prefer the drill
34 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
row method of applying the fertilizers which they do by opening
a furrow with a large shovel and then applying the fertilizer and
covering immediately with disc or hillers which makes a small
bed. It has been an observation of the authors that in the
skipping every fifth row method of planting that growers
would profit by cutting down on the fertilizer on the outside
border rows; or possibly increase the number of plants in
order to reduce border effects on the outside rows. The tobacco
on the border rows may ripen more slowly than the inside
rows and often the cured tobacco is not as good quality.
Transplanting tobacco: The small beds made in covering
the fertilizer are generally boarded or smoothed off immediately
ahead of transplanting. Tobacco plants are usually transplanted
by commercial hand setters, or by horse or tractor drawn
transplanters. (See figure 19.) Plants that are six to eight
inches in height are more easily transplanted by any of the
transplanting methods mentioned. Plant spacing will vary
with individual growers; however, 7,500 to 8,500 plants are
generally recommended and table 7 shows row widths and
O *. -
Fig. 19: One Row Tractor Drawn Transplanter
Regardless of how they are planted, all plants should be wa-
tered and the soil firmly packed around the roots to insure good
stands. Many growers who are irrigating are leaving off trans-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 35
plant watering at the time of setting the plant, however, they do
irrigate after setting a range. This practice has worked fine,
providing the grower did not have an infestation of wire-
worms. It is not easy to predict these infestations and a
small amount of water containing an insecticide would im-
prove stands and uniformity of growth if used when trans-
Cultivation: Suggestions on how and when to cultivate always
stimulate arguments on the part of the growers and the
discussion of cultivation will be limited to the conventional
methods. As stated earlier, tobacco land should be prepared
thoroughly before transplanting and regular field cultivation
generally begins after the plants have a well established root
system. The general practice is to plow the tobacco and hoe
it concurrently. The first two cultivations are fairly deep
and often one will hear a grower state that he "dirted" his
tobacco; that is deep plowing, pushing the soil around plants.
This practice sometimes fails to accomplish its purpose par-
ticularly if this method of cultivation is used at the wrong
time, or if weather conditions are not favorable at the time.
CONVERSION TABLE FOR PLANTS PER ACRE
36" rows Plants 42" rows Plants 48" rows Plants
Plant per Plant per Plant per
Spacing acre Spacing acre Spacing acre
(Inches) (Inches) (Inches)
36 x 14 12,517 42 x 14 10,729 48 x 14 9,388
36 x 15 11,616 42 x 15 9,967 48 x 15 8,712
36 x 16 10,917 42 x 16 9,367 48 x 16 8,187
36 x 17 10,225 42 x 17 8,764 48 x 17 7,669
36 x 18 9,680 42 x 18 8,297 48 x 18 7,260
36 x 19 9,189 42 x 19 7,877 48 x 19 6,892
36 x 20 8,747 42 x 20 7,497 48 x 20 6,560
36 x 21 8,297 42 x 21 7,117 48 x 21 6,222
36 x 22 7,934 42 x 22 6,806 48 x 22 5,950
36 x 23 7,562 42 x 23 6,482 48 x 23 5,672
36 x 24 7,260 42 x 24 6,222 48 x 24 5,445
36 x 25 6,980 42 x 25 5,983 48 x 25 5,235
36 x 26 6,691 42 x 26 5,731 48 x 26 5,018
For the last several years a plant condition has been ob-
served throughout the flue-cured production area of the state
which resembles pumkin bug injury in appearance. This wilting
or scalding condition, however, has been associated with poor
36 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
seasonal conditions for growth. For example, in 1954, this
scalded condition resulted from a very cool April, followed by a
cool dry May and a sudden change to high temperatures. Con-
tinued cultivation, caused many fields of tobacco to wilt and
many of the top leaves to scald. Continuous cultivation during
dry weather is not recommended, therefore, unless irrigation is
At present growers are cultivating alternate row middles
once a week. Many growers will cultivate soil to the tobacco
and have a moderately high bed which aids in drainages and
against nematodes by furnishing additional soil for lateral
roots higher up the stalk than in a flat culture. Ridge culti-
vation is recommended, particularly where tobacco is grown
on low wet or poorly drained soil.
Topping and Suckering: Topping is the removal of the plant
seedhead or flower. It is recognized that topping and suckering
add to the quality of the tobacco, which increases the dollar
return per acre. To discuss this topic it will be necessary to
present pro's and con's. When and how to top tobacco may be
based on several factors. If weather conditions have been un-
favorable for uniform growth and there is still plenty of
fertilizer available for vigorous plant growth it is doubtful
if it would pay to top the tobacco early. It is often advisable
to leave seedheads and let them help utilize the extra plant
food when the rains begin. If the crop has grown and matured
under fairly good conditions topping early is advantageous.
It is difficult to have all plants in a field reaching maturity
at the same time. however, a good balance between the fer-
tility practice and adequate moisture aid tremendously in
the control on the frequency that tobacco should be suckered.
Early transplanted tobacco, followed with cool, wet weather
tends to button prematurely. This early flowering may cause
the tobacco to be of small leaf and of poor quality. To over-
come this it is often advisable to top, or cut the stalks down
to a height of 6 to 8 inches and then select a good sucker on
the second or third leaf from the top. Top-most suckers should
not be selected because they break-off more easily during
Topping and suckering have previously been done by hand
labor, which at present is both expensive and scarce; however,
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 37
the use of chemicals are satisfactorily replacing the need
for the time consuming hand labor and expensiveness of this
operation in tobacco culture.
Maleic hydrazide (MH-30), an herbicide used in controlling
suckers on tobacco, provided careful consideration is given to
maturity of plants, and that dosage recommendations are follow-
Because tobacco plants very seldom "button" or flower uni-
formly, it is difficult to determine the best time to spray. A
good rule to follow is to wait until the inflorescence elongates
to the point where 5 to 10 flowers are open. When plant develop-
ment has reached this stage, maleic hydrazide will not have
very much effect on future leaf growth. Another practice is to
wait until a majority of the plants have flowered out; then go
over the field and top the plants and remove the large suckers
at the same time. This is essentially one complete topping and
suckering operation before any chemical solution is applied.
Follow this topping and suckering with an immediate spraying
of maleic hydrazide on all plants rather than attempting spot
spraying or individual plant spraying. This practice permits
more plants to reach full development before maleic hydrazide
is applied. Figures 20 and 21 show sucker control with and
Control With MH-30
Fig. 20: Sucker
38 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Maleic hydrazide is used at the rate of from 5 to 7 pints
per acre, or approximately 1 pint per 1200 plants. (See table 8).
In any case it is the concentration and uniformity of spray
application on each plant that is important. Airplane appli-
cation of the material is not recommended.
Sucker control is not recommended under unusually dry grow-
ing conditions if the tobacco has been heavily fertilized (1,500
pounds per acre). Growth made by suckers under these con-
ditions helps to use up the excess nitrogen. This improves the
quality of the leaf.
;__ .- ,I A _.c '.6 . :.4 -'. W n
Fig. 21: Sucker Growth in Check Plot. No. MH-30 Used
MIXING GUIDE FOR MALEIC HYDRAZIDE
1 Acre ---
% Acre ---
1% Acre --
IRRIGATION OF FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
The use of irrigation in the production of flue-cured tobacco
has increased rapidly since 1952. Early tests with irrigation
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 39
showed that yields could be increased from 30 to 40 per cent
over non-irrigation and that there was no loss in quality.
In fact, years where irrigation has not given significant in-
creases in yield, the quality has always been significantly in-
creased by as much as 2 to 10 cents per pound. An explan-
ation of this is that rainfall was poorly distributed and
irrigation was used in drought periods which enabled the
tobacco to grow more uniformly. "Stop" and "go" growth is
not unusual for tobacco in Florida during the growing season
because of rainfall distribution. Figure 22 shows expected
monthly rainfall and plant requirements. It should be noted
that these data are based on several years of rainfall records
and that for tobacco to grow satisfactorily there is a need
to supplement the deficiency of rainfall to provide for plant
needs if maximum yields of good quality are to be produced.
Approximately 5 inches of supplemental water is needed over
the expected rainfall. This deficiency and poor distribution
of rainfall has made it very difficult to raise the average
acre yield of tobacco beyond 1,000 to 1,100 pounds without
irrigation. Table 9 shows an average weekly use of water
AVERAGE DAILY WATER USE FOR
IRRIGATED TOBACCO PLANTED ON OR ABOUT APRIL 1*
(Days after Transplanting) linches per Day
1- 7 .060
40 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
by the plants. These rates have been found to be very good
in supplying adequate water to produce high yields of good
quality tobacco. In order that plants would not suffer from
a lack of soil moisture between irrigation applications, a
sufficient amount of irrigation water was applied to return
soil moisture to a field capacity after not more than an esti-
mated 70 per cent of the available had been used.
Recent experiments with irrigation have definitely shown
the effect of rates of water, fertilizer and plant populations
on yields of tobacco.
EM ESTIMATED WATER REQUIREMENT M EXPECTED RAINFALL
MARCH f5-31 APRIL 1-30 MAY 1-31 JUNE 1-22
Fig. 22: Expected Monthly Rainfall and Estimated Water Requirements
in Inches for Tobacco Planted March 15
Tables 10, 11 and 12 show the effect of each of these vari-
ables. The three years encompassed by the experiments repre-
sent what might be commonly called wet, (1953), average
(1954), and dry (1955) year.
Irrigation was applied in the "medium" treatment at a
rate to equal the amount of water used by the plant as
shown in table 8. In the "low" treatment, irrigation was
applied at a rate to equal one-third less than the amount used
by the plant and in the "high" treatment irrigation was
applied at a rate to equal one-third more than the plant
used. From the first to seventh day the plant used .06 inches
per day. Thus the "medium" application equalled .06 inches
The Effect of Plant Population on Total Yield, Quality and Value of
1,726 1,864 2,169
66.2 88.8 72.6
929 916 1,068
1953 1954 1955
1,720 1,845 2,362
74.0 88.2 73.3
957 1,001 1,173
1953 1954 1955
1,786 1,901 2,088
64.5 87.7 70.8
926 1,030 982
1955 Yield differences significant at .05 level.
1955 Quality differences significant at .01 level.
1955 Value differences significant at .01 level.
Other differences not significant at .05 level or higher.
The Effect of Plant Population on Total Yield, Quality and Value of
5,000 7,500 10,000
Year 1953 1954 1955 1953 1954 1955 1953 1954 1955
1953 1954 1955
1,676 1,828 2,182
73.2 87.8 73.5
918 998 1,089
1,810 1,830 2,319
63.5 89.3 74.4
956 997 1,168
1953 Yield differences significant at .05 level.
1.953 Quality differences significant at .05 level.
1954 Yield differences significant at .05 level.
1955 Value differences significant at .01 level.
Other differences not significant at .05 level or higher.
Yield and Value of Irrigation on Tobacco in One County in Florida in
1955 and 1956
No. of Farms
* Different from 1955 total due to reconstitution or combining of allotments.
** Different from 1955 total due to a 12% reduction in allotments.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 43
the "low", .04 inches and the "high", .08 inches. The medium
rate of irrigation was equal to or better than other rates of
irrigation for all three years.
The 1,200 pound rate of 4-8-10 or 4-8-12 produced the
highest yield and quality of tobacco. Rates above 1,200 pounds
of this analysis did not give any increase in dollar value over
the cost of the additional fertilizer.
The optimum plant population appears to fall within the
7,500 to 10,000 plants per acre range. See table 7 for row
widths and plant spacings.
Another very important practice in using irrigation is to
utilize a split application of the fertilizer. It is recommended
that from one-half to three-fourths of the fertilizer be applied
under the tobacco and the additional as a side application
from three to four weeks after transplanting. See table 14.
To focus the attention of the value of irrigation the follow-
ing figures are given to show how irrigation has contributed
to the production picture and income within a county. These
figures were compiled from growers records during the years
1955 and 1956 and are presented in table 13.
In 1955 the average yield for non-irrigated tobacco (1,115
acres) was 1,417 pounds per acre, with a 46.2 cents per pound
selling price. The average yield for irrigated tobacco (439
acres) was 1,830 pounds per acre. The selling price averaged
52.7 cents per pound. It should be noted that the irrigated
tobacco was only 28.2 per cent of total acreage and produced
36.7 per cent of the total gross value of the crop.
The Effect of Fertilizer Amounts on Total Yield, Quality and
Value of Irrigated Tobacco-1955
Fertilizer, 4-8-10, Pounds/Acre
1,200 1,500 1,800 2,100
Yield, Pounds/Acre 2,135 2,189 2,250 2,264
High Quality Percent of
Total Yield 74.8 73.4 70.5 67.8
Value, Dollars/Acre 1,056 1,079 1,079 1,085
Yield differences significant at .01 level.
Quality differences significant at .01 level.
Value differences not significant.
44 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
THE EFFECT OF SPLIT FERTILIZER APPLICATIONS
ON TOTAL YIELD, QUALITY AND VALUE
OF IRRIGATED TOBACCO-1954
Number of Fertilizer Applications and Percent of
F1 F2 25% 12.5%-
100% 50%-50% 25%- 12.5%
Yield, Pounds/Acre 1,773 1,898 1,817 1,753
High Quality, Percent
of Total Yield 84.6 90.2 88.9 89.2
Value, Dollars/Acre 941 1,052 978 959
Differences for yield, quality and value significant at .01 level.
For 1956 there were 869 acres of non-irrigated tobacco
producing 1,121 pounds of tobacco per acre that sold for an
average of 48.9 cents per pound. The acreage of irrigated
tobacco had increased to 524 acres and the irrigated tobacco
produced an average of 1,420 pounds per acre that sold for
an average of 51.1 cents per pound.
," .._- 4' -... .e "-,.
-t J .. . .., . ''
Fig. 23: A Cart Used for Hauling Irrigation Pipe
The acreage irrigated in 1956 was 37 per cent of the total
acres. The irrigated crop produced 44.4 per cent of the total
gross value in 1956.
It is believed that the above mentioned figures are very
significant when factors such as, variabilities in soil type,
cropping practices, fertilization rates, plant spacing and the
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
*i''-^ 'j. W. *
FL: / 9s&k3
Fig. 24: Field of Tobacco Ready for Irrigation
Fig. 25: Irrigated Tobacco Field
actual application of
the irrigation water are taken into con-
This trend has been experienced in several other counties
and serves to point out the benefits of irrigation as a regular
In summary, irrigation, properly applied, blended with good
varieties, fertilization, fumigation, cultural practices and when
good harvesting and curing practices are followed is bene-
ficial to the farmer. Figures 23, 24, and 25 show some irri-
46 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
INSECT AND PEST CONTROL
Insects which attack flue-cured tobacco also attack many
other major crops. A detail description may be found in
U. S. D. A. Circular 639 or in the 1952 Yearbook of Agri-
INSECTS IN THE PLANT BED
Examine beds closely for insects or insect damage as soon
as plants come up. Apply insecticides as needed. A dust con-
taining 1% parathion and 5% TDE is effective against aphids
(lice), hornworms, budworms, fleabettles and climbing cut-
worms. Apply at the rate of 1 pound per 100 square yards
of plant bed. To control the same insects with a spray use
one of the following combinations:
Amount to Use Per 25
Insecticide Gallons of Water
50% TDE wettable powder 1/2 pound
24% TDE emulsifiable concentrate 1/2 pint
15% parathion wettable powder 1/2 pound
25% malathion wettable powder 1 pound
40% TEPP emulsifiable concentrate 1/4 pint
Apply 3 to 5 gallons of above spray mixture per 100 square
yards of bed.
INSECTS IN THE FIELD
Cutworms: Cutworms often cause serious damage to tobacco
and they are difficult to control because they migrate over
wide areas. Poison baits are the most effective means of
control. Present recommendations are: 1.5 per cent chlordane-
bait, 5 pounds per acre for hill placement and 15 to 20 pounds
per acre for broadcast application. Apply before setting plants
in the field or immediately when damage is noticed.
Budworms: Tobacco budworms and occasionally corn ear-
worms are a menace to the crop. They may actually occur
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 47
on young seedlings before they are removed from the plant
bed and will continue their activity throughout the growing
season. The common name budworm indicates where the prin-
Fig. 26: Hornworm Damage on Tobacco
-i. 27: A s on
Fig. 27: Aphids on Tobacco
cipal feeding area of the worm is on the plant. Adult moths
lay eggs on the underside of the topmost leaves. They hatch
and begin feeding immediately. Because of the density of the
leaves several leaves can be damaged very quickly by their
ravenous feeding. These worms have a special fondness for
flower buds and seed pods, and careful observation and dili-
gence are required to hold this pest in check.
Present recommendations are: 5 to 10 per cent DDT or
TDE. Dust at the rate of 20 to 25 pounds per acre. It is
important that the dust be placed in the bud for best results.
Corn meal with lead arsenate was once recommended because
48 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Fig. 28: Pumpkin Bug Damage
it is thought that the worm would be attracted to the bait
rather than the leaf, thus reducing leaf damage. This prac-
tice is seldom used today. Some growers have had fair to
good success with the use of power sprays in controlling bud-
worms particularly when the spray nozzle is fitted immediately
above the plant heads.
Hornworms: (Southern or tobacco hornworms) These insects
may appear in early April. They usually appear in greatest
abundance, however, during May, June and July. (See figure 26)
These larvae may grow to a length of 31/2 inches, and when
permitted to attain this size are difficult to control. Larvae
of this size may consume practically a whole leaf within
24 hours. It is best to control the hornworm while the larvae
The appearance of small pin head-holes on the leaves tells
one it is time to use control measures. Several materials are
recommended. Namely, TDE, endrin, on Thiodan. Several
of these materials are compatible when mixed together as
either a spray or dust. The use of combination dust or spray
may be advantageous provided the insect populations are large
enough to warrant their use. TDE plus parathion is recom-
mended quite extensively for the control of hornworms, bud-
worms, aphids and flcabettles. Consideration of the need plus
cost is a matter for the grower to determine.
Recommendations: 5-10% TDE, or 1 to 11,% endrin dust,
4 percent Thiodan used at the rate of 15 to 30 pounds per acre.
For Spray: 50% TDE, (DDD) or 25% TDE (DDD) or
25% emulsifiable concentrate at the rate of 3 to 4 pints in
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 49
enough water- to cover an acre, or endrin emulsifiable concen-
trate (1.6) pounds actual per gallon with 1 to 2 pints in enough
water to cover an acre. Materials for the all-purpose spray for
one acre 3 to 4 pints 25% TDE (DDD) emulsifiable concentrate
or 2 to 3 pounds of 50% wettable powder mixed with one pound
of parathion wettable powder or 1/2 pint 42% parathion emul-
Thiodan may be used as a spray or dust. For spray use 50
percent W. P. at the rate of 1 to 2 pounds in enough water for
an acre, or use 1 to 2 quarts of 25 percent emulsifiable concen-
trate per acre, in sufficient water to provide adequate coverage.
Airplane dusting requires the higher poundage rate for best
results. Good applications of materials for the control of bud-
worm or hornworm will control either or both of these pests.
By starting in time these pests are controlled more easily and at
Aphids: (Green peach Aphid). (See figure 27) This pest
has only recently proved damaging to tobacco and it has oc-
curred spasmodically every year since 1948. One measure of
control that is very helpful in preventing them to build up and
spread over the entire field is to dust the seedlings while
they are still in the plant bed. Many infestations have been
traced from the plant bed to the field. To control these pests,
1 to 2% parathion is recommended. It may not be necessary to
spray or dust more than once or twice to give control of aphids.
At present there are commercial dusts sold to farmers where
several insecticides are mixed together as all purpose dust.
It is well to remember that certain concentrations of these
dusts are necessary to give control and this is very important
when purchasing a dust. On the average these dusts have been
very successful; however, if only one of these insecticides are
needed to do a specific job they can generally be purchased
more cheaply on an individual basis rather than in combinations.
Thiodan is a new insecticide for use on tobacco, and it offers
promise for controlling hornworm, budworm, and aphids. There
appears, also, to be evidence that where it is used frequently,
stinkbug damage is lessened.
Grasshoppers: These insects have also assumed a place of
importance in tobacco production. Control is difficult, because
the insecticides that give the best control are not recommended
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
CONTROL OF APHIDS (PLANT LICE)
1% parathion dust
15% parathion wettable
4 or 5% malathion dust
25% malathion wettable
50% malathion emul-
4% Thiodan dust
50% Thiodan W. P.
25% E. C.
10 to 30 lbs./Acre
1 lb. 15% or equiva-
lent in 100 gallons of
10 to 30 lbs./Acre
4 lbs. 25% in 100
gallons of water
2 pints in 100 gallons
10 to 30 lbs./Acre
1 to 2 lbs./100 gallons
1 to 2 qts./100 gallons
for use on tobacco. A 2% parathion dust applied when the
nymphs are small has given good control and 1.5% endrin
dust or 21/2% aldrin dust is also recommended.
Other Insects: Wireworms and cutworms are always bother-
some at transplanting time and may cause considerable damage
to plant stands. Two or 3 ounces of chlorodane (Technical) to
50 gallons of water using 250 gallons per acre has given control
of these pests.
Pumpkin bug damage can be quite severe some years. Figure
28 shows the kind of damage done by these pests. A satisfactory
control is difficult to obtain with present insecticides.
All of the material recommended for the control of insects
on flue-cured tobacco have been found safe to use. There are
numerous new insecticides being tested, however, to determine
their effectiveness and only those that are recommended should
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 51
Carefully observe manufacturer's label precautions for all
DISEASES AND THEIR CONTROL
At present there are numerous diseases that attack flue-
cured tobacco in Florida. Only two or three, however, are con-
sidered to be of economic importance.
In Plant Beds: Downy mildew or blue mold has been a
virulent disease since 1931, found principally in the plant beds.
The first symptoms of the disease will appear to cause the
leaves to yellow, wilt and twist, followed by a characteristic
bluish, downy coating on the lower surface of the leaves. This
disease has been known to appear in late January. In ordinary
seasons the disease will appear the last of February or
early March. Temperatures in the 50's to 650 F. range with
foggy mornings are quite conducive to its development. This
disease will spread rapidly over the entire bed area unless
controlled. Uncontrolled early outbreaks are a good source of
infection for other nearby plant beds.
Blue mold is readily controlled in plant beds by dusting or
spraying, and several materials are effective. Ferbam and
zineb are recommended, and the most commonly used at present.
Ferbam and zineb are used as preventive fungicides and give
protection only if the plants are kept dusted with the materials
so that blue mold is not permitted to get a start. Sodium or
potassium nitrate will not control blue mold. These materials
serve only as an aid in the recovery of blue mold-injured
These materials should not be used in the concentrated form.
The fungicide should be applied twice a week- always water
and then dust-dust as quickly as possible after rains and put
the dust on instead of putting it off. Use ferbam dusts at
the rate of 11/2 to 2 pounds per 100 square yards of bed,
or zineb dusts at 1 to 11/2 pounds when the plants are
about the size of a dime or when blue mold is known to be
in the vicinity. As the plants grow increase the quantity pro-
gressively up to a maximum of 3 to 4 pounds per 100 square
yards per application when the plants are large enough to
transplant. It is best to apply the dust when the plants are
wet (after watering, rain or dew) and when there is the
52 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
least wind. Fifty pounds of a 15% dust should be ade-
quate to treat 100 square yards for one season, even with
severe blue mold conditions. Ten or more applications may be
necessary during a season. Continue dusting until the plants
have been transplanted.
Ferbam sprays-mix 3 ounces of 76% ferbam in 121/2 gallons
of water (7 level tablespoons of ferbam equal 1 ounce). If
larger quantities are needed mix 2 to 3 pounds of ferbam in
100 gallons of water. Five to 10 gallons of this solution will
spray 100 square yards of bed.
Zineb sprays or dust-mix 11/2 to 2 ounces of zineb (65%
active ingredient) in 10 gallons of water, or 2 pounds in
100 gallons of water. The amount of solution of zineb or ferbam
to prepare depends on the yardage to be sprayed. Weigh or
measure correctly the amount of the material to be used, place
it in a fruit jar or bucket and add sufficient water to wet
the powder. Shake or stir thoroughly and then pour into
the correct volume of water needed for spraying. Prepare
only enough material for one spraying and use it the same
day it is mixed. Three to five gallons of the solution per 100
square yards should be adequate to cover the plants when they
are about the size of a dime if a pressure sprayer is used.
More spray is needed to get good leaf coverage as the plants
grow larger. Spray at least twice a week. A pressure pump
or inexpensive bucket pump will provide the very fine mist
or spray necessary to get proper coverage. Approximately 40
to 50 pounds of a ferbam or zineb dust, or 3 to 6 pounds
of concentrated ferbam or zineb, will be adequate for a spray
preparation for 100 square yards of plant bed per season.
Dusting through the plant bedcover is more satisfactory
than spraying through them unless a power sprayer is used,
FOR BEST RESULTS A UNIFORM COVERAGE OF DUST
OR SPRAY ON THE PLANTS AT ALL TIMES IS NECES-
Recent tests with streptomycin, an antibiotic, has shown that
this material will control blue mold in tobacco plant beds. It
is also effective against many of the bacterial organisms, such
as wildfire. Rates of 100 ppm have given good control on
severely infected blue mold plants and rates up to 200 ppm
have not produced any leaf damage. Plants severely infected
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 53
with blue mold were sprayed three times within ten days,
made good recovery, and only one spraying or dusting every
seven days was, therefore, necessary.
Blue mold has been known to occur in very recent years
under field conditions. Suitable weather for its development
Fig. 29: Anthracnose on planted Fig. 30: Angular Leaf Shot on
leaves Mature Leaf
is the principal reasons for its spread to the field. There is
little merit in attempting to control the disease in the field;
good warm sunshine offers best control.
Anthracnose: This disease has been observed on several to-
bacco beds in Florida, and is somewhat of a new disease for this
area. The seed is considered the principal source of inoculum.
This disease may cause a severe loss of seedlings in the plant
bed, and unless healthy plants are transplanted to the field, it
is capable of causing damage to leaf quality after plants are
transplanted to the field. For this reason, if this disease should
occur in the bed, continuing with ferbam and zineb has proven
very satisfactory in controlling it. If antibiotics are used for
blue mold and anthracnose should appear, however, several dust-
ings or sprayings with ferbam or zineb should be made before
the seedlings are transplanted. (See figure 29.)
54 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Angular Leaf Spot: Many Florida growers can attest to the
virulence of this disease. Angular leaf spot may infect tobacco
in any stage of growth, from seedlings to mature plants. See
figure 30 for the type damage which this disease is capable of
inflicting. Thus, because of the manner in which the organism
is disseminated-by seed, by contaminated cloth, tools, and re-
fuse-it may be difficult to bring under satisfactory control.
Good clean seed and new bed sites certainly assist in reducing
infection. Application of tribasic copper (fixed copper), 3
pounds per 100 gallons of water, may be used as a drench or
Antibiotics Agrimycin and streptomycin have proven very ef-
fective against this disease. The most economic and effective
control is within the bed. Heavy rains, and even irrigation,
encourage the development of the disease under field conditions.
Damp-off: This disease is not common in properly managed
tobacco beds. Plants affected with damp-off turn yellow and
will show evidence of stem rot at the soil level. The disease
may reduce plant stands very rapidly and frequent observation
of tho plant bed should be made during the time of seed germi-
nation. If damp-off does appear its progress can be checked
by spraying the beds with yellow cuprocide, wettable spergon
or ferbam. The use of ferbam for controlling blue mold will
help materially in controlling damping-off but the disease
usually causes the greatest loss of plants soon after they emerge,
before spraying or dusting for blue mold control is necessary.
Recommended amounts of the materials are as follows:
Yellow cuprocide: 5 level teaspoonfuls in 61/ gallons of
water, or 1 pound per 100 gallons of water.
Wettable spergon: 4 ounces for 6 gallons of water, or three
to four pounds per 100 gallons of water.
Ferbam: 1 ounces in 61/4 gallons of water, or 3 pounds
for 100 gallons of water. Apply 3 to 4 gallons of spray per
100 square yards if damping-off appears.
Nematodes: Although, this parasite is not often a problem in
plant beds, safeguards should be used to prevent or eradicate
nematodes because it is very easy to infect an entire field of
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 55
tobacco with diseased plants from the plant beds. Methyl
bromide 1 pound per 100 square feet is an excellent nematocide
and will also control weeds. D-D and ethylene dibromide, used
at the rate of 3 to 4 quarts per 100 square yards, will also
provide good control. There is no substitute for good healthy
Blackshank: A disease which has been reported and ob-
served in plants throughout the flue-cured area of Florida.
It has not became established as a serious problem, however,
outside of the shade tobacco area. This disease is capable
of attacking both the under and above ground portions of the
There are resistant varieties such as McNair 121, C-187-
Hicks, C-187, N. C. 73, which could be grown provided the di-
sease did become a serious problem.
Granville wilt: This is a bacterial disease which attacks
the roots primarily and then progresses as a dark brown streak
upward through the vascular portion of the plant. This disease
has also been observed in areas of the state, however, it has
not become serious. There are also wilt resistant lines such
as McNair 121 or C-187, and other new varieties are being
Frogeye and Brown Spot: Are most common on tobacco that
is approaching maturity. The two diseases are caused by
different organisms. However, their presence on the leaf has
not reduced the buyers acceptance because it is a good indi-
cation that the tobacco is ripe. No control measures are known.
Southern Stem or Stem Rot: This disease does not usually
affect more than 10 per cent of the plants. Affected plants will
wilt and die suddenly because the disease attacks the stem
at the ground level and the decay extends into the root.
Viruses: The potential danger of this disease appears to
be greater than many others because tobacco is a very sus-
ceptible host to many virus; such as common mosaic, ring
spot, etch, vein banding, and streak.
Several of these viruses have been known to be transported
into the production area from tobacco plants produced in the
southern part of the state. Not all southern areas are infected;
however, the multiplicity of natural host and the susceptibility
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
of tobacco lends importance to this disease. Many of the virus
infected plants cannot be identified until the plants have been ir
the field five to six weeks. Then it is too late to begin re-
planting. There are varieties of tobacco that are tolerant tc
many of the viruses; however, Florida growers should be on
guard to help prevent the establishment of a virulent disease
within the production area.
Other diseases: There are many more diseases which attack
tobacco and only the more important ones will be mentioned.
Fusarium wilt-tobacco should not be planted after sweet
potatoes in Florida to avoid this disease.
Sore shin, hollow stalk and brown root rot are diseases of
minor importance as the casual organism, are ofter found only
in small areas.
The following are some injuries that may occur from time to
(1) Drowning. If water stands or the soil became water
logged, tobacco plants flop or leaves will droop instead of
remaining erect, roots lack oxygen and die.
(2) Lighting. A damage that is observed quite frequently,
although the damaged areas are generally small. The plant
stems exhibit a flaccid condition, and the pith will be separated
into sections or discs.
(3) Leaf scald. Already discussed on page 33.
(4) Drought spot. These spots are generally produced dur-
ing prolonged dry weather. The spots are reddish brown and
occur between leaf veins, or even the leaf may rim fire com-
pletely, this condition is quite noticeable on the lower leaves.
(5) Frenching. There are increasing reports of this disease.
Only a few plants are generally affected, however. Leaves are
narrow and strap like and it is thought that environmental
conditions influence the development.
(6) Hail. Very damaging in tobacco when it occurs in
abundance. If heavy hail damage occurs early in the season; the
crop may be salvaged by cutting off the plants about three leaves
above the ground, leave one sucker and continue the regular
cultural practices. In some instances additional fertilizer may
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 57
Fig. 31: A hand duster in action
: .4 t.
-. ". .. "- "
Fig. 32: A mechanical insecticide sprayer in action
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
be needed for best growth. If stalks are cut back be sure t
leave the two or three bottom leaves attached to the stalk.
HARVESTING FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
Flue-cured tobacco is harvested by priming or picking th.
leaves from the stalk. This method extends the harvest season
much longer than the stalk cutting method used in many othej
types of tobacco.
Fig. 33: Mechanical Harvesting of Tobacco-Scene shows unloading
strung Tobacco taking on sticks
Harvesting of flue-cured tobacco by priming should be done
as soon as the bottom leaves begin to develop a yellow color,
which generally occurs in seven to ten days after flowerbuds
begin to show. Tobacco that is primed before flowerbuds develop
is immature and lacks the necessary quality characteristics
of good tobacco. Two to four leaves are usually primed at
weekly intervals, more frequent priming may be needed under
some conditions. Individuals who remove the leaves from the
stalks are called croppers.
In recent years the field harvesting of tobacco has become
more mechanized. (See figure 33) The old method of priming
* Use of Tobacco Harvesters in Columbia and Suwannee Counties, Florida
1954. Agr. Econ. Series No. 55-6. March, 1955.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 59
:I t '
Fig. 34: Stringing Tobacco and unloading from sled
required the sled to convey the tobacco from the field to a
central location for stringing. (See figure 34) The stringer
loops the string on the tobacco as it is passed in hands or
bunches by the handers. A hand of tobacco is three or four
leaves grouped into a small bunch. The hands of tobacco are
looped on alternate sides of the stick. Thirty to forty hands
of tobacco are generally strung on a stick after which the
string is tied to the stick and the tobacco is then ready to be
placed in the barn.
In harvesting tobacco with a harvester the cropper places
the tobacco leaves into the fingers on the conveyor chain and
the stringer removes the tobacco from the conveyor, thus
eliminating the hander. The tobacco is strung in the same
manner. Tobacco harvesters are now being used more, both
on the farm and in custom operations.
After the tobacco has been primed and strung, it is then
ready for the curing barn.
Most tobacco barns are square 16' x 16' or 20' x 20'. There are
rectangular units, however, such as 16' x 20'. The inside of the
barn will have from 4 to 5 rooms or pens and each room will
have from 6 to 9 tier poles and they are generally spaced from
22 to 24 inches. Adequate spacing is essential for good ventila-
60 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
7"* --- .-." -
Fig. 35: A frame barn showing good ventilation. Note the top and
bottom ventilators and the manner in which ventilation can be controlled
CURING FLUE-CURED TOBACCO
Flue-cured tobacco derives its name from the manner in
which it is cured. The employment of the flues, or pipes, to
transport or circulate the heat within the barn gave rise to
the name flue-cured tobacco.
The old wood furnace and flue method of curing is gradu-
ally being replaced by other methods of curing-fuel oil and
gas heaters are now being used more frequently for curing
tobacco. The old clay mortared pole barn, has been replaced
by sawed boards and concrete block. Adequate ventilation is
necessary regardless of barn construction. (See figure 35) This
is very important because a green or fresh leaf of tobacco will
contain over 80 per cent by weight of moisture, most of which
is removed during the curing process.
Most of the billion pounds of flue-cured tobacco that is
cured each year is cured by the empirical process, which
briefly defined is without due regard to science. Therefore, it
is easy to see why exact or pre-determined schedules cannot
be employed in curing tobacco.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 61
The degree of tobacco ripeness or maturity may be influenced
greatly by environmental and cultural practices and for this
reason wide leaf quality differences are exhibited at harvest
time and these factors have to be considered by the curing
Curing tobacco, with regulated heat, is a very important
phase of the production process, because in the curing process
one is attempting to develop the best expression of all the
important factors which were employed in the production of
the plant. There are definite reasons why curing tobacco is
broken down in several stages, for each stage brings about
additional chemical changes in the leaf.
The removal of moisture is done by a gradual process
beginning with the yellowing stage when the temperature may
vary from 900 to 120 F. It is during this stage that approxi-
mately 25 to 30 per cent of the water is removed. It may take
30 to 48 hours during this stage.
For leaf drying, 135 to 1450 several additional hours will
be required. When the leaf drying stage is completed a total
of 65 to 70 per cent of the water is removed. During this
stage, the temperature will advance as the leaf dries. Then
in the final stage, drying the stem, which is done at 1700
to 1800 F., an additional 10 to 12 per cent of the total moisture
It is impossible to state the total length of time required
to cure a barn of tobacco. The length of time may vary from
80 to 100 hours. The yellowing stage is probably the most
important, because if the temperature is advanced too high
and too quickly before the tobacco has yellowed a green color
will result and the leaf will remain green throughout the
Recent tests have shown that some scientific approach is
possible in curing tobacco. The effect of humidity and temp-
erature were quite evident in some controlled experiments.
Poor results were obtained where temperatures were too low
and where humidities were too high. The optimum range for
humidity-temperature balance is influenced by the ripeness
of the tobacco. fertility practices, moisture and weather con-
ditions at the time of harvest. A high temperature with a
low humidity will set a green color in tobacco. A high temp-
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
erature with a high humidity retards the rate of wilting and
increases the rate of browning. A relatively high humidity with
a medium temperature encourages the development of leaf
fungus organisms such as frog eye and brown spot in the
curing barn. This latter environmental condition will also cause
the soft rot organisms to develop within the curing barn.
All of these conditions lower the final quality of the cured
Thus, the recommended range needed to overcome poor cures
are dependent upon ripeness of leaf, amount of moisture in
leaves, and the quality of the ripe leaf as related to leaf
disease organisms, all of these are closely allied in affecting
a good or poor cure. Under most conditions a 95-100 F.
temperature with an approximate 80 to 85 relative humidity
has given best results for yellowing.
Some "Do's" and "Dont's" in Curing Tobacco
(1) Know your tobacco. All varieties do not ripen the same.
(2) Harvest ripe tobacco.
(3) Harvest as often as necessary.
(4) Provide adequate ventilation in both the top and bottom
of the barn.
(5) Separate ripe and overripe tobacco during the stringing
operation. This helps in market preparation and de-
cidedly increases market value.
(6) Examine all cold spots in the curing barn for wet
stems before completing the curing process.
(1) Crowd tobacco in the hand, on the stick or in the barn.
(2) Bruise by clamping tobacco under arm in harvesting.
(3) Sit or ride on green tobacco leaves.
(4) String tobacco more than 2 or 3 inches down on the
stem or web.
(5) Rush the curing process.
(6) Harvest green tobacco. It is hard to find a home for
(7) Permit harvested tobacco to lie or hang in the sun.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 63
(8) Bulk green tobacco for long periods of time, green
tobacco heats very easily.
The desired environment within the curing barn should be
Maintained by regulating the temperatures and ventilation. In
rder to insure adequate ventilation it is suggested that three
square feet of top and bottom ventilation openings be pro-
ided for every 100 sticks of tobacco.
Better cures are generally obtained by going slowly at the
correct temperature rather than going too fast. Good ventila-
ion is essential for removal of leaf moisture and without
adequate removal, dark and sponged tobacco will result.
Good curing will not substitute for poorly produced tobacco;
however, good tobacco can be poorly cured.
Figure 36 shows cured leaf hanging in the barn.
Fig. 36: Showing cured leaf hanging in the barn
STORAGE OF TOBACCO
A cool dry storage is very desirable for bulking down the
cured leaf. The percentage of moisture in the leaf is called
"in case", or "in order." These terms describe the moisture
condition of the cured leaf before and after it is removed from
the barn. If the case is too high the doors and vents of the
64 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
barn should be closed and the tobacco should be left hangin
in the barn until a suitable case for storage is obtained. Thi
particularly applies to good quality tobacco. It is often sai,
"only good quality tobacco gets in to high order". Many time
growers are forced to implement atmospheric conditions t,
speed up getting the tobacco "in order". This is general:
accomplished by watering the ground of the barn. When thi
is done, the bottom two or three tier poles will often ge
in too high case. When this kind of tobacco is stacke(
particularly in a hot dry storage the tobacco may begin fer
meeting. Unless such tobacco is restacked, severe loss in quality
and dollar value will be experienced from the damaged tobacco
It is best that all tobacco be left on the sticks until it is
prepared for market.
To say that restacking tobacco helps it would probably
provoke an argument; however, a periodic examination of
the cured tobacco is certainly recommended regardless of the
storage facilities. This examination generally requires the re-
stacking of the tobacco, because it is very difficult to find
wet stem damage in a large bulk of tobacco and some tobacco's
such as priming and lugs are more hydroscopic in nature and
may damage very readily under extended rainy weather. Gen-
erally lugs and primings are handled less frequently because
they get in too high order easily. An important factor in
the bulking of tobacco, is how it is bulked, stems should
always point to the outside of the stack. The length of time
that the tobacco should remain in bulk is also very important
from the stand point of over-all improvement in quality. Green-
ish tinge tobacco definitely improves to a desirable lemon color
when permitted to remain in the bulked. It is also advisable af-
ter it is bulked to cover the stacks with tarps, sheets or some
similar material to keep out light and moisture.
PREPARATION FOR MARKET
This is one of the final steps in handling a crop of tobacco.
It suffices to say that good preparation is a very important
phase of the tobacco program. Preparation is something that
requires some pride on the part of the producers in presenting
his products for sale. The amount of time required to properly
prepare a crop of tobacco would depend upon the quantity and
quality of the crop. Sloppily prepared lots of tobacco only
serve to show the degree of pride a grower has in his crop.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
k_4 ily F
Fig. 37: Tobacco buyers follow the auctioneer at a tobacco market
(Photo by Eddie Davis, Gainesville Sun)
C rf ul h a v s t" h an li gP a .c r n n
i_ ,1.-4 ,- 5Sk. 8 :. .; .
n...j nr..v. :- -..- .-
Market. (Photo by Eddie Davis, Gainesville Sun)
Careful harvesting, stringing, handling, and curing con-
tribute immensely to a reduction in the amount of time and
labor required for good market preparation.
A good practice is to keep all of the groups of tobacco
such as priming, lugs, cutters, and leaf separated by curing.
66 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
This is most important because of the desire of processors
to be interested in certain types or group classifications mor(
than in others. A co-mingling of the group classifications i'
very undesirable and reduces their market acceptance.
Under most conditions only two to three farm grades neec
to be considered in the sorting with group classifications
Things such as string, sand, and feathers, and broken stems
should be removed from all tobacco.
Green and non-descript tobacco should be removed from
groups and marketed separately.
NO. B. TOBACCO INSPECTION CERTIFICATE
-This tobacco, inspected under the Tobacco
inspection Act by the U. S. Department of
Agriculture, is certified to be:
Planter TYPE 14
(Date) BY Inspector U.S.D.A.)
FARMERS WAREHOUSES LBS.
Fig. 39: Sample of Warehouse Marketing Ticket
Type 14 tobacco is sold loose leaf. The tobacco is stripped
from the stick, graded if needed, and then it is placed on bur-
lap sheets in a circular manner with the stems pointing out-
ward. The tobacco may then be held or stored until the
market opens, or until the grower desires to sell it. Sheets
sizes may be varied up to 300 pounds; 300 pounds is the top
limit for a sheet of tobacco.
Every sheet of tobacco has to be inspected by government
graders before it is sold at which time the group, quality,
and color classifications are given. Example (X3L) X=Lug
Group, 3rd quality, (good), and L, for color, lemon. See
appendix for a complete breakdown on grade classifications.
AUCTION SALES WAREHOUSE CHARGES ON FLUE-CURED MARKETS
1 State Law.
(15 cents on all piles)
(of 100 pounds or less)
(and 25 cents on all )
(piles over 100 pounds)
25 cents per pile
(Weighing and handling, 10 cents)
(Per pile on all piles of 100 )
(Pounds or less, and 10 cents )
(For each additional 100 pounds)
Weighing, 10 cents per 100 pounds
68 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
Figure 39 shows the marketing ticket giving needed informa.
tion on each lot of tobacco. Farmers should be keenly aware oi
marketing influences and carefully study the market, this
will often be very profitable.
Table 15 shows warehouse charges on auction floors within
the flue-cured markets.
A comparison of tobacco, by group, quality and color type 14
is shown in table 16, 16A, and 16B. It should be of interest tc
note the differences in percentages by groups, quality and color
of leaf for various years.
It is interesting to note the percentages listed for group
(stalk position), quality (based on many prerequisites), and
color (based on lemon-orange, or deviations from these two
The trend for the groups shows that smoking leaf is in-
creasing slightly. There has been a decrease in cutters, whereas
the lugs have remained fairly constant. This latter percentage
could probably be increased if the primings were left to ripen,
because there has been a slight increase in percentage of prim-
ing. The principal gain has been in the nondescript group, and
this could prove quite unsatisfactory dollar-wise under slightly
different marketing conditions.
For quality, the percentage of good leaf has dropped by al-
most 50 percent. There has subsequently been an increase in
fair to low qualities, and again nondescript has continued to
Color is the third factor in the grade, and it is this factor
that is generally observed first in examining tobacco. As stated
earlier, lemon and orange are the basic colors, and generally any
deviation from the base reduces price; thus, for one reason or
another, more colors have been added. There is one color de-
viation, however, green, which decidedly reduces price, and
variegated (K) is another grade which has increased con-
siderably. This grade usually indicates a co-mingling of colors.
In summary, type 14 tobacco growers have not reached the
zenith in combining the best qualities with the best color and
Growers should be keenly aware of grade price relationship
and carefully study the market prices. For example, the dif-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 69
:erence between a B5L and a B6L was three cents on market
average while under support there was a seven cents difference
betweenn the two grades in 1959. There is also an 11 cent differ-
nce within the low grade, therefore, a grade 5 might range
rom 60 dollars to 49 dollars and the primary reason for the
difference is because of special factors, which are concerned
with color of leaf.
The above comparisons offers Florida growers a challenge
to do a better job in harvesting, grading and marketing their
PERCENTAGES BY GROUP, QUALITY AND COLOR, BY TYPES, FOR
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO, REPRESENTING COMPOSITION OF THE
1958 AND 1959 CROPS
Type 14-Georgia and Florida
1- 2- 3- 4-
Choice Fine Good Fair
1959 1958 1959 1958 1959 1958 1959 1958
Pet. Pct. Pct. Pet. Pet. Pct. Pet. Pct.
Low Poor Total
1959 1958 1959 1958 1959 1958
Pct. Pct. Pet. Pet. Pct. Pet.
0.1 0.1 3.3 3.1 14.9 15.5 22.4 21.9 13.8 12.6 54.5 53.2
S1 .2 .5 1.3 2.0 1.2 1.2 2.7 3.7
1 1 .1 .3 2.5 3.4 --.. .. 2.6 3.7
.1 2.3 4.0 9.6 8.3 2.4 2.2 .... .... 14.3 14.6
.2 .2 2.0 2.6 8.0 6.4 4.2 4.6 --.. .... 14.4 13.8
PERCENTAGES BY GROUP, QUALITY, AND COLOR, BY TYPES,
FOR FLUE-CURED TOBACCO REPRESENTING COMPOSITION OF
THE 1959 AND 1958 CROPS-CONT.
TYPE 14 GEORGIA AND FLORIDA
A- B- H- C- X- P-
Wrappers Leaf Smoking Cutters Lugs Primings
1959 1958 1959 1958 Leaf 1959 1958 1959 1958 1959 1958
Pet. Pet. Pet. Pct. 1959 1958 Pet. Pet. Pet. Pet. Pet. Pet.
.. 14.0 13.4 0.2 0.4 1.4 1.8 6.0 5.6 6.3 6.6
S .1 1 1
.... 26.8 26.6 1.2 2.5 .9 1.5 5.2 6.5 7.5 6.6
.3 .3 2.1 1.9
.1 .4 .2
72 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
A COMPARISON OF TOBACCO BY GROUP, QUALITY AN]
COLOR WITHIN TYPE 14, COMPARING 1955-1956 WITI
1955 1956 1958 195
LL-Pale Lemon .0
FR-Light Red _
No Grade .2
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 73
PRODUCTION AND DISPOSITION OF U. S.
MANUFACTURED CIGARETTE-1935 to 1959
(in billion cigarettes)
'Mostly shipments for use by U. S. personnel,
the United States.
2 Not the sum of disposition as shown in the
because of end of year inventory changes.
including military, outside
three columns at the left
74 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
DISAPPEARANCE OF TYPES 11-14, TOTAL FLUE-CURE
TOBACCO, BY CROP YEARS, 1929-33 TO 1952-58
Year Total Exports Domest
1,000 1,000 1,000
Pounds Pounds Poundi
1929-33 663,532 401,366 262,11
1934-38 704,339 366,057 338,21
1939-43 787,933 276,166 511,71
1944-48 1,134,087 446,751 687,3;
1949-53 1,217,020 443,331 773,61
1952 1,244,207 416,558 827,64
1953 1,208,985 431,314 777,61
1954 1,172,966 428,793 744,1'
1955 1,281,330 553,026 728,3(
1956 1,169,535 465,070 704,4(
1957 1,178,206 442,273 735,9;
1958 1,178,759 442,950 735,8(
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 75
DISAPPEARANCE OF U. S. FLUE-CURED LEAF TOBACCO
1925-26 to 1953-54 Crop Years
(in million lbs. farm sales wt.)
Year Cigarettes Smoking, Total
1925-26 138 49 187
1926-27 150 52 202
1927-28 152 52 214
1928-29 184 43 227
1929-30 196 40 236
1930-31 195 76 271
1931-32 172 91 263
1932-33 180 69 249
1933-34 194 66 260
1934-35 216 64 280
1935-36 235 77 312
1936-37 262 50 312
1937-38 273 94 367
1938-39 277 88 365
1939-40 330 72 402
1940-41 330 73 403
1941-42 401 68 469
1942-43 460 63 523
1943-44 462 57 519
1944-45 444 65 509
1945-46 568 52 620
1946-47 558 44 602
1947-48 590 46 636
1948-49 609 44 653
1949-50 634 44 678
1950-51 647 43 690
1951-52 669 41 710
1952-53 713 39 752
1953-54 678 36 714
Cigarettes* Total Total
4 391 578
4 343 545
4 386 600
5 482 708
6 500 735
6 503 774
6 334 597
6 316 565
7 386 646
8 289 568
10 381 693
12 359 671
13 429 795
14 430 795
16 306 708
18 174 577
23 314 783
80 369 892
106 461 980
187 641 1,150
47 532 1,152
57 610 1,213
59 418 1,054
67 449 1,102
51 490 1,168
67 495 1,184
67 569 1,279
71 487 1,244
64 495 1,209
* Includes overseas shipments for U. S. personnel.
76 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
ESTIMATED WORLD PRODUCTION OF FLUE-CURED
1935-39 Av., 1947-51 Av., 1956, 1957, 1958 and 1959
(Harvested during Calendar Year)
(in million lbs., farm sales wt.)
Country 1935-39 1947-51 1956
Communist China 235 250 560
Japan 74 87 210
Canada 55 112 149
Federation of Rhodesia
and Nyasaland 28 91 178
India 27 65 139
Brazil 13 46 64
Italy 4 16 27
Thailand 1 8 16
Formosa 4 14 34
Union of South Africa 3 22 20
Korea 22 19 29
Argentina 1 8 29
Indonesia 5 2 24
West Germany 0 2 6
Venezuela 0 3 7
Australia 5 4 7
New Zealand 1 5 5
Mexico 1 4 3
Pakistan 0 2 12
Philippines ** 1 48
Other Foreign Countries 7 32 81
PRODUCTION 486 793 1,648
TOTAL U. S.
PRODUCTION 864 1,246 1,422
PRODUCTION 1,350 2,039 3,070
**Less than 500,000 lbs.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE 77
EXPORTS OF FLUE-CURED TOBACCO FROM U.S. BY
1935-39 Av., 1947-51 Av., 1956-57 Av., 1958 and 1959
(in thousand lbs., export wt.)
Country 1935-39 1947-51 1956-57 1958 1959*
Canada 4,331 74 93 0 13
Mexico 3 478 1,462 2,279 3,641
Venezuela 4 166 198 25 166
British Guiana 155 328 290 184 156
Uruguay 229 979 2,104 785 5,369
Sweden 3,642 6,937 10,349 3,618 5,115
Norway 2,487 4,478 4,951 4,427 4,354
Denmark 2,498 7,577 11,102 10,185 12,339
United Kingdom 193,519 174,730 159,302 157,117 133,903
Ireland 6,081 16,925 9,072 13,203 9,836
Netherlands 9,490 24,141 24,229 15,358 14,871
Belgium & Luxembourg 3,712 15,301 14,387 11,303 15,310
France 1,071 1,684 3,101 2,938 2,301
Germany 4,060 36,796 54,901 67,739 47,811
Austria 12 2,776 4,002 4,341 1,909
Switzerland 257 3,968 3,804 1,985 2,124
Finland 1,028 1,668 4,321 4,427 6,199
Spain 137 380 2,499 5,182 5,460
Portugal 803 3,358 3,115 2,586 2,927
Italy 99 3,059 2,546 4,790 7,653
Korea 0 0 4,119 0 0
India 2 03 027 2,149 2,956 1,929
Pakistan 2,903 \ 8,027 2,772 265 827
Ceylon 924 972 1,017 627 883
Thailand 3,202 3,314 11,125 9,074 11,755
Indochinese States 190 1,590 5,356 3,694 4,110
Indonesia 2,021 6,419 13,914 1,597 2,234
Philippines 703 6,924 768 4,823 4,098
Communist China 33,885 9,714 0 0 0
Hong Hong 1,624 4,338 2,982 .2,445 4,235
Formosa (Taiwan) 0 362 2,183 2,685 2,140
Japan 4,842 385 4,680 11,149 11,553
Australia 19,093 19,964 30,334 25,846 18,402
New Zealand 2,708 5,511 6,429 6,083 6,839
French Morocco 16 175 187 0 0
Algeria 88 270 460 254 370
Tunisia I 131 303 93 39
Egypt 926 2,562 5,108 6,479 13,138
Nigeria 210 856 1,305 1,320 486
All Others 5,935 10,754 8,040 6,880 9,468
TOTAL 312,889 388,071 419,059 398,742 373,963
SALES WEIGHT 359,196 443,587 473,450 451,900 424,900
78 FLUE-CURED TOBACCO IN FLORIDA
EXPORTS OF U. S. TOBACCO BY TYPES AND COUNTRIES,
(in thousand lbs., export wt.)
Flue- Fire- Air-
cured Burley cured Maryland cured Cigar
Canada 13 0 34
Mexico 3,641 3,499 0
Venezuela 166 94 0
British Guiana 156 0 15
Urugauy 5,369 1,048 55
Sweden 5,115 3,093 1,037
Norway 4,354 798 1,724
Denmark 12,339 1,700 415
United Kingdom 133,903 311 1,140
Ireland 9,836 0 188
Netherlands 14,871 650 7,976
Luxembourg 15,310 216 1,028
France 2,301 1,686 1,329
Germany 47,811 7,826 1,086
Austria 1,909 61 262
Switzerland 2,124 448 1,998
Finland 6,199 685 27
Spain 5,460 0 0
Portugal 2,927 1,733 93
Italy 7,653 2,642 106
India 1,929 3 15
Pakistan 827 0 0
Ceylon 883 1 0
Thailand 11,755 33 0
Indochinese States 4,110 214 160
Indonesia 2,234 0 170
Philippines 4,098 0 0
Hong Kong 4,235 371 0
Formosa (Taiwan) 2,140 183 0
Japan 11,553 0 0
Australia 18,402 1,389 419
New Zealand 6,839 35 423
Algeria 370 71 136
Tunisia 39 12 0
Egypt 13,138 2,052 1,045
Other 9,4'8 1,027 1,597
Nigeria 486 0 0
373,963 31,881 22,478 14,411 3,186 8,196
k1f-1 li UU uy L11e gt- ICgUi LUEU 1 IVidIK teL1lg OCIVICC9 U. 0. I^ejD I_ 1flleUW. flf l mTi rt-
izing terms used in describing tobacco qualities and to assist in correctly interpreting grade specifications. While the
several degrees of each element are arranged to show their relative value, the actual value of each degree varies with
type arid grade. In each case the first and last degree shown represent the full range of quality for the element and the
intermediate degrees show gradual steps between them.
Color Shade Pale
Uniformity Uniform-10 %
Oil (or life) Fat
Texture Fine Tex.
Strength (Ten.) Tough
Wax (or gum) Waxy
Fiber Size Fine Fibers
Fiber Color Conforming F.
Shape of Tip Round Tip
Rich in Oil
Free of Wax
LATIVE DEGREES OF QUALITY
Injury The amount or percentage of injury.
Cure Well-cured or characteristics of excessive, insufficient, or improper curing.
Venation The number of degrees in the average angle between the main fibers and midribs.
Color & Length Color and length are elements of quality when they are not otherwise classified.
Yield The potential quantity of a given tobacco product which can be produced, per unit, from tobacco of a
certain type, grade, size, form, condition, or moisture content.
Waste Opposite of yield. Portions which are dead, lifeless, and do not have sufficient strength or stability to
hold together in normal manufacturing process, or due to excessive injury of any kind.
NOTE: The words "Very" or "Fairly" are used in the sense of more and less, respectively. They may be used in con-
nection with a degree of quality to express finer distinctions.
WORLD FLUE-CURED ACREAGE
United States WORLD FLUE-CURED EXPORTS
Thousand (Estimated by Colendar Year Farm Sales Weight)
';Ac,.es *' ~ United States
1200 Million ibs.
1000 600 S.t wil --
800 4- 0 -
200 2 00 1
1800 Foreign 0
1400 600 -
600 200 -
1934-38 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956
Illustrated here is Flue Cured Tob.
Variety 402, one of the major varie
grown in Florida.
Leaf ripeness is shown harvested
green, G; ripe when harvested, R;
overripe when harvested. OR. 24
denotes rate of nitrogen fertilizer
The Hicks variety of Flue Cured To-
hacco. another major variety in Flor-
ida, is shown here.