Bulletin No. 40
RALPH STOUTAMIRE, 1930
Revised by C. P. Helfenstein and S. C. Kierce, 1946
State of Florida
Department of Agriculture
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
, 1946 4,
Introduction and History ........................ 5
Florida Tobacco Volume and Value ................ 6
Soils for: W rapper Tobacco ...................... 7
Filler Tobacco, Bright Tobacco ................ 8
Preparation and Care of Plant Beds ................ 9
Fertilizing the Plant Bed ......................... 10
Preparing the Land for:
Wrapper and Filler Tobacco .................. 11
Bright Tobacco ............................ 12
Fertilizers for: Wrapper Tobacco ......... ....... 13
Flue-Cured Tobacco Data, 1921 Thru 1945 .......... 14
Fertilizers for: Filler Tobacco, Bright Tobacco ...... 15
Transplanting and Cultivating:
W rapper Tobacco .......................... 17
Filler Tobacco, Bright Tobacco ................. 18
Harvesting and Curing: ......................... 20
Wrapper and Filler Tobaccos ................ 21
Bright Tobacco ............................ 22
Packing Bright Tobacco .......................... 25
Fermenting and Packing Dark Tobacco ............ 26
Sorting and Selecting Dark Tobacco ................ 26
Grading and Marketing Bright Tobacco ............ 28
Selecting Tobacco Seed ...................... .. 29
Construction of Tobacco Shades .................. 30
Curing Barns for: Wrapper, Filler, Bright Tobaccos . 31
Cost of Production: Wrapper Tobacco ..... ....... 33
Filler and Bright Tobaccos .................. 34
Diseases: Black Shank, Root-Knot ................ 37
W ildfire ............... .................... 38
Frog-eye ................................... 39
Brown Spot, Downy Mildew or Blue Mold ........ 40
Insect Enemies: Budworms, Hornworms ............ 44
Flea-Beetles, Cutworms, Grasshoppers,
Pumpkin Bugs .............................. 45
Marketing and Manufacturing .................... 46
Acknowledgements .............................. 49
Production, 1880 Thru 1944 ...................... 50
Tax Revenue From Tobacco, 1880 Thru 1945 ........ 51
In 1945, auction floors for Florida bright tobacco were operated as follows: a) eight
warehouses at Live Oak-Big Brick Nos. 1 and 2 (Cozart & Johnson), Big Independent
Nos. 1 and 2 (Smothers Bros. & Calhoun), Farmers Nos. 1 and 2 (Futch & Gauchat),
and Wells Nos. 1 and 2 (Rogers Wells; b) three warehouses at Lake City -- Farmers
Independent (Carter & Edwards), Strickland's (Claude B. Strickland) and Frank
VYniov RT Rn"'
Tobacco Growing In Florida
By Ralph Stoutamire, 1930; Revised by C. P. Helfenstein and S. C. Kierce, 1946
TOBACCO is linked with nearly every phase of Ameri-
can life and industry. Its phenomenal increase in
consumption during the last 30 years is perhaps un-
equalled by any other agricultural product. This, despite
the fights that have been waged upon it by individuals and
societies created for that express purpose. Loved and
hated, cherished and despised, it goes merrily along as one
of the country's leading commodities.
The tobacco plant has been grown in Florida for more
than a hundred years. In 1850 the total amount produced
in the state was reported at about a million pounds, and
there was a rapid increase until 1860. Cigar-leaf was the
principal type grown during this early period. It was light
in color and very desirable for the manufacture of cigars.
Virtually all of the crop produced during this early
period was sold on European markets, as the cigar trade in
the United States demanded dark wrappers.
During the Civil War the European markets could not
obtain the Florida product and found other sources for
their tobacco. Since they did not return to Florida after
the close of the war, tobacco was grown only on a limited
scale until about 1889. During that period-from 1865 to
1889-the demands of the cigar trade in the United States
changed from dark to light colored leaf, and they found
that the Florida tobacco fulfilled their requirements better
than that from other sources.
In 1896 it was demonstrated that the quality of leaf
could be greatly improved for cigar wrappers by growing
the crop under artificial shade. The idea originated with
D. A. Shaw of Quincy, Florida, and he conducted the first
experiments which demonstrated the possibilities. Follow-
nig this improvement in quality, which was attended by an
increased demand for the tobacco, there was a rapid ex-
pansion in the industry. But, in 1945, the total shade in the
state was estimated at only 2,300 acres. Since the year
1910 total acreage actually has decreased. During the
last few years virtually all of the shaded tobacco has been
grown in Gadsden and Madison Counties.
One of the cigar types of tobacco, originally imported
from Sumatra, is now grown in the open for cigar filler.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
FLORIDA TOBACCO VOLUME AND VALUE
(Reported by Florida State Marketing Bureau)
FLUE-CURED (BRIGHT LEAF) TOBACCO
SHADE AIR-CURED (DARK
Estimated Farm Value
Crop Per Lb.
$ 43,000 $0.12
Estimated Farm Value
Crop Per Lb.
$ 854,000 $0.60
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 7
From 100 to 1,000 acres of this type are grown in the
state each year.
The culture of bright or flue-cured tobacco was intro-
duced into the northern part of the state in 1924. Most
grades of bright or flue-cured tobacco are used in cigarette
production, while the heavier or filler types are used for
granulated smoking tobaccos and snuff. Since 1924 the
acreage has increased considerably and the crop is now
grown successfully on certain types of soil generally
throughout the Suwannee Valley and as far south as the
southern boundary of Hernando County. The yield per
acre and price obtained on the markets for this type of
tobacco produced in the state compare favorably with the
crop produced in Georgia and the Carolinas. The cigarette
grades of Florida bright leaf are considered by the major
tobacco companies as equal or superior to any produced in
the United States. In 1945, a year with a crop-control
program, there were 20,000 acres of bright tobacco grown
in Florida, with an approximate value of $6,441,000.
Tobacco is a staple crop and fits well into the general
farming system in localities adapted to its culture, but
only certain types of soil will produce the qualities of
leaf demanded by the trade. Both the surface soil and
subsoil are important in this respect.
The soil must be well drained, as tobacco is very sensi-
tive to excessive amounts of soil water, especially as it
approaches maturity. During the early years of tobacco
culture in the state, the crop was grown exclusively on
virgin hammock land. The ashes obtained by burning the
hardwood trees and brush on the land was the only source
of fertilizer. The soils which gave best results by this
method of cultivation were comparatively low, well-
drained, gray sandy loams with a porous clay subsoil. By
1889, when the demand for Florida leaf had increased,
the farmers had learned the value of stable manure and
certain commercial fertilizers and found that with the
judicial use of these materials a good quality of tobacco
could be produced on old soils, providing that where
stable manure is used it is placed deep in the soil so that
the entire root spread of plants will be somewhat free,
otherwise it will encourage brown spot or wildfire.
Cigar Wrapper Tobacco is being grown most success-
fully at present on the well-drained lighter series of soils:
8 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Norfolk sandy loam, Norfolk fine sandy loam and Orange-
burg sand. With proper fertilization and culture these
soils produce a wrapper leaf of fine texture, light in color
and weight and with a good "burn." There are other
types of soil in the state which will produce a desirable
quality of wrapper leaf but, as a rule, they occur in small
Filler Tobacco is grown to some extent on all types of
soil planted to the wrapper type but, as a rule, they do
not produce the weight of leaf best suited for cigar filler.
Norfolk sandy loam, Orangeburg sand and Orangeburg
sandy loam soils, when properly fertilized, usually produce
the largest yields of the desired quality.
Bright or Flue-Cured Tobacco: The type of soil is also
a very important factor in the production of satisfactory
quality of cigarette and other grades of bright or flue-
cured tobacco. The character of the soil influences the
color of the leaf as well as the other important qualities,
as texture, richness and weight. Color is a very important
character of cigarette tobacco, a bright yellow being the
preferred shade. Ordinarily this bright color can not be
produced on the heavier soils, and the leaf is usually
heavy and coarse.
The soils best suited for it belong to the Norfolk series.
They are well-drained, light and sandy to a depth of from
six to ten inches and underlaid with a yellowish sandy
clay subsoil. They should be relatively low in nitrogen
and organic matter but responsive to enrichment by means
of commercial fertilizers, manure and cover crops. The
lighter colored and weaker soils usually produce the most
desirable color of leaf, but the leaf is apt to be thin and
chaffy. Therefore, it is necessary to exercise great care
in the selection of the soil for cigarette tobacco, if the
greatest returns are desired.
Effect of Soil Types On Production of Florida
(From a Survey Made of One Thousand Florida Farms)
Average Yield Average Gross Average Price
Per Acre Acre-Income Per Pound
Pounds Dollars Cents
Light .. .................. 885 $181.01 20.45
Medium .................... 1140 229.00 20.08
Heavy ........................... 1106 200.53 18.13
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA
PREPARATION AND CARE OF PLANT BEDS
The young tobacco plant is very small and is subject
to injury by several agencies unless protected. The most
convenient method for protecting the plants is by growing
them in a cloth-covered bed until they are about ready
The size of this bed is determined by the type of tobacco
and the number of acres of field to be planted. The
customary rule for cigar wrapper is to plant 100 square
yards of bed for each acre of land to be set from the bed.
For the filler type slightly less bed space is allowed, and
50 square yards is allowed for each acre of cigarette
tobacco. Under favorable conditions these areas of plant
bed will produce sufficient plants for two acres. However,
favorable conditions do not always prevail and it is very
important to have an ample supply of uniform and vigor-
ous plants at the proper time. Better to have too many
than not enough.
Most farmers locate plant beds on new, well-drained
hammock land which is not subject to overflow. The
trees should be cut around the bed to admit sunlight. The
beds should be burned or "fired" to kill any weed seed
and parasitic fungi which may be present in the surface
soil. The brush and timber are cut and stacked in the
autumn and burned when dry.
After the brush and leaves are burned the land should
be raked clean before the "firing" is started. Having done
this, wooden skids are laid about four feet apart, extend-
ing in the direction of the length of the bed. Wood is
laid across the outer end of the skids and the fire is
started. When the ground has been burned in that loca-
tion, the burning wood is drawn along the skids to a new
position.. More wood is added as needed and the fire is
drawn along the skids a little at a -time until the entire
bed has been burned.
The land is then raked free of trash and broken shallow
in order to leave the fertile soil near the surface. The
roots and trash are then removed and the soil should be
reworked until it is brought into a fine tilth.
Florida Experiment Station and United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture are recommending the use of ura-
mon and cyanimid as a weed control. This has proven
most effective, using one pound of uramon and one-half
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
pound of cyanamid per square yard of seed bed space,
applied 60 to 90 days ahead of seed planting time. This
eliminates weeds and saves the labor which is otherwise
needed on the farm. The high amount of ammonia in the
uramon and cyanamid give the seed, when planted, a
rapid growth and will normally cause a larger plant much
Note page 40 of this bulletin. Read Blue Mold Control.
FERTILIZING THE PLANT BED
The plant bed must be very fertile in order to produce
uniform and vigorous plants. About two weeks before
time for sowing the seed, high grade commercial fertilizer
is applied at the rate of from 11/2 to 3 pounds per square
yard and worked into the soil with a disc harrow, small
plow or potato rake, depending upon the size of the bed.
As a rule, beds for cigarette tobacco are not fertilized as
heavily as those for cigar wrapper tobacco.
A good plant bed fertilizer can be made by mixing 2
pounds of a tobacco fertilizer analyzing 3 percent ammonia,
8 percent phosphoric acid and 6 percent potash with 1
pound of cottonseed meal. A commercial brand of poultry
manure which analyzes 6 percent ammonia, 2.5 percent
phosphoric acid and 1.3 percent potash is also very good,
when a sufficient amount of super-phosphate and sulphate
of potash is added to give a total analysis of about 5 percent
ammonia, 4 percent phosphoric acid and 3 percent potash.
On the day the seed are to be sown the ground should be
stirred again and divided into "lands" about three or four
feet wide for convenience in sowing the seed, weeding the
beds and pulling the plants. Next level the tops of the
beds and pulverize with iron tooth rakes. One tablespoon-
full of well-cleaned seed is then mixed with a convenient
amount of dry sifted ashes, or equal parts of sand and
cottonseed meal, and. sowed on 100 square yards of bed.
It is advisable to sow over the bed twice, in order to
insure a uniform distribution of seed. The bed is then
tramped with the feet or packed with a roller.
After sowing and packing the beds are covered with
cloth stretched over wires one or two feet above the
ground, so the bed can be easily inspected. Ditches should
be opened up around the bed to insure drainage and to
prevent water from flowing in from the outside.
Cigar wrapper plants are also grown in permanent irri-
gated beds. Individual farmers and companies who grow
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 11
large acreages of tobacco can grow plants more success-
fully on this kind of bed. Permanent irrigated beds are
usually located on upland or near the pumping stations in
easy access to the stream and water supply. When located
in the open the beds are enclosed with cloth or board walls
and have a wire frame stretched overhead about six or
seven feet high. The overhead sprinkler type of irrigation
is used in that case. Stable manure is usually applied on
permanent beds. This is applied in fall and turned under.
The soil is then sterilized by the inverted steam-pan method,
using from 80 to 100 pounds of pressure for 30 or 45
About two weeks before time to sow the seed commercial
fertilizer is applied at the rate of 2 or 3 pounds per square
yard and thoroughly worked into the soil. On the day the
seed are to be sown the bed is prepared in "lands," as
explained for new land beds, and the seed are sown at the
rate of 1 tablespoonful per 100 square yards. The date of
sowing the seed varies somewhat with seasonal conditions
but, as a rule, they are sown during the last week of
December and the first half of January. Shade cloth is
stretched over the wire frame before the seed are sown,
and a second cloth is stretched over the bed.
The beds should be irrigated lightly immediately after
the seed are sown and thereafter as often as necessary to
prevent the formation of a dry crust on the surface of the
very easily injured by drying out, the soil has to be kept
moist, not wet, until the roots become established. Remove
the lower cloth as soon as danger from frost has passed
and the top cloth a few days before the plants are ready
for transplanting to the field in order to harden them off.
Immediately before pulling the plants the soil should
be sprinkled thoroughly in order that the maximum amount
of the root system may be removed with the plant in pulling
it from the bed. Place the plants in baskets or crates as
they are pulled. When the basket is filled, set it down on
the bottom with the plants in an upright position. Keep
the plants in the shade or covered with burlap until they
PREPARING THE LAND, for-
Cigar Wrapper and Filler Tobacco: Unless the land
is new or already built up, a crop rotation system ought
to be adopted two or three years in advance of the tobaccos
12 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
crop, in order to have the land in the best possible condi-
tion. Corn, crotalaria and velvet beans are good crops
to precede tobacco, provided the stalks and vines are turned
under early in the fall so they will have ample time to
decay before the tobacco is set.
Do not plant crops susceptible to root-knot on the land
Good results have been obtained by planting oats or
rye and vetch early in the fall and turning them under by
the first of February. If these crops are allowed to grow
much later than this, the soil may become infested with
cutworms and the vegetation will not have time to decay
before the tobacco is ready to transplant. Whatever
method of preparation is used in fall, the land should be
broken again in spring.
Bright Tobacco: Although vegetable matter in an ad-
vanced stage of decay is desirable for bright tobacco, it
should not be excessively rich in ammonia. Therefore,
crops which supply a large amount of slowly decaying
vegetable matter should not be grown on land immediately
preceding bright tobacco.
In certain sections of this and other states rye, oats,
and other grain crops have proved satisfactory, either
when the crop is turned under green or when cut for grain
and the land left idle for the remainder of the year.
Likewise, good quality of tobacco has been produced on
land following a two- or three-year rotation of corn, bunch
velvet beans, Brabham cow-peas and peanuts.
Effects of Crops Preceding Flue-Cured Tobacco In Florida
On Yields, Income and Price
(From a Survey Made of One Thousand Florida Farms)
Average Yield Average Gross Average Price
Per Acre Acre-Income Per Pound
Pounds Dollars Cents
Weedland ..................... 1073 $210.94 20.13
Corn & Peanuts ........... 1008 191.22 18.97
Corn ............................. 981 193.87 19.75
Cotton ......................... 936 184.06 19.66
Peanuts ....................... 879 174.25 19.81
Tobacco ....................... 1001 197.07 19.65
In any event, no crop which is susceptible to root-knot
should be grown on land immediately preceding bright
tobacco, as tobacco is very susceptible to root-knot and
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 13
may suffer serious loss on infested land. The land ought
to be broken in fall in order to give ample time for
vegetation to decay before plants are ready to set. In
the case of preparing rested land it is also important that
all briars and briar roots be cleared from the land as
briar roots are quite susceptible to root-knot.
Cigar Wrapper Tobacco: So far as known, there is
no "best" shade tobacco fertilizer or "best" formula for
all seasons for even the same field. Differences in weather
and soil conditions are in part responsible for the variable
results obtained. However, experimentation has shown
that certain kinds and combinations of fertilizers produce
on the average a better quality of leaf than do certain
others. Different soils vary in their composition and in
their response to fertilizers.
However, all soils require the addition of organic mat-
ter, nitrogen, phosphoric acid and potash for the success-
ful production of cigar wrapper tobacco.
Fig. 2. Shade tobacco during early stage of growth.
NATIONAL FLUE-CURED TOBACCO ACREAGE YIELD, PRICE, ETC., 1921-1945
(Millions of Pounds)
Previous Production Disposed Portion of
Year Acreage Yield Price Crop Value Production Surplus Plus Surpl. Of Prior Disposal
Harvested Per Acre Per Lb. (Million (Million (Million (Million To A New Used By U. S.
(1,000 Acres) (Pounds) (Cents) Dollars) Pounds) Pounds) Pounds) Season Manufacturers
1921 611 587 21.9 79 359 558 917 403 150
1922 659 630 27.2 113 415 513 928 421 168
1923 805 722 20.8 121 580 508 1088 543 174
1924 754 580 21.6 94 437 546 983 456 186
1925 835 689 20.0 115 575 526 1101 578 202
1926 801 699 24.9 140 560 524 1084 545 209
1927 958 750 20.5 147 719 539 1258 600 218
1928 1120 660 17.3 128 739 658 1397 708 238
1929 1086 691 18.0 135 750 689 1439 735 250
1930 1144 756 12.0 103 865 703 1568 774 251
1931 979 684 8.4 56 669 794 1464 597 240
1932 617 605 11.6 43 374 867 1241 565 252
1933 921 797 15.3 112 733 676 1409 646 217
1934 678 822 27.2 152 557 763 1320 567 289
1935 874 928 20.0 162 811 752 1564 692 310
1936 864 790 22.2 152 683 871 1554 671 338
1937 989 875 23.0 199 866 883 1749 795 348
1938 909 866 22.2 175 787 954 1741 795 379
1939 1270 922 14.9 174 1171 946 2117 707 418
1940 741 1025 16.4 124 760 1410 2170 577 421
1941 718 905 28.1 182 650 1593 2243 7833 4923
1942 793 1024 38.4 312 812 14603 22723 8933 6033
1943 843 938 40.2 317 790 1379 2169 980 625
1944' 1014 1074 42.4 463 1090 1189 2279 1153 698
19451 1078 1090 43.72 514 1175 1126 2301
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA
Stable manure, leguminous crops, as crotalaria and vel-
vet beans and oats and rye are good sources of organic
matter. They also supply some nitrogen. As a rule, about
10 tons of stable manure are applied per acre. Stable
manure and cover crops improve the physical and biologi-
cal characters of the soil and in the process of decay help
make available the mineral nutrients of the soil and com-
mercial fertilizers. Manure or other organic matter should
be turned under during the fall or early winter so it will
be decomposed by the time the plants are set in spring.
In order to obtain rapid and uninterrupted growth of
cigar wrapper tobacco, both essential to produce the best
quality of leaf, it is necessary to make heavy applications
of commercial fertilizer in addition to stable manure. The
usual amount applied is from 2,000 to 3,000 pounds of a
mixture containing from 4 to 5 percent ammonia, from 2
to 4 percent phosphoric acid and from 4- to 6 percent
potash. The ingredients commonly used are cottonseed
meal and fish meal as sources of ammonia, bone meal or
precipitated bone meal as sources of phosphoric acid, and
carbonate or sulphate of potash as sources of potash.
Muriate of potash or kainit should not be used as sources
of potash, as the chlorine they contain tends to injure
the burning quality of the leaf.
Commercial fertilizer should be applied two or three
weeks before the plants are set. It is applied in the row,
mixed into the soil with a solid sweep or straight shovel
plow, and a bed is made over it with a one-horse turn plow.
Cigar Filler Tobacco: As a rule, smaller amounts of fer-
tilizer are required to grow a large yield of good quality
filler leaf than are required for wrapper. Although many
growers use lighter applications, experience of older grow-
ers and packers has shown that best results, in quality and
yield, are obtained with about 10 tons of stable manure,
1,000 pounds of cottonseed meal and 1,000 pounds of a
mixture containing 4 percent ammonia, 6 percent phos-
phoric acid and 5 percent potash. If less stable manure
is used, the mixture should be increased proportionately.
The source of the plant nutrients for filler leaf should
be the same as for cigar wrapper leaf. Muriate of potash
or kainit are not to be recommended, because the chlorine
which they contain injures the burning quality of the leaf.
Bright Tobacco: If the land has not been built up as
suggested under "preparation of the land," from two to
16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
four wagon loads of stable manure ought to be applied per
acre to land to be grown to bright tobacco. Distribute this
in the row considerably in advance of the date of trans-
planting so it will have time to decompose. Apply com-
mercial fertilizer from 10 to 14 days before the plants are
set, in order to avoid possible injury to the roots of the
young plants. Apply the fertilizer evenly, either by hand
or with a distributer, and in two strips, about four inches
apart, so the roots of the plants will not come in contact
with the fertilizer; or mix the fertilizer with the soil
before the bed is made on it.
The proper rate of applying fertilizer of a given analysis
varies for different soils and conditions and can be de-
termined in advance only within wide limits. Each of the
three plant nutrients-ammonia, phosphoric acid and pot-
ash-are essential to produce desired quality. However,
an excess of fertilizer is to be avoided, if a satisfactory
yield and quality is to be produced.
So far, commercial fertilizers found most satisfactory
for Florida soils contain from 3 to 4 percent ammonia,
from 8 to 10 percent phosphoric acid and from 5 to 8 per-
cent potash. The customary rate of applying fertilizer of
the above analysis is from 800 to 1,200 pounds to the acre,
the larger amount being used on the lighter soils.
Effect of Different Fertilizer Practices On Yield, Income
and Price of Flue-Cured Tobacco Crop, Florida
(From a Survey Made of One Thousand Florida Farms)
Analysis 3-8-5 Analysis 3-8-8 Analysis 4-8-6 Analysis 2-8-5
Average Yield 800 lbs. 993 1050 1116 953
Per Acre 1000 lbs. 1054 1150 1167 1021
Pounds 1200 lbs. 1101 1221 1403 1045
Average Gross 800 lbs. $195.51 $211.17 $242.88 $194.68
Acre-Income 1000 lbs. 209.75 239.00 188.63 192.94
Dollars 1200 lbs. 218.80 258.75 200.00 216.47
Average Price 800 lbs. 19.64 20.11 21.76 20.42
Per Pound 1000 lbs. 19.89 20.78 16.17 19.82
Cents 1200 lbs. 19.88 20.05 14.25 20.71
The source of plant nutrients is also very important for
bright tobacco. For average conditions half of the am-
monia should be derived from inorganic sources and the
other half from organic. The inorganic portion should
come in equal parts from nitrate of soda and sulphate of
ammonia and the organic portion from cottonseed meal and
tankage. However, avoid use of any fertilizer containing
a large percentage of tankage or fish scrap, as it has been
found that a form of oil contained in these will encourage
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 17
root-knot. Superphosphate (acid phosphate) is the best
source of phosphoric acid. In applying potash, two units
should be derived from muriate of potash and the remain-
der from sulphate of potash.
Cigar Wrapper Tobacco: The bed is remade on the
morning of the day the plants of cigar wrapper tobacco
are to be set. This is done by throwing the old bed back
on the middles and then making a fresh bed with a seven-
inch shovel or turn plow with the wing removed. Imme-
diately, before the plants are set, the top of the bed is
raked off with a hoe or with a board attached to a plow
stock. During a wet season it is better to set the plants
a little above the level.
The location of the plants is marked by running a
marker, with projections attached at the desired intervals
(from 10 to 14 inches), down the center of the row. The
plants are dropped by hand on the mark and set with
dibbles. Water is then poured around each plant in the
depression made with the dibble. The amount of water
applied varies with the condition of the soil, but it is
always advisable to water cigar wrapper tobacco, as a
uniform start is very important.
The plants which fail to start in five or six days should
be replaced with fresh ones. It is usually not profitable
to replant missing hills later than the seventh day.
After the plants are set do not disturb for about a week,
unless the weather is dry and windy. In this case it is
advisable to plow more earth to the bed to prevent rapid
drying out of the bed. The first plowing is done with a
two-inch scooter, running two or three furrows on each
side of the bed, being careful not to cover the plants or
disturb the roots. The remainder of the middle is then
broken out with a wider plow of the same kind. Subse-
quent cultivation should be as shallow as possible, unless
the soil becomes packed by heavy rains.
It is sometimes advisable to stir the soil between the
plants with a hoe or potato rake. It is common practice
to cultivate alternate middles at a time, and the cultivation
is discontinued when the plants are ready for topping.
Later cultivation tends to make the leaves speck, especially
when cultivation is deep.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Because of the large leaves and rapid growth under
shade, it is necessary to "tie up" plants in order to prevent
their falling down. When the plants are from 10 to 12
inches high, one end of a three-ply twine is looped around
the stalk near the ground, allowing ample room in the
loop for growth of the stem, and the other end is tied to
a wire or slat directly overhead. As the plant grows
upward wrap the twine around the stalk, passing the string
The plants are topped just before the blossom buds
begin to open. The number of leaves removed with the
flower head. should vary with weather conditions. If the
plants are topped too low, the leaves become heavy, coarse
and harsh. On the other hand, if the plants are topped
too high, the top leaves may remain small and produce a
chaffy grade of tobacco.
Cigar Filler Tobacco: The methods used for transplant-
ing and cultivating this type of tobacco are similar to those
used for wrapper tobacco. The plants are spaced a little
farther apart in the row and are topped lower, and, as a
rule, the leaves are allowed to become a little riper be-
fore harvesting. Since this type of tobacco is grown in
the open, the plants are not "tied up."
Bright Tobacco: Fresh beds are most desirable for
transplanting bright tobacco, as is true with wrapper and
filler. However, if the land is too wet for plowing when
the plants are ready to set, it is better to set the plants
without reworking the beds than to allow the plants to
grow too large. while waiting for the land to dry out.
Beds for bright tobacco are made in the same manner
as for wrapper and filler, except that they arc usually
made larger and higher. Great care should be exercised
in properly spacing the plants in the row. The plants
should be closer together on good land than on poor land.
It is customary to space the rows four feet apart, with the
plants from 20 to 28 inches in the drill.
Fertilizer of the right kind and more plants to the acre
than has been usually used are required. It is ridiculous
on the face of it to put 1000 pounds of fertilizer and only
5000 plants per acre on all grades of soil. The Florida
Experiment Station has shown that around 1600 pounds
of 3-8-8 or 3-8-10 (or higher in potash) tobacco fertilizer
carrying some magnesium and about 2% chlorine can be
most profitably used when growing tobacco on light Nor-
folk sandy soils. A study by the County Agents and the
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 19
Extension Agronomist has shown there is about 300 pounds
of fertilizer per acre difference between the various grades
of soil as known by farmers. It appears, therefore, that
1600 pounds should be used on light weed-land soil; 1300
pounds on medium weed-land soil; and 1000 pounds on
heavy weed-land soil; with 6000 plants per acre. Four
percent nitrogen can be used on the poorer grade of lighter
soil. If they are put in 4 foot rows, it calls for spacing 22
inches in the drill. On the better grades of light, medium
or heavy soil, approximately 6500 plants may bet set,
spaced approximately 20 inches, with the same fertilizer
application. For every 200 pounds change in fertilizer rate,
a change of 300 plants or slightly more should be made.
The first cultivation is given about a week or ten days
after the plants are set and
should be moderately shal- .
low and sufficiently far a.-
way from the plants not to ',
disturb the roots. The soil ,
between the plants is loos-
ened with a hoe or potato .
digger, a little fresh earth
being drawn around each k- A
plant. Subsequent cultiva- .
tions are made about once a
week until the crop is "laid f
by," a little earth being
worked toward the plants o
When the crop is laid by
the plants should be on a
high ridge, in order to be
protected from water injury
during rainy weather. As a
rule, discontinue cultivation
after the plants have been
Topping is a very import-
ant operation with bright to-
bacco, as it forces a greater -_ : .
size of leaf and improves
the quality. Soil fertility, Fig. 4. "Priming" tobacco. The work-
amount of fertilizer applied er strips off, beginning at the bottom,
those two, three or four leaves that
and weather conditions are have attained the proper degree of
the principal factors serving ripeness. The next few leaves are
primed a few days later.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
as guides in topping. It is often necessary to go over the
field two or more times to top properly. A greater number
of leaves are left on strong vigorous plants than on weaker
Full benefit will not be derived from topping unless
suckers are broken out as they develop in the axils of
the upper leaves following topping. Break them out before
they get very large.
HARVESTING AND CURING
All types of tobacco grown in Florida are harvested by
the "priming" method; that is, the leaves are picked off,
three or four at a time, as they ripen, beginning with the
bottom ones. As a rule, three or four leaves are primed
from each plant once a week until all leaves have been
Fig. 5. Gathering bright leaf tobacco for warning.
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 21
Cigar Wrapper and Filler Tobaccos: In priming, the
workman removes leaves from the stalk with one hand,
stacks them on the other in a "pad" and passes the "pad"
to a jboy who carries them to the boxes or litters at the
end of the rows.
Boxes are used for stacking the leaves in and for hauling
them to the barn, if the shade is close to the curing barn.
When the shade is a greater distance from the curing barn,
it is more convenient to stack the leaves on burlap-covered
litters and to haul them on a wagon. .The boxes or litters
containing the leaves should be covered with burlap or
canvas and carried to the barn as quickly as possible.
When the leaves reach the barn they are strung in bead-
like fashion on a 10-ply twine by means of large needles.
The leaves are placed on the string, face-to-face and back-
to-back, which prevents their folding over and Qtieking to
each other during the curing process. Each end of the
string is fastened to a 52-inch lath and the laths, or sticks,
are then laid on the tier poles about four to six inches apart,
where they remain until they are cured. (See Fig. 7.)
In placing the sticks on the tier poles, one space about 12
inches wide should be left in the center of the hallway from
the bottom to top and throughout the length of the barn, as
well as a similar space on each side of the hall, to provide
free circulation of air among the tobacco.
After the tobacco is hung in the barn the ventilators
should be regulated in such a manner as to wilt the leaves
in from 36 to 48 hours. In order to accomplish this during
rainy weather, it is necessary to resort to the use of char-
coal fires. However, never start fires when there is rain
or dew on the leaves, as this will cause scalding or staining.
It is very essential that the curing process be continued
in an uninterrupted manner, but the leaves should not be
dried out too rapidly, as curing is a process of gradual
starvation and the principal changes must be brought
about before the leaf is killed.
After the leaves are thoroughly cured the ventilators
are left open at night, in order that the leaves may come
in proper "case" so they can be taken down, tied in hands,
packed in boxes and taken to the packing house. It is
essential that the leaves not be in too high case, as the
leaves will become too dark and tender during the fer-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Fig. 6. Stringing bright leaf tobacco is a job for the entire family.
Bright Tobacco: Ability to recognize ripe tobacco can
be acquired only through personal experience, inasmuch
as the proper stage of development of the leaves for prim-
ing can be described only in general terms. Usually, ripe
leaves are thicker and their color is a lighter shade of
green, than that of immature ones. However, during dry
weather these changes may be almost unnoticeable, es-
pecially on the lower leaves.
The signs of ripening should be more pronounced on
the upper leaves before they are ready to harvest. Best
quality is obtained when the leaves are primed as soon as
they are ripe enough to cure.
The leaves of bright tobacco are hauled from the field
to the barn in drag sleds or low-wheeled trucks, and are
strung as quickly as possible to avoid severe wilting. From
three to five leaves are looped into a hand and the hands
are placed alternately on each side of the stick. In placing
the sticks in the barn, sufficient space should be left
between the sticks and around the walls to permit free
circulation of air.
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA
The curing of bright tobacco is forced by heat from oil
burners, and is accomplished in a much shorter time than
cigar wrapper tobacco is cured. However, anything which
kills the leaf prematurely, such as breaking or bruising in
harvesting, or very rapid tying, prevents good curing. It
should be noted that the use of oil burners has become
increasingly popular due to the facts: that constant heat
is more readily maintained, and that personal attention is
not required as in barns fired by furnace.
When harvested the leaf contains a high percentage of
water and the rate of drying or losing this water has an
important effect on
the cured product.
Consequently, t h e
temperature and hu-
midity must be reg-
ulated very careful-
ly in order to con-
trol the rate of dry- v1'
The proper temp-
erature to be main- .
tainted inside the
barn will be influ- t .4
enced by the temp-
erature and humidi-
ty of the outside air. #-
For example, th e
temperature inside .
the barn must be
higher during warm
or ra i n y weather
than during cool or
Air is also an im- Y
portant factor in %'
controlling the hu- .
midity of the barn.
Saturated air has no -
drying capacity un-
til its temperature is
raised. During the
early stages of cur-
ing, while the color Fig. 7. From three to five leaves are collected
d ii n a "hand" and then looped with a string along
is developing, high with many other hands, alternating sides, to a
stick which is hung in the barn for curing.
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 25
humidity is essential; but when the tobacco is ready to be
dried out, humidity in the barn must be low. These condi-
tions are made possible by manipulating the ventilators in
such a manner that the humidity will be retained in the
barn during the early stages of curing and be allowed to
escape from the barn as it is given off by the leaves
toward the end of the curing process.
Bright tobacco is easier to cure properly when the barn
is completely filled in one day and when the fire is started
in the furnace, or oil burners, as soon as possible after the
barn is filled. It is recommended that three or four ther-
mometers should be hung on the lower tier near the center
of the barn and the door. Shut all ventilators before start-
ing the fire. (See Fig. 8.)
The temperature inside the barn should be raised slowly
and maintained at from 90 degrees to 100 degrees Fahren-
heit for the first 24 hours, gradually increasing it to 120
degrees by the end of 36 hours.
During this period the yellow color develops. This de-
sired color having developed, the next step is to "fix" it.
This is accomplished by opening the ventilators and grad-
ually raising the temperature 5 every two hours, to about
135 or 140 at the end of 48 hours after the fire was
started. The temperature should be held at this degree
until all parts of the leaf, except the stem (midribs), have
dried out. This usually occurs in three days after the fires
were started. The stems are then dried out by closing the
bottom ventilators and raising the temperature at the rate
of 5 degrees an hour until 170 has been reached. After
this temperature has been maintained for a few hours, the
top ventilators should be closed and the temperature kept
at 170 until the stems are completely dry.
PACKING BRIGHT TOBACCO
After the tobacco has been cured the door and ventilators
should be left open at night so that it may absorb sufficient
moisture for handling without injury. Then remove from
the barn and store in a suitable place until the tobacco is
carried to market. When stored in proper condition the
quality of tobacco improves. The storage room should be
tight and dark, although it should have doors and windows
to provide ventilation when necessary. The floor should
be several feet above ground and should be covered with
straw and burlap or canvas before the tobacco is stacked
on it. The tobacco is stacked in piles or bulks without
26 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
removing the sticks and, when finished, the pile is covered
with burlap or canvas sheets. After about a week or ten
days tear down the bulk and rebuild in order to prevent
any injury from mold.
FERMENTING AND PACKING DARK TOBACCO
Cigar wrapper tobacco is fermented or "sweated" by
stacking in bulks of from 3,000 to 5,000 pounds on plat-
forms about four inches above the floor in rooms with a
temperature of from 75 to 85 Fahrenheit and with a
relatively high humidity. Each priming is kept separately
throughout the curing and fermenting processes and may
be baled separately after it has been assorted into the
The bulk is begun by laying the outer row, one hand
overlapping the other, along the outer edge of the plat-
form, placing the butts of the hands even with the edge of
the platform and allowing the tips to point toward the
center. Other rows are laid in the same manner until the
space in the center is filled. The succeeding layers (rims)
are made in the same manner as the first, until the bulk
reaches the desired height. The bulk should then be
covered with burlap, canvas or heavy paper.
A thermometer is inserted in a perforated tin tube and is
placed in the center of the bulk with one end flush with the
edge of the bulk. When the temperature reaches 116 to
118 Fahrenheit the bulk should be torn down and rebuilt.
If the moisture content of the tobacco is not sufficiently
high, the temperature may not reach 118. In such case the
bulk should be turned after a week or ten days or when
the temperature begins to drop. When the bulk is rebuilt
the tobacco on the top and outer rows should be placed in
the center and that in the center placed in the outer rows.
The time required for the tobacco to ferment properly
varies with the nature of the leaf and percentage of mois-
ture it contains when first placed in the bulk. It is usually
necessary to turn the bulk from three to five times before
fermentation is completed. Fermentation is considered
finished when little rise in temperature occurs after the
tobacco has been rebulked, and when the leaves appear
free of gum and harshness.
SORTING AND SELECTING DARK TOBACCO
When the fermenting process is completed, the tobacco
leaves sometimes are too dry to be opened up for examina-
- ~ U- y -
V- 7 06
Fig. 9. View of about a fourth of floor space of a warehouse with capacity of over 300,000 pounds of flue-cured tobacco on
Florida market at Live Oak. Baskets are marked with poundage and name of owner prior to beginning of auction.
28 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
tion of color and texture without breaking them. Therefore,
they are moistened lightly with a fine spray of water and
packed into boxes for from 12 to 24 hours to bring them
in "case." The strings are then cut and the loose leaves
are placed on tables and sorted into different grades for
soundness and weight.
From here more skilled laborers select the leaves for
different shades of color, making a total of from six to
fifteen grades as each lot of tobacco necessitates. Leaves
of the same grade and length are then tied into "hands" of
about 30 leaves each and rebulked to undergo further fer-
mentation and drying out. The temperature of the bulk
usually does not rise as high as it did before the leaves
were graded, but usually is turned two to five times be-
fore the tobacco is ready to pack into bales.
When the tobacco has dried out sufficiently it is pressed
into bales of about 180 pounds each. The dimensions of
the bales are about 32 x 32 x 12 inches. As far as practical
only one length of each grade is put into a bale. Each
bale is covered with a heavy wax paper and then an East
Indian cane mat is sewed over this and the bale is then
tied with a rope. The best grades are finally covered
with burlap and placed in wooden boxes for shipment.
GRADING AND MARKETING BRIGHT TOBACCO
Grading: It is very essential that tobacco should be
thoroughly graded, according to color and texture, before
being placed on the market. If it is not properly graded
the purchaser naturally will buy according to the low side
of the grade. This is because the purchaser will have to
have the leaf regraded when shipped in to the plant, and
there pay labor costs higher than the Florida grower would
pay in having it graded on his farm.
In normal seasons tobacco should be graded in at least
three grades-first, second and third-to each barn. In
addition, green leaves from all barns should be graded
into another separate pile.
Never place a leaf of tobacco into a grade that will pull
the grade down. Always place the leaf into a pile where
it will build up the grade. In other words, if you have a
leaf of tobacco that is not quite good enough for the first
grade if it is put in that grade it will pull down the grade.
But, if this leaf is placed in the second grade it will build
up the second grade so there will not be much difference in
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA
the marketing price of the two grades. If this method is
followed throughout the crop growers always will receive
more money for their tobacco.
Marketing: Tobacco should be marketed for best re-
sults in at least three selling. A grower should first market
nothing but first and second primings. He then should
market the remainder of his best tobacco-cutter and leaf.
His last sales should be the tips and poor grades. The
longer the tips, or this type of tobacco, stay packed up in
the pack house the more they improve, thus bringing a
better price by marketing later.
SELECTING TOBACCO SEED
The importance of producing uniform crops of a good
quality of cigar wrapper tobacco has been emphasized in
preceding pages. It was also pointed out above that soil,
fertilizers and cultural methods affect the quality of to-
bacco to a marked degree. When introduced into new
localities with different climatic and soil conditions, uni-
form types of tobacco frequently break up into a number
of different types. Some of these types may be desirable,
while others may be very undesirable.
Once different types have appeared in a field, continued
and even wider variations will occur, unless great care is
exercised in the selection of seed plants. Tobacco normally
is self-pollinated, but certain insects and humming birds
produce some crossing. The desirable type of plant should
be sought before the flowers develop and marked conspicu-
ously so they can be detected in the topping operation.
Under new cloth shades which exclude humming birds and
the larger insects, there is little danger of cross-pollination.
In growing dark tobacco under slat shade or in the open,
the flowers of the seed plants should be bagged to exclude
the insects. Twelve-pound manila paper bags are con-
venient for tying over the flower heads. The bags may be
perforated with a needle to permit circulation of air. On
account of the rapid growth of the plants it is necessary to
untie the string and raise the bag on the stalk every three
or four days for the first two weeks after bagging. The
dead flower should also be removed. Except during very
rainy Weather the bags should be left on until the seed are
harvested and ready to be cleaned. After the seed pods
have dried the seed should be threshed and cleaned. Run
the seed through a cleaning machine in order to eliminate
the light ones. Heavy seed produce more vigorous plants
30 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
which show greater uniformity in the field and packing
house than plants produced from light seed. If the grower
is not prepared to select and clean his own seed, he should
procure them from a reliable source.
Effect of Different Varieties On Yield, Income and Price-
Flue-Cured Tobacco Crop, Florida
(From a Survey Made of One Thousand Florida Farms)
Average Yield Average Gross Average Price
Per Acre Acre-Income Per Pound
Pounds Dollars Cents
Bonanza ......................... 1063 $212.49 19.97
Gold Dollar .................... 1027 194.32 19.12
Mammoth Yellow ........ 1057 191.60 17.79
Virginia B. Leaf .......... 950 194.30 20.47
Cash ................................ 930 165.26 18.95
CONSTRUCTION OF TOBACCO SHADES
Shade for tobacco fields consists of a wire frame sup-
ported by posts to which the shade material is attached.
There are three types of shades in use in Florida-lath or
slat shade, cloth shade, and a combination of cloth and slat.
Cloth walls are usually put up around shades of all three
types to protect the tobacco from winds and insects. Al-
though the initial cost of constructing a cloth shade is
less, the cloth can only be used overhead one or two years.
Consequently, cloth is more expensive, except where to-
bacco is grown on the same land for only one or two years.
Furthermore, the slat and combination shades produce a
better quality of tobacco, especially during dry years.
Cloth used for shades is made especially for the purpose,
and consists of relatively coarse, loosely woven threads.
It is reinforced at intervals with crossbars of closer mesh.
It is woven in strips three feet wide and these strips are
sewed together at the factory to make any multiple-of-
three width desired. The laths used are about 1/4 inch
thick, about 1/ inches wide and 48 or 52 inches long.
They should be of heart pine or cypress.
The posts are set at the desired distance apart and each
post in the outside row is anchored by means of a No. 4
wire attached to a block of wood buried in the ground eight
feet from the post.
No. 4 wire is stretched over the tops of the posts in one
direction and No. 8 and No. 12 wires are stretched in the
opposite direction at intervals of 2 feet. They alternate,
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 31
so the ends of the slats will rest on the No. 8 wires and
the middle of the slats on the No. 12 wires.
No. 6 wires are stretched around the outside posts at the
top and bottom for attaching the cloth walls. The ends of
the slats are fastened to the No. 8 wires for wrapping with
flexible No. 22 wire. The slats are spaced from three to
six inches apart, the wider space being used when cloth is
used in combination with slats.
When cloth is used alone, fewer posts and a smaller
amount of wire are required. The cloth is stretched under-
neath the main wire frame and is supported by stretching
No. 12 wire underneath it immediately above the rows of
tobacco. This wire is fastened at the ends and clipped to
the main wires above with rings. This wire also serves for
attaching the twine in tying up the plants.
CURING BARNS, for-
Cigar Wrapper and Filler Tobaccos: The same manner
of curing and the same kind of curing barn are used for
cigar wrapper and filler tobaccos. The size of the barn
is determined by the number of acres to be cured, where
fewer than five acres are grown.
The most common size of curing barn is 120 feet long,
40 feet wide and 20 feet high at the eaves. The size is con-
sidered adequate to cure the crop from five acres of land.
The walls of the curing barn are made of close-fitting
siding and are provided with adjustable ventilators. One
kind of ventilation system consists of windows 31/2x12 feet,
hinged at the top in a vertical position so they will swing out
at the bottom. The other kind consists of boards about 8
inches wide and 10 or 12 feet long, hinged at the top edge
and extending horizontally. These boards are spaced ver-
tically two to two and one half feet apart and are attached
to a strip so all boards of one section may be opened or
closed with one movement.
A wide door is provided at each end of the barn and a
hallway extends through the center. Tier poles are spaced
about four feet apart in a horizontal direction and from 24
to 30 inches vertically, beginning about six feet from the
ground and extending to about six feet from the peak of
Bright Tobacco: Small barns of comparatively simple
construction are used for curing bright tobacco. Inside
measurements vary from 16x16 to 20x20 feet. The tier
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
poles are placed about four feet apart across the barn and
the first set is placed about six feet above ground with
each succeeding set two and a half or three feet higher.
(See Fig. 10.)
The barns are built usually of logs. Cracks in log build-
ings should be chinked with mud or mortar. The walls of
frame buildings are best made of a double thickness of
boards and the cracks should be battened. Ventilators
are made around the walls near the ground and in the
gables near the roof.
Heating may be either of two types:
(1) One or two small furnaces placed at one end of the
barn and sheet iron flues leading from the furnaces around
the interior of the barn and back through the wall above
Fig. 10. A cheap but substantial bright tobacco curing barn. This one is made
of logs. Many barns of this type are to be found in the bright tobacco belt.
Note the ends of the logs extending from the interior; these are the tier poles
upon which are rested the ends of the sticks holding the hands of tobacco.
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 33
the furnace door. The furnaces are made of brick and are
about 18 inches wide and from 20 to 24 inches high inside.
The length of the furnace is half the length of the barn
with from 18 to 24 inches of it projecting outside the wall
of the barn. The flue is made in sections similar to stove
pipe. One end is fitted into the furnace and the flue is
passed around the inside of the barn about a foot from the
walls and gradually elevated so that it passes out through
the wall about two feet above the door of the furnace.
A smoke stack is fitted to the other end of the flue and
made of sufficient length to insure good draft. The top
end of the flue is provided with a hood. It is very import-
ant that the flues (parallel, one on each side) leading to
the draft or smoke stack be level one with the other, so
as to assure uniform heating.
(2) Where one uses the oil burning system of heating
the barn has four (or six) connected units, one in each
corner, and the oil is run from a large reservoir outside
the barn to each unit. After the tobacco has been placed
in the barn for the specified time one burner of each unit
is lighted, and as more heat is desired additional burners
of each unit are lighted until the proper heat is maintained.
COST OF PRODUCTION, cf-
Cigar Wrapper Tobacco is grown intensively as a cash
crop and has a high value per acre. The cost of producing
it varies on different farms in any one season, and on the
same farm from year to year. The cost per pound is the
important item and determines whether the grower will
show a profit or loss, as the tobacco is sold by the pound.
Therefore, the cost per pound is determined, not only by
the cost of shade materials, fertilizers and labor, but also
by the yields per acre.
The present cost of a curing barn of standard size (120
x 40 x 20 feet) is. approximately $2,000. Slat shades, in-
cluding the labor for construction, cost about $500 per
acre. A slat shade, properly constructed, usually lasts from
five to ten years, and when the cost is prorated over this
number of crops the cost per crop is not so great. The
cost of cloth shades is relatively higher as the cost is
usually charged against only one crop of tobacco. How-
ever, when handled carefully and with favorable conditions,
the cloth may be used overhead for two years although it
is usually used the second year for walls.
The cost of fertilizer for shade tobacco is a big item of
the total cost of production. Although the cost of com-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
mercial fertilizer varies somewhat from year to year, the
cost of stable manure remains fairly constant and the
average cost of both materials may be placed at about
$135 per acre.
The cost of labor for producing shade tobacco is also
great, especially at certain seasons of the year. The entire
cost of labor for cultivation, harvesting and curing is esti-
mated at $200 per acre.
Thus the average cost per acre for producing cigar
wrapper tobacco under cloth shade on the larger farms
has been estimated as follows:
Shade materials and labor for construction....$200
Fertilizers ............................. 135
L abor ............................................................. 100
Insect poisons, tools, twine, charcoal, etc..... 65
T otal ........................................................... $500
Production costs on smaller farms may be considerably
below this figure, especially when the stable manure is pro-
duced on the farm and when little or none of the labor is
hired. No estimate of the cost of production can be ob-
tained from these farms, as very few of their operators
keep records. The yield of tobacco under shade varies
from 800 to 1,500 pounds per acre, and the best quality
is usually associated with the highest yield. The price
obtained for the cured tobacco varies from 50 to 90 cents
per pound, depending upon the market and quality of the
From the figures above one may gain some idea of the
income to be derived from growing tobacco. To the costs
given must be added investment in land and equipment,
interest on investment, depreciation of houses and other
Cigar Filler is usually grown under contract and the
contract price is from 18 to 20 cents per pound. It is
difficult to obtain accurate information on the cost of pro-
duction, as this type of tobacco is grown on a small acre
basis by many farmers who do not hire labor. When proper-
ly fertilized, filler tobacco will produce from 1,000 to 1,600
pounds per acre and with this yield the cost of production
is approximately 16 and 12 cents per pound, respectively.
Bright Tobacco: Cost per acre of bright leaf produc-
tion depends on the amount of hired labor used, as well
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 35
as on the poundage of fertilizer used. It is generally
kn6wn, however, that a crop of tobacco under fertilized
will make more dollars and cents than will one that has
been over fertilized.
The following table gives a fair average of the cost per
acre in Florida, where principally home labor is used:
Fertilizer (1,000 lbs.) .... ............ ..... $16.00
Poisons, twine .............. ............. ............ 5.50
W ood or oil (for curing), etc. .................. 6.50
Labor costs, from time of laying out seed beds through
the grading and marketing period, will run 6c to 10c per
pound of tobacco produced. As average production is 800
pounds, hired labor costs thus will run from $48.00 to
$80.00 per acre.
In order for the bright tobacco grower to make money,
at least three things are necessary:
First, production costs must be kept to the absolute
minimum. It should be produced by the farmer with his
own farm labor insofar as possible.
Second, the quality of the product must be improved.
This the farmer knows how to do and he must do it. If
he does not know how, he can easily learn from his county
agent or from any one of several other sources of reliable
information. In a competitive business the finest and best
Third, acreage and production must be kept down.
Supply and demand determine prices. Of course, it is
impossible for the .average farmer to know in advance
how much tobacco will be planted. However, this is all
the more reason why he should "keep his ear to the
ground." Let him make a study of the situation, the same
as the banker before he lends money. Of course, the
government should help him in this, but that fact does
not mean he should not attempt to help himself.
In order to present other than his own views on this
perplexing problem, the author has asked a leading auth-
ority on tobacco production for a statement along these
lines. It follows:
"Foreign competition is a factor which is having a re-
tarding effect on the price of tobacco grown in the United
36 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
States. This also makes it necessary for the growers in
this country to produce a better quality of leaf. During the
last decade some of the large tobacco companies have been
experimenting with the production of flue-cured tobacco in
South Africa and South America, and to a less extent in
other countries. On account of climatic and soil conditions
and cheap labor, tobacco can be produced much cheaper in
those countries than in the United States. Methods of grow-
ing and curing the crop have been developed to the stage
where a considerable quantity of good quality tobacco has
been placed on the foreign market during the last few
years and the amount is increasing from year to year.
"With the continued increase in production of tobacco
by foreign countries, it is apparent that there must be a
decrease in production in the United States, if the crop is
to be grown at a profit. This factor should be taken into
consideration by prospective growers."
The tobacco plant is attacked by several diseases, some
of which may become serious when tobacco is grown on
the same land for several years in succession. The dis-
eases of greatest importance are black shank, root-knot,
Fig. 11. Root-knot of bright or flue-cured tobacco, a limiting factor in the
production of this crop. The swellings on the roots are the result' of the
"boring" into soft root tissues by the eel-like nematodes. (Photo by courtesy
of Florida Experiment Station.)
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 37
wildfire, frog-eye, brown leaf-spot and blue-mold.
Black Shank is caused by a fungus parasite (Phytoph-
thora nicotianae Breda de Haan) which lives over in the
soil and may persist there for years, even after the culture
of tobacco has been discontinued on the land. This disease
attacks the roots and lower part of the stalks and kills the
plants in a very short time. This disease is seldom found
in bright or flue-cured tobacco.
Signs of the disease do not appear in the field until the
temperature of the soil warms up-usually not before the
middle of April. Plants attacked by black shank wilt
suddenly and the most susceptible varieties never recover
from the wilt but,, instead, the leaves dry out and turn
brown within a few days.
The parasite may be carried from field to field by
surface flood water, wind-blown dust, tools or any agency
to which infested earth might adhere.
No practical method has been found for controlling black
shank, except by the use of resistant varieties. Several
resistant strains or varieties of cigar wrapper tobacco
which grow successfully on infested soil have been de-
veloped by the Tobacco Experiment Station located at
Quincy. Dr. W. B. Tisdale, plant pathologist of the Florida
Experiment Station, was for several years in direct charge
of work at the tobacco station and is entitled to the credit
for producing most of those resistant varieties. Tests of
these varieties are described in Bulletins 226 and 326 of
the Florida Experiment Station.
Root-Knot is a serious disease of tobacco under certain
conditions, as well as many other truck and field crops
grown in the southern states. This disease is caused by a
small eel-like worm or nematode (Heterodera radicicola),
a relative of the hookworm, which attacks the small root-
lets and causes knots or galls to develop on them.
Attacked plants become stunted and wilt badly during the
middle of the day and recover at night. When the in-
fection is severe, the plants are worthless or may die.
The only known method for controlling root-knot of
tobacco is to adopt a system of crop rotation whereby
susceptible crops will not be grown on the land for a
period of two or three years preceding tobacco. In the
case of sweet potatoes, chufas and common briar roots,
all most susceptible to root-knot, this period should be
from five to ten years.
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Clean cultivation should be practiced with these crops
when possible in order to keep down weeds, many of
which are susceptible to root-knot. Also, tobacco should
be transplanted as early as possible so a root system will
have become established before the soil is warm enough
for the nematodes to become active.
Wildfire is a leaf-spot dis-
ease caused by a germ or
bacterial parasite (Bacterial
tabacum.) T h i s parasite
does not live very long in
the soil but is carried over
from one year to the next on h
tobacco seed, posts, boards i
and cloth used in construct-
ing beds, and on old tobacco
stalks left standing on the c
beds. The organism does
not survive in the field from
one year to another where
the tobacco stalks are cut
and turned under after the
crop is harvested.
This disease may be dis-
tinguished from other leaf-
spots by the presence of a
yellow ring or halo around
the dead brown portion of Fig. 12. Wildfire on a leaf of cigar
wrapper tobacco. Note the yellow halo
the spot. The disease oc- around the central dead area of each
curs in the seed-bed and spot. (Photo by courtesy of Florida
may spread r a p i d ly and Experiment Station.)
stunt or kill many of the plants before they reach the size
for transplanting. On the other hand, the disease may be
so slight as to escape notice in the plant bed and develop
rapidly after the plants are set in the field. When weather
conditions are favorable for its development, wildfire may
cause a total loss of the crop.
Control of wildfire is fairly simple, if certain precautions
are taken. These are:
1. Make the seedbed on new land each year, unless the
land is thoroughly "burned" or sterilized with steam. All
posts and boards or logs used around an old bed should
be sterilized or new ones used. Use new cloth or sterilize
old cloth with formaldehyde solution (1 to 100) or steam.
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA
2. If the seed came from an infected field or from a
doubtful source, they should be treated with corrosive
sublimate solution (1 to 1000) for 15 minutes, washed in
clear water and dried in the shade before planting.
3. Never carry tobacco trash from the barns into the
If healthy plants are transplanted, there will be no
trouble from wildfire in the field. Wildfire can not be
successfully controlled in the field by spraying or dusting.
Hence it is important that the disease be kept out of the
Frog-Eye is a leaf-spot disease which is 'of greatest im-
portance in cigar wrapper tobacco. The disease occurs on
bright tobacco but because of the form in which most of
this tobacco is used the spots are not so objectionable.
However, do not grade out for wrapper use bright tobacco
I 1^ ~ -- .. '
Fig. 13. Tobacco seed bed showing bare spots in foreground caused by
downy mildew (Blue Mold).
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Frog-eye does not attack vigorous growing plants. How-
ever, when the growth is checked by improper cultural
methods (such as deep plowing) root-knot or wet soil,
the disease usually appears and may cause serious damage
in a short time.
The spots are characterized by a dark colored border
and grayish-white center. Black specks occur in the gray
center which are the spores of the fungus (Cercospora
nicotianae) which causes the trouble.
The only practical method of controlling frog-eye is to
practice proper cultural methods and to prime the leaves
as soon as they are ripe.
Brown Spot is a fungous disease (caused by Alternaria
longipes) which is most important on bright tobacco.
Usually it does not attack the leaves until they are ripe
or except when the growth is checked prematurely by
improper cultural methods, root-knot or unfavorable
weather conditions late in the season.
The reason that the disease is most serious on bright
tobacco is perhaps because the leaves are left on the stalk
until they are quite ripe or overripe.
The disease is more serious in fields or portions of fields
infested with root-knot. Under such conditions it may
cause the leaves to dry out and turn brown within one or
two weeks. Thus brown spot appears to be of secondary
nature. The spots on the leaves are distinctly brown, more
or less irregular in shape and may be marked by concentric
The known methods of control are systems of rotation
which will reduce root-knot infestation to a minimum cul-
tivating properly and harvesting the leaves as soon as they
Downy Mildew, so called Blue Mold, is a fungous dis-
ease caused by Peronospora tabacina. This disease has
occurred in Florida every year since 1931, and in certain
years has caused serious loss of plants in the plant beds.
It is favored by low temperature followed by moderately
warm, humid weather, but disappears during hot weather.
Under favorable conditions very small plants may be killed
by this fungus and larger plants may be completely de-
foliated. The latter, however, will recover.
The disease is characterized at first by indefinite yel-
low blotches on the leaves, on the under side of which is
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 41
found a growth of cottony fungus whitish or pale violet
in color. On the upper surface of the leaf brown fleck-like
lesions appear, which soon
coalesce and form large ir-
regular dead areas.
From information obtain-
ed by the Florida and other
Experiment Stations, t wo
methods of combatting blue
mold have been found:
(1) Vapor treatment-
by the use of paradichloro-
benzene, or P D B, in the
proper amounts, applied by ,
the method described in
Bulletin 342, Florida Exper-
iment Station, downy mildew
can be controlled.
(2) Spray treatment-
by the use of a spray pump
that will obtain 100 pounds
pressure, and materials con- Fig. 14 Tobacco leaf showing mild
spottings caused by downy mildew
sisting of: red copper oxide, (Blue Mold).
cottonseed oil, and a spread-
er; these, mixed in the proper proportions (according to
Bulletin 330, Florida Experiment Station) will give satis-
Blue mold has been the biggest menace to seedbeds the
flue-cured area has had in the way of disease and pests.
Treatments of gas, spray and dust are all good. Each has
If you use gas treatments, you can wait until blue mold
appears before beginning. Have your materials purchased
and your covers ready. Treat promptly following the very
first appearance of mold. When the disease is present,
treat the bed for 3 consecutive nights, and thereafter twice
each week. Many growers prefer to use the 3-night treat-
ment exclusively, repeating it whenever mold is found.
The material used is Parabacco, or P.D.B. (paradichloro-
benzene). Crystals of grade No. 6 are the best size. The
cost of P.D.B. per 100 square yards per season is about
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Stretch the regular thin cotton cloth (with no holes)
tightly, so that it is 8 to 14 inches above the ground.
Scatter the crystals over this cover about sundown.
Use 3 pounds per 100 square yards ordinarily, but only
2 pounds in warm weather. If the heavier cover is used
to hold in the vapors and is thoroughly wet, 11/ pounds
is enough. Straw beds that have no side walls, or other
beds where the cotton cloth is placed directly on top of the
plants, should never receive more than 11/ to 2 pounds.
A good grade of muslin sheeting or closely woven cotton
fertilizer bags sewed together make a desirable heavy
cover. One cover can be used alternately to gas two beds.
These covers are useful also in protecting beds against frost.
As soon as the crystals are scattered, draw the heavy
cover over the bed and fasten it tightly around the sides
to hold in the vapors. No gas treatment will be successful
without this cover, because the vapor must be held in over-
night to control blue mold.
Begin the treatment about sundown and remove the
heavy cover between 8 and 10 o'clock in the morning be-
fore the sun gets very warm. During cool weather, the
crystals vaporize slowly and it is desirable to leave the
heavy cover on longer.
The formula is 1 pounds of Fermate to 50 gallons of
water. This may be increased to 2 pounds, particularly
during periods when mold is active. A wetting agent,
such as 8 ounces of Vatsol O.T.C. or four ounces of Vatsol
K. will help get the Fermate mixed with the water. The
cost of Fermate for each 100 square yards per season will
be about $1.50.
Place the Fermate, with or without a wetting agent, in
a fruit jar or other tight container, add a little water, and
shake until all the powder is wet. Mix with the full quan-
tity of water, and the spray is ready to use. Keep the mix-
ture well agitated while spraying.
Begin early, when the plants are about the size of a
dime; spray regularly, twice a week; and apply enough
spray. Eight to twelve applications will be necessary for
moderate to severe attacks. The quantities of the spray
that should be applied per 100 yards of bed are as follows:
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA
First to fourth ...................................... 3 to 31
Fifth and sixth .................................... 4
Seventh and subsequent ................. 5 to 6
Fermate spray leaves a black deposit on the tobacco
plants. If this is washed off by rain, repeat the treatment
at once. Without the black deposit, there is little protec-
tion. Any time that mold is found in a sprayed bed, give
the maximum application-5 or 6 gallons to 100 square
yards-regardless of the size of the plants. Regular spray-
ing must be continued as long as protection is needed.
For dust treatments the formula is 71/ pounds of Fermate
and 42/ pounds Pyrax (pyrophyllite) or other suitable inert
material. This makes a 15 percent dust. Dusts should be
mixed not more than 6 weeks in advance of use and stored
in a dry place. Dust treatments-just as spray treatments
-should begin before blue mold appears. Dependable
figures on the cost of the dust are not available. Use a
good crank-type duster, though small areas can be treated
with a small puff-type duster. To make the dust flow
evenly, fill the hopper not more than two-thirds full. Apply
the dust early in the morning when the air is quiet and the
plants are moist with dew. The usual plant bed is 5 yards
wide or more, and the cotton cover must be removed to
dust. Narrow beds-3 or at most 4 yards wide-with side
walls that hold the cotton well above the plants, can be
dusted through this cover. After each treatment, all ex-
posed leaf surface should show a coating of dust.
Begin early, with plants the size of a dime, dust regularly
twice a week, and apply enough dust. The quantities to be
applied to each 100 square yards of bed are as follows:
First to fourth ................................. 1 to 1%
Fifth and sixth ............................... 2 to 21/
Seventh and subsequent ................. 3 to 31/2
The 3 to 31/ pound rate is always used during the 2
weeks before transplanting.
When a dust application is washed off by rain while
blue mold is active, repeat the treatment at once. If blue
mold is seen in a bed that is being dusted, increase the rate
and make three instead of two applications that week.
Eight to twelve applications will be required.
44 DEPARTMENT. OF AGRICULTURE
The control of blue mold obtained from dusting has
been fully equal to that from spraying. About twice as
much actual Fermate is applied in the dust as compared
with the spray.
Certain insects of tobacco are always present in the
state and, unless combatted, almost invariably destroy the
commercial value of the crop. The most important insect
pests are budworms, hornworms, flea-beetles, cutworms,
grasshoppers and pumpkin bugs. The severity of attacks
by these insects may vary from year to year, but budworms
and hornworms occur in destructive numbers every year.
Insects are always more numerous during the latter part
of the growing season, and unless control measures are
employed, the damage is quite serious from them, especially
with cigar wrapper tobacco. All of these insects can be
materially reduced in numbers by cutting and turning under
the stalks of tobacco immediately after the crop is harvested.
Budworms usually begin to appear on the plants in small
numbers within ten days or two weeks after the plants are
set in the field and, unless controlled, will increase in
numbers throughout the season. The eggs are laid by a
greenish-colored moth on the upper leaves. When they
hatch the young worms migrate to the buds. By feeding
on the young bud-leaves this worm causes the greatest
Budworms can be completely controlled by keeping a
mixture of coarse dry sand and arsenate of lead in the
buds. If the tobacco is growing rapidly, it is necessary
to make at least one application a week of the poisoned
bait to bright and filler tobaccos and two to cigar wrapper.
Only a very small portion of this mixture is necessary, the
amount that can be picked up between the thumb and
index finger. This bait is made by mixing thoroughly one
pound of arsenate of lead with five pounds of sand.
Hornworms are most troublesome during the latter part
of the growing season. Each hornworm may consume
several large leaves between the time the egg hatches and
when the worm climbs down the plant and goes into its
pupa stage in the ground.
Hornworms are fairly easily controlled immediately after
the eggs hatch, but after they attain considerable size it
is difficult to apply a sufficient amount of poison to kill
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA
them without injury to the tobacco, unless a wet spray is
used; this not only-kills the pests but in dry seasons helps
to add to the quality of the tobacco.
Paris green is the most satisfactory poison for controll-
ing this pest on cigar wrapper tobacco, because the color
of the material is not conspicuous on the cured leaves. It
is applied at the rate of from % to 2 pounds per acre
twice a week after the worms begin to appear. The lighter
applications are made during the latter part of the growing
Arsenate of lead spray (one pound of arsenate of lead
to 12 gallons of water) is considered best for controlling
the hornworm on bright tobacco because it is cheaper than
Paris green. There is no serious objection to small amounts
of this white material on the cured leaves.
The Flea-Beetle occurs every year in the northern part
of the state and, under conditions favorable to it, causes
serious damage to cigar wrapper tobacco, if control meas-
ures are neglected. The injury to other types of tobacco
is much less serious. This insect may attack the plants in
the seedbeds and be carried to the field in the soil adhering
to the plant roots. It may also come from outside sources
and attack the plants in the field.
The flea-beetle can not be successfully controlled by any
one method. The methods recommended are: 1. Locate
the plant bed some distance from tobacco fields. 2. Cover
the plant bed with cloth and, if flea-beetles appear on the
plants, dust them frequently with light applications of
arsenate of lead when the leaves are dry. 3. Destroy
weeds in and around the tobacco fields. 4. Cut and turn
under tobacco stalks immediately after the crop is harvested.
5. If tobacco is attacked in the field, use frequent light
applications of Paris green.
Cutworms, Grasshoppers, Pumpkin Bugs: When any of
these appear it is generally when the plants are about a
third matured. It is very necessary to watch the crop
closely, and to dust or spray (for grasshoppers or pumpkin
bugs spray usually is essential) with some form of insecti-
cide to destroy the pests. Commonly used is arsenate of
lead, with a very small percentage of Paris green added
when used in spray form. Every grower should be sure,
as soon as he sets his plants, to destroy the plant bed. This
will keep down infestation by insects.
46 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
MARKETING AND MANUFACTURE
This final section of the booklet is based upon, or
directly quoted from, statements and figures appearing in
Technical Bulletin 913, issued by the United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture, March, 1946.
Although an appreciable volume of foreign-grown to-
bacco normally is used by manufacturers in the United
States for cigars and cigarettes, about 95 percent of the
tobacco going into our domestic market is grown in this
country. In five prewar years, 55 percent of the total
went to ultimate consumers in the form of cigarettes, 14
percent went for cigars, 31 percent for chewing or smoking
tobacco and snuff.
The difference between the amounts received by growers
and prices paid by consumers involves a series of middle-
men. The leaf is first assembled at markets and sold, then
most types are dried and stemmed before storage. There
are numerous manufacturing, transporting, financing,
wholesaling, retailing costs plus a heavy burden of
By 1946, of every 20 cents spent in Florida for cigar-
ettes, growers of the tobacco received less than two cents,
about four cents went for selling and processing the leaf
and actually making the cigarettes, about three cents went
to wholesalers and retailers, seven cents were for the
Federal excise tax, four cents for the State tax. Nation-
wide, in 1939, of each consumer's dollar paid for tobacco
products, 11.6 cents went to tobacco growers in this coun-
try, 3.6 cents for imported tobacco, 1.2 cents to dealers in
leaf tobacco, 25.2 cents to manufacturers, 36 cents for
Federal and State excise taxes, 4 cents to wholesalers, 18.4
cents to retailers.
Marketing Costs-Over 90 percent of tobacco grown in
this country is sold at loose-leaf auctions, where bidders
include those employed by manufacturers, those employed
by independent leaf dealers, and small speculators who
buy and resell within relatively short periods. Marketing
costs for flue-cured tobacco consist of hauling the tobacco
to market and warehouse service fees for selling the leaf.
Most of the cigar-leaf tobacco (Gadsden and Madison
counties, Florida) is sold at the farm, and the costs of buy-
ing, transporting to pack houses, processing, and handling
are included in the manufacturers' margin.
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 47
In the case of flue-cured, warehousemen place in long
rows the "sheets"-single-pile offerings-brought to their
market, with each grower's baskets ranged together. "A
ticket is placed on each basket, showing the owner's name,
the number of pounds contained (usually an average of 150
pounds), and the consecutive number given to the basket.
In markets where the tobacco is Federally graded, the
official grade of the lot is also shown."
Flue-cured tobacco changes hands at the rate of some
400 lots an hour, as the auctioneer and buyers go down the
sides of a row of baskets. Growers may reject bids, by
tearing off prices recorded, and such leaf is again offered
for sale at a later date. For all sales effected, the ware-
house issues checks the same day, grower receiving the
gross amount less warehouse charges.
"Data relating to warehouse charges on auction sales in
effect during the 1943-44 season show that minimum
charges for selling flue-cured tobacco in North Carolina,
South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, as fixed by statute
were: auction fee, 15 cents on all piles of 100 pounds or less,
and 25 cents per pile in excess of that weight; weighing and
handling fees, 10 cents per pile up to 100 pounds, and 10
cents for each additional 100 pounds; and for commissions,
2.5 percent of the gross sales."
Costs of operating warehouses have risen sharply-due
chiefly to increases in payroll--since a Federal study was
made in 1930-31 of costs of operating 18 Virginia ware-
houses for auction of flue-cured tobacco. Handling and
selling costs at that time amounted to $ 6.40 for every
1,000 pounds of leaf. Of that figure, $ 3.92 (61%) went
for labor; 95 cents for building costs -depreciation of
warehouse structure, repairs, insurance, taxes, rent; 9 cents
for equipment costs -- baskets, trucks, scales, office and
other equipment; 12 cents for supplies including fuel,
light, water, power; 64 cents for interest on investment;
49 cents for miscellaneous costs-including dues to board
of trade, advertising, bank exchange, loss on leaf account
Manufacturing Margins-"In the preparation of leaf
tobacco for manufacture there is considerable loss of
weight, particularly through drying and in the removal of
stems. This process, together with manufacturing, results
in some waste in the form of scrap tobacco, cuttings,
and siftings. These stems and other waste products,
along with low-grade leaf tobacco, are used in the
manufacture of tobacco by-products, principally nico-
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
tine, tobacco extracts, and fertilizers. For southern
types, the losses range from about 0:5 to 2 per-
cent for cleaning, 1 to 14 percent for handling and pack-
ing, 1 to 7 percent for sweating and drying in storage for
three years, about 19 to 26.4 percent for stemming.
"Consumption of materials other than leaf tobacco by
tobacco manufacturers includes sugar, licorice, sirup, mo-
lasses, and cigarette paper. The costs of these additional
materials in 1939 totaled about 14 million dollars, or about
5 percent of the costs of the leaf tobacco used, according
to census reports. In addition, costs to manufacturers of
other supplies and containers amounted to more than one-
fifth of the costs of the leaf tobacco."
Costs and margins for manufacturers vary according to
the kind of finished tobacco product, and the amount of
revenue stamps required. In 1939, of every $100 of value
to manufacturers for either of the three major types of
products, the following items accounted for expenses:
Leaf tobacco ........ $ 20.60
Other materials ...... 1.10
Supplies and containers 4.10
Mfg. labor, salaries . 3.20
Other expenses, ..... 18.70
Revenue stamps ..... 52.30
$ 33.80 $ 23.60
1-Includes fuel, electricity, depreciation, interest, insurance,
miscellaneous expense, and profits.
Of course entirely different sets of figures appear for
the accounting of an average net $ 100 of sales costs and
margins realized by manufacturers in 1941 from the sale
of each of the three major types of products:
Leaf costs .......... $ 19.30
Casing ............. .60
Labor ............ 1.50
Wrapping material .. 2.80
Factory overhead .... .90
Revenue stamps ..... 58.10
Freight and shipping 1.00
Advertising ......... 4.10
$ 34.90 $ 21.20
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 49
Selling & adm. exp. 1.80 11.40 3.50
Profit margins, ...... 9.90 .90 16.60
$100.00 $100.00 $100.00
1-Includes net profits, income taxes, and some interest.
Use by Consumers-In 1939, the people of the United
States consumed 180 billion cigarettes, and by 1943 pro-
duction had advanced to 296 billion, was understood to
have passed 350 billion in 1945. Units of tobacco products
manufactured, and Federal revenue receipts therefrom,
are listed in the tables on pages 50 and 51.
The relatively heavy use of tobacco products takes a
fairly liberal portion of the income of the average family,
especially those in the sub-average brackets. Federal data
gathered in 1941 showed that "for all families and single
consumers combined, the proportion of the money income
spent for tobacco ranged from 3.1 percent for those with
annual money incomes of less than $ 500 to 0.8 percent
for those with incomes of $ 5,000 and over." Farm fami-
lies with annual money income of less than $ 500 spent
4.11 percent of their income for tobacco products, while
non-farm families spent 2.7 percent.
Frequent reference in writing this bulletin has been
made to Bulletins 166 and 198, entitled respectively, "To-
bacco Diseases in Gadsden County in 1922" and "Tobacco
Culture in Florida," of the Florida Experiment Station.
The author of both of those bulletins, Dr. W. B. Tisdale,
plant pathologist, has offered many very valuable sugges-
tions in the preparation of this one and has read the
Persons interested in making a further study of tobacco
as it is grown in Florida would do well to secure Bulletins
166, 198, 326, 330 and 342. This they may do by address-
ing the Florida Experiment Station, Gainesville, Florida.
Bulletins, containing interesting basic data and tobacco sta-
tistics, also are available by addressing the United States
Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.
50 L i ...ULTURE
PRODUCTION OF CIGARETTES, CIGARS, MANUFACTURED
TOBACCO AND SNUFF, YEARS 1880 THROUGH 1944
(Weighing not more
than 3 lbs. per 1,000)
(Compiled from Reports of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue)
(Weighing more than
3 lbs. per 1,000)
TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 51
RECEIPTS, IN DOLLARS, FROM TAXES ON TOBACCO PRODUCTS,
YEARS 1880 THROUGH 1945
Compiled from Reports of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue
Year Cigarettes Cigars Mfg. Tobacco Total
(small) (large) and Snuff
1880 $ 715,269 $14,206,819 $21,804,763 $ 38,870,137
1890 1,116,627 12,263,669 19,068,212 33,958,988
1900 3,953,177 19,138,584 35,267,334 59,355,081
1910 7,921,284 21,420,689 28,131,963 58,119,354
1915 20,925,596 21,174,366 34,585,064 79,957,370
1916 26,332,745 22,170,549 36,032,528 88,063,948
1917 38,127,168 24,800,311 38,491,276 102,576,994
1918 66,370,961 30,034,476 51,534,839 156,188,656
1919 90,440,806 36,086,247 62,625,749 206,003,088
1920 151,262,214 55,423,813 81,612,698 295,809,351
1921 135,053,369 51,076,563 65,126,028 255,219,380
1922 150,127,514 44,183,575 73,289,468 270,759,379
1923 182,584,806 47,272,570 76,032,923 309,015,489
1924 203,651,330 45,205,165 73,705,544 325,638,926
1925 225,032,702 43,346,812 73,576,007 345,247,207
1926 254,824,808 38,319,343 74,628,491 370,666,435
1927 278,928,561 23,544,681 71,977,859 376,170,201
1928 301,752,588 22,879,374 70,235,896 396,461,036
1929 341,951,551 22,548,567 68,286,086 434,444,539
1930 359,816,274 21,141,015 67,640,291 450,340,058
1931 358,915,187 18,925,467 65,567,408 445,176,500
1932 317,533,080 14,207,679 64,876,456 398,578,614
1933 328,418,413 11,304,995 61,855,339 402,739,054
1934 349,661,945 11,633,296 62,086,820 423,385,328
1935 385,459,570 11,692,859 60,884,076 458,041,500
1936 425,486,470 12,277,751 62,015,799 499,731,676
1937 476,027,206 13,246,959 61,697,050 550,973.664
1938 493,432,959 12,750,915 60,660,951 566,847,248
1939 504,036,932 12,792,551 61,689,063 578,525,699
1940 533,042,544 12,897,763 61,182,359 606,317,094
1941 616,745,234 13,400,528 61,827,585 691,994,162
1942 704,933,505 14,377,828 59,579,137 778,890,470
1943 835,230,743 23,075,077 55,392,403 913,701,789
1944 903,957,883 30,152,077 52,961,487 987,073,154
1945 836,057,645 36,593,490- 57,315,346 929,967,386