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Group Title: Bulletin. new series
Title: Tobacco growing in Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00014978/00001
 Material Information
Title: Tobacco growing in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin. new series
Physical Description: 47 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Stoutamire, Ralph
Helfenstein, C. P
Florida -- Dept. of Agriculture
Publisher: State of Florida, Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1940
 Subjects
Subject: Tobacco -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Tobacco industry -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Ralph Stoutamire, 1930, revised by C.P. Helfenstein, 1940.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00014978
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA7372
ltuf - AME9335
oclc - 41254551
alephbibnum - 002444111

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Full Text









Tobacco Growing

In Florida


RALPH STOUTAMIRE, 1930
REVISED BY C. P. HELFENSTEIN, 1940


State of Florida
Department of Agriculture
NATHAN MAYO, Commissioner
Tallahassee


Aftow











C330









CONTENTS
Page
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
Filler Tobacco .............................. 15
Bright Tobacco ............................. 15
Transplanting and Cultivating:
W rapper Tobacco ........................... 17
Filler Tobacco, Bright Tobacco ................ 18
Harvesting and Curing: .......................... 19
Wrapper and Filler Tobaccos ................. 19
Bright Tobacco ............................. 22
Packing Bright Tobacco .......................... 25
Fermenting and Packing Dark Tobacco ............. 25
Sorting and Selecting Dark Tobacco ................ 26
Grading and Marketing Bright Tobacco ............ 28
Selecting Tobacco Seed ........................... 28
Construction of Tobacco Shades ................... 29
Curing Barns for:
Wrapper and Filler Tobaccos ................. 30
Bright Tobacco ............................. 31
Cost of Production: Wrapper Tobacco ............. 33
Filler and Bright Tobaccos .................... 34
Diseases: Black Shank .......................... 36
Root-Knot .................................. 37
W ildfire ................................... 38
Frog-eye ................ ................. 38
Brow n Spot ................................ 39
Downy Mildew or Blue Mold .................. 40
Insect Enemies: Budworms, Hornworms ............ 41
Flea-Beetles, Cutworms, Grasshoppers,
Pumpkin Bugs .............................. 42
Acknowledgments ............................ .. 43
Flue-Cured Tobacco Data, 1915 Thru 1939 .......... 44
Production, 1880 Thru 1939 ...................... 45
Tax Revenue From Tobacco, 1865 Thru 1939 ........ 46
Foreign Production Flue-Cured Tobacco,
1925 Thru 1939 ................ ............ 47
U. S. Exports, Estimated Farm Sales Weights,
1926 Thru 1939 ............................. 47

























QVIRHN

11 IIR


4~~:


'~4~q E~U


Fig. 1. State marketing warehouse at Live Oak where bright leaf auction sales are held each season.











Tobacco Growing In Florida
By Ralph Stoutamire, 1930; Revised by C. P. Helfenstein, 1940
PTOBACCO is linked with nearly every phase of Ameri-
T can life and industry. Its phenomenal increase in
consumption during the last decade 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. 'This idea originated with
D. A. Shaw of Quincy, Florida, and he conducted the first
experiments which demonstrated the possibilities. Follow-
ing this improvement in quality, which was attended by an
increased demand for the tobacco, there was a rapid ex-
pansion in the industry. By 1910 the total shade in the
state was estimated at about 4,000 acres. Since that year
the total agreage has increased very little. 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)


Year

1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939

Year

1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939

Year

1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939


SUN-CURED (DARK LEAF) FI1
Acres Production
In Pounds
900 900,000
800 920,000
700 791,000
700 623,000
200 140,000
100 82,000
300 360,000
700 770,000
400 380,000
700 784,000
800 1,080,000
1,000 960,000
SHADE AIR-CURED (DARK LE
Acres Production
In Pounds
3,000 3,300,000
3,100 3,627,000
2,900 3,190,000
2,400 2,616,000
2,000 1,970,000
1,100 990,000
1,600 1,424,000
2,100 1,890,000
2,000 2,050,000
2,100 1,890,000
2,400 2,712,000
2,500 2,150,000
FLUE-CURED (BRIGHT LEAI
Acres Production
In Pounds
7,100 4,'435,000
6,800 5,100,000
7,300 5,767,000
6,000 4,350,000
2,000 1,200,000
5,000 3,700,000
4,700 3,408,000
7,000 6,020,000
8,000 7,200,000
16,800 14,112,000
16,300 15,892,000
29,500 20,650,000
Internal Revenue)


6


LLER TOBACCO
Estimated
Crop
$180,000
184,000
158,000
93,000
14,000
9,000
43,000
104,000
51,000
106,000
146,000
128,000
AF) TOBACCO
Estimated I
Crop
$1,815,000
1,995,000
1,914,000
785,000
690,000
317,000
854,000
1,228,000
1,414,000
1,304,000
1,898,000
1,440,000
F) TOBACCO
Estimated F
Crop
$ 546,000
923,000
600,000
287,000
132,000
444,000
682,000
1,066,000
1,584,000
2,978,000
3,226,000
2,540,000


Farm Value
Per Lb.
$0.20
0.20
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.11
0.12
0.135
0.134
0.135
0.135
0.133

arm Value
Per Lb.
$0.55
0.55
0.60
0.30
0.35
0.32
0.60
0.65
0.69
0.69
0.70
.067

arm Value
Per Lb.
$0.12
0.181
0.104
0.066
0.11
0.12
0.20
0.177
0.22
0.211
0.203
0.123








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 7

From 1,000 to 1,500 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 1939, a year without a crop-control
program, there were 29,500 acres of bright tobacco grown
in Florida, with an approximate value of $2,540,000.
SOILS, for-
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 de-
manded by the trade. Both the surface soil and subsoil
are important in this respect.
The soil must be well drained, as tobacco is very sensitive
to excessive amounts of soil water, especially as it ap-
proaches maturity. During the early years of tobacco cul-
ture in the state, the crop was grown exclusively on virgin
hammock land. The ashes obtained by burning the hard-
wood 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
tracts.
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. Nor-
folk 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 a 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 selec-
tion of the soil for cigarette tobacco, if the greatest returns
are desired.
Effect of Soil Types On Production of Florida
Flue-Cured Tobacco, 1938
(From a Survey Made of One Thousand Florida Farms)


Average Yield Average Gross
Per Acre Acre-Income
Pounds Dollars


Light .............. .. 885
Medium .............. 1140
Heavy ............. . 1106


$181.01
229.00
200.53


Average Price
Per Pound
Cents
20.45
20.08
18.13








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 9

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 con-
venient method for protecting the plants is by growing
them in a cloth-covered bed until they are about ready for
transplanting.
The size of this bed is determined by the type of tobacco
and the number of acres of field to be planted. The cus-
tomary 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, favor-
able conditions do not always prevail and it is very import-
ant to have an ample supply of uniform and vigorous 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 para-
sitic lungi 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, extending
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 turned in that location, the
burning wood is drawn along the skids to a new position.
More wood is added as needed and the fire is drawn along
;he 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 them removed and the soil should be re-
worked until it is brought into a fine tilth.
Note: It would be well at this stage of the crop for grow-
ers to familiarize themselves with the paragraphs pertaining
to downy mildew (blue mold), on pages 40-41, and with
Florida Experiment Station Bulletin 342.








10 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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 suffi-
cient 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 an 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 weil-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
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 steam 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 per-








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 11

manent 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
minutes.
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 ex-
plained 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 Decem-
ber 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
soil. Since the seed are on the surface of the soil and are
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 are
transplanted.
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 tobacco crop,
in order to have the land in the best possible condition.
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 be-
fore the tobacco is set.
Do not plant crops susceptible to root-knot on the land
preceding tobacco.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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 prepa-
ration 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, 1938
(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 ......... .. .073 $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 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 pre-
paring 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.









TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 13

FERTILIZERS, for-
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, prosphoric acid and potash for the successful
production of cigar wrapper tobacco.
Stable manure, leguminous crops, as crotalaria and velvet
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















Fi Sh t






Fi g. .- Sh d a i g e

Fig. 2. Shade tobacco during early stage of growth.



























- ... .


./


Fig. 3 View of field of brig ht leaf or flue-cured tobacco.








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA


cover crops improve the physical and biological characters
of the soil and in the process of decay help make available
the mineral nutrients of the soil and commercial fertilizers.
Manure or other organic matter should be turned under dur-
ing 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 pot-
ash. The ingredients commonly used are cottonseed meal
and fish meal as sources of ammonia, bone meal or precipi-
tated bone meal as sources of phosphoric acid, and carbon-
ate 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
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-









16 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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 distributor, 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 determ-
ined in advance only within wide limits. Each of the three
plant nutrients-ammonia, phosphoric acid and potash-
are essential to produce desired quality. However, an ex-
cess 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 percent pot-
ash. 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, 1938
(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


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.
TRANSPLANTING AND CULTIVATING
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. Immediately,
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. Dur-
ing 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 mark-
er, 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 ad-
visable to plow more earth to the bed to prevent rapid dry-
ing 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. Subsequent cultiva-
tion should be as shallow as possible, unless the soil be-
comes 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.








18 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 between
leaves.
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 before
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 trans-
planting 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 re-
working 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 are 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 23 to 28 inches in the drill, which would be equivalent
to about 5,000 to 5,500 plants per acre.
The first cultivation is given about a week or ten days
after the plants are set and should be moderately shallow
and sufficiently far away from the plants not to disturb the
roots. The soil between the plants is loosened with a hoe
or potato digger, a little fresh earth being drawn around








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 19

each plant. Subsequent cultivations are made about once
a week until the crop is "laid by," a little earth being
worked toward the plants
each time. ,
When the crop is laid by
the plants should be on a
high ridge, in order to be
protected from water in- ,
jury during rainy weather. .
As a rule, discontinue culti-
vation after the plants have -
been topped.
Topping is a very import-
ant operation with bright i, .
tobacco, as it forces a great-
er size of leaf and improves
the quality. Soil fertility,
amount of fertilizer applied
and weather conditions are
the principal factors serving -
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 ones.

Full benefit will not be
derived from topping unless Fig. 4. "Priming" tobacco. The work-
derived from topping unlessr strips off, beginning at the bottom,
suckers are broken out as those two, three or four leaves that
have attained the proper degree of
they develop in the axils of ripeness. The next few leaves are
the upper leaves following primed a few days later.
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
removed.
Cigar Wrapper and Filler Tobaccos: In priming the
workman removes leaves from the stalk with one hand,








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


Fig. 5. Gathering bright leaf tobacco for barning.
stacks them on the other in a "pad" and passes the "pad"
to a boy 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 sticking 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.)








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA


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 charcoal
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 un-
interrupted 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 es-
sential that the leaves not be in too high case, as the leaves
will become too dark and tender during the .fermentation
process.


Fig. 6. Stringing bright leaf tobacco is a job for the entire family.








22 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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 priming
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, especially 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 ot cure.

The leaves of
S. possbright tobacco are
r 4 ~,| hauled from the field
i _ .to the barn in drag
a sleds or low-wheeled
'V 1 trucks, and are
strung as quickly as
possible to avoid se-
vere wilting. From
three to five leaves
Saare looped into a
t. m hand and the hands
are placed alternate-
ly on each side of
the stick. In placinf
the sticks in the
barn, sufficient
space should be left
between the sticks
iit i and around the walls
to permit free circu-
lation of air.

The curing of
bright tobacco is
forced by heat from
flues, or by heat
from oil burners, and
Fig. 7. From three to five leaves are collected is accomplished in a
in a "hand" and then looped with a string along much shorter time
with many other hands, alternating sides, to a
stick which is hung in the barn for curing. than cigar wrapper








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA


tobacco is cured. However, anything which kills the leaf
prematurely, such as breaking or bruising in harvesting, or
very rapid trying, 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 main-
;ained, 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 im-
portant effect on the cured product. Consequently, the tem-
erature and humidity must be regulated very carefully in
order to control the rate of drying.
The proper temperature to be maintained inside the barn
ill be nifluenced by the temperature and humidity of the
outside air. For example, the temperature inside the barn
must be higher during warm or rainy weather than during
cool or dry weather.
Air is also an important factor in controlling the humidity
of the barn. Saturated air has no drying capacity until its
temperaturee is raised. During the early stages of curing,
while the color is developing, high humidity is essential; but
when the tobacco is ready to be dried out, humidity in the
barn must be low. These conditions are made possible by
manipulating the ventilators in such a manner that the hu-
midity 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
gradually raising the temperature 5 every two hours, to
about 135 or 140 at the end of 48 hours after the fire was






; 'v"Y! T


3,'T~


'i


__I_








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 25

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 bb
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
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 750 to 85 Fahrenheit and with a rela-
tively 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 dif-
ferent grades.
The bulk is begun by laying the outer row, one hand
overlapping the other, along the outer edge of the platform,
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.








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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-
tion of color and texture without breaking them. There-
fore, 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 sound-
ness 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 before
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 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.





























Fig. 9. Vie* 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. i


iy -


I~








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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
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 mar-
ket 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.








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 29

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 conveni-
ent for tying over the flower heads. The bags may be per-
forated with a needle to permit circulation of air. On ac-
count 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
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-
1938 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.









30 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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. Con-
sequently, cloth is more expensive, except where tobacco is
grown on the same land for only one or two years. Fur-
thermore, 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 1/1 inch
thick, about 11 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,
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 by 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.








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 31

The most common size of curing barn is 120 feet long, 40
feet wide and 20 feet high at the eaves. This 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 3x12 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
the roof.
Bright Tobacco: Small barns of comparatively simple
construction are used for curing bright tobacco. Inside
measurements vary from 16x16 to 20x20 feet. The tier
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 or 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
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









32 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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 important 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.


Fig. 10. A cheap but substantial bright tobacco curing barn. This one is made
of logs. Many bars 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


COST OF PRODUCTION, of-
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 num-
ber 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. However, 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-
mercial fertilizer varies somewhat from year to year, the
cost of stable manure remains fairly constant and the aver-
age 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 wrap-
per tobacco under cloth shade on the larger farms has been
estimated as follows:
Shade materials and labor for construction. $200
Fertilizers ............................. 135
Labor ................................. 100
Insect poisons, tools, twine, charcoal, etc..... 65

Total .............................. $500
Production costs on smaller farms may be considerably
below this figure, especially when the stable manure is pro-









DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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 ob-
tained for the cured tobacco varies from 50 to 90 cents per
pound, depending upon the market and quality of the
tobacco.
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, in-
terest on investment, depreciation of houses and other
equipment, etc.
Cigar Filler is usually grown under contract and the con-
tract price is from 18 to 20 cents per pound. It is difficult
to obtain accurate information on the cost of production, as
this type of tobacco is grown on a small acre basis by many
farmers who do not hire labor. When properly fertilized,
filler tobacco will produce from 1,000 to 1,600 pounds per
acre and with this yield the cost of production is approxi-
mately 16 and 12 cents per pound, respectively.
Bright Tobacco: Cost per acre of bright leaf production
depends on the amount of hired labor used, as well as on
the poundage of fertilizer used. It is generally known,
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
Wood or oil (for curing), etc. ........... 6.50
$28.00

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:









TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 35

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
goods win.
Third, acreage and production must be kept down. Sup-
ply and demand determine prices. Of course, it is impos-
sible 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 per-
plexing problem, the author has asked a leading authority
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
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 lear.
"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."










36 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

DISEASES
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 diseases of
greatest importance are black shank, root-knot, wildfire,
frog-eye, brown leaf-spot and blue-mold.
Black Shank is caused by a fungous 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 sud-
denly 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.










2
I.C










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

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 developed 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 produc-
ing most of those resistant varieties. Tests of these varieties
are described in Bulletins 226 and 326 of the Florida Ex-
periment 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. Attack-
ed plants become stunted and wilt badly during the middle
of the day and recover at night. When the infection 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 sus-
ceptible crops will not be
grown on the land for a
period of two or three years
preceding tobacco. In the
case of sweet potatoes, chu-
fas and common briar roots,
all most susceptible to root-
knot, this period should be
from five to ten years.
Clean cultivation should
be practiced with tsese 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 be-
fore the soil is warm enough F1g. 12. Wildfire on a leaf of cigar
fore the soil is warm enough wrapper tobacco. Note the yellow halo
for the nematodes to become around the central dead area of each
active spot. (Photo by courtesy of Florida
acive Experiment Station.)








38 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Wildfire is a leaf-spot disease caused by a germ or bac-
terial parasite (Bacterial tabacum.) This parasite does
not live very long in the soil but is carried over from one
year to the next on tobacco seed, posts, boards and cloth
used in constructing beds, and on old tobacco stalks left
standing on the 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 distinguished from other leaf-spots
by the presence of a yellow ring or halo around the dead
brown portion of the spot. The disease occurs in the seed-
bed and may spread rapidly and 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 favor-
able 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.
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
seedbed.
If healthy plants are transplanted, there will be no trou-
ble from wildfire in the field. Wildfire can not be suc-
cessfully controlled in the field by spraying or dusting.
Hence it is important that the disease be kept out of the
plant bed.
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
containing frog-eye.
Frog-eye does not attack vigorous growing plants. How-
ever, when the growth is checked by improper cultural








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 39

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. Usu-
ally it does not attack the leaves until they are ripe or
except when the growth is checked prematurely by im-
proper cultural methods, root-knot or unfavorable weather
conditions late in the season.


Fig. 13. Tobacco seed bed showing bare spots in foreground caused by
downy mildew (Blue Mold).








DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


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
rings.
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
are ripe.
Downy Mildew, so called Blue Mold, is a fungous disease
caused by Peronospora tabacina). This disease has occur-
red in Florida every year
since 1931, and in certain
years has caused serious loss
of plants in the plant beds.
S .It is favored by low tem-
S1 perature followed by mod-
erately warm, humid wea-
SB their, but disappears during
hot weather. Under favor-
Sable conditions very small
S- plants may be killed by this
.. fungus and larger plants may
S. / be completely defoliated.
S/The latter, however, will re-
S / cover.
', The disease is character-
ized at first by indefinite
SI yellow blotches on the
leaves, on the under side of
which is found a growth of
Fig. 14. Tobacco leaf showing mild cottony fungus whitish or
spottings caused by downy mildew pale violet in color. On the
(Blue Mold). upper surface of the leaf
brown fleck-like lesions appear, which soon coalesce and
form large irregular dead areas.
From information obtained by the Florida and other Ex-
periment Stations, two methods of combatting blue mold
have been found:








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 41

(1) Vapor treatment-by the use of paradichloroben-
zene, or PDB, in the proper amounts, applied by the method
described in Bulletin 342, Florida Experiment Station,
downy mildew can be controlled.
(2) Spray treatment-by the use of a spray pump that
will obtain 100 pounds pressure, and materials consisting of:
red copper oxide, cottonseed oil, and a spreader; these,
mixed in the proper proportions (according to Bulletin 330,
Florida Experiment Station) will give satisfactory results;
INSECT ENEMIES
Certain insects of tobacco are always present in the state
and, unless combatted, almost invariably destroy the com-
mercial value of the crop. The most important insect pests
are budworms, hornworms, flea-beetles, cutworms, grass-
hoppers 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 em-
ployed, 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 num-
bers throughout the season. The eggs are laid by a green-
ish-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 possible
damage.
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 1 pound of arsenate
of lead with 5 pounds of sand.
Hornworms are most troublesome during the latter part
of the growing season. Each hornworm may consume









42 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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 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 controlling
this pest on cigar wrapper tobacco, because the color of the
material is not conspicuous on the cured leaves. It is ap-
plied at the rate of from 3% to 2 pounds per acre twice a
week after the worms begin to appear. The lighter ap-
plications are made during the latter part of the growing
season.
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 harvest-
ed. 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








TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 43

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.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
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
manuscript.
The author of this revision credits County Agent S. C.
Kierce and J. C. Hill of Live Oak for technical advice.
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
statistics, also are available by addressing the United States
Department of Agriculture, Washington, D. C.









FLUE-CURED TOBACCO ACREAGE YIELD, PRICE, ETC., 1915-1939
(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
1915 495 630 10.5 33 312 309 621 298 129
1916 470 560 190 50 263 322 585 292 139
1917 560 641 30.5 110 358 294 652 310 151
1918 686 710 34.3 167 487 343 830 450 163
1919 811 588 44.4 212 476 380 856 504 152
1920 909 678 21.5 132 616 352 968 411 131
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 20.8 121 589 508 1088 543 174
1924 754 580 21.6 94 437 543 983 456 186 0
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 56 689 794 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 684 814 27.3 152 557 763 1320 5Ga 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 912 861 22.2 174 786 954 1740 794 357
1939 1288 900 14.9 172 1159 946 2105










TOBACCO GROWING IN FLORIDA 45

PRODUCTION OF CIGARETTES, CIGARS, MANUFACTURED
TOBACCO AND SNUFF, YEARS 1880 THROUGH 1939


Year

1880
1885
1890
1895
1900
1905
1910
1915
1916
1917
1918
1919
1920
-1921
1922
1923
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939


Cigarettes
(Weighing not more
than 3 lbs. per 1,000)
532,718,995
1,079,542,910
2,505,167,610
4,237,754,453
3,254,130,630
3,666,814,273
8,644,335,407
17,964,348,272
25,290,293,911
35,331,264,067
46,656,903,224
53,119,784,232
47,430,105,055
52,085,011,560
55,763,022,618
66,715,830,430t
72,708,989,025
82,247,100,347
92,096,973,926
99,809,031,619
108,705,505,650
122,392,380,846
123,802,186,21.7
117,064,214,494
106,632,433,834
114,874,217,470
129,976,333,581
139,966,179,916
158,893,958,304
162,625,515,000
163,758,509,000
172,466,537,000


(Compiled from Reports of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue)


Cigars
(Weighing more than
3 lbs. per 1,000)
2,509,653,197
3,293,662,991
4,228,528,258
4,099,119,855
5,565,669,701
6,747,869,277
6,810,098,416
6,599,188,078
7,042,127,401
7,559,890,349
7,053,549,402
7,072,357,021
8,096,758,663
6,726,095,483
6,722,354,177
6,905,247,389
6,597,676,535
6,463,193,108
6,498,641,233
6,519,004,960
6,373,181,751
6,518,533,042
5,893,890,418
5,347,921,293
4,382,722,918
4,300,044,810
4,525,780,084
4,685,369,674
5,172,278,612
5,317,437,000
5,138,743,000
5,311,394,000


Manufactured
Tobacco, Snuff,
Etc., (Pounds)
146,429,534
207,066,955
252,861,754
274,292,549
300,707,189
367,517,914
447,292,157
442,359,219
466,165,728
482,976,984
497,079,920
424,068,785
412,629,566
386,951,026
419,506,105
412,776,875
414,178,378
413,872,969
410,595,716
396,323,980
386,333,478
381,199,890
371,765,909
371,237,299
347,278,744
342,113,160
345,565,998
342,727,851
347,976,506
337,859,000
343,262,000
340,794,000










RECEIPTS, IN DOLLARS, FROM TAXES ON
Compiled from Reports of


Year
1865
1870
1875
1880
1885
1890
1895
1900
1920
1925
1929
1930
1931
1932
1933
1934
1935
1936
1937
1938
1939


Cigarettes
(small)
14,944
21,426
65,443
715,269
529,535
1,116,627
1,663,701
3,953,177
151,262,214
225,032,702
341,951,551
359,816,274
358,915,187
317,533,080
328,418,413
349,661,945
385,459,570
425,486,470
476,027,206
493,432,959
504,036,932


Cigars
(large)
3,072,476
5,697,353
10,140,384
14,206,819
10,077,287
12,263,669
12,491,917
19,138,584
55,423,813
43,346,812
22,548,567
21,141,015
18,925,467
14,207,679
11,304,995
11,633,296
11,692,859
12,277,751
13,246,959
12,750,915
12,792,551


TOBACCO PRODUCTS, YEARS 1865 THROUGH 1939


the Commissioner of
Mfg. Tobacco
and Snuff
8,300,371
24,300,482
25,200,769
21,804,763
14,462,353
19,068,212
15,546,066
35,267,334
81,612,698
73,576,007
68,286,086
67,640,291
65,567,408
64,876,456
61,855,339
62,086,820
60,884,076
62,015,799
61,697,050
60,660,951
61,689,063


Internal Revenue.
Miscellaneous
collections
13,579
1,331,443
1,896,874
2,143,286
1,337,911
1,515,480
3,221
995,986
7,510,626
3,291,686
1,658,335
1,741,478
1,768,438
1,961,399
1,160,307
3,266
4,994
1,654
2,447
2,421
7,153


Total
11,401,370
31,350,704
37,303,470
38,870,137
26,407,086
33,958,988
29,704,905
59,355,081
295,809,351
345,247,207
434,444,539
450,340,058
445,176,500
398,578,614
402,739,054
423,385,328
458,041,500
499,731,676
550,973,664
566,847,248
578,525,699







ESTIMATED FLUE-CURED TOBACCO PRODUCTION IN SPECIFIED FOREIGN COUNTRIES, 1925-1939
(Millions of Pounds)


China Manchuria Japan, Korea
and Formosa


India




1
3
11
16
40
33


Nyasaland and
S. Rhodesia,
Africa
10
30
8
16
28
23
27
38


Australia


2
2
2
10
4
6
6
5


Canada Dutch Total
East For 11
Indies Countries
6 82
6 76
9 80
25 196
27 269
35 2 310
55 3 423
83 6 422


1-Preliminary


ESTIMATED FARM SALES WEIGHTS OF U. S. EXPORTS TO PRINCIPAL COUNTRIES, 1926-1938


England, Wales
and Scotland
165
207
224
153
182
202
270


China
84
151
173
90
30
46
60


All Other
Japan Australia Canada Germany Netherlands Countries
10 24 15 13 8 29
17 21 17 16 11 49
14 27 13 15 9 51
6 10 9 5 6 41
11 18 4 2 4 36
12 22 3 3 11 57
24 6 7 56


Year


1925
1927
1929
1931
1933
1935
1937
19391


0



0
0
0







0







c: R


Year
1926
1928
1930
1932
1934
1936
1938




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