NORTH FLORIDA EXPERIMENT STATION
/v/f .& 2~)- Quincy, Florida
November 11, 1964
North Fla. Sta. Mimeo Report NFS 65-2
A VARIETY OF CIGAR-WRAPPER TOBACCO WITH
IMPROVED YIELD AND QUALITY
C. E. Dean
The production of cigar-wrapper tobacco in Florida (Type 62) is limited to a
relatively small area in the northern part of the state. Gadsden County accounted for
almost 90 percent of the 5,300 acres grown in 1964, with the remainder grown in Madison and
Leon Counties and in south Georgia.
Shade tobacco growers have in the past had a relatively small number of varieties
from which to select. Some strains of the Rg variety, first grown about 1930, are still
being produced. Dixie Shade, released in 1953, is presently the most widely grown variety,
however, in many ways it is similar to Rg. The variety No. 63, which has some improvements
in plant type and quality, was first grown in 1959 and is still a popular variety. Other
varieties and strains, developed for the most part by private agencies, are being grown on
a limited basis.
Considering the characteristics of the varieties being grown presently, improve-
ments are needed to aid the grower in increasing returns from his crop and to improve the
competitive position of Florida-produced wrapper tobacco. Florida 15 was developed in an
effort to meet these needs.
In developing new varieties of plants, the plant breeder frequently relies on a
system of combining several varieties, strains or lines through hybridization. By so doing,
it is hoped that a new variety will evolve which will combine many, if not all, of the
desirable characteristics of the parent varieties. Florida 15 was developed in this manner
from the varieties Dixie Shade, Connecticut AST, No. 63 and Sumatra.
Florida 15 has been evalauted for black shank resistance, yield and quality in
both the disease nursery and in replicated plots since 1961, and in a limited commercial
planting in 1963. Approximately 20 acres were grown in 1964 to further evaluate the variety
and to produce seed for release.
Florida 15 was compared with established commercial cigar-wrapper tobacco
varieties to evaluate its performance. These comparisons, which are averages of data from
three years, are presented in Tables 1 and 2. The varieties Dixie Shade, Rg and No. 63
were used as check varieties, since the major acreage of Type 62 tobacco is planted in these
In the description which follows, only comparisons between Florida 15 and Dixie
Shade will be made; however, by consulting the tables, the performance relative to the other
two varieties can be seen.
Plant Bed.--Early growth in the plant bed is more rapid than Dixie Shade, and
seedlings may reach transplanting size about one week earlier.
Land Preparation.--For best results, shades planted in Florida 15 should be
rotated and fumigated in the prescribed manner to control soil-borne diseases and insects.
Growth in Field.--Growth following transplanting is more rapid than Dixie Shade,
and plant height is comparatively greater up until time of flowering. The stalk is
moderately strong, but will require wrapping to a high position because of the weight of
large top leaves.
Leaf Characteristics.--Leaf width is about the same as Dixie Shade, but leaves may
be up to two inches longer, especially on the upper part of the plant. About the same
number of harvestable leaves are produced. Leaves tend to be flat, which reduces physical
damage from handling operations.
Black Shank Resistance.--Florida 15 has a high level of resistance to black shank,
equal to or surpassing Dixie Shade.
Blue Mold.--Florida 15 does not have resistance to blie moid, therefore, a
preventative program of fungicidal applications should be followed.
Days to First Piming.--Depending upon seasonal conditions, from 49 to 53 days
are required from transplanting until first priming.
Curing.--Since the leaves have more body than Dixie Shade and tend to be longer,
more heat may be required in the first stages of curing than is normally used This lill
aid in preventing spotting and development of undesirable colors.
Yield.--Yield will exceed Dixie Shade by about 200 pounds per acre if ail leaves
of harvestable size are primed.
Quality.--Compared with Dixie Shade, Florida 15 usually produces about the same
percentage of off-color tobacco, but less dark tobacco. It has more body and has less
tendency to produce tender tobacco. Under similar conditions, Florida 15 should grade out
a higher percentage of number one string.
Trade Acceptance.--Manufacturer opinion on samples of Florida 15 has been
favorable from the standpoint of casing, stripping, body, elasticity, color, taste and
workability on cigar machines. None of the samples evaluated showed any evidence of
tenderness during the manufacturing process. The length of leaves from some primings was
mentioned by one manufacturer, but this appeared to be a minor point.
It is suggested that growers who wish to plant Florida 15 limit their acreage
until experience is gained in producing this variety. This will provide an opportunity to
observe it further under different growing conditions and more fully establish its acceptance
by the trade. Seed are available from the Florida Foundation Seed Producers, Inc.
North Florida Experiment Station
Table 1.--Comparison of Florida 15 with three cigar-wrapper tobacco varieties for morphological characteristics and
disease resistance, 1962 1964.
No. Leaves Ht. Last
10th Leaf Measurements .:> 16" in Leaf l16" in Total Leaf Internode Days to Root Indices
Variety Length (in) Width (in) Length Length Number Length (in) Flower Black Shank Root Rot
Florida 15 22.0 12.7 23.8 90.2 28.3 3.6 68 7 52
Dixie Shade L-4 20.8 12.8 25.4 92.4 30.5 3.7 72 2 66
Rg 20.2 12.9 25.6 97.6 32.7 3.7 72 2 55
No. 63 21.4 12.9 24.5 83.3 30.0 3.4 69 4 59
North Florida Experiment Station
Table 2.--Comparison of Florida 15 with three cigar-wrapper tobacco varieties for yield and quality, 1962-1964.
18-Lea Yil oa il f-oo ak Tne rds123GaeCo
Dixie Shade L-4
(1) Grade index Calculated by applying to the grade records a scale of comparative values, beginning with 1.000 for the
best grade and decreasing for inferior grades.
(2) Crop index Calculated by multiplying the yield by the grade index.