How to Grow Tobacco

How to grow and process tobacco at home for personal use. This is a non-commercial hobby website.
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 Post subject: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:32 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 9:40 pm
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Location: The Real Columbia River Gorge in Skamania County Southern Washington State Member # 1439
http://youtu.be/50znbXjt4IU


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 5:12 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:02 am
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
:-)

Larry and his son... up one row, and back again, as always...

Nice of him to post some vids... hope he puts up more!

Tnx Dan,
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:24 am 
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I thought my heart would skip a beat when he started throwing 8-10 inch leaf on the ground! LOL. Next year I will bring my truck and follow him if he would tell me where.

In all seriousness, where can I get Admire? Isn't that a chemical? If he sprayed BT like I do he wouldn't have any worm holes.


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 4:47 am 
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Location: NW England UK
wastoute wrote:
I thought my heart would skip a beat when he started throwing 8-10 inch leaf on the ground! LOL. Next year I will bring my truck and follow him if he would tell me where. .


Mine too - what a waste!


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:36 am 
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
In BigBonner's commercial production, the greatest total of quality leaf is the goal. Topping to a lower number of leaves, as he does, yields very large, high-quality leaf, and decreases the handling cost of smaller, less valuable leaf. I guess that what I'm saying is that what you see in the video is the way to get the most from your tobacco growing.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2012 8:17 am 
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oldhag wrote:
wastoute wrote:
I thought my heart would skip a beat when he started throwing 8-10 inch leaf on the ground! LOL. Next year I will bring my truck and follow him if he would tell me where. .


Mine too - what a waste!



Try topping tobacco like that some time and then come back and say what a waste . I say you will be saying what a leaf . The leaves will grow longer and wider . This make less leaves we have to strip which means when you handle 160,000 stalks of tobacco thats around 3,200,000 leaves to pick .

If I left four more leaves on each stalk that equals 640,000 more small leaves to pick .In turn equals more labor that cost us farmers more out of pocket money and cuts proffits .

Now topping the way we do will produce more pounds per acre than leaving more smaller leaves on the stalk .


Admire . There are generic admire products out there . Like Deluxestogie has said it is bad for honey bees . I make sure mine goes under the ground where they can't get at it .

With a few holes the one in the video is only one in maybe 150 that has worm damage . This tobacco had nothing but sunshine and very little rain on it after it was planted . Some worm damage is acceptable compared to over dosing with any chemical .


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Mon Sep 17, 2012 8:10 am 
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Location: NB Canada
Some worm damage is acceptable compared to over dosing with any chemical .[/quote]


Commendable sentiment, old son.

IPM (Integrated Pest Management) at work! Saves time, money and the environment!


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:01 pm 
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Location: Burlington, CT
I hadn't seen this video til now, a day after I stalk harvested all that remained after individual leaf priming over the past few month or so. When I topped them, I thought the only object was to take off the flower, so I removed ONLY the flower and a little bit of the stem under the head. I was wondering as I stalk harvested what I will do with the smaller leaves on the top 1/3 of the plant after it cures. Are the little and tiny leaves not worth smoking at all? I grow just enough for me, maybe 20 plants, so time=money is not really a concern. Should I cut off the tiny and/or smallish leaves and throw them away? Are they nasty/bitter/won't ever cure?
Also, why is it that yellow leaves on the ground are "compost"? (I read that in this forum- can't recall just where). I gathered a few of them just to see how they would cure. Some of the leaves on the ground were just nasty from rot or frail/thin/aphid damage.
Also, what can you tell me about Admire? I fought aphids all season long. Tried Sevin dust, but stopped. Didn't work on aphids, but killed ladybugs dead. Not acceptable. I would like to be as chem free as possible. Does Admire kill ladybugs or other beneficial insects (I heard from the video "honeybees", and would like to avoid that. Is there an application that protects honeybees?

Thanks,
John


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:52 pm 
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Location: near Blacksburg, VA
I'll just address the matter of smaller top leaf.

Leaf closer to the top of the plant is always stronger, often more flavorful, and sometimes more difficult to color-cure than lower leaf. For my cigars, I use top leaf that has been color-cured and kilned as a condiment in the filler blend. Likewise, for pipe tobacco, a small proportion of top leaf will intensify the strength and flavor of a blend. Some upper leaf will kiln to a nearly black oscuro, and may be suitable for a deeply flavored, chocolaty, sweet cigar wrapper. If you prime it as soon as it is mature (rather than allowing it to become rank and deeply wrinkled--it usually won't ever yellow on the plant), then you will have your best shot at getting it to color-cure.

I string and hang top leaf in the shed. For some varieties, color-curing requires the entire winter and spring. When the following summer rolls around, they go into the kiln for a month. These typically come out a very dark brown color, and a thick, leathery texture. Some of it is a treasure; some of it is crap.

Bob


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:28 pm 
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.
"Some of it is a treasure; some of it is crap."

Yah, I've got a bunch of experiments here and there.. most came out the latter of the options.
..so they just sit there, aging, in hopes time may improve them, or I hear of, or dream up some scheme for improvement.

I once bought an ounce of latakia from a tobacconist, when I was messing around with a pipe. Don't like it, and it doesn't contribute a flavor I like to the blend, in any amount! lol

Always fun to experiment, though.
:-)


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 10:27 am 
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Topping tobacco to a large leaf makes the other leaves grow bigger .
In tobacco production the less leaf picking to do means less labor .
If you leave all the smaller leaves ( 28 to 30 ) on the plants and get 2400 pounds per acre
Or you can top the plants to a bigger leaf (18 to 22 ) with less leaves per plant and still come out with 2400 pounds per acre .
That's a average of 10 leaves less per plant that I did not have to pick to get the same amount of pounds per acre .
Times that by 7200 plants per acre and by 25 acres .


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Sun Sep 22, 2013 2:04 pm 
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Location: central coast of Kalifornia
Always good to have Larry drop in to visit!
:-)
rc


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Tue May 20, 2014 11:52 am 
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Location: Richmond VA
bigbonner wrote:
Topping tobacco to a large leaf makes the other leaves grow bigger .
In tobacco production the less leaf picking to do means less labor .
If you leave all the smaller leaves ( 28 to 30 ) on the plants and get 2400 pounds per acre
Or you can top the plants to a bigger leaf (18 to 22 ) with less leaves per plant and still come out with 2400 pounds per acre .
That's a average of 10 leaves less per plant that I did not have to pick to get the same amount of pounds per acre .
Times that by 7200 plants per acre and by 25 acres .




Good Ol' sensitivity analysis at work. Makes sense to me.

So for us smaller home growers, it would make sense to top a lil' less just to maximize our crops in our "small" gardens.


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 4:47 pm 
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Location: Stockbridge, GA
I am wondering if you could take what was topped, hang it up upside down and whole in the shade and start color curing it? Would the tobacco produced from it be worthwhile for pipes, which leaf size is not a primary concern?


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 Post subject: Re: Here's how to top Tobacco
PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2014 6:49 am 
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McFortner wrote:
I am wondering if you could take what was topped, hang it up upside down and whole in the shade and start color curing it? Would the tobacco produced from it be worthwhile for pipes, which leaf size is not a primary concern?


Yes
You could pick the leaves off the top that you break out and string them on wire or string and hang . They will be thin but useable .
Cure them in some place that is cool and dry . Fast cure or sun will result in green in the leaf after curing .


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