Tobacco hanging on front porch of house Farm Life and Tobacco


broadside for Short Course for Tobacco Growers at State College, January 18-22, 1937
Photos of boy on tractor in tobacco field and boy hanging tobaccoA lot of work goes into growing tobacco. The process is an intensive, tedious, year-round occupation, and for many years involved a series of grueling operations largely done by hand. Literature dealing with the subject of tobacco culture from the seventeenth centurybrochures for Flue Cured Tobacco Barn Construction and Short Course for Tobacco Growers to the present is replete with complaints about the laborious nature of tobacco farming. The process has been updated; tasks such as harvesting tobacco, formerly done by hand, are now done with mechanical tobacco harvesters.

Photos of planting tobacco and harvesting tobacco





Seeds are sown in beds with meticulous care. An ounce of seed planted in 100 square yards can produce 3 to 4 acres of flue cured tobacco or 2 to 3 acres of Burley. After six to ten weeks, the Photo of people hanging tobaccoseedlings are transplanted to fields that have been combed clean. Plants are "topped" before the seed head develops, except for those needed to provide seeds for the next year. Farmers remove the suckers or "sucker" the plants and must contend with hornworms. Tobacco is also dependent on the weather. Too much rain, too much sun, or a hailstorm can destroy a crop. The position of leaves on the stalk controls their properties and their commercial value. Growers of flue-cured tobacco recognize two grades, leaf and lugs. Lugs are the leaves on the lower half of the brochures titled "Kill Weeds and Nematodes in Tobacco Plant Beds" and "North Carolina Agricultural Statistics Tobacco"plant. The process of "priming" or picking individual leaves off the stalks is a common form of harvesting for flue-cured tobacco. In preparation for market, leaves are sorted. Sales by auction at warehouses have been the means of selling tobacco since the 1840's.