AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT BULLETIN STATION

AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT BULLETIN STATION
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PUBLICATIONS
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, AND MARKETING
By WARREN T. CLARKE
Sun-curing Turkish Type Tobacco.
BULLETIN
Note use of giant reed
No. 366
June, 1923
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA PRESS
BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA
1923
poles.
David P. Barrows, President of the University.
EXPERIMENT STATION STAFF
HEADS OF DIVISIONS
Thomas Forsyth Hunt, Dean.
Edward J. Wickson, Horticulture
,
M. Haring, Veterinary
C.
(Emeritus).
Director of Resident Instruction.
Science, Director of Agricultural Experiment Station.
B. H. Crocheron, Director of Agricultural Extension.
C. B.
Hutchison, Plant Breeding, Director of the Branch of the College of
Agriculture at Davis.
J. Webber, Sub-tropical Horticulture, Director
William A. Setchell, Botany.
H.
Myer
of Citrus Experiment Station.
E. Jaffa, Nutrition.
Ralph E. Smith, Plant Pathology.
John W. Gilmore, Agronomy.
Charles F. Shaw, Soil Technology.
John W. Gregg, Landscape Gardening and
Floriculture.
Frederic T. Bioletti, Viticulture and Fruit Products.
Warren T. Clarke, Agricultural Extension.
Ernest B. Babcock, Genetics.
Gordon H. True, Animal Husbandry.
Walter Mulford, Forestry.
James T. Barrett, Plant Pathology.
W. P. Kelley, Agricultural Chemistry.
H.
J.
Quayle, Entomology.
Elwood Mead, Rural
H.
S.
L. D.
Institutions.
Reed, Plant Physiology.
Batchelor, Orchard Management.
W. L. Howard, Pomology.
*Frank Adams, Irrigation Investigations.
Roadhouse, Dairy Industry.
Adams, Farm Management.
W. B. Herms, Entomology and Parasitology.
John E. Dougherty, Poultry Husbandry.
D. R. Hoagland, Plant Nutrition.
G. H. Hart, Veterinary Science.
C. L.
R. L.
L. J. Fletcher, Agricultural Engineering.
Edwin
*
C.
Voorhies, Assistant
to the
Dean.
In cooperation with Division of Agricultural Engineering, Bureau of Public Roads, U.
Department
of Agriculture.
S.
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING,
AND MARKETING
By
WAEEEN
T.
1
CLAEKE
CONTENTS
page
639
644
649
General Discussion
Varieties
and Improvement through Selection
Climate
651
Soils
Preparation of the
Cultivation
Land
652
654
656
658
659
660
662
663
666
666
666
666
672
673
675
—Irrigation
The Seed Bed
Transplanting
Field Treatment
and Picking
First Operation in Curing
Curing Barns
Some
Suggestions
Fermentation, Grading, and Marketing
Methods of Fermenting Turkish Tobacco
Bulk Fermentation
Bale Fermentation
Marketing Turkish Type Tobacco
Pests
*
Appendix
The tobacco plant (Nicotiana tdbacum) is a native of the western
It takes its botanical name from Jean Nicot who introduced its use to the French court between 1555 and 1560. It takes
its specific name from a tube called the 'tabaco, used by the natives
The plant has a rather
of Haiti for smoking and for taking snuff.
close family relationship to the tomato and potato and to the so-called
hemisphere.
'
nightshades.
The
first
Caucasian visitors to the western continents found the
and
was highly esteemed by these native Indians and was
considered by them to have a certain medicinal value. They understood well the process of curing the leaf and there is small doubt
that the product turned out by them was of good quality.
In some
cases the smoking of tobacco assumed a certain ceremonial v.alue.
natives using the leaves of this plant for smoking, chewing,
snuffing.
It
1 Acknowledgment is made to Daniel S. Neuman, of Napa, California, for
valuable suggestions and material furnished; to Mr. Alfred Aram, President,
Associated Tobacco Growers, Inc., of California, for assistance rendered and
for the section on fermentation, grading, and marketing; to Mr. E. J. Moorehead of Crows Landing for valuable data furnished and to members of the staff
of the Experiment Station who have read and criticised this manuscript.
640
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
The smoking'
EXPERIMENT STATION
"pipe of peace" meant a sacred ratification of
between tribes and an
ending- of wars between the colonists and the Indians.
The English
colonists soon began to use tobacco and it came to fill a rather important place in the colonies as a medium of barter and exchange.
It soon found its way to England and to the continent of Europe
through trade channels and has since come into general use throughof the
treaties looking to a cessation of hostilities
out the world.
The
alkaloid, nicotine,
which
is
the distinguishing feature of to-
In the cured leaf
but minute quantities of this alkaloid are found and the material however used becomes a very mild narcotic. It has, however, enough of this
bacco,
is
a violent poison in the concentrated form.
narcotic effect to be habit-forming, and perhaps this fact accounts for
the very wide use of tobacco
all
over the world.
The general demand for the cured leaf stimulated tobacco growing in America and generally throughout the islands contiguous to
our southeastern coast until now the growing (fig. 1) and curing of
tobacco is an extremely important industry on this continent and
in the islands of Cuba, Haiti, and others of the West Indian group.
Some idea of this importance may be gathered from the fact that
nearly seven hundred million pounds of the cured leaf is annually
used in the United States in the manufacture of cigars, cigarettes,
snuff, and smoking and chewing tobacco.
Not alone
cultural crop.
in this country, however, is tobacco
It
is
grown
in greater
an important agri-
or less quantities in other
particularly in certain regions in southeastern Europe,
Asia Minor, Servia, the Levant generally, and in Greece. But the
origin of practically all the varieties now grown throughout the
world for commercial purposes may be traced to the continent of
America. Some two hundred years ago tobacco growing began in
This industry
the regions designated, seed from America being used.
was begun and carried forward under Turkish auspices and the term
"Turkish tobacco" was early applied to the product. The Turkish
taste was and is for a very mild tobacco, of good aroma and bouquet,
mellow and of good burning qualities. It is used by the people where
it is grown almost exclusively for cigarettes and is esteemed all over
Some twenty-five
the world for its great delicacy and mildness.
million pounds of this so-called Turkish tobacco is annually imported
to this country and used in the manufacture of cigarettes.
Some twenty-five to thirty years ago the growing of Turkish
Occasional individuals, mainly
tobacco was begun in California.
Armenians and Greeks, succeeded in getting seed from their native
countries,
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
641
lands.
This was a difficult matter because of the embargo placed
upon the exportation of seed, and devious means of evasion were
employed.
It
seemed to satisfy these early importers that the seed
came from known districts but there was no certainty that the seed
was from plants that were true to type and not cross-pollinated. The
plants were given the name of the district from which the seed came,
such as Samsoon (Samsoun, Sampsoon), Cavalla, Smyrna, etc. As
—A
field of
Fig. 1.
crates in foreground.
Turkish tobacco, Yolo County, California.
Carrying
a matter of fact, the plants grown showed no uniformity of type.
From
the same lot of seed would come plants showing the rather
large, fleshy, sessile leaves of
the cleanly petiolate leaves of
Samsoon through many variations to
Dubaka (figs. 2-3). These early im-
porters of seed and growers of tobacco practiced no selection of
plants for seed purposes nor did they adequately guard against cross-
The result was a jumble of types, good, indifferent,
Curing methods were faulty and with an occasional exception the final product was harsh and unusable save for low grade
pollination.
and poor.
products.
—EXPERIMENT
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA-
642
Somewhat
STATION
approximately fifteen to twenty years ago, an
apparently serious effort to produce Turkish tobacco was begun by
the American Tobacco Company, the so-called Trust.
Their plantings, which were quite extensive, were made in Tulare County about
the settlement of Yettem and near Exeter. In this set of plantings Greek and Armenian families that had been tobacco growers
in the old country were placed upon the land and they were encouraged in every way to continue their hereditary occupation as growers
and curers of tobacco. It was reported that for some cause not
fully explained but evidently economic, this attempt was not a great
success.
On the dissolution of the so-called trust into its component parts the interest in the work languished and the experiment
later,
ended.
About 1908 the
so-called
"Exeter Tobacco Ranch," reputed
to
be an enterprise of the American Tobacco Company, produced some
very fair tobacco on
its
properties near Exeter.
From
the same
source was issued about 1912 an undated pamphlet entitled "Infor-
mation on the Culture of Tobacco in California." In this pamphlet
the writers go very fully into the matter of culture and curing.
They state that "The final result expected is that the general farmer
will, aided by our experiments, produce in quality, tobacco that will
interest manufacturers and on its own merits command a profitable
price for the farmer." For unexplained reasons the pamphlet was
quickly withdrawn from circulation. Though it had but a limited
circulation so far as we can learn, it undoubtedly helped to stimulate interest in this crop because of the belief expressed in the possibilities of
producing a good grade of Turkish tobacco in this
state.
For the last ten years plantings of Turkish tobacco both commercial
and experimental have been made in many of the counties of the
state and our knowledge of both cultural and curing methods has
increased greatly. The success of the business depends mainly on
economic factors, though the application of improved cultural and
curing methods is necessarj^.
It is to be noted that the pioneers in this work had great difficulty in disposing of the product.
This is traceable to two causes.
In the first place, owing to improper growing methods, failure to
select s^ed-producing plants and hence mixture of types, poor and
incomplete curing and lack of aging, the product offered for sale
usually did not compare favorably with the imported tobacco. In
the second place there has been an evident reluctance on the part
of manufacturers of tobacco products to use the California product
to
any great extent, even when
it
is
of good quality.
These two
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
facts have caused
the
new
An
many growers
to give
up the attempt
643
to establish
industry.
interesting fact in connection with this lack of
California-grown tobacco
is
that
it
resulted in
demand
many thousands
for
of
pounds of fair tobacco being stowed away in barns and almost forgotten.
The tobacco was forced by circumstances into a protracted
aging which resulted in great improvement of quality.
Fig.
2.
—Dubaka
leaf closely ap-
proaching Cavalla type.
—
Fig. 3.
Samsoon leaf,
character.
Note
ses-
sile
Gradually the fact has become recognized that the California
growers would have to enter the manufacturing field themselves to
obtain an adequate recognition of the good quality of their product
and a fair money return. Early in 1922 a company was organized
This company, a
to handle California-grown Turkish tobacco.
pioneer in a new field, is now turning out in the neighborhood of
a half -million cigarettes monthly.
Their product is finding a ready
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
644
EXPERIMENT STATION
The enterprise, though small, indicates
what can be done and it should be expanded largely but not as a
private enterprise. Undoubtedly the consuming public appreciates
sale in the retail market.
the finished product of our
California
Turkish tobacco growers,
curers and manufacturers.
There is naturally room for much improvement all along the
and it is hoped this publication in presenting the facts brought
out by experimental work and by commercial planters may aid in
establishing the industry on a firm agricultural base.
line
VARIETIES AND IMPROVEMENT THROUGH SELECTION
The term "Turkish tobacco" applies to the varieties of tobacco
grown mainly in southern Macedonia, Turkey, Asia Minor, Servia,
Greece, and the Levant generally.
It is characteristically small leafed
as compared with Dark tobacco, light leafed Burley, Sumatra seed
tobacco, and Cuban tobaccos.
These varieties are the main reliance
of the tobacco growers of the eastern states and are grown in the
eastern tobacco sections to the exclusion of the Turkish type.
The
usable leaf of the Turkish tobacco grown in California ranges in
length from two inches to about ten inches and in width from one
inch to six inches. This range in size is found on the same plant
from the largest leaves at the bottom to the smallest leaves at the
top or blossom end of the plant
(fig.
4).
By way
of comparison
the leaf of eastern types of tobacco frequently reaches as great a
length as twenty inches with a corresponding width of twelve inches.
The
leaf of
Turkish tobacco
is
small and of fine texture.
Fine-
ness of grain and smallness of ribs are of great importance in deter-
mining the value of Turkish tobacco.
tobacco
is
The cured
leaf of
Turkish
superior to the leaves of other types in the delicate quality
aroma and bouquet.
The difference noted above will serve to distinguish the leaf of
Turkish type from the leaves of other types of tobacco grown in the
of its
United States. In the Turkish group are many variations which
can be traced in California to the soil and climatic conditions under
which the tobacco is grown and to cross-pollination (fig. 5). In the
first serious attempts to produce Turkish leaf in California some
twenty-five to thirty years ago seed was obtained, as previously stated,
by various and sometimes devious ways from different sections of
Macedonia, Turkey, Asia Minor, Servia and Greece. The principal
varieties, so-called, of which seed was imported were Samsoon (Sampsoon, Samsoun), Cavalla, Bafra, Dubaka, and Smyrna.
It is im-
BULLETIN 366]
—
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
645
Fig. 4.
Sun cured leaves. 1-2, sand leaves; 3-4, basma; 5-6-7, gubec; 8-9,
ooch-alte; 10-11, ooch.
The names are those used to designate character
of leaf and position on plant "ooch" being the highest.
EXPERIMENT STATION
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
646
portant to note that these names indicate districts where the leaf
is
grown and cured and,
of tobacco.
extent
in
as
we now know, do not mean
it
may change
of these varieties
the district to which
if
which
Any
it is
was originally grown in
brought
soil
distinct varieties
in character to some
differs
from the
district
or climate or cultural methods,
Further, even when the exchange of
merely from one district to another, the product will gradually assume other characters than those of the district where it was
originally grown.
This sensitiveness of the Turkish tobacco plant to
its environment and to the care it receives is very marked and together with cross-pollination has resulted in the jumble of types
grown in California. Indeed there is not now to be found here any
considerable quantity of any of the so-called varieties noted above,
but each district in the state where Turkish tobacco has been grown
has developed a type of its own differing materially from the original.
In some cases this variation has resulted in improvement, in
or
if
seed
cross-pollination occurs.
is
others in deterioration.
The grower of tobacco should know the local conditions and be
prepared to meet them by developing suitable variations of high
quality.
Experiments made by Shamel 2 with the tobaccos of the
Atlantic states showed great virility and viability in seed from selfpollinated flowers.
The desirable features, if such were present, were
transmitted through the seed, as were the undesirable features. This
teaches that by
means
of proper, well directed seed selection a plant
of high quality can be developed
and maintained.
Shamel 's method
was, briefly, as follows:
First, Selection.
—Plants that
show the characters desired by the
grower should be chosen while growing in the
field.
Size of leaf;
color of leaf at tip as ripening approaches; fineness of leaf texture
(a thick, fleshy leaf
tobacco)
;
small,
is
fine
not satisfactory
veins
or ribs;
when
early
dealing with Turkish
maturity; comparative
absence of suckers growing out of the plant at leaf bases;
items should be considered
producers.
The
when
all
these
choosing or selecting plants as seed
selected plants should be well
priming begins the leaf pickers will
marked
so that
when
allow their leaves to remain on
the plant.
—
The grower should watch these selected plants
and when the blossom panicle forms should carefully cut off
one or two whorls of leaves immediately below the beginning flowers.
Second, Isolation.
closely
The Improvement of Tobacco by Breeding and
T).
Boole of the Department of Agriculture, 1904, pp. 435-452.
sShamel, Archibald
Selection.
Year
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
647
The operator should provide himself with a number of paper
bags of the kind that when open the bottom assumes an angular
roof-like form.
As soon as the first blossom shows color the panicle
should be covered with a paper bag.
This should be brought
to-
gether about the plant below the blossoms and lightly tied so as to
exclude bees and other pollen bearing insects.
Dubo-Aa.
Fig.
5.
— Hybrids,
x
These plants should
Sa
Samsoon x Dubaka. Occasional desirable
types are thus produced.
be watched carefully and the paper bags occasionally raised slightly
and retied so that the blossoms may have ample room for expansion.
The leaves should not be removed from the seed plants, and suckers
should be pinched out as soon as they appear, as the full strength
of the plant should go into seed production.
is a prolific producer of seed, as many
maturing to each capsule, still a comparatively
large number of plants should be selected so that there will be no
Though
the tobacco plant
as 1000 to 1500 seeds
possibility of shortage of seed for the next year's planting.
Ripeness
648
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
EXPERIMENT STATION
determined by the capsules turning brown and brittle. When
been attained the capsules can be removed green or
unripe ones being discarded, placed in a bag, and the bags should
be of muslin, close- woven, and without holes. The partly filled bags
should be hung in a cool, dry, well ventilated place until the capsules break easily.
Then the bags, tightly closed, can be beaten
with a padded paddle so as to thoroughly break up the capsules
and thus liberate the seed. The whole contents of the bag can then
be poured out on a sieve of rather small mesh and the loose seed
sifted into some sort of container.
The seed is now ready for dry
storage until seeding time comes again. If the seed is intended for
sale it should be cleaned by repeated screening in a light draft.
Care
easily
must be taken not to make this too strong as the seed can be
blown away. In some cases seed is cleaned by pouring it into water.
The chaff and light seeds float while the good seed sinks. If this
process is followed, the water, chaff, and light seed should be poured
off as soon as possible and the good seed drained and dried in the
shade. Unless the seed is to be used immediately the drying should
be very carefully done as damp seed soon moulds.
It should be noted that the persistance of type in self -pollinated,
3
selected Cuban tobacco is emphasized by the studies of Hasselbring
who finds that environment has little if anything to do with the
breaking up of types. This does not seem to coincide with our Califis
this stage has
ornia field experience.
The breaking-up
of type
when
•
speed,
and Clausen. 4
is
noted
Setchell,
Good-
cross-pollination occurs
in the studies of Calif ornia-grown tobacco
made by
All of this seems to emphasize the necessity
for selection.
By means
of careful selection, isolation,
and care of the seed the
planter should be able to develop plants that give a high grade
product uniformly throughout his plantation.
There
is
no doubt
that this apparently extreme care pays.
sHeinrich Hasselbring tvpes of Cuban Tobacco. The Botanical Gazette,
(The University of Chicago), vol. 53, No. 2, February, 1912, pp. 113-126,
plates IV-X.
* Setchell, W. A., Goodspeed, T. H., and Clausen, K. E., Inheritance in
Nicotiana tabacum, Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot., vol. 5. pp. 457-582, 2 figures in
text, plants 55-85, April 14, 1922.
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
649
CLIMATE
The climatic conditions of the valleys of the Sacramento and the
San Joaquin rivers have been found to be only fairly satisfactory
for tobacco growing. While it must be acknowledged that the extremely high temperature sometimes experienced in these valleys,
together with the lack of atmospheric humidity, render the task
of producing a good tobacco difficult,
been obtained in Placer,
Fig.
6.
(fig.
6)
still
fairly
Sutter,
Yolo,
good results have
Sacramento, San
—A good quality of hydrid leaf grown in Placer County,
California.
Joaquin, Stanislaus, Fresno, Tulare, and other valley counties.
Fair
grades of tobacco have been grown in San Diego, San Benito, Los
Angeles, Santa Cruz, and Contra Costa counties. An exceedingly
good grade of leaf has been grown and cured in Napa County.
The counties noted exhibit a considerable range of climate, yet fairly
satisfactory results have been obtained in each case.
The adaptability
of the tobacco plant to various climates as here seen is very marked.
However, the tobacco plant is very sensitive to sharp temperature
changes between day and night. Such changes are very marked in
our great valleys and the condition is undesirable. In the foothill
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
650
EXPERIMENT STATION
sections bordering these valleys such temperature changes are not
so
marked and the conditions are
that extent more favorable.
to
Regions where the heat of the day and the cold of the night are
modified by the influence of the ocean offer the best conditions in
this respect.
may
It
be said that the conditions prevailing in the great valleys
are conducive to rank growth of the plants and a not wholly satis-
These conditions make the work of curing much more
than when more moderate heat conditions prevail. Further,
because of its rather soft, fleshy character the leaf may sunburn.
This danger is more imminent as the leaf approaches maturity and
greater change is going on in the tissue. In sections where some
fog occurs, where there is some precipitation of dew at night, and
yet where there is ample sunlight in the middle of the day, the climatic conditions more nearly meet the needs of the tobacco plants.
factory leaf.
difficult
The
shown
The quality
restrictions of climatic conditions are plainly
plantings in various parts of this state.
soon and Dubaka and certain crosses between these
grown
in the lower
Napa
in the tobacco
of leaf,
(figs.
2,
Sam3,
5),
where the favorable climatic condiis particularly fine.
The aroma and
valley
mentioned above prevail,
bouquet while quite marked are not harsh nor strong. Sun curing
is comparatively easy and the danger of sunburn is at a minimum.
Enough is now known to prove that the climatic conditions best
suited to tobacco are found where the ocean influences are plainly
Yet it must not be inferred that the big valleys of the state
felt.
The fair product coming from them and
are worthless for this crop.
especially from their foothills is proof that Turkish tobacco can
tions
be successfully grown in them.
plant to
tions
its
make
it
The
sensitiveness of the tobacco
adherence to type under given condiespecially easy for the grower to develop varieties
environment and
its
suited to the climatic conditions of his
own
tion regarding the influence of the ocean
is
ranch.
The observa-
in line with the experi-
ence of the Turkish tobacco sections of southeastern Europe and
Asia Minor where some atmospheric humidity is the rule. Garner
states: "In the portion of southern Macedonia around the port of
Cavalla and other nearby towns and in the Smyrna, Trebizond and
Samsoun districts of Asia Minor are grown the finest cigarette tobaccos in the world." 5 It is worthy of note that the climates of
the districts mentioned are modified by the influences of sea and
sGarner, W. W., Physiologist in charge of tobacco investigations, Bureau
of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture, article on Tobacco in Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 26, pp. 658-665.
BULLETIN 366]
fog.
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
651
These regions closely approximate the climatic conditions found
in the small coastal valleys of California.
hand there are undoubtedly very large areas
From
the evidence in
in the big valleys
a fair grade of leaf can be produced and* also
much
where
territory in
smaller valleys where a most excellent product can be and
is
being
turned out.
SOILS
A very wide range of soils can be successfully used for growing
Turkish tobacco. Good crops have been noted on even such recalcitrant soils as the adobes.
Because of the difficulty of properly
working adobe soils and the coarseness of the leaf produced on them,
the adobes should in most cases be avoided. A further objection to
adobe soils is found in the difficulty experienced at transplanting
time.
It is very difficult to set the young and tender tobacco plants
in the adobes and a poor stand frequently results.
The plant, however, makes a wonderfully strong growth when once it has taken
hold, provided the moisture content of the soil has been kept at the
best by good cultural methods.
Indeed the* objection is often made
to the adobe soils that the tobacco plant makes too rank a growth
on them.
In order with the adobes come the clay loams. These, too, are
hard to work to a fine tilth but when so worked are excellent for
Turkish tobacco, giving good yields of an excellent leaf provided
the climatic conditions are right. With these clay loam soils careful methods of preparation are necessary to secure the best results.
The loams on the whole may be considered as good soils for this
work down to the necessary
and are usually well supplied with
The yield of leaf on the
the elements necessary for plant growth.
loams is usually excellent and the quality is good.
Sandy loams are usually very easy to work and their ability to
The quality of leaf produced on them
retain moisture is excellent.
The yield is
is very good, of fine aroma and satisfactory color.
not so great ordinarily as on the previously mentioned soils.
The very sandy soils are light producers, easy to work but poorly
A leaf of very fine quality is grown on soils
retentive of moisture.
of this type and though a light tonnage may be expected on the
whole they are to be classed as thoroughly good soils for Turkish
They are usually
crop.
fairly easy to
fineness, are retentive of moisture,
tobacco.
The
are,
if
silts
tilth
which have a tendency to run together and puddle
can be maintained, fairly satisfactory for this crop.
652
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
EXPERIMENT STATION
Their variability of structure and character make them hard soils
manage and Turkish tobacco crops on such soils are apt to show
much variation in style of leaf, and hence are difficult to harvest
properly. Nevertheless good tonnages have been reported on the
to
•
silt
the great valleys of the state.
soils of
The most satisfactory soil for Turkish tobacco is a sandy loam
with a considerable admixture of wash gravel and broken rock containing a good quantit}^ of lime. Such soils may be low in their
nitrogen content but this is an advantage so far as the tobacco plant
is
concerned.
Turkish tobacco grown on such
be of high quality with excellent leaves which,
develop a fine aroma and bouquet.
These
soils
would normally
when properly
soils
cured,
would be considered
of rather low agricultural value for other field crops or for orchard
Of
this type are the best soils for tobacco production in
Macedonia, Greece, and other countries. Such soils
are to be found in our Sierra foothills and on the valley edges of the
They at present maintain a meager agricoast range of mountains.
culture but with intelligent care on the part of the grower could be
made to produce remunerative crops of Turkish tobacco. It should
purposes.
the Levant,
be noted that the main plantings of tobacco have so far been made
mostly under the climatic conditions of our big valleys and on comparatively heavy
soils.
The
result has been a sacrifice of quality
in favor of quantity.
It will be
observed that Turkish tobacco
various soils and that so far as this item
But its
when grown on one type of soil prostrongly from the leaf grown on another.
over a wide range of territory.
to varying
soil
conditions and
duces a leaf that
The variations
is very adaptable to
concerned can be grown
character is very sensitive
is
may
will
differ
show in the
size
and texture
of the leaf, in the
coarseness or fineness of the midrib, in aroma, and in burning qualities.
It is therefore uncertain what the character of the leaf will be
on a given soil until the crop has been grown, harvested and cured.
Commercial plantings that have been under observation show that
a given soil will, with occasional rests and rotations, develop uniformly a characteristic type of leaf provided a rational system of
seed selection has been followed.
PREPARATION OF THE LAND
Turkish tobacco growing is a highly specialized form of agriculture
and requires careful methods of work at all stages. This is as necessary in the matter of land preparation as in all the other operations
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
The
together.
653
should be well supplied with decaying organic
soil
A
good top dressing of stable, cow yard, or sheep manure
or of chicken droppings should be given the land in September before
the first rains. Lacking these organic manures a good summer cover
crop should be grown on the intended tobacco field. After the first
rains the field should be plowed deep, turning under the manure
matter.
dressing or the cover crop so that the material
the
soil.
An
is
well
worked
into
old alfalfa field that has been pastured for several
seasons can be advantageously used, provided the alfalfa has been
thoroughly killed out in the plowing process. Such a field usually
is well supplied with organic matter at and close to the surface.
The
plowing must be well done and no "cut and cover" work should
It should always be borne in mind that good careful
work in preparation saves much labor in working the land when the
be tolerated.
crop
is in.
plowing the land should be allowed to lie
weeks to two months. At the end of this
period the land should be gone over with a weed knife and such
weeds as have appeared destroyed. If the field is an old alfalfa
patch a good heavy hoe should be used to destroy such of the alfalfa
plants as were not killed by the original plowing. It should be borne
in mind that the more weeds and foul growths that are destroyed
at this time the easier will be the work of keeping the field clean
Following this
first
unworked for from
when
six
Again the field should
be allowed to remain undisturbed and unworked until spring. At
this time when danger of frost is about over the field should be put
in a state of fine tilth by either plowing to a depth of about four
the tobacco plants are set and growing.
it or by going over it with a
Treatment such as this should put the
inches and then lightly harrowing
disc cultivator
two ways.
land in excellent condition. Of course the treatment of the soil will
have to vary from the above ideal with the varying seasonal climatic
conditions but the planter should come as near to it as possible.
Not only does such careful work greatly reduce the labor of weed
control but
it
increases the moisture retention possibilities of the
soil.
This latter item is one of very considerable importance as the tobacco
plant is a great user of water and the transpiration of water vapor
through the leaves is very considerable.
The field then being in a state of good tilth, low back-furrows
should be run about four feet apart north and south the length of
the field. A light harrow should be run over these back-furrows
This should leave the back-fnrrowed portion of the
lengthwise.
field slightly
higher than the rest and on this raised portion or low
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
654
EXPERIMENT STATION
young plants should be set about two feet apart. This
arrangement allows easy cultivation between the rows, and, if irrigation is practiced, the ridged condition in a measure protects the
tobacco plants against direct contact with the water.
The width between the plants in the rows will in a measure have
The general rule that
to be determined by the character of the soil.
ridge the
the richer the soil the closer should be the plants in the
row holds
good.
CULTIVATION AND IRRIGATION
The careful preparation of the land makes the soil retentive of
The great expanse of leaf surface presented in a field
of Turkish tobacco that is growing well means a very considerable
transpiration of water vapor and so every effort must be made to
avoid further loss of soil moisture through evaporation (fig. 1). The
moisture.
field
should be gone over with a light cultivator at rather frequent
This keeps the
intervals.
soil
in good tilth,
destroys weeds, and
thus overcomes transpiration of water vapor through the weed leaves.
The space between the plants in the row should be gone over with a
hoe occasionally to
work a
kill
out weeds that
better chance
may have
started there.
By
given the tobacco roots to develop
and to use the nutrient elements of the soil. The tobacco plant
this careful
sends out
is
main feeding roots laterally and fairly close to the
optimum of soil moisture conditions must be main-
its
surface, hence the
tained in that region.
This closeness to the surface of the feeding
roots further emphasizes the necessity of shallow, light cultivation
and hoeing.
is
Serious setbacks will result
In occasional
to be avoided
irrigation
is to
cases, irrigation
if possible.
An
if
these roots are destroyed.
may become
necessary, though it
index of the possible necessity of
be found in the condition of the plants themselves.
In the early morning the leaves will be upright and turgid owing
to the fact that there will have been but little transpiration of water
vapor during the night. If during the forenoon, say up to ten
o 'clock, the leaves wilt it is fairly certain there is not enough moisture
in the soil
if
and
irrigation should be resorted to.
wilting does not occur
ture condition
may
till
On
the other hand
well on in the afternoon the soil mois-
be considered good.
should not be done unless there
is
Irrigation of tobacco plants
a positive need of water.
Care
must be exercised to keep the water from coming in contact with
the plant and it should be applied sparingly, as an excess of water
Further, if the plants
is liable to cause root rot and other troubles.
get too much water they will become spindling and weedy the leaves
will become very light colored and thin, with very poor aroma and
;
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
655
In short a
7), and will develop an over-coarse mid-rib.
poor quality will result from the improper and excessive
use of water. To properly apply irrigation water a shallow furrow
should be turned in the center of the rows. A small head of water
should be run down this furrow, care being taken that the water does
not escape from the furrow and form puddles about the plants. In
flavor
(fig.
leaf of
Fig.
7.
— Over-irrigated.
Note thinness of leaf and coarse mid-rib.
water should seep laterally and downward
good supply of water can thus be evenly distributed through the field. As soon as it is possible to get on the
ground after irrigation, the cultivators should be run over the land
Also the interspaces, where
so that no baking or cracking will occur.
the well prepared
fairly rapidly.
field,
A
the cultivator has not broken the ground, should be well hoed.
conservation in the
soil
must be accomplished
with the plants are to be obtained.
if
Water
the best results
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
656
EXPERIMENT STATION
THE SEED BED
Great care must be exercised in preparing the seed bed for
ing the plants later to be transplanted to the
fields.
The
start-
soil of
the
bed should be a light sandy loam well worked several times so that
As near the middle of March as
it will be in a fine state of tilth.
weather conditions permit the ground to be used as a seed bed should
be trenched to a depth of about fourteen inches and to a width of
some four feet (fig. 8). For convenience the bed should be made
about ten feet long. Fresh stable manure should be placed in the
trench so that
when
tamped down the manure layer will
worked bed soil above
Then build sides and ends of ten inch boards to
it
is
well
be six or seven inches thick.
manure
the
layer.
Fill in the well
enclose the bed, filling in soil so that the top of the bed will be about
two or three inches higher than the surrounding land. Provide a
frame of wood strips that will easily fit over the bed sides and ends
and cover this with light sheeting. This cover should be provided
with cross pieces so that the cloth will not sag down to the plants
when they are growing. The manure layer furnishes, through the
process of decay, a considerable amount of bottom heat and when
temperature conditions demand it, the cover can be kept in place
and the whole interior kept warm and in good condition to foster
growth.
Some
over
it,
by burning quantities of straw
In the tobacco sections
method of seed destroying is common. In
planters sterilize the bed
thus destroying
of the eastern states this
soil
many weed
seeds.
our observations, firing the bed soil is not the best practice as it
burns out the organic matter in the soil. This makes the earth puddle
and crust easily, which is a condition that should be avoided. In
the dark tobacco, Burley and Sumatra seed sections, burning the
seed beds and also steaming them is done to destroy weed seed.
These processes are not necessary under our California conditions
provided the seed bed soil has been under preparation for some
time before seeding is done and all weed growth has started and
been destroyed.
The preparation of the seed bed being completed and the last
light raking done, the planter should be prepared to do his seeding.
The tobacco seed is extremely small, ranging not more than one
millimeter in length, and one rounded teaspoonful is ample to seed
'
a bed of the size above described and this in turn will, if germinais good, furnish between five and six thousand plants or enough
tion
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
to set one acre of land.
Some growers mix the
The seed
is
broadcasted in the bed
657
soil.
seed with four or five times the bulk of corn-
meal which helps to an even distribution of the seed. There is a
danger in this practice as under the bed conditions of heat and
moisture molds are likely to develop and seriously injure the young
plants.
In the eastern tobacco growing sections and in a few isolated cases in California powdered gypsum has been used instead
of cornmeal at the rate of four times as much gypsum as seed by
HOT BEZO, CROSS 3ECTJ0N
«Scfl/e,^"-- tfoot
Fig.
volume.
its
This
8.
—Hot
medium
bed showing
detail
of
for carrying the seed
construction
is
very satisfactory as
color affords a ready index as to the evenness of seed distribution,
and though the amount of gypsum
lating effect on the seedlings.
is minute it seems to have a stimuAfter the seed has been broadcasted
it should be lightly brushed in and the soil somewhat compacted
with a board. The bed should be sprinkled with water, not drenched,
and the moisture supply should be kept at the surface until the
plants start.
Much care must be exercised at this time both in the matter of
watering and in that of ventilating the bed. With too much humidity
and warmth the young plants may be killed in great numbers by
"damping off," a fungous disease that attacks them at or about
On the other hand, if the bed is overventithe ground surface.
lated and kept too cool germination may be seriously delayed.
Some
658
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
EXPERIMENT STATION
growers as a precautionary measure dust the beds lightly with finely
powdered sulfur and no doubt this to some degree overcomes danger
of ''damping off."
The germination of tobacco seed is usually slow and in some cases
the seed may not start at all.
It is decidedly a good plan to have
the seed tested for germination. 6
In three trial tests made to determine the germination power of
Turkish tobacco seed grown in California and purchased in the
open market the results were as follows: (The length of test with each
lot
was 15 days.)
Lot 1
Lot 2
Lot 3
These
may
Germination 82.5 per cent
84.0
84.5
be considered good tests and such seed can be safely
used.
TRANSPLANTING
All having gone well with the seed bed and the young plants
having attained a height of from two to four inches, transplanting
to the field should begin.
Ordinarily transplanting occurs from the
middle to the last of April though the exact time will depend on
the advance of the season. A careful study of the work of many
growers shows that a two-to-four-inch seedling is preferred as it
seems to take hold better than the larger plants when planted out
in the field.
The seed bed should be loosened up carefully with a
spading fork and the plants gently drawn and bunched, roots to
roots.
This work should be done preferably on a cloudy day, and
in any case the young drawn plants should be kept moist and in the
shade from the time they are drawn until they are planted in the
field.
If cloudy weather does not occur at planting time then the
work should be done in the late afternoon and evening.
From the seed beds, the plants are taken to the field in boxes
covered with wet sacks. Planting may be done by hand or with a
horse
drawn
planter.
Greater success has been reported from the
when mechanical planters were used than
work was done by hand. If the work is done by hand the
operator should be provided with a wooden dibble or with a narrow
bladed trowel. With these he makes the hole for the young plant
and then sets it, taking care that the roots are worked downward
and that the soil is well compacted about the cro.vn of the plant.
eastern tobacco plantations
when
the
eThis work is done at the seed testing laboratory, State Department of
Agriculture, Sacramento, California.
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
659
The planters should be followed immediately by a tank wagon of
some sort, and each plant should receive about a quart of water to
insure a fair compacting of the earth about the roots and to furnish
the young plant with an ample supply of water during the trying
time of starting new roots.
If
planting machines are used, the labor of this operation
greatly reduced and a
the mechanical planter
made
the ridge
is
more even stand can be expected.
is
Whether
used or the plants are put out by hand,
in preparation of the land should be followed care-
A man
with a hoe should follow the planter, adjust the
covering of the small plants, and cover over wet places so that no
baking of the soil may occur.
The young Turkish tobacco plants have good vitality and should
not show the shock incident to transplanting for more than a day
fully.
or two.
FIELD TREATMENT AND PICKING
From
grow in the field, conand attention must be given them. Shallow cultivation
must be practiced at frequent intervals to destroy weeds and thus
prevent too rapid water transpiration from the soil and so avoid
the necessity of irrigation.
Care must be taken to pinch out the
suckers at the leaf bases as they rob the plant of nutriment and so
For this purpose the patch
detract from the value of the product.
must be gone over every few days. While removing suckers, a lookout for tobacco worms must be maintained and these voracious pests
destroyed when found. Weeds must be hoed out and in fact the
The farmer should have the
best cultural conditions maintained.
best product as his ideal and he may be sure that the plants will
respond to good care. Care must be exercised not to bruise or break
the time the plants have begun to
stant care
leaves as such leaves
The question
as to
make a low grade product.
whether blossoms should be removed can, from
the evidence in hand, be answered in the affirmative.
By
such re-
moval or topping as soon as the panicle begins to form, the strength
and vitality of the plant goes into leaf production and better
Of course the
quality and more uniform size of leaves is the result.
will
bearing
plants
have
to be left as exblossoms of seed bearing
plained on pages 644-648.
If all has gone well, in from forty-five to fifty days after transplanting, the lowest leaves called 'refuse' will show a slight yellowing at the tip and a slight greenish yellow spotting which indicates
ripening.
They are then ready to be picked. Usually these 'refuse'
leaves are ignored, though occasionally they are cured and used in
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
660
making
—EXPERIMENT
STATION
and low grade tobacco products. The tobacco
from the lowest to those near the blossom
panicle and the pickers must go over the field at frequent intervals so that the leaves do not get over-ripe.
Picking of leaves must
be done in the late afternoon and early evening after the temperature has fallen but before the dew begins to fall. This work may
also be done in the morning after the dew has disappeared but before
the heat of the day is on. After the picking of the refuse comes the
taking off of the 'sand' leaves, the next whorl or two above (fig. 4).
These leaves receive their name from the fact that they carry some
dust and grit owing to their nearness to the ground. The next
series above, usually of two whorls, is known as 'basma.
Then comes
the series, usualty again of two whorls, known as 'gubec' (dubec,
dubeque, djubec). These leaves when properly taken and correctly cured are of fine quality and much sought for in the
Next in order comes the smaller leaves known as 'Ooch-alte'
trade.
and Ooch.
These highest, smallest leaves may be not more than
one inch long and still be of the best quality. There is no arbiinsecticides
leaves ripen in order
'
'
'
down to govern the picker in his choice
Expertness in this comes only with practice.
Leaves of a given grade should be kept together in the picking.
For instance the picker taking basma leaves should not mix them
with gubec leaves even though the latter may be in condition to
pick.
These should be taken in a second picking. The leaves should
be handled with care to avoid breakage as much as possible; they
should be carried to light packing cases (fig. 1) and placed in these
in an orderly manner so they may be easily removed without damIf the removal of the blossoms or topping has been practiced
age.
the difference in size of leaves will not be marked.
trary rule that can be set
of leaves for grades.
FIRST OPERATIONS IN CURING
The loosely filled packing cases are taken to the barn or shed,
where stringing is done. This process consists of threading the leaves
on linen or cotton strings with a spear headed needle. The petiole
of the leaf is pierced with the needle about three-quarters of an inch
from the end and the leaves drawn down on the string. The process
may be likened to stringing beads. Some care must be exercised so
The strings should be eight
as not to split the petiole or the leaf.
should be left clear for
inches
stringing
twelve
in
feet long and
The
leaves
on
end.
a string should all face
each
at
tying purposes
touch when the string
spaced
as
not
to
so
should
be
the same way and
A
hanging
down.
quarter of an inch
leaves
the
is stretched and
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
apart has been found to be a satisfactory spacing.
and from an inch
661
Poles seven
an inch and a quarter in diameter
should be provided in quantity. The giant reed (Arundo donax) is
used whenever obtainable as it makes strong yet light poles (frontispiece).
When the string is filled for some six feet of its length
the free ends are tied to either end of the pole, the string being
stretched so that sagging down of the leaves will be reduced to a
feet long
to
minimum when
The racks both in the
the loaded poles are racked.
barn or shed and those used out of doors are made so that the free ends
Fig.
9.
— Small
sun-curing
of the poles will engage
down.
A
rack showing burlap
them and the leaves on the
string should be tied in such a
way
removed.
covers
strings
hang
as to relieve the sag
The poles with their leaf -laden strings are then
at the pole center.
racked in a shed or barn with small free air spaces between the
strings and left in a closed room for from twenty-four to fortyThere must be
is going on
so that the air about the leaves will not became excessively humid.
Too quick wilting or on the other hand too much moisture at this
time will detract from the quality of the leaf. The end of the first
process will be indicated by the leaves turning a greenish yellow to
lemon yellow in color.
After wilting, the strings of leaves on poles are removed to a
larger room or barn and allowed to remain there for twenty -four
hours or an til all the moisture has disappeared. They are then
eight hours for their
first
wilting
(figs.
10-11).
good ventilation in the shed or barn while this process
662
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
removed
to
outside racks
EXPERIMENT STATION
and fig. 9). These racks
ground is not available
either wash gravel of fair size, or
that the curing leaf may hang over
(frontispiece
are best placed over stony ground.
the best plan
If such
is to haul rock,
broken rock, to the rack site so
stony ground. As even a temperature as possible should be kept
about the leaves. This is promoted by the rocky floor which takes
in heat during the day and slowly gives it up at night.
The poles
of leaves can be racked overnight in the barn and this perhaps is
better than leaving them outdoors over the rock floors
Covers of burlap somewhat larger than the area covered by the
racks should be provided (fig. 9). These may be used to shade the
racks of leaves
if
the sun heat becomes excessive, say about 80° F.
The burlap covers should be placed over the racks
if
fog occurs and
They should
hang down at the ends and sides of the racks as far as the leaf
tips do.
They are necessary in properly starting the curing of the
leaf, as they tend to retain radiated heat from the rock bottom and
exclude fog or excess of dew. They are also quite indispensible as
should certainly be in position shortly before sunset.
shade producers if the sun's heat becomes excessive. It may be
necessary to take them off or put them on several times a day to
get the best results.
CURING BARNS
For convenience and economy in handling the tobacco during the
and grading, especially designed barns
are desirable.
Figures 10 and 11 are suggestive of how such barns
stages prior to fermentation
Figure 10 shows the exterior of the barn in
G is a double door affording ingress for
a similar door is placed at the rear allowing egress;
window large enough to allow the passing in of racks
tobacco over tracks like those used in prune curing
is the room for preliminary wilting as described on
should be constructed.
outline.
In
this figure
wagons while
H
is
a double
of strings of
yards and C
page 661.
In figure 11 is the same barn with the front removed to show the
In this figure A indicates the door or eninterior arrangement.
trance; B, a sorting platform; C, the wilting room; D, trusses to
support the garlands (fig. 17) E, controllable ventilators; and F-F,
openings for ventilation. In a barn of this type the rapidity of
curing can be controlled as well as the humidity, by a careful use
;
of the ventilators.
This barn also obviates the necessity of curing the tobacco outIt is extremely difficult to give the tobacco even
temperature day and night by the burlap covering method.
side at night.
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
In the use of this barn,
until about 4 P.
M.
As
all
663
the doors and openings are left open
the temperature outside begins to
tobacco in the process of sun curing outside during the day
fall,
is
the
rolled
and the barn shut tight. Heat colduring
the day will be preserved and a nearly
lected in the barn
uniform temperature between day and night insured.
This style of a barn was developed by Alfred Aram, president
of The Associated Tobacco Growers Inc. of California and has been
It is known as the Pacific Type Cure
successfully used in this state.
House.
into the barn over the tracks
Fig. 10.
— Outline
m
of the Pacific
Type Cure House.
For
detail see text.
•m
F
Fig. 11.
—Section
of a Pacific
Type Cure House.
For
detail see text.
SOME SUGGESTIONS
It will be seen that
Turkish tobacco raising
is
a highly specialized
industry requiring the greatest attention to detail at
all times.
The
grower must exercise judgment and care from the choice of seed to
Of course he could carry the
the end of the preliminary curing.
grading
but on the whole it would
leaf through the fermentation and
be poor policy to do so. The manufacturers demand a uniform pro-
664
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
EXPERIMENT STATION
duct and if each grower cures his leaf to the selling stage such uniformity cannot be obtained. There would be about as many variations
in the cured product as there were individuals engaged in the work.
Standardization is well understood by our California farmers and
this
well
can be accomplished by the growers only by well considered and
executed cooperation. Without this sort of cooperation the
individual will find himself at the mercy of a not too friendly market
and his venture will end in failure. Central curing, grading, and
aging barns should be provided. They should not be privately owned
and operated but should be cooperatively the property of the growers.
Men
should be employed to manage them
who
are experts in the
various manipulations the leaf must undergo so that the final result
good quality, and uniform grading. Lack
(fig. 12) will in itself tend to degrade the
product and reduce the price. The cooperative idea in handling
agricultural products is not a new one to the farmers of this state.
The time is not so far back when butter was manufactured on the
farm and each purchase the consumer made might be considered
an experiment. Sometimes the product pleased and sometimes it
was a disappointment. Then came the day of the creameries, mostly
operated cooperatively, and the result was improvement in the quality
and uniformity in the character of the butter.
Standardization is well understood by our fruitmen and no successful orchardist would admit any desirability whatever in the hit
or miss jumble of former days. The business could not stand the
will be proper curing,
of uniformity of curing
strain.
The grower
of
Turkish tobacco should profit by the lessons
taught in other lines of agriculture and be a cooperator first, last,
and always. He should, through cooperation, be in a position to
put the manufactured article on the market provided he cannot get
He should remember that
buy where there are large lots of
search for this type through a large number
leaf.
The business of curing and disposing
a fairly remunerative price otherwise.
the honest buyer would prefer to
a uniform type than to
of non-uniform lots of
of the crop can be expected to remain in the unsatisfactory position
it
has so far occupied unless this general idea of cooperation
oped and maintained.
L
is
devel-
BULLETIN 366]
Fig.
12.
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
—Non-uniform
curing.
Note variations
caused a reduction in price of the product.
in shading.
665
This condition
666
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
EXPERIMENT STATION
FERMENTATION, GRADING, AND MARKETING
Contribution of Alfred Aram, President, Associated Tobacco Growers Inc.,
of California
The
success of the final fermentation and uniform grading determines to a great extent the value of the finished product. Under no
condition, however, will good fermentation overcome the results of
mistakes during the growing and sun curing. To ferment Turkish
tobacco special equipment and expert supervision is essential. This
makes it both inadvisable and expensive for the farmer to cure his
own crop. Also, the work of grading the tobacco to uniform grades
acceptable to the manufacturer is very important and the fermentation and grading are best done at the same time and place.
It
is evident that if each farmer were to undertake to grade his crop
there could be no uniform grades. The necessity of uniform grades
and their relation to marketability and price is too well understood
by the California farmers to need further comment.
METHODS OF FERMENTING TURKISH TYPE TOBACCO
There are two methods of fermentation, 'bulk' fermentation,
and 'bale' fermentation. The particular method to be followed can
be determined only by experts who must carefully consider the
quality, the condition, the intended use, weather conditions, and
the preferences of the market.
Bulk fermentation.
—In previous chapters we have seen that after
the sun-cure the tobacco strings are
of five strings
(figs.
hung
In the
11-17).
fall
in the barn in garlands
or early winter,
damp
weather will make the tobacco soft and pliable and it can then be
handled without danger of breaking the leaves. The garlands are
now taken down and delivered to the nearest receiving plant or
warehouse equipped to ferment and grade the tobacco and bale it
ready for shipment. For bulk fermentation the tobacco should
not contain more than four per cent nor less than three per cent
of moisture
by weight.
Not often does tobacco delivered in the
In most
fall contain less than the minimum moisture required.
first
The
cent.
maximum
per
four
in
excess
of
the
cases it is far
moisture
desired
the
bring
to
the tobacco
step in the warehouse is to
This is done either by ventilation or the application of
content.
slow heat or both.
content
is to
take a
A
method of testing the moisture
leaves from a number of garlands
satisfactory
number
of
BULLETIN 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
667
and weigh them. Then the leaves are thoroughly dried and weighed
again.
The loss in weight represents the weight of the moisture
The percentage can be arrived at by the formula
evaporated.
100A
== X where A represents the loss in weight, B the weight before
B
drying, and
X
the percentage of moisture content to be determined.
After the tobacco is brought to the proper moisture content
the bulk or pile is made in a room where humidity and temperature
can be controlled. The bed is first laid on the clean board floor by
putting trash (tobacco of no commercial value) or blankets about
three inches high a.nd covering a space 10 x 10 feet, the tobacco
fermented
to be
is
next laid on this bed in straight rows with the
and the leaves overlapping about one-half
Since the strings are seven feet long and the fer-
strings in straight lines
of their length.
menting
This
pile ten feet long there will be three feet 'overage.'
In making the pile and
laying the strings the method shown in the diagrams is followed
is
necessary as will be explained later.
(fig.
13).
/7/-j6
Ftow
Th>rd
Row
Fourth
Rtw
lo'
III
1
III
TJgZZ
—
Fig.
Arrangement of strings of tobacco for bulk fermentation,
detail see text.
13.
All the stems in the
first
layer point in the same direction while
the stems in the second layer point in the opposite direction.
method of alternating the direction
is
For
of the stems
This
and the 'overage'
carried out to the completion of the pile ten feet high.
It will
be seen that every fourth layer will have the same direction of stems
and overage.
In building the pile or bulk, when it is five feet high a specithermometer is placed on the pile with the base at
the center of the pile and the reading end projecting beyond the
edge.
The entire bulk is then covered with blankets or quilts proally constructed
vided for this purpose.
The pile is now left to 'heat up' to the desired degree but under
no condition to exceed 120° F. This first heating may require from
eight to twenty-four hours according to a number of conditions.
When
the
first
heating has reached the desired point, the pile
is
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
668
EXPERIMENT STATION
torn down, the tobacco allowed to cool and bulked again for the
It is obvious that the center is the warmest part
and the temperature decreases in the direction of the
outer edges. Therefore in building the second pile from the first
pile special care is necessary in order that the tobacco on or near
the outer edges at the first pile will come near the center of the
second pile. This is essential to insure the uniform fermentation of
all the tobacco.
This may be accomplished in several ways. The
following method is satisfactory.
The pile is taken down from the top until approximately onefourth is taken off and laid to one side (fig. 14). This is represented in the following diagram as Section A. Then Section B is
taken off and placed to the opposite side of the pile. Section C
This leaves
is placed on Section B and Section D on Section A.
vacant the place occupied by the first pile. A new bed is made on the
space occupied by the first pile and the second pile is constructed
by placing all the various sections in the order of C. D. A. B.
second heating.
of the bulk
^
fjec.
D
^
Sec A
C
( Sec
C
Sec. _D
Jec.
B
Sec
>
Jec. A
S*c.
Fig. 14.
—Piling
C
for bulk fermentation.
For
detail see text.
B and C were in the center of the
and received the maximum amount of fermentation while
Sections A and D being at the top and bottom respectively received
the minimum of fermentation. In the new pile, Sections A and D
are placed at the center with B and C at the top and bottom respecIn making up the second pile a system should be followed
tively.
so as to insure, without confusion and mistakes, that the ends of the
strings at the outer edge of the first pile will come inside of the
overage of the second pile. This is necessary to give uniform fermentation to both ends of the strings. The method of alternating
the ends of the strings in the overage from the first to the second
It will
first
be noted that Sections
pile
BULLETIN 366]
may
pile
be
second pile
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
made
is
clear
669
by the following diagram
also allowed to heat to the
This
(fig. 15).
predetermined point and
taken down, and the operation is repeated as before until the tobacco
has fermented to the required degree. No definite statement can
be made as to the number of bulkings necessary. That is governed
by several considerations and can be determined only in each
indi-
vidual case at the time.
\
//
L(
g
11
fj
2?
14
(j
£
IS
u
f?
i
p
(
n
r\
H
o
K
it
7
s
11
.f
Posiiion
Fig. 15.
For
pile.
When
0/
Si rmys
—Method
Pfi Sri i op
in f/'rsf />t/e
o{ Sir /njs in second
of alternating position of strings from
first
to
P"
second
detail see text.
the fermentation
is
complete, the tobacco
is
allowed to
graded according to color, size, and smoking
quality.
This also can only be done under expert supervision with
accurate knowledge of manufacturer's requirements, the needs of the
market intended to be reached, and the types of cigarettes in which
the tobacco is to be used. After grading, the tobacco is made into
uniform bales of approximately 100 pounds each. It is essential
that each bale should contain tobacco of similar color, quality, and
and then
it
The baling
is
cool
is
size.
done by the use of collapsible boxes in which the
tobacco strings are placed in uniform rows and in such a
way
that
only stems will be exposed at the two opposite sides of the bale.
The contents of the box is then subjected to pressure under screw
The
presses and allowed to remain under pressure for a few hours.
pressure is then released, the box taken apart and the tobacco covered with burlap on four sides the top, bottom, and the two ends,
leaving the two sides formed by the stems exposed. These sides
This method of baling makes it
are laced as shown in figure 16.
possible to examine the tobacco in the bale by loosening the lace
one one side and after examination the lace can be drawn tight and the
—
670
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
restored to
bale
its
EXPERIMENT STATION
shape without opening the burlap covering.
done properly, the tobacco should not
If the fermentation has been
heat again in the bales.
However, it is advisable to shift the bales
and change their position once in ten days during the months of
April and May following.
Bale fermentation. In this method of fermentation the tobacco
is graded upon the delivery at the warehouse, the moisture is fixed
at not more than three per cent, and the material is baled as described
under bulk fermentation. The bales are placed on shelves in a
building where the tobacco is not subject to the variation of outside temperature.
The bales are carefully inspected and their position shifted every ten clays.
Any bales developing more than the
—
Fig. 16.
— One
hundred pound bale of tobacco showing side lacing.
and
must
continue until fermentation has progressed sufficiently so that no
longer heat is generated to a degree to damage the tobacco. During
the April and May following they must be examined again and any
bales having a tendency to heat must be shifted every week or ten
required heat are loosened by opening the lace sides
air is allowed to penetrate through.
days.
The
(fig.
16)
shifting of the bales
Excessive moisture content at the time of baling or over-
heating from failure to examine and shift the bales, will result in
molding, which destroys the value of the tobacco for smoking pur-
The bale method of fermentation is a slow process and takes
months to complete but the results are satisfactory. Bulk
fermentation is completed in a comparatively short time and it
makes possible a degree of uniformity of the finished product rarely
Each has its enthusiastic advoattainable by the bale method.
The bulk method, however, should never be attempted except
cates.
under proved expert supervision. It is more exacting and lack of
constant vigilance or mistakes will result in serious damage to the
poses.
several
tobacco.
BULLETIN 366]
Fig. 17.
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
— Garlanded
strings of tobacco ready for cure house.
671
672
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
The foregoing description
EXPERIMENT STATION
of the various methods of fermenta-
given for the purpose of acquainting the farmer with the
character and importance of the work involved in making the crop
tion
is
a finished, marketable commodity.
of fermentation
tical
A
detailed, scientific discussion
beyond the scope of
is
value to the farmer.
this
paper and of no prac-
Specialized training, practical
experi-
knowledge of the needs of the various markets and manufacturers, and special equipment are absolute requirements for this
ence,
work.
MARKETING TURKISH TOBACCO
it
To determine the method of marketing
is well to keep in mind that
(a)
Prior
fermentation,
to
The work
perishable.
best adopted to this crop,
Turkish tobacco is highly
fermentation can not be
of
delayed later than the November following the harvest.
Beyond that period
nor can
it
the tobacco cannot be held,
be shipped a distance of more than a day's
journey.
(b) Until
it
tobacco
is
is
properly fermented, graded, and baled,
not a finished product acceptable to the
manufacturer. It cannot enter the national or world
market. The trade is confined to tobacco ready for
the manufacturer.
farmers who must sell their crop before fermentaand grading have a very short time in which to dispose of it
and can only sell to buyers who may be willing to buy the tobacco
where it is. Under these conditions the farmer must accept whatever these local buyers may be willing to pay. The fact that leaf
tobacco is a commodity enjoying a world-wide market and is bought
and sold throughout the year in all countries is of no practical
value to the farmer who must sell his tobacco prior to fermentation and grading.
Only those who have properly fermented and
graded tobacco to sell have access to the market in leaf tobacco. In
the countries of the Levant, local receiving warehouses are owned
and operated by brokers or branch offices of large manufacturers.
The farmer sells his crop to these buyers soon after the tobacco
It follows that
tion
is
sun-cured.
This system has not been satisfactory to the farmer.
from the farmer's standpoint, are obvious. The system
has persisted in the Levant because social and economic conditions
Its defects,
prevailing there have
made
it
difficult
if
not impossible for the
Bulletin 366]
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
673
farmers to have their own finishing plants and to market their
tobacco cooperatively.
The
success of cooperative marketing in California suggests that
the tobacco growers of this state should
own and
operate the receiv-
ing warehouses in each district on the cooperative principle.
the tobacco growers of the state realize this
is
That
indicated by the
fact that there has been organized the " Associated Tobacco
Growers
Inc." of California, a non-stock, non-profit, growers marketing association.
PESTS
Already a number of pests have appeared
tobacco in California.
The
to
vex the grower of
greatest losses noted have been caused
The tobacco plant with its very bitter, unpleasant
would not seem to be very tempting to these animals
yet they find the interior portion of the main stalk much to their
liking.
This portion of the growing plant is sweet and succulent and
the jack rabbits gnaw away the bark and eat out the heart of the
plant, thus causing its death.
The writer has seen a field of tobacco
so badly injured by jack rabbits that it was not worth harvesting.
A good rabbit proof fence of meshed wire fencing and the consciby jack
rabbits.
tasting leaves
entious use of the shotgun will adequately control this pest.
success has been
had with poisoned
baits.
bait so far reported has been raisins with a
The most
efficient
Some
poison
minute crystal of strych-
nine worked into each one.
Ground
squirrels are reported
to
have caused losses in many
by jack rabbits. Before the
cases though not so great as those caused
field
is
planted,
a vigorous campaign of destruction
of
squirrels
and strychnine, and
poisoned grains should be used. Destruction by gasses should also
be a part of the campaign. The State Department of Agriculture,
Sacramento, California, will, through its Division of Rodent Control,
The College of Agriaid in a practical way in such a campaign.
culture of the University of California is also prepared to aid and
assist in work of this sort.
Of insect pests, several kinds have proved so far to be somewhat
troublesome. Grasshoppers have been reported as a menace, though
the damage caused by them has been insignificant.
The common tomato worm and the tobacco worm, the larvae of
certain of the humming-bird moths known as the horned caterpillars
(Protoparce sexta and Protoparce quinquemaculata) are probably
the most troublesome insect pests in the tobacco fields.
So far control has been obtained bv destroying the individual worms when
should be carried on.
Poisoned
baits,
raisins
EXPERIMENT STATION
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
674
The eggs are laid on the under
and the number may run
The moths fly freely in the early
seen and by destroying: the egg masses.
sides of the larger leaves near the center
as high as thirty to each mass.
evening and some growers report great success in light-trapping
The method used is to place ordinary lanterns
the pregnant females.
in shallow pans having about an inch of oil coated water in them.
These are put about in the field, and the moths, attracted by the
lights,
dash to them and
fall into
the oil-coated water.
By
using
damage done by the larvae of the hummingbird moth may be reduced to the minimum.
The tobacco flea beetle (Epitrix sp.) is frequently troublesome
in tobacco fields. It is a very minute, dark brown to black beetle which
when seen under a fairly strong magnifying glass is found to be
It can be readily recognized from its jumping movequite pilose.
ments which resemble those of a flea and from which it takes its
all
three methods, the
name.
Cut-worms, the larvae of certain noctuid moths, occasionally do
damage to, or even destroy, the young plants. Good cultural methods
usually keep these pests below the danger point though occasionally
poisoned baits may have to be used to control them. Cabbage leaves,
sliced carrots or sliced potatoes lightly dusted with equal parts of
Paris Green and flour have been found to be effective when placed
where these larvae can find them and feed on them.
No diseases of any importance have been noted yet in our California tobacco fields. Root rot has been observed and in every
case
was directly traceable
None
to either careless or excessive use of water.
of the troubles here noted save the jack rabbits
and squirrel
nuisance has been the cause of death of any considerable number of
However, any damage to a part of a leaf makes perfect
plants.
curing of it nearly impossible. The leaf that has been injured
however slightly by grasshoppers, tobacco worms, cutworms, or flea
beetles must go in a grade lower than the leaf not so injured and
so
in the aggregate a considerable loss
aim should be
be
made
to
produce a perfect
leaf,
to control pests of all kinds.
may
occur.
The grower's
therefore every effort should
:
Bulletin 366]
:
:
TURKISH TOBACCO CULTURE, CURING, MARKETING
675
APPENDIX
Daniel
S.
Neuman,
of Napa, California, a
man
and curing,
in all phases of tobacco production
of
wide experience
offers the following
information and comment
When
writing a thesis for the degree of Master of Chemistry
in the University of
San Vladimir,
Kief, Russia, I chose the subject
found in different varieties of
European and Asiatic grown tobaccos. The first part of this thesis
was devoted to the study of the history of tobacco in those countries.
Using only the original sources, I found that
of qualitative analysis of nicotines
"Tobacco was first introduced into Spain from the American continent
the 16th century. From there it was easy to trace its rapid spread to
France, Austria, Hungary, the Balkan States, Greece, Turkey, and thence
eventually to Eussia. Tobacco was also grown in Great Britain in considerable quantities in the 17th century, but its cultivation was prohibited
after a few years, so as not to injure the American industry (America being
at that time a colony of Great Britain).
in
easy to understand why Spain, France, Austria and Hungary ceased
tobacco growing countries as all of them adopted a government monopoly on all tobacco products, and the maximum fixed price for home-grown
tobacco was so small, that it hardly paid a planter to continue to cultivate
It is
to be
it."
One
of the
camphor).
the
main ingredients of tobacco
Nicotianin
is
(tobacco
This crystallizes easily at the ordinary temperature of
air.
Nicotina, an alkaloid similar to conia (a strong narcotic), does
not exist in tobacco
in
solid
form
the
at
ordinary temperature.
can be found only in an oily volatile state. Nor does it exist
in infusions of tobacco, and only a mere trace of it can be found
in decoctions.
But when tobacco is burned as in smoking, the folIt
lowing substances are formed
1.
Nicotianin
2.
Empyreumatic
3.
Carbonate
of
4.
Soot
5.
Different gases
oil
ammonia
(7)
The common name generally applied
stances
is
Nicotine.
of Turkish tobacco
This point
grown
is
to
these
show a great variTo have a perfect
be evenly balanced. For
in different countries
ation in the percentage of these
combined sub-
very important as the samples
ingredients.
aromatic tobacco the percentages have to
:
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA
676
EXPERIMENT STATION
Havana, Cuba, tobacco not grown under canvas contains
such a small percentage of tobacco camphor that it lacks aroma
instance,
and
is
of little commercial value.
bacco grown under canvas
On
the other hand,
(which protects
action of the sun's fierce rays)
retains
all
it
its
Havana
to-
from the chemical
volatile constituents,
thus developing the aroma and flavor which are so much, prized by
smokers the world over. No tobacco today commands so high a
as Havana raised under canvas.
good deal of difference can be noticed in tobacco grown in
different districts in Turkey, as the amount of essential constituents varies according to the latitude.
Tobacco grown in the northern
districts is much more delicate and of finer quality.
Advice to cover with paper bags the tobacco blossoms, on plants
selected for seed in order to prevent cross-pollinization is very good in
part, but my experience proves that many of the seeds do not full}7
mature if covered continuously, as the paper covering prevents proper
The writer adopted the following
ventilation of the seed capsules.
price
A
plan:
1.
Cover with paper bags until the capsules are entirely formed,
then, replace bag with a double thickness of cheese cloth.
2.
When
the seeds have entirely matured, dip
the whole seed
crown in bichloride of mercury solution 1 to 30,000, to destroy
dry thoroughly at once, and seal in a
tobacco dust insects, etc.
paper sack previously pricked with a pin for ventilation.
The writer used the following method
The collected leaves were placed in piles about ten inches high
on tables in a cool, well ventilated room, and left until they commenced to sweat (evaporation of sap). This usually required from
thirty to thirty-eight hours.
(At the same time this wilts the tobacco leaves and renders them so flexible that there is less danger
of breaking or damaging them w hen they are being strung.)
Having strung and fastened the tobacco to the sticks the sticks
were placed in the shade where they were kept for three or four days,
until the leaves began to turn yellow, when they were removed to
the open racks for sun curing.
;
T
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