Tobacco and Textiles

The tobacco farmer has to employ a system that takes into consideration various factors affecting the plant’s growth.

Tobacco and Textiles

Tobacco - 3

Cultivated tobacco is an annual plant, it lives only one growing season. Because of the tobacco plant’s inherent susceptibility to many diseases, it is extremely difficult to produce them. The tobacco farmer has to employ a system that takes into consideration various factors affecting the plant’s growth like soil quality, nutrition, climate and existing insects in the field.
Growing tobacco starts with the land preparation. Before a single seed is planted, the soil is analyzed for their nutrient and lime content. The result of the analysis will tell the tobacco farmer what kind of fertilizer, among other things, to use in order to increase the nutrients lacking in the soil to make it more fertile. Heavy use of pesticides and fertilizer is the norm in planting tobacco, as it is vulnerable to insects and disease. Careful germination of the seeds is done on seedbeds or greenhouses before they are actually placed in the field to be grown. When they are ready for the field, a transplant by hand or machine is made where they are transferred from the seedbeds or greenhouses to the farm fields. Cultivating the soil after transplanting is important to keep weed from growing and to maintain the loose soil. Tobacco plants will reach maturity after 70 to 130 days from the day of transplanting. Topping and suckering would be practices done on the crops so the nutrients will be concentrated to the growing leaves instead of being wasted on the lateral shoots or flowers of the tobacco plant. Harvesting comes next wherein mature leaves from the plant are removed. The plant is ready to be harvested when the leaves begins to turn yellow signifying that chlorophyll is starting to break down. Curing is the final process where the tobacco leaves are dehydrated thereby bringing out the flavor and aroma of the tobacco.
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