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Whole Leaf Tobacco

Origins of the Turkish tobaccos

istanbulin

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#1
As you know tobacco was spreaded all over the world from Americas. In the heaven of tobacco, Turkish tobaccos really have different characterisics. But we know that they have the same origins with the others. So it's only the miracle of dedicated work of cultivation.

Where they came from ?

Sessile types; İzmir (also other Aegeans) and Gümüşhacıköy's origin is the Antilles Islands. They came this lands by travelling accros the Europe.

Petiolate types; Marmara, Black Sea (except Gümüşhacıköy), East and Southeastern Anatolian strains came from the Yucatán Peninsula, Japan, China, Sumatra, India, Iran and Syria. I don't know which one is came from which region.
 

leverhead

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Have you found American varieties difficult to grow there with traditional practices? Is there something in the soil, or not in the soil, that would make only a small number of plants do much better than most? Something to drive them in such a different direction in 500 generations?
 

istanbulin

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I growed TN90 and a VA based strain Bucak this year. Although Bucak was generally grown here like the American style. But I all growed them with the traditional way. They really growed well, their leaves are only about 10 % smaller than usual and they're milder.

Yes, soil is very important but the culture of cultivation is the main factor. As you know, you can't make a (traditional) farmer using newer methods in a short time. They generally apply what they saw from the previous generation. Sometimes this stuation makes up big problems but for the tobacco it worked. Tobacco farmers in old times were really lack of scientific information so they determined all methods themselves. But they revealed very different tobacco varieties with help of the great climatic and soil diversity of the country.

I think you know the Angora Goat (Ankara Keçisi) which breed for their fiber (mohair). Long years ago, a French voyager take some goats from Ankara (Turkey) to France but they couldn't reach the desired fiber quality of mohair so they fail. After this, in 1838 colonel Handerson (British Indian) take some goats to South Africa. They start to breed them there and they catch a good quality, as said at that time one Angora goat was £ 500 ! In 1849 there was a cooperation between the US and Ottoman Empire. Dr. James Davis come here to make some studies about cotton as a guest of the government. As a gift Sultan Abdülmecid gives some goats to him to take them to the US. So Angora breeding starts in Texas with a good quality. Today there are three countries in mohair production in the world (respectively) Turkey, South Africa and the USA.

It was a long story but what I want to say is, there should be eligible lands in the world to catch the same quality of the Turkish tobaccos as grown here but where is that land ? May be you may remember from my another post, even in Turkey all borders are determined for all tobacco varieties. If you grow or even carry a different variety to an another area determined for a different tobacco variety, you'll have a very big fine. I'm lucky that Istanbul is not a tobacco growing state :). There's another point, tobacco growers couldn't use own seeds (obtained from their own farm), generally all of the seeds in the field used to be exterminated. To protect the strains purity government used to give free seeds (growed in special facilities) to farmers. There were too many strict regulations about tobacco growing here but some of them are changing nowadays.
 

deluxestogie

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If you grow or even carry a different variety to an another area determined for a different tobacco variety, you'll have a very big fine. I'm lucky that Istanbul is not a tobacco growing state :). There's another point, tobacco growers couldn't use own seeds (obtained from their own farm), generally all of the seeds in the field used to be exterminated. To protect the strains purity government used to give free seeds (growed in special facilities) to farmers. There were too many strict regulations about tobacco growing here but some of them are changing nowadays.
For how many years in the past has the Turkish government enforced this? The reason I ask is that many of the Turkish entries in the ARS-GRIN database say something like, "growing near Yayladag." Since each accession is dated, then the varietal purity might be implied by the government regulation, if it was in force at that time.

This would be more meaningful than a statement like, "growing near Danville, Virginia," where many varieties have been grown.

Bob
 

leverhead

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#5
There were too many strict regulations about tobacco growing here but some of them are changing nowadays.[/COLOR]
That may or may not be a good thing!

From some of the stories I've heard, allot of land in Texas was ruined for quite a few years from Cotton cultivation.

I'm going to try a few things out this year. I've got such a long growing season, I'm going to try two plantings. Early, I want to plant Turkish/Oriental on fresh ground broken from many years of grass. We've been in a drought cycle for a few years, but there should be enough rain early in the spring to get everything going. The soil tests high in Potash and Phosphorus but low in Nitrogen and drains well. The late planting will be in the same soil plus what gets freed up after my flue-cured is done. It gets warm and humid here, some say hot. I'm going to take pictures, you can tell me if they still look babied.
 

istanbulin

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For how many years in the past has the Turkish government enforced this? The reason I ask is that many of the Turkish entries in the ARS-GRIN database say something like, "growing near Yayladag." Since each accession is dated, then the varietal purity might be implied by the government regulation, if it was in force at that time.

This would be more meaningful than a statement like, "growing near Danville, Virginia," where many varieties have been grown.

Bob
This seed regulation finished in 2002, after 2002 according to the contract farming system, company (which signs the contract with the farmer) have to provide seeds to the farmer. This is a very painful process because of the bureaucratic procedures like import permits (if it's a foreign variety), tobacco trade permits and other permits from ministry of agriculture, etc. Also the company have to certificate the purity of the seeds and the plants otherwise the crop will not be eligible for a trade (both domestic and foreign market). What ever it is, this is not our case.

But the seeds which were donated from Turkey to ARS-GRIN are not directly related with this agricultural policy (for some). Why ? Because some of them are donated by research institutes. For example, there're three Bitlis seeds in ARS-GRIN which were donated from Turkey. One of them was donated by Aegean Regional Agricultural Res. Inst. (this is the old name of the institute, new name is Aegean Agricultural Res. Inst.) and other one was donated from Plant Genetic Resources Res. Inst.. (third Bitlis seed explanation is below). Seeds were not donated for favor, these institutes have some cooperations directly with ARS-GRIN or with other institutes in the US for some scientific studies. So these seeds have to be pure according to science ethics.

But for Yayladağ (PI 481856) (and some others like there's an other Bitlis (PI 481859) there (third one)) it's written in the related ARS-GRIN page, "Accession was collected. Turkey.". This means there was a collection without a permit or cooperation. These seeds like Yayladağ or Bitlis were probably collected directly from a farm so it should be open pollinated so I have some doubts about these seeds' purity. Although different growing areas are set for specific varieties, this won't be enough for calling them pure seeds, this why government used to give seeds to farmers here.

EDIT: I requested Yayladağ from FTT seedbank and leverhead sent me some Bitlis seeds (they didn't arrived yet). I also have my own Yayladağ and Bitlis (old) seeds. So I'll probably have a chance to compare them this year and you'll all know the comparisons about them app in 6-7 months.

EDIT 2 : I just saw the expression for Yayladağ (PI 481856) in the related ARS-GRIN page. "Idtype : UNVERIFIED" but there's same expression for some seeds donated from the Turkish Institutes (for example Bitlis (PI 494149). Interesting stuff ...
 
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