Whole Leaf Tobacco

NB-11 Burley

Chuckrambo

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Hey Im new around these parts started smoking a tobacco pipe a few months back and now have a green thumb so starting to grow organic burley ... Am I in the right place to discuss these matters??
 

deluxestogie

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Welcome to the forum. Feel free to introduce yourself in the Introduce Yourself forum. Read the New Growers' FAQ. Also, check topics of interest in the Index of Key Forum Threads. Both are linked in the menu bar. For specific questions on growing, you can ask in your introduction, or you can look through the various forum categories to find a suitable topic in which to start a thread.

Bob
 

Charly

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Thanks Bob for refreshing the NB-11 seeds, it's always good to save interesting strains from disappearing.
 

deluxestogie

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Unfortunately, there are far too many interesting strains for unfunded amateurs to adequately refresh. ARS-GRIN holds about 3000 Nicotiana tabacum strains. Refreshing each every 10 years requires them to grow 300 different accessions every year (with grants and external funding). We amateurs hold about 1/10 of that number of varieties, but that still requires 30 to 50 refresh grows every year. When I attempted to recruit volunteers to help refresh the FTT seed bank (a number of years ago), there were only a handful, and about half of those volunteers were complete novices.

So the FTT seed bank is now managed as a labor of love by @skychaser, who grows out (and offers for sale) as many of them as he can, alongside many treasures from @polygon55. It's a tough way to make a living. And I appreciate his efforts.

Bob
 

skychaser

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Thank you Bob. It really is largely a "labor of love" to grow so many different strains. I couldn't make a living on tobacco seed alone, even with all the other seed companies I supply and all you wonderful people here who buy directly from me. The numbers just wouldn't add up. Tobacco is only about half of what I grow. The rest is high value and often rare or difficult to grow vegetable and flower seed. The tobaccos make up about 90% of my costs for germination testing alone. I'll be writing another big fat check for germ testing soon. Those results will tell me what to add to my list of about 30 tobaccos for this years grow.

I have several contracts for this year to grow other things. One is for poppy seed that will pay me $9000 alone. And it is much easier to grow and harvest than tobacco seed is. It will be done and shipped by mid September. I will still be cleaning and packaging tobacco seed well into late November, if it goes well.

As far as I know, polygon55 and I have the largest private collections of tobacco seed that exist outside of the large government funded seed banks. And like you said, I have only about 10% of what the USDA has. Acquiring the FTT seed bank was a mixed blessing for me. It was half gold and half ....er...what the word I want... crap. I'll go with that. One year I picked 12 strains I didn't have to grow out. 4 did great! Excellent germ rate and all pure. 2 had a 50% germ rate at best, but still good enough and it was pure. 1 had a good germ rate but was a 50/50 mix of different seeds. That's where the Mystery wrapper I mentioned above came from. 5 others had a 0 germ rate!

Some tobaccos produce an abundance of seed. And some don't. I end up growing VA 509 Burley every year because it is a great seller, but a terrible seed producer. A lot of the more modern Burleys are like that. And my short growing season doesn't help either. It took 3 years to get enough Nostrano del Brenta to offer it to other seed sellers. Silver River and Blue Star 100 also took 3 seasons. Piloto Cubano took 2. Last year nearly all my melons were a bust due to a record cold and wet June. Farming is often like a day out hunting. Some days you get the bear, and some days the bear gets you! So it goes...
 

Chuckrambo

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What can i do with straight burley..... cigars? Pipe blends? Ryo cigarettes flavouring techniques? How can I ferment properly at home after color curing any suggestions would be appreciated thanks and happy smoking
 

FmGrowit

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lol OK. So it's like the Ergo seed I got that was half cigar wrapper seed. No idea what it actually is other than it is a really nice cigar wrapper similar to Poqunok or Connecticut 49. I call it Mystery 18. :)
Actually, the Ergo seed came from the GRIN back when we used to be able to get seeds from it.
 

skychaser

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Didn't know it came from grin. The seed I have just says Ergo on it with no other info. It was very easy to tell it apart from the "Mystery" wrapper, so sorting the plants out wasn't a problem. But mine got a LOT bigger than the photos in the grin link Bob posted. It was a very late bloomer and had just started to bud when the fall frosts hit, and I got 0 seed from it. I have a hunch Ergo is the same strain as Silver River, or at least very closely related. The plants looked identical to me. Someday I am going to grow the two side by side to compare them and see if I can find a difference. But not this year. My regrow list for this year is already getting too long.

In makes me feel better knowing that it came from grin, and that even the experts at the North Carolina seed bank screw up now and then. I used to take a few totes out to the field at harvest time and set them next to the rows to be harvested. I was cutting the heads off some Kentucky Burley one year and tossing them into a tote when I realized it was the wrong one! I had put a dozen or more seeds head into a tote half full of Japan 8! The whole lot went into the trash then. I'm glad I caught my mistake when I did and never sold any of that seed. But it still ticks me off when I think of it. All that work for nothing because of one stupid mistake! Now days it's one at a time. I don't even remove the flower bags from more than one strain now until the one I am working on is all picked, labeled, and carried out of the field. Live and learn.
 
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