The House and Me Smell like Dark Fired Tobacco

   / The House and Me Smell like Dark Fired Tobacco #1  

Gale Hawkins

Super Star Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2009
Messages
11,954
Location
Murray, KY
Tractor
1948 Allis Chambers Model B 1976 265 MF / 1983 JD 310B Backhoe / 1966 Ford 3000 Diesel / 1980 3600 Diesel
I stopped by the neighbor's place where he strips out his tobacco yesterday and Shorty said he was gone but called him because I asked about the load of tobacco stalks on his F-600 flat bed dump.

The owner said he was holding the stalks for a guy that never came and if I wanted them he would bring them up to the house and dump them (1/4 mile) to save him a trip to the gully because he needed his truck.

Today I spread a few where no grass will grow on the road side. They are so heavy per bundle that I can not really lift them but I can kind of roll 4 into the FEL and move them that way. They had gotten wet which they did again tonight. It has been about 25 years since I have worked with tobacco and I bet I know what my wife is going to say when she walks in. :)

I need to get them spread as soon as possible because they leach very fast. The N will get away on me before things turn green but the other elements should go into the ground.

Next year he said he will bring me some dry and light. :) I was lucky to get these this late even if they have seem a little rain. I use the old backhoe to do things I never dreamed about and I have recovered from the three hours on the back end of the 17 HP two wheel tractor with the 30" bush hog cutting bushes on property lines this morning.
 
   / The House and Me Smell like Dark Fired Tobacco #2  
Gale,

Just curious. What has happened to dark fired production in your area in recent years, especially since the tobacco buyout? I understand that some burley production has shifted to non-traditional areas. Is the same true of dark fired?

Steve
 
   / The House and Me Smell like Dark Fired Tobacco #3  
Why did you put the stalks on the ground?

Erosion control and/or mulch?

When I lived in KY I stacked tobacco ONCE. I would have to be very hungry to it again. :D Standing up on thin boards that might have been 2x4s high up in a barn while someone passed up the tobacco bundles was not fun. Getting the tobacco in your eyes and down your shirt did not make the job any better either. :laughing:

When I moved to NC I noticed they cured the tobacco with heat and not by air. They had much smaller barns and many of them were just shipping containers sized. No climbing! :thumbsup:

Course it is all gone now. The fields that used to have tobacco are growing weed trees or at best pines. Some are growing other crops. The wifey's family rents out their land now. Usually sweet potatoes, soybeans or cotton. A few years ago they farmer did plant tobacco. I think they air cured it but they did it in a way I and the family had never seen. They had big heavy wooden pallets lined up in the fields. The pallets had a metal frame work which they stacked the tobacco. I think they then covered up the frames with black plastic/fabric. Interesting way to do it. They have not planted since then.

Later,
Dan
 
   / The House and Me Smell like Dark Fired Tobacco
  • Thread Starter
#4  
Steve the production is very high. When I grew up I think we had a USDA base of about 3 acres and many farmers grew these smaller patches. One farmer in this area now raises 200 acres and I think the small ones raise more like 40 acres. The tobacco workers are from Mexico and have been for a long time. The guy by me has hands from Mexico that have come every year for the past 20 years.

KY/TN has the best soild/weather for the dark fired tobacco (in the market it is known as Smokeless Tobacco products as in dipping and chewing) because it is not burned by the user.

Now that the US Government is out of the tobacco growing business most all are happy. The buy out made a lot of farmers millionaires because they had purchased USDA base acres from the small farmers over time at fair prices at the time but the government paid very high prices to buy the bases back from the last owner of record.

AGR-23 TOBACCO STALKS AND STEMS FERTILITY VALUE AND USE

The stalks have a percentage of the fertilizer stored in them and rain will leach it out. This is the reason people go to the trouble to spread these stalks. Due to tobacco diseases they can carry the tobacco farmer will not use them on their tobacco fields or in fields where the drainage water may flow over so.

We had a flood last night from the storms out of AR so the load of stalks are leaching already plus now they are very HEAVY to pack and spread on the bald hills. I will need to work hard next week while the sun is shining to get this large truck load of stalks spread. They are in large bundles with one peice of hay baler twine around them that is tied as a slip knot so a quick jerk will release the string.

When dry a bundle will way maybe 40 pounds but wet like this morning one may way 100 pounds. It is just like a bale of hay that is very dry then gets water logged.
 
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I would love to have a truck load of stalks and a chipper to run them through and put on the garden. Not many around here grow tobacco any more, the ones that do, grow large acreage and is handled by Mexican labor.
 
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I would love to have a truck load of stalks and a chipper to run them through and put on the garden. Not many around here grow tobacco any more, the ones that do, grow large acreage and is handled by Mexican labor.

The wifey and I were talking about buying a chipper they other day. We looked at them years ago when we were looking at getting the tractor but it did not make sense for us to buy one at the time.

I noticed that DR has a chipper that attaches to the DR Brush Cutter. The chipper is about $1,200 and would handle anything we would chip. Anything over 3-4 inches is firewood. :D

Our county sells wood chips for $4-5 a yard. It is cheap because it has trash in the chips. We have been buying the chips for years but it mike make more sense now to buy a chipper and do it ourselves. We always have wood to chip..... But I do not know if it is worth the effort.

If we could find some tobacco stalks.... :D

Later,
Dan
 
   / The House and Me Smell like Dark Fired Tobacco
  • Thread Starter
#8  
Chipping is the way to go if you have a place to keep the stalks dry. As the UK article reads it is good to put stalks out in the spring so the N is not lost over the winter as much. Getting them under the soil is best.

Note on terms. Stalks are what the leaves grow on and Stems are the ridge spine of the leave. Some tobacco is processed by removing the stems. I noticed in England the leaf stem sells for about $3 a pound for pigeon nesting material because it helps control disease. One dentist told me chewing tobacco reduced cavities for the same reason. Not sure why it can cause mouth cancer however.

As a kid we were given whole tobacco seeds in molasses as a wormer. I never did an inspection to see it that form of wormer worked. :D

It did taste better than Castor Oil however. :mad:
 
   / The House and Me Smell like Dark Fired Tobacco
  • Thread Starter
#9  
Dan I looked at that DR chipper last night but the pricedoes not make sense for me plus they are WORK. I would like their grader blade for our 17 HP DR however. :thumbsup:

I have a 4 tire wagon with a 6'x14' bed and metal sides. If I had a chipper I would chip it full until it was well crowned and cover it with a tarp for the winter and put them out in the spring.
 
   / The House and Me Smell like Dark Fired Tobacco #10  
I can not sympathize with your problems in any way. Tobacco = death. Up front, the nicotine will cause anyone coming into contact in the field to end there day with a case of nicotine posing. Cigarettes, Cigars, Chewing tobacco and sniff will all lead to some form of cancer, mouth, throat, and lung. There are also other illness associated with tabacco. Nature developed nicotine as a defense to insect attack.
 
 
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