Burley tobacco represents a light air-cured tobacco used at the beginning for cigarette manufacturing. In the United States of America it is produced in an eight state belt with approximately 70% produced in Kentucky.
Tennessee manufactures almost 20% with smaller amounts made in North Carolina, Indiana Missouri, Virginia, Ohio and West Virginia. Burley tobacco is manufactured in a lot of countries with major production in Brazil, Argentina and Malawi.
In the U.S., burley tobacco is begun from palletized seeds put in polystyrene trays floated on a bed of fertilized water in April or March. Transplanting begins in May and progresses through June with a little percentage set in July.
Manufacturers have to fight against big diseases such as blue mold, black shank and insects like hornworms, aphids and budworms. Topping lets energy that would have made a bloom to expand leaf expansion. At almost four weeks after topping the tobacco plant is cut by using a knife that is shaped like a tomahawk.
Each plant is being spudded; spiked or speared (the terminology depends on the geographic place). Each stick has to have five or six stalks. Sticks of green cut tobacco are most often allowed to field wilt for three or four days prior to hanging in a barn.Tobacco is put to air cure for eight weeks or even more turning from the normal green to yellow color and then to brown.
The high quality achieved by U.S. burley manufactures is due to natural curing conditions. When the are fully cured the tobacco is taken down, sticks are being removed and the leaves are stripped from the plant into grades by stalk position.