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Old 06-07-2019, 06:22 PM
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Default Bright Leaf Legacy

thought some would find this article interesting, basically a general detailing of the history of tobacco here in Va from 1617 to present

i like the analogy "What Champagne is to France, Tobacco is to Virginia"

Bright Leaf Legacy http://www.virginialiving.com/culture/bright-leaf-legacy/

also, spent some time with a Virginia Agricultural Agency extension agent and he learned me something. I was curious what species VA Lemon leaf came from, and his response was that all bright leaf is virginia gold leaf, and Va Lemon is the top two layers of leaves on the plant, where all the sugars collect - they're also called the "L" grade tobacco

I also asked him why some vendors that offer Va Lemon leaf, their leaf is sometimes bitter, and sometimes brown, not the characteristic light yellow. His response was that if it was bitter it meant the farmer had harvested it early and not given the leaves time to form the sugars. So my next question, as there are a number of reports on the web that PH plays a factor in determining sweetness or bitternes in the plant, he maintained that PH has absolutely no bearing - the "sweetness" is only a factor of the maturity & sugar content level of the leaf.

Also found out that almost all of the Va Lemon is now canada sourced as Va lemon is still a popular cigarette tobacco up north, but here in the US most cigarette manufacturers have found smokers prefer the taste of "orange" - i moved the next question to another topic, and forgot to ask what constitutes Orange, i do remember his saying it was the next lower layer of leaf, either grade BR or BG - sorry, but all the grades became a soup of alphabet labels
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Last edited by larryccf; 06-07-2019 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:28 PM
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BG grade (green) doesnt sound good at all.
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Old 06-08-2019, 09:36 AM
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went looking for the webpage that had the legend of grades to see if the grade was BG or BR and for the life of me can't find it - i love when that happens

but did come across this tidbit in a discussion on "Red Virginia" tobacco

"Virginia

Virginias are the king of tobaccos and the very crop our country was built on. As you may have already deduced from the name, it was originally grown in well-known VA Plantations. Today, Virginia tobaccos are grown not only in VA but also eastern NC, northeastern SC, and, indeed, around the world. The term "Old Belt" is an appellation and refers to Virginias grown in VA and NC. While many blending houses will employ Virginias from countries such as Brazil and Malawi on a regular basis, Cornell and Diehl overwhelmingly favors Old Belt, above any other appellation, for their blends.

Virginias are primarily classified by their color, and while the exact nuance of hue lends itself to a vast array of categorizations, think "red" and "bright". The relative location of a given leaf on its stalk is what ultimately determines its color; the brights come from the middle of the stalk, and the reds originate from higher up to the tips. While all Virginias are sweet, the further a leaf moves toward the lighter side of the color spectrum, the sweeter it becomes, but along with that sweetness comes additional acidity and hints of citrus-like tartness. As we move towards progressively darkening colors, along with an increasing depth of flavor comes a taste that shifts to something akin to baking bread.

Closing on a note of interest, tobacco, much like a fine wine or a single-barrel bourbon in cask, can benefit from aging to some extent. The higher the presence of sugar in a given blend's components, the better it will age (from both a taste and longevity point of view). Since Virginias possess the highest sugar content of all tobacco varietals, these mixtures will benefit most from aging."

http://cornellanddiehl.com/about-our-tobaccos.cfm
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:21 AM
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I think BR is orange red. BG is green. I may be wrong. It seems logical. IDK.
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Old 06-08-2019, 12:18 PM
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what's not clear to me or confusing me, is how if it's all bright leaf, how on some the top leaves will turn light yellow and be Va Lemon when mature, and others will turn red or orange, and not be different strains of tobacco.

I'm guessing the soil, or fertilizer used, may play a role but I will explore that with the VA Ag agent in my next conversation with him, as well as a couple of tobacco growers i'm meeting with.
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Old 06-09-2019, 01:22 AM
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Originally Posted by larryccf View Post
what's not clear to me or confusing me, is how if it's all bright leaf, how on some the top leaves will turn light yellow and be Va Lemon when mature, and others will turn red or orange, and not be different strains of tobacco.

I'm guessing the soil, or fertilizer used, may play a role but I will explore that with the VA Ag agent in my next conversation with him, as well as a couple of tobacco growers i'm meeting with.
It seems like a genetic thing. There may be different varieties of Virginia gold leaf and hybrids of those varieties. If the colors are different from the same seeds maybe the seeds are mixed somehow or are not stable and homgenous. Just a guess. I really have no clue at all. Since most all lemon Va. comes from Canada maybe it has something to do with climate.. I'd like to know what you find out. It is somewhat interesting.
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Old 06-11-2019, 10:41 AM
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It is great to see you posting again Larry. I would be curious to know if the length of day has any effect on the color of bright leaf. I would think that Virginia sees more hours of sunlight with ambient air temps above a certain number than Canada would. Perhaps the extension agent could shed some light on the subject.
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Old 06-11-2019, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris from WV View Post
It is great to see you posting again Larry. I would be curious to know if the length of day has any effect on the color of bright leaf. I would think that Virginia sees more hours of sunlight with ambient air temps above a certain number than Canada would. Perhaps the extension agent could shed some light on the subject.
thanks - i'm not sure how long i'll be around - if i get the leaf website up, i doubt i'll have much time for posting

talked to the president of a tobacco growers assoc (never could catch the Ag agent at his desk, and i hate leaving voice mail msgs) - asked him about Red leaf, orange leaf and Va lemon leaf. Basically his response was color of the leaf will be a factor of a) variety of the tobacco, b) the growing season, whether wet or dry, c) when the tobacco was harvested and d) how cured, ie some growers like to let fresh air into the barn while it's being flue cured, which means an effectively cooler curing temp. But basically, change one of the above variables and you can affect the leaf color.

One thing he said different than the AG agent, on VA Lemon, the yellow leaves come from the middle of the plant as VA Lemon is sweeter than the other tobaccos, and the middle leavers or "cutters" will have more sugar. THe AG agent had said the top leaves would have more sugar.

I found a write up on this guy and his family has been in the tobacco farming business since the 1880s, and he sounded educated. While the VA AG agent is an AG agent, he probably deals with a lot of plants, ie corn, soybean etc as well as horticulture plants - i remember calling them for assistance when two japanese maples died when i first moved into my current house back in 1990

anyway, fwiw
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Old 06-11-2019, 09:53 PM
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In that case, maybe there is unequal distribution of heat. If the color difference was random then that wouldn't be true. Just trying to help.
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Old 06-12-2019, 08:03 AM
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without a background in biology, i'm incined to assume the variety of the tobacco is the primary cause of coloration, and the other factors can affect it
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