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Tobacco production in Georgia involves more than 200 growers who produce flue-cured tobacco on more than 14,000 acres in 26 counties across the state.

Flue-cured tobacco is harvested a few leaves at a time beginning with the bottom of the stalk and progressing to the top over a period of 8 to 10 weeks.

Leaves are placed in a bulk curing barn where heated air is forced between the leaves to remove the moisture from the leaves over a period of 7 to 10 days. During this period tobacco not only dries, but turns from green to a golden yellow color. The temperature is increased following an established curing schedule to set the color precisely. This also establishes the level of reducing sugars in the tobacco resulting in the sweet aroma for which Georgia produced tobacco has always been known.

Tobacco is sold under contract to leaf purchasing and manufacturing companies, and the price per pound varies according to the quality of the leaf based on its stalk position, color, clarity and damage from disease or curing. Flue-cured tobacco is sold in large bales averaging 750 pounds each. Most processing is located in North Carolina and Virginia. Tobacco is shipped north via trucks, and once processed is stored for one or more years before being used in the manufacture of cigarettes.


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For the latest news about Extension, visit Georgia FACES. News you can use about Georgia family, agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences.


UGA-affiliated sites

  • Impact Statements: Tobacco
    Descriptions of Extension efforts to improve knowledge and practices related to tobacco.
  • Tobacco
    UGA's tobacco site features links to the 2011 budgets, equipment availability, a grower's guide, upcoming events, pest control information, hotlines, and related links.

External sites

  • International Tobacco Growers' Association
    Non-profit organization founded in 1984 with the objective of presenting the cause of millions of tobacco farmers to the world. Site features information about membership, social responsibility, tobacco itself, as well as a newsletter and information about upcoming events.
  • Tobacco Associates
    Resources to assist manufacturers keep their products competitive in the global tobacco market.
  • Tobacco Barn Retrofit Information
    Information pertaining to retrofitting tobacco curing barns.