air cured

(11% of world production)

Burley is light air-cured type derived from the White Burley which arose as a mutant on a farm in Ohio in 1864. Burley is used primarily in cigarette blends. Some of the heavier leaf is sued in pipe blends and also for chewing.

Cured burley leaf is characterized by low sugar content and a very low sugar to nitrogen ratio (high nicotine). This is enhanced by high N. fertilizer, harvesting at an early stage of senescence, and the air curing process which allows oxidation of any sugars which may have occurred. Burley has a tremendous capacity to absorb flavorings (25% of its own weight vs. 7-8% for flue-cured).

Cured leaves vary in color from light tan to reddish and brown. The leaf should be without yellow patches or fringes.

Crops in the field are light green in color. This is particularly true for the midrib and stalk which are creamy- white. The leaves are slightly larger than flue-cured and the plants are generally taller. A typical plant is topped at 20-30 leaves. Average yields are 2500-3000 lbs/A and the plants are stalk cut. The leaves are stripped after curing.

Burley is produced in around 55 countries but only a small amounts in over 1/2 of these. The main producers and trades are the U.S., Italy, Korea, Brazil, and Mexico. In the U.S. production is in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, West Virginia and Missouri.