(40% of world tobacco production)
Flue-cured is also known as “Bright” and “Virginia” by the world trade. It is used almost entirely in cigarette blends. Some of the heavier leaves may be used in mixtures for pipe smoking. Some English cigarettes are 100% flue-cured.
Flue-cured leaf is characterized by a high sugar: nitrogen ratio. This ratio is enhanced by the picking of the leaf in an advanced stage of ripeness, and by the unique curing process which allows certain chemical changes to occur in the leaf.
Cured leaves vary from lemon to orange to mahogany in color. The leaves are relatively large with the largest at midstalk. A well grown plant will be topped at a height of 39 to 51 inches with 18-22 harvestable leaves. Yields average around 2200 lbs/A with some in excess of 3000 lbs/A. The leaves are harvested as they mature from the ground up.
Flue-cured tobacco is grown in approximately 75 countries from Pakistan, New Zealand to Germany. Major producers in the world are: China, USA, Brazil, India and Zimbabwe. The major exporters are the U.S., Brazil, India and Zimbabwe.