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Question for Alex about 2011 tobacco report in Ccom mag

xmacroxmacro Posts: 3,402
Hey Alex, I just read the 2011 report, and it got me wondering about ligero - how do the manuf's go about increasing the ligero on a plant if ligero is supposed to be the top primings? From the article, it sounded like there were multiple methods, and I was wondering if you could give us a bit more info about the processes involved?

Comments

  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,634 ✭✭✭✭
    my guess would be selectively breeding the plants to have bunches of more than 2 or 3 a the top of the plant.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    That would make some sense, kuzi, but some of ligero's strength come from the fact that it is picked last on the plant and therefore, for some of its 'life', gets a lot more nutrients from the soil in addition to the extra sunlight from being at the top. If so, then more leaves would reduce this effect, weakening the strength of each individual ligero leaf by some measurable (and, possibly, perceptible) degree.

    So you'd get more 'ligero' leaves, as in the top priming of the plant, by selective breeding, but it wouldn't be the same. So you could say you get no ligero at all from one of those plants, or at least none of the ligero leaves you'd expect from the same plant that hasn't been selectively bred.
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,634 ✭✭✭✭
    Ken Light:
    That would make some sense, kuzi, but some of ligero's strength come from the fact that it is picked last on the plant and therefore, for some of its 'life', gets a lot more nutrients from the soil in addition to the extra sunlight from being at the top. If so, then more leaves would reduce this effect, weakening the strength of each individual ligero leaf by some measurable (and, possibly, perceptible) degree.

    So you'd get more 'ligero' leaves, as in the top priming of the plant, by selective breeding, but it wouldn't be the same. So you could say you get no ligero at all from one of those plants, or at least none of the ligero leaves you'd expect from the same plant that hasn't been selectively bred.
    maybe. maybe not.
    left on even longer could make up for this. also picking more of the mower leaves faster sending the nutrients to those leaves could help also. removing corona leaves that are too small to be used could help as well.

    one of the reasons why Ligero leaves are stronger is because they are on the top and are exposed to more sun. haveing more leaves exposed to the sun would not make the top part of the plant weaker, only stronger.


    however, im no botanist.
  • betasynnbetasynn Posts: 1,249
    I wonder if you could breed tobacco into a vine plant, have it grow horizontally instead of vertically, and then have every leaf be a ligero leaf?
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,634 ✭✭✭✭
    betasynn:
    I wonder if you could breed tobacco into a vine plant, have it grow horizontally instead of vertically, and then have every leaf be a ligero leaf?
    i cant help but sigh.
    there are other leaves on the tobacco plant that are important. Ligero is one type of leaf. all the cigars you like would be nothing without Viso and Seco.
    i would even venture that those leaves have more to offer than ligero does in terms of flavor and complexity.


    full flavored cigars are good, dont get me wrong, but there is more to the cigar world than that.



    i for one cant wait for this full bodied fad we find ourselves in to be over. then we can start talking about balance and complexity and flavors that are not just strong and spicy but interesting and nuanced.


    sorry... had to vent a bit.
  • betasynnbetasynn Posts: 1,249
    kuzi16:
    betasynn:
    I wonder if you could breed tobacco into a vine plant, have it grow horizontally instead of vertically, and then have every leaf be a ligero leaf?
    i cant help but sigh.
    there are other leaves on the tobacco plant that are important. Ligero is one type of leaf. all the cigars you like would be nothing without Viso and Seco.
    i would even venture that those leaves have more to offer than ligero does in terms of flavor and complexity.


    full flavored cigars are good, dont get me wrong, but there is more to the cigar world than that.



    i for one cant wait for this full bodied fad we find ourselves in to be over. then we can start talking about balance and complexity and flavors that are not just strong and spicy but interesting and nuanced.


    sorry... had to vent a bit.
    Right but we're talking about ligero here. The question was about ligero, not seco or viso which is used both more often and offers just as much to many blends as ligero. Currently, ligero is the buzzword in the industry, similar to the way 'Sun Grown' was a few years ago. It'll change soon enough. That said, I do love strong cigars, and ligero offers that punch that I look for.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,634 ✭✭✭✭
    i understand that we are talking about ligero.

    my point is more of:
    why would one want an ALL ligero plant?

    it just seems pointless to me.

    quality over quantity.
  • betasynnbetasynn Posts: 1,249
    Right, but look at it this way: ligero is expensive because it takes longer, is less plentiful then either seco or viso, and is subject to more wear and tear and thus probably has a less overall usable yield percentage. Having an all ligero plant would allow cigar companies to lower cigar prices (or more likely increase profit) by having certain fields/plants dedicated to ligero, and concentrating more on the viso/saco varieties off of other plants. This would allow for quality production in all areas.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,634 ✭✭✭✭
    given the way a tobacco plant (all plants for that matter) grows, how long the season is, even if it was a vine, there could be no such thing as an all ligero plant. just because it hase been in the sun just as long does not make it ligero.

    so, though i can see the profit part of the equation, the reality is not there.
  • nikostewartnikostewart Posts: 451
    I thought it was primarily because of direct sunlight that Ligero had its strength and full flavor? Afterall, Ligero translates into "Light" in english.
  • betasynnbetasynn Posts: 1,249
    Yeah, I don't really know that much about plants, was just throwing it out there. It wouldn't be ligero but I'm sure you could create something with the sort of flavor profile (or rather, strength) that ligero is utilized for.
  • nikostewartnikostewart Posts: 451
    I would venture a guess that a "Vine" tobacco plant would not add any benefits.

    Botanists have been consistently working on creating more disease resistant and flavorful tobaccos since the early 1900s (the seed varieties of Criollo, Corojo and Habano were created and consistently modified) Many of the new hybrids are more disease resistant, have extra leaves, and do not flower.

    I am not an expert but this is what I have read and it might have helped in the production of more "Ligero" Leaf.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    kuzi16:
    Ken Light:
    That would make some sense, kuzi, but some of ligero's strength come from the fact that it is picked last on the plant and therefore, for some of its 'life', gets a lot more nutrients from the soil in addition to the extra sunlight from being at the top. If so, then more leaves would reduce this effect, weakening the strength of each individual ligero leaf by some measurable (and, possibly, perceptible) degree.

    So you'd get more 'ligero' leaves, as in the top priming of the plant, by selective breeding, but it wouldn't be the same. So you could say you get no ligero at all from one of those plants, or at least none of the ligero leaves you'd expect from the same plant that hasn't been selectively bred.
    maybe. maybe not.
    left on even longer could make up for this. also picking more of the mower leaves faster sending the nutrients to those leaves could help also. removing corona leaves that are too small to be used could help as well.

    one of the reasons why Ligero leaves are stronger is because they are on the top and are exposed to more sun. haveing more leaves exposed to the sun would not make the top part of the plant weaker, only stronger.


    however, im no botanist.
    Point taken, and I'm no botanist either, but would removing lower leaves earlier then weaken the flavor and complexity of THOSE leaves?

    I think we agree on most counts here, including that we'd both like to see the strength-for-strength's-sake trend fade away. I think what I'm really trying to say is that trying to improve on nature is dicey at best and a fool's errand at worst. Just my 2c though, and I can almost certainly say that my crummy palate would never be able to distinguish selectively bred leaves from those that weren't. Yours, though...
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • Ken_LightKen_Light Posts: 3,539 ✭✭✭
    nikostewart:
    I thought it was primarily because of direct sunlight that Ligero had its strength and full flavor? Afterall, Ligero translates into "Light" in english.


    Check out the 1/6/10 newsletter on ligero. Below is pasted from that:

    Also, as a tobacco plant is harvested, it is picked from the bottom to the top in phases over a period of several weeks. As the lower leaves are chosen, more nutrients from the plant’s root system are delivered to fewer leaves making the top leaves (the last to be picked) the strongest.

    In other news, if you're right about Ligero translating to light, I might have to change my last name...Ken Ligero...that sounds pretty good...
    ^Troll: DO NOT FEED.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,634 ✭✭✭✭
    Ken Light:
    trying to improve on nature is dicey at best and a fool's errand at worst.
    well said.
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