New documentary explores dark fired tobacco

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A new documentary explores the production of dark-fired tobacco by the farmers of Calloway County, who consider it an art form.

Western Kentucky's deep green crop is smoked in barns with wood-chip fires, unlike the burley produced in Central and Eastern Kentucky that is cured by summer heat.

And the dark-fired tobacco is used for snuff or chewing tobacco, not cigarettes.

Will Snell is a tobacco expert at the University of Kentucky. He told the Lexington Herald-Leader that unlike burley, dark-fired tobacco for smokeless products has been booming. The market for dark-fired tobacco has been growing about 4 percent to 6 percent a year for the past 25 years.

The film is called Farming in the Black Patch, and it debuts Monday on Kentucky Education Television.

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