Northwest Tobacco Seeds

Providing nicotiana seeds at 
wholesale prices for retail distributors 
and growers world wide

Tobaccos, Rusticas and Ornamentals


About Us

  We operate a small family farm that was originally homesteaded in 1882. We live in the original farm house which is the oldest home in Spokane County. It's situated at the foothills of the Selkirk mountain range in Eastern Washington. 
  Our summers are hot and dry but we have a relatively short growing season here, averaging only 110 frost free days per year. We have to produce crops that are suitable for our weather conditions. Over the years, we have grown many different crops such as wheat, alfalfa, sun flowers, potatoes, onions, green vegetables and tobacco.                                       

  The Inland Northwest is a land with four definite seasons. Winters are long, cold and the snows are deep. Summers are hot and dry. The spring is wet and blustery and fall brings us warm days with crisp cold nights. We are blessed with an abundance of clear spring water, clean air, wildlife and fertile soil. The night skies are filled with stars and sometimes the dancing colors of the Northern Lights.

  Tobacco is one of the most labor intensive of any crops grown. Producing one acre of high quality seed requires approximately 2500 man hours. Seedlings are started in flats in our greenhouse and spend the first 8 weeks growing in a controlled environment. They are gradually hardened off to the sun and outdoor environment over a period of two weeks before they are ready to plant out into the field. Unlike many other seed sellers, we grow a large number of plants of each variety and cull any plants which are not good procurers or true to type, leaving only the best plants to produce seed. 

  

  Large commercial growers of tobacco use planting machines to set the seedlings into the field. Mechanization helps to speed things along, but even planting machines require 3-5 people to operate.  
  There are no machines to help us out here. Every plant is set out by hand. The days are very long and tiring when planting week comes. These plants have been in the field about 3 weeks.

  As soon as the first bud appears, each flower head is bagged to prevent any chance of cross pollination by insects or hummingbirds. Each flower bag is adjusted 2-3 times as the plant and flower head grow to allow for maximum size and proper development of the seed head. Each bag is removed after flowering is nearly complete to remove the dead blossoms. They can trap water and start to rot inside the bags, and can ruin the developing seeds pods. The bags are then replaced to protect the pods while they continue to develop.

  Seed heads remain bagged until the end of flowering, at which time they are removed to allow for full sunlight and air circulation to aid in ripening. Every row must then be checked daily for late blooming flowers and suckers, which are removed to further ensure there is no cross pollination and so the plants will devote all their energy into the main seed head.. This photo shows plants about 75 days after transplanting. 

  After fully ripening, seed heads are cut and allowed to dry completely before further processing. Ripe pods will crack open and spill their seeds if not harvested promptly. Unfortunately they often do not all ripen at the same rate, so each row may need harvesting from 2-5 times over a 3 week period. Nicotiana seeds are very small, averaging over 10,000 seeds per gram or 300,000 seeds per ounce. 

  After drying, the pods are crushed and the seeds are sifted out. The seeds are then run through 3 screenings to remove chaff. After screening, they are winnowed to remove any fine light chaff. In the final cleaning, the seeds are ran over a very fine screen that allows any remaining fine powdery chaff to fall through. They are then placed in a cool dry storage area for 2-3 weeks until they are at the correct moisture content for packaging and shipping. 

                                                                                                                                                                            

 

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northwest tobacco seeds 2012