Tobacco

Plasencias Harvesting 152nd Crop In Nicaragua, Honduras

The 2017–2018 crop is expected to produce more than 5 million pounds of tobacco
Jan 17, 2018 | By Gregory Mottola
Plasencias Harvesting 152nd Crop In Nicaragua, Honduras
A field of Criollo '98 in the Jalapa growing region of Nicaragua.

The Plasencia family is in the midst of its 2017–2018 tobacco harvest, which spans across Nicaragua and neighboring Honduras. According to the company’s records, this is the family’s 152nd harvest, and if you ask Nestor Andrés Plasencia, vice president of Plasencia Tobacco S.A., the current crop is exceptional.

“The tobacco looks great in the fields and in the barns, too,” said an enthusiastic Plasencia. The seedlings went into the ground the first week of October and the Plasencias began harvesting the first primings of tobacco leaves the first week of December.

This year, they are growing mostly Cuban-seed tobaccos like Criollo ’98 and Corojo ’99, but are also cultivating Connecticut seed, a few native varietals, hybrids and even some experiments with broadleaf. According to Plasencia, the 152nd harvest encompasses everything they’re growing for 2017–2018 in both Nicaragua and Honduras—a total of 3,020 acres with 1,200 acres grown under shade.

“We’ve had the perfect temperature and humidity with a bit of rain at the beginning of the season,” Plasencia added. “Some cloud cover made the tobacco leaves grow bigger. We are blessed with the microclimate that we have.”

They’ll be harvesting tobacco until the season ends in June and anticipate an overall estimated production of more than 5 million pounds of tobacco, most of which will be wrapper leaf (about 70 percent by Plasencia’s calculations).

The Plasencias are the largest growers of premium tobacco in Central America. They began growing tobacco in Cuba back in the 1800s, but have since relocated their agricultural operations to Central America.

Not only do they sell tobacco to a large portion of the premium cigar industry, but also use the tobacco for their own brands, such as Plasencia Cosecha 146 and Plasencia Alma Fuerte, a full-bodied line of smokes whose Generacion V size earned the No. 9 spot in Cigar Aficionado’s Top 25 Cigars of 2017. They distribute these brands through their Plasencia 1865 company.

This article first appeared in the January 9, 2018 issue of Cigar Insider.

Honduras Nicaragua Plasencia 1865

More in Tobacco

See all
Connecticut Tobacco Crop Report

Connecticut Tobacco Crop Report

After a disappointing 2018 season plagued by heavy, consistent rains, cigar tobacco farmers in the …

Aug 27, 2019
Nicaragua’s Tobacco Growers Optimistic About Crops Despite Wind

Nicaragua’s Tobacco Growers Optimistic About Crops Despite Wind

As Nicaragua approaches the end of its 2018–2019 tobacco-growing season, reports from some of the …

Apr 9, 2019
Drought In Dominican Republic Means Smaller But Better Tobacco Harvest

Drought In Dominican Republic Means Smaller But Better Tobacco Harvest

The weather has been unusually dry in the Dominican Republic over the last few months, and while that …

Mar 12, 2019
Crop Report: El Corojo Farm, Honduras

Crop Report: El Corojo Farm, Honduras

Nearly 250 acres of tobacco is flourishing at the El Corojo farm in Honduras, which is owned by …

Feb 5, 2019
Crop Report: La Canela Farm, The Dominican Republic

Crop Report: La Canela Farm, The Dominican Republic

About 110 acres of Piloto Cubano are growing in the fields of the La Canela farm in the Dominican …

Oct 29, 2018
Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom Seeds

Tobacco growers are looking to the past for new flavor, working with old seeds once lost to the …

Aug 1, 2017