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Bale

A unit of storage for fermented cigar tobacco. Bales vary in weight and appearance, depending upon where the tobacco was grown, and the company that grew the tobacco. To make a bale, workers in a tobacco warehouse take dry tobacco that’s been cured and fermented and layer it in a wooden crate atop a scale that has been lined with material. Burlap or nylon are two of the more common. When the desired weight has been achieved, a hydraulic press compresses the tobacco into a rectangular block that might weigh 110 pounds or so. The sides are then stitched by hand, and the wooden supports removed, revealing the bale. Tobacco ages in bales, and can be kept in this form for decades, but a few years is more common.