The winds play a very important role when growing tobacco. The winds tell us when the best time to grow and where the best places to grow tobacco. When we looked through history, we found the Greeks understood the importance of wind as well.
The Greeks had wind gods, and they were called Anemoi. Each direction had its own god. Boreas (North), Notos (South), Eurus (East) and Zephyrus (West). Each wind direction will help create a great crop or a bad one. Because of this we thought it was fitting to finally pay our respects.
As you will see below in the Dominican Republic a balance of wind is often best and each wind either will help or hurt the quality of the tobacco.
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Northern wind usually occurs during the winter and fall (rainy season). The Cordillera Septentrional (mountain range north of the Cibao Valley) keeps the rain-packed clouds out since they are heavier therefore lower altitude. The not as rain-packed clouds ,which make it through the mountains due to their high altitude, come into the Cibao Valley and water the crops the perfect amount, as a result, it allows crop growers to focus more on the plant itself now since there is no need to worry about nourishing the plant. Because the clouds are not as packed, the winds bring light rain which come in random bursts (which helps since there is no fear of flooding) compared to the west wind which brings lower altitude clouds packed with rain or the southern wind which usually brings in the hurricanes/tropical storm.
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Southern wind is the rarest out of the four and usually only occurs when a hurricane or storm is going through the island. These winds are usually the strongest out of the four and bring the most rainfall, but also end quickly because either the storm goes through, or the mountains will halt the storm or reduce its strength significantly. Too much wind will make the plants roots grow too deep into the ground resulting in thicker leaves and veins. Also, the deeper roots might result in a higher nicotine content, therefore, a stronger tobacco.
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Eastern wind is the “normal wind”. This wind is steady all year long and simply acts as a dehumidifier and a cleanser for the Cibao Valley. The excess humidity and diseases are then taken to the drier east part of the island (Haiti). This allows the plant to grow under the ideal conditions. The plant reacts to gentle constant wind by growing slightly deeper roots, which allows the plant to absorb more nutrients and minerals giving the tobacco more flavors and strength. It also makes the plant itself stronger.
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Western wind is an indicator for rain. Usually these clouds come from southern part of Cuba and come in through the coast in between the Cordillera Septentrional (mountain range north of the valley) and Cordillera Central (mountain range south of the valley). Since the clouds are more rain-packed, their low altitude does not allow them to leave the valley. Before meteorology and other tools that helped predict the weather, crop growers knew that west wind meant rain was coming. Because the valley gradually increases in altitude, the precipitation occurs in the higher parts of the valley, around Santiago, Tamboril, and Moca. These cities are producing most of the tobacco in the Dominican Republic.
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Piloto Cubano (Jacagua), Criollo 98 (Potrero) & Criollo 98 (La Canela)