The département of the Dordogne — home to Daglan — has long been a major producer of tobacco, accounting for an estimated 23% of France’s production.
Although the business of raising, harvesting, drying and then processing tobacco has been in a steady decline (at least in part because of the withdrawal of subsidies), you can still see lots of tobacco growing in fields around the Greater Daglan Area.
While I’m not a fan of tobacco in general, and smoking in particular, I do sympathize at least a little bit with farmers who depend on income from the crop. And as for the tobacco plant itself, it’s actually fairly attractive.
Here’s a look at a field that lies between Saint Cybranet and Daglan, as I passed it today while cycling:
And now as we move towards autumn, we are in the harvest season, so the tall plants are being cut down and hauled away. Here’s a large area that’s been harvested, right next to the tobacco plants shown growing in the first photo:
As is so often the case in the GDA, the farm equipment itself looks pretty beat up. This tractor, for instance, has seen better days — but it’s hooked up to the tobacco harvester, and so its job is to finish cutting the crop.
Once the tobacco is gone, farmers will turn their attention to two more important harvests — feed corn and then, best of all, our wonderful walnuts.