This article deals with the physical characteristics of the sites selected for the production of tobacco in Pennsylvania, nature of tobacco growing, the response of tobacco farmers to changing market conditions, and the spatial distribution of tobacco production within Pennsylvania since 1840. Factors underlying the establishment and persistence of tobacco production in south-central Pennsylvania include soil and climate constraints, cultural conditions, and economic opportunities. Yet, there were periods when market conditions expanded the tobacco-growing region in Pennsylvania. In the late nineteenth century, tobacco was widely grown across Pennsylvania. After the turn of the last century, decreases in the demand for cigar tobacco led to a contraction of the state's tobacco growing region while the elimination in 2004 of tobacco production quotas established during the Great Depression resulted in an expansion of output outside of Lancaster County and a change in the varieties of tobacco grown in Pennsylvania.

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