Date: May 2022
Author: Billie

Several acres of tobacco at Chateau de la Fuente in El Caribe, Dominican Republic have been damaged by a long and intense hailstorm earlier this week. The hail blasted holes in the tobacco, protective cheesecloth and damaged curing barns and seedbeds.

The storm destroyed much of a 45-acre tobacco crop that was ready for harvest. Due to the hailstorm, most of the tobacco can’t be used as wrapper, as wrapper needs to be pristine. This tobacco can still be used as binder or filler.

“We got hit pretty hard,” Carlos Fuente Jr. said “It was the strangest thing.” He said the storm lasted for more than an hour, and one of his workers told him that there was an “accumulation of ice never before seen in the region.” In a weird coincidence it happened on the birthday of late Carlos Fuente Sr. Prior to this hail storm, the weather had been superb for Fuente’s harvest. “This was the very end of the crop. This was a very good year,” he said.

some of Fuente’s infrastructure was also damaged: cheesecloth shade, poles, wires, even some damage to curing barns, warehouses and animal pens. “We’ve got damage to everything,” Carlito said. “It’s a bad thing, but it’s not the end of the world,” Fuente continues. The storm won’t have any effect on this year’s shipments but might influence production in the next few years to come.

The extensive damage at Chateau de la Fuente

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