What impact did tobacco farming have on the land?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the early colonial times of the Chesapeake area, tobacco was the main cash crop.  In many places, tobacco was essentially the only thing grown.  Because of the nature of tobacco, and because of the farming practices of the time, this quickly became a problem.   Tobacco draws more nutrients from the soil more quickly than many other kinds of crops.  The planters in the Chesapeake generally did not rotate the tobacco with other kinds of crops.  They also did not use much in the way of fertilizer.  This meant that they would deplete the soils of the land on which they planted tobacco relatively quickly.  They would often abandon this land and then move on to other land.  This caused problems with the Native Americans as it meant that the colonists were constantly taking more and more land.