Connecticut:...44.4 million pounds
Indiana:..........19.8 million pounds
Ohio:..............60.5 million pounds
Wisconsin:......62.4 million pounds (Source)
Even today, both Ontario (Canada) and Connecticut grow significant amounts of tobacco.
Historically, tobacco was one of the few crops that a farmer could raise on ten acres and support a family. Political pressures concentrated tobacco growing in Virginia, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee. Large portions of those states are rolling and have relatively small parcels of ground flat enough to farm. Tobacco production was concentrated there via "market orders". Other localities could grow as much tobacco as they wanted, but they could not legally sell it.
Taxing entities liked this arrangement because it is much easier to keep tabs on tobacco when it flows through very few pipelines. The tax on cigarettes in New York City equates to $120/pound of tobacco. You can see why they really don't want folks in the Bronx to realize they can grow tobacco plants at a half pound of product each.
Biologically, "tobacco" consists of leaves. As a plant grows, it first produces leaves&stems-food storage (tubers)-flowers-seeds. Plants that we use for seeds require the longest growing season. Plants that we use for leaves....like leaf lettuce...require the shortest growing season. You can grow tobacco if you can ripen tomatoes or grow sweet corn.
Perique tobacco is harvested in JUNE before it flowers. In Michigan, Perique starts to flower in early August, still long before a frost.
Granny's Heirloom seeds
There are many heirloom tobacco varieties on the market. My advice is to avoid them.
Modern breeders discovered that there was an extreme amount of plant-to-plant variation in carcinogen content even within the same strain of tobacco.
Modern breeders purified the commercial strains by selecting the individual plants with the lowest carcinogen levels. One of the nice things about breeding tobacco is that you need very few foundation plants because one tobacco plant can produce nearly a million seeds. That means that a breeder can sort through 7500 seedlings in a greenhouse (enough to plant an acre of plants) and cull all but the two very lowest plants....and still have two million seeds. That is selection pressure!
This story has been very carefully buried. The tobacco industry is in a difficult situation. They cannot tell the public that they made tobacco healthier without first admitting that tobacco causes cancer. That is a fact that they do not like to repeat.
I have grown three different strains of tobacco. So far, the best performer has been Tennessee 90 Burley. I would attempt to buy the seeds from Workman Tobacco Seed company because they explicitly state that they are selling the LC (Low Carcinogen) strains. The only difficulty is that the smallest quantity of seed that Workman sells is 10,000 pelleted seeds (enough for 1.2 acres!) and that runs about $50.
I talked to Richard at Workman tobacco (800-910-0070) and he was very friendly. He said that they were not really set up to handle retail orders but would provide whatever customer service they could. He suggested that early February is a good time to order tobacco seed and that you can store the seed in your freezer for several years.
"Lucky" is one of my readers in Kentucky. Maybe Lucky can identify some sellers who are willing to sell smaller quantities mail-order.