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The Pensacola journal. (Pensacola, Fla.) 1898-1985, April 27, 1913, SECTION TWO, Image 19

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Di3rsification of Crops on
I! the Florida Farm.
By C. K. McQuinSft,
Former Superintendent of
Farmers' institutes of
A!! student! of economic conditions
in. Florida mist realize the fact that
future prosperity and -wealth of the
state must ccme from its agriculture.
The sawmill ih1 turpentine still, which
were really tte pioneers of progressive
agriculture tt:11 in a few more years
be things of the past, and in the years
to come will simply have been inci
dents is the life history of the .state.
And considering the fact that there
are no mineral resources in the state
to fail back upon, except a few phos
phate beds, -which are confined to a
small area, we can easily see the cor
rectness of our opening: proposition.
The truck and fruit industry of the
state must always hold a very prom
inent position towards its upbuilding1,
prosperity andwealth. But it is the
general farmer, the man who grows
the crops in general use, and keeps
plenty of live stock on his farm, who
will in the coming years bring our
fair state to that degree of prosperity
second to none in the union.
The truck and citrus business of the
state is to a large extent of an un
certain character, owing to the liability
of being injured by sever winter
freezes and late spring frosts. As wit
nessed by the freeze of 1894-5 and 1S93
when some citrus groves of the state
were almost wiped out of existence.
stJ every spring the truck growers
meet with more or leas losses from
late frosts. This,, coupled with uncer
tain returns and transportation diffi
culties, make the trucking Industry
very much of a lottery propos'tion
True, there are a great number of
men in the state making money by
growing truck for northern markets,
fcut there are far more that are not
breaking even one year with another.
"Wo always hear of the men that are
successful, but we seHom ever hear
of the scores of men that are not.
From personal observation of several
reasons of the tons upon tons of veg
etables left in the fields to rot where
they grew when prices would not war
rant the gathering and shipping of
them. We are all the more convinced
that general farming conducted along
the lines of diversification of crops
will in the long run prove more suc
cessful as an all-round agricultural
industry of the state, and with the long
seasons, genial climate, and soils re
sponsive to proper treatment, the di
versification of crops is bound to
bring Its own reward.
The history of our agricultural
rnefte! m generally practiced (prove
conclusively that our farmers have
in most cases been carrying the heavy
burden of poor farmers, and to get
away from under this burden, busi
ness methods must be brought into
practice. Farmers must come to look
at the soil of their farms in the same
way as the business man'looks at his
capital stock. , the means to and end
in wealth and .production. He must
use business methods by diversifying
his crops and growing them la the ro
tation that is going to maintain and
increase the fertility of his soil. To
this' end he should classify his crops
somewhat in the following order; cash
crops, farm crops, forage crops, soil
building crops, cover crops, pastures,
and live stock in proportion to the
farm's ability to produce feeds for
their profitable production.
"Cash Crops."
Every farmer should grow sometfrop
or crops that can be turned into ready
cash so as to have money available
tfor "general expenses," to pay for
labor, fertilized, and any incidentals.
This crop shuld be along the line of
what is most suitable for his soil, his
location, and the general trend , of his
crop production. In the fruit and
trucking sections strawberries, cab
bage, lettuce, beans, cukes, Irish po
tatoes, cantaloupes, and watermelons,
can be grown for this purpose. All,
however, depending on the help avail
able, transportation facilities, and the
ability of the local markets to use
most dr all of them. "With a long
session at command in this state, some
of the above should be in evidence
almost every month of the year by
making periodic sowings as the sea
sons come on suitable to their pro
duction. On some farms quite a rev
enue is derived from poultry products
and when attention is paid to this
branch of agricultural work, the in
come tax can be derived from it is
something to be counted upon? The
same . remark holds true regarding
dairy products for which there is an
unlimited demand all the year round
for high-grade products.
, Farm Crops.
Among the list of farm crops proper,
the corn crop should get the most
prominence, as it is a crop that is
suitable for all sections of the state,
provided the variety best adapted to
the section in view is grown, due care
being necessary to get the beat seed
for this purpose.
Sweet potatoes are also in excellent
farm crop and can be grown to good
advantage in all parts of the state
and if proper methods are used for
their production, and the careful
banking of the crop when harvested.
It will prove as profitable as most farm
crops, a
there never enough of
sweet potatoes grown to supply even
the home demand all the year round.
Two crops of Irish potatoes can be
grown in all parts of the state, a
spring and a fall crop, and by careful
harvesting and proper methods of
housing, the one crop can be made to
tun into the other, thus giving us a
continuous table supply for the whole
Sorghum is another good farm crop.
It can be used as forage to great ad
vantage, both i,,the dry state and in
the green stage for hog and cattle
feed. If the crop is planted early, two
and in some cases hree cuttings can
be had in one season. Sorghum mixed
with corn make3 the best silage ma
terial that the farmer can use.
Sugar cane is one of the best money
makers of the whole list of farm crops.
It is an easily grown crop and is suitr
able to all sections of the state, and
when manufactured Into a high-grade
syrup the returns in hard cash per
acre are very satisfactory. Yields of
four and "five hundred sallons per acre
being about the average and the retail
price seldom goes below 50 cents per
gallon for a good article.
Oats are an excellent crop and serves
a double purpose of being a farm crop
and a winter cover crop, and if the
rust-proof variety is used, a very sat
isfactory yield of grain can be . expected.
Barley is another good farm crop
for winter cover crop and for winter
pasturage, and where clay prevails in
the soU it will if planted in late Oc
tober give better results than oats.
Rye is a general favorite for. cover
crop purposes, but as a grain pro
ducer, the result are not equal to oats
or barley.
Forage Crops.
The variety of our forage crops and
the quantities than can be produced
(per acre in this state exceeds any
other section of the country that we
know of, and when live stock are kept
on the farm and the forage crops fed
to them and the resulting manure put
back on the land, we are adopting
the highest type of agriculture which
will result In a more permanent im
provement of the soil than can be
brought about by any other method.
Among the most worthy of considera
tion in this connection are the hays
from crabgrass, natal grass, Mexican
clover, milet, beggarweed, cowpeas.
velvet beans, soy beans, and corn
stover got by cutting and shucking
the corn crop at the right time. In
this list can also be included peanuts,
chufas, Japanese sugar cane. The last
being really on of the best in the list,
as it is adapted to all kinds of soil
and the yield per acre exceeds any
other. As a hog and cattle feed, it can
not be excelled. It is ready for use
early in October and by windrowing
it carefully when cold weather comes,
covering- with, leaves and trash to pro
tect it, it can be used continuously
from October to May.
Soil Building Crops.
First in rank as a soil builder is
the velvet bean, because of its excep
tional yield per acre and its ability to
collect the free nitrogen of the air on
its roots in the form of nodules. It
is estimated that a crop of velvet
beans after the beans are picked and
the crop grazed y live stock and
plowed under in the fall is worth at
least $10 per acre for the nitrogen and
bumus it stores in the soil. This crop
should always follow a crop that de
pletes the soil, such as corn, cane,
sweet potatoes, etc.
Cowpeas are another soil builder,
not only from their ability to collect
nitrogen on the roots, but from their
deep rooting habit, giving. the soil an
improved mechanical condition as well
as their fertilizing results. But where
cowpeas are grown in the grove or
orchard the root-knot resistant varie
ties should be used. The iron and
brabharo are the two best known for
this purpose.
Beggarweed is also good for soli
building purposes and being a self
seeder, after it once gets a start is to
be recommended in this class.
Soy beans and peanut3 are also
nitrogen gatherers and when hogs are
a part of the farm products these crops
serve a double purpose.
Mexican clover is also classed
among the soil-builders and while it
is not a legume, its -roots run verv
deep and open up the subsoil, and if
the crop is plowed under in the fall
and used for humus production, the
results will be very satisfactory.
Cover Crops.
In general practice the Florida
farmer does not pay much attention
to cover crops, which means crops
grown for soil cover purposes in the
whiter and fed in the green state or
plowed under early in the spring. This
is a good method along the lines of
scil building and is going to, become
more general ,as we come to under
stand improved farming methods. The
'best crops for this purpose are rye,
crimson clover and hairy vetch. The
last two being legumes ar" especially
to be recommended. Buckwheat sown
In October can be used for this pur
pose in December when an early spring
crop is wanted on the same land. Rape
if sown thick In October can be used
In January and February for soiling
purposes or grazed off by hogs or
live stock to flood advantage before
plowing under in the early spring. Our
open,' sandy lands can be brought very
readily Into a high state of crop pro
ducers if we practice the growing of
these crops in winter, but -along this
line let us suggest a caution of plow
ing them under before the first of
March. If delayed later and warm
weather prevails, the plowing under
of a heavy crop of green material
may produce humic acid in the soil,
which is detrimental to bacterial life
and In that case plowing under a cover
crop may d omore harm than good.
Live Stock.
A farm without live stock is not
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Bathhouse, owned by Hon. Peter Tom asello, on Blackwater Basin, Santa Rosa county, Florida. Shore shaded by
Live Oak Trees and Long Spanish Moss.
a complete farm and the man that
tries to run a farm without them is
not a well rounded out farmer. A
man that devotes all his farm to the
production of grain or cotton or any
special crop, is very little better than
a farm laborer. Hogs as an adjunct
to all farming operations are a prime
necessity on every farm. They are
TQoney-makers in every sense of the
term and can be profitably employed
tc use and convert succulent and waste
materials on the farm, in the orchard,
and orange groves, to a finished
product in the shape of pork. The
improved breeds are to be especially
recommended as they give better re
turns for the feed consumed than any
of the razor-back type, and can be
marketed at a very much earlier age.
The beef type of cattle should be
kept In sufficient number to use up
the forages and hay products of the
farm. But the dairy cow is the type
c animal that is really the money
getter. An old saying is that "Pros
perity follows the milk pail," and it is
as true of Florida as any part of
Uncle Sam's wide domain, and con
sidering the 'fact that millions of dol
lars are sent out of the '-state yearly
for dairy products, the future of the
dairy industry in this state is very
bright, as dairy feeds can be grown
in great abundance and variety on
every farm. The dairying side of
farming can be conducted as profit
able in Florida as in any of the what
Is known as dairy states.
On all well arranged farms there
should be a few acres of pastures. In
our state Bermuda grass has been
found the most satisfactory so far.
Bermuda, however, is somewhat af
fected with winter frost and turns
somewhat brown in color, but at the
same time stock relish it. A good plan
to get an all-year-round pasture is to
disk Bermuda sod in September and
sow Burr clover on It, sowing the
seed in the burr. This refers specially
to the heavier soils. The Burr clover
will provide a winter pasture and be
ing self-seeding, the perpetuation of
the crop is assured when once started.
In the flat woods section of the state
and on bottom lands "Paspalum grass'
will afford a good pasture. This grass
is well disseminated all over the state
and is known to the natives under
the name "carpet . or "goose grass. "
"When this grass once gets a start
under congenial conditions, it proves
very satisfactory, particularly so on
the cut-over pine lands of the state,
and as tbe agricultural Industry of
the state .progresses, we shall find out
the grasses best adapted to the dif
ferent sections and adopt them as their
utility becomes apparent. In the past
the pasture proposition has been en
tirely overlooked and neglected and
the live stock side of agriculture has
been on a side-track, but in the future
when our farmers realize the great
benefit to be had from live stock pro
duction, this pasture proposition will
get as much attention as the other
branches of agriculture, because the
problem of good pastures all the year
tound in Florida is not by any means
an insolvable one.
1?F V czP)
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iis, w a misties. stains,' 0
. av
ommolet'e-.Lihe of Imopovei
Agents For
Be F Avery & Sons' Farming Implements, International Harvester Company's Line; Cincinnati Rubber Company's
Belting, Schultz Leather Belting and Lace Leather, New York Belting arid Packing Company's Line,
Moore-Jones Brass and Metal Company's Line, Yellow Strand Steel Rope, American and Universal
Field Fence, Asbestos and Regal Roofings, Aermotor Engines and Windmills, Gould's Pumps
U - U -

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