Volwm* XV. Wo. 12. SATURDAY. MARCH 26.1910. Weekly; $1 a Year.
HoW Cotton Growing Could Hake the South Rich
View ON COTTON FARM OF W. A. SIMPKINS.
"2^^ you ever realize that the Southern farmer hae the greatest 4cinch' in ail history ?” asked President Charles Barrett the
other day ; and he went on to point out that we can not only grow all the great staple crops that farmers grow anywhere
else, but we have a virtual monopoly of cotton, the greatest money-crop in all the world. With such conditions Southern farmers
should indeed be among the richest and most contented farmers on earth. That they are not is not the fault of the crop, or of the
land they live in, but of the wrong methods that they have followed.
Let us ‘'suppose,” as the children say, for a tittle while. In the first place, let us suppose that every farmer in the Cotton Belt •
would begin this year a systematic rotation of his crops ; that he would plant at least one-third his land to legume crops; that he
would feed these crops, along with his corn and stover and cottonseed meal to live stock, and return the manure from the stock to
his soil. Let us sunDose that he would beein to take care of his soil, to studv its needs and to labor for its enrichment: that ha m
would, as fast as possible, fill it with humus, drain or terrace it if necessary, get rid of stumps and ditches and other obstacles
that hinder successful cultivation with improved implements and more stock. Let us suppose that each acre planted to cotton this
year would be well plowtd and thoroughly pulverised before planting time ; that the seed would be of the best obtainable strains ;
that the fertiliser applied to the crop would be chosen with special reference to the crop needs on that particular soil; that cul
tivation would begin with a weeder or light harrow before the grass started and would be kept up till late in the season; that the
land would be sown in a cover crop next fall, and next year’s cotton crop planted on land where a leguminous crop had grown this
year. Let us suppose that these things were kept up for ten years, or even five years.
At the end of that time would the South, in your opinion, be a poorer or a richer country than it now is; would cotton farmers
live in better houses, or poorer ones; would they have more money than today, or less ; would refinement and culture and progress
and aspiration be more or less in evidence than at present?
Every farmer in the Cotton Belt is not going to do these things ; but why should not every reader of ihis paper, so far as is in
his power, work towards this ideal ? With first consideration given always to the upbuilding of the soil, with due attention given
to food and feed crops and the growing of live stock, with a careful, painstaking study of the great problems of soil prepara
non, seed selection, fertilization und cultivation, with every acre tn cotton made to produce just the largest yieldpracticaoie, cotton
is bound to be a profitable crop—a wonderfully profitable crop, bringing wealth untold to the men who grow it, and despite boll
weevils, bad seasons, speculators, and the chronically shiftless and indifferent, making the South the fairest and richest agricul
tural land upon which the sunshine falls.
Let every Progressive Farmer and Gazette reader have for his motto thts year: The greatest profit from every acre of cotton
grown, with enough food and feed crops, and enough live stock to make me a free man in the fall, whether prices are high or low.
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