Search America's historic newspaper pages from 1770-1963 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the
National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. external link Learn more
Image provided by: Mississippi Department of Archives and History
Newspaper Page Text
HOW THE BOLL WEEVIL HAS HELPED.
In Texas It Knocked Out the C redit System and Started a Pay ing Diversification of Oijops an d It Will End by Doing the Same Thing in Other States. AR, PESTILENCE and fam ine combined could not hare raised so much commotion as did this little bug. Tens of thou sands of acres, the richest lands in the world, were absolutely abandon ed. Planters went broke; men whe had been prosperous for years had no meat to put on the family table. They couldn’t gfet it, for there was no such thing as credit. The word “credit” was expurgated from the mercantile and agricultural dietion ary. Then the people arose in tbeir wrath and went a-huuting. They started out with a popgun, but threw it away and got a battery of cannon, for they were really hunt ing bigger game than a bug. The real thing to be destroyed was the credit system and the one->crop idol atry. Here was the condition that con fronted them: Planting operations in the cotton section were conducted on credit. Few planters had the money to finance a crop until it could be marketed—that is, they could not furnish meat and meal and molasses to their negroes—sould not supply shoes, boots, plow-gear, farming im plements. AH these had to come from the merchant, and the mer cnani naa 10 get nis money irom the bank, and the country banker had tQ get his money from New York. The whole financial system rested on cot ton—cotton alone. If the farmers could ge* bo cotton they could get no crari’i from the merchant; the merchant could get no credit from the bank; and the country banker could get no money from New York. It ran like the old nursery rhyme: "Water would not quench fire, fire would not hum stick, stick woald not beat dog,” and so on. The United States Department of Agriculture took up the fight, and never in the history of the world has there been such a campaign of In vestigation, experimentation, educa tion, and diversification. Nobody talked anything but boll weevil and how to combat him. Gov ernment bugologlsts camped on his trail and studied his habits until they got so they could read his mind. Then they called the farmers togeth er and told them about it in every city, town, village, crossroads and cotton patch in the South. »iie uuruen or it all was this: “You can’* get rid of the weevil; but you dan raise cotton in spite of him by improving your seed and your methods. You must cut down your cotton acreage, and cultivate it more closely. Plant other lands in some thing else. You can’t buy corn, for you have neither money nor credit; raise It—not the money nor the cred it, but the corn. With bacqn at 30 cents a pound you’ll have *o raise hogs or go hungry. Eggs are 50 cents a dozen and butter 45 cents. Encourage your hens and stimulate your cows.” This was not only the gospel of sense but the creed of ne cessity. The weevil made it impossible to raise cotton at a profit, so the people must raise something else—some thing to eat. After many years of neglect these people apparently for got that anything would grow except cotton. But when the boll weevil drove them to it- they found that everything would grow; that they could raise green things on their land for twelve months in the year. Go back to-day to those districts iu Texas that were desolated in 1902 -3-4. The farmers could not get salt meat for their -families. Now they are shipping carloads of cattle and hogs. They raised so much poultry and so many turkeys that they had to build a packing-house to take care of them. This Texas performance will prob ably be duplicated in Mississippi, Al abama and Georgia. With the one crop fetish and credit handcuffs, the average farm laborer ia Mississippi produces annually about $150 in wealth, while the Iowa laborer pro duces $900. Does this mean that a man in Iowa is worth six in Missis sippi? Does it represent the com parative fertility of the land? The soil of Mississippi is richer than that of Iowa and the climate more favor able. The difference is in the Iowa method, where the average farm la borer produces $500 worth of live stock annually as against $4 for Mis sissippi. Ancient Egypt was first the gran ary and then the treasure house of the world; yet there is a stretch of delta land between Vicksburg and Memphis that is richer far than the storied Valley of the Nile, and with seven times its arable area. Never a day comes when it is too hot or too cold to work. Sunstroke and freez ing are alike unknown. Much of this land is wild, the home of the deer, bear and panther. What a chance for Iowa men in \I i'RRiflflinni ' 4nH what an Annnrt nn. ity for Mississlpplans! Maybe they would be like the pig In a pen that gets so fat it won’t eat any more. But Just let the boss put In a hungry pig—then the fat one gets up and hustles. Hogs and corn will settle the meat and-bread question, rendering the farmer Just that much less depend ent upon the merchant. And Irish potatoes—while the Texan was tight ening bis belt and praying for invita tions to dinner, be discovered that ks could raise a few hundred bushels of Irish potatoes and get them off the land in full time to plant cotton. He could get two erops Instead of one, pick up his dinner as he went along, and never stop going. Dinners counted double with the Texan in those days. Then, in 1905, he made his bump er crop of cotton in spite of the boll weevil, and in addition to his food and forage. The weevil had taught him to be a 60 per cent better farmer. The boll weevil bit Louisiana straight from the shoulder. Some sections lay still and took the count. Others struggled te their feet. fa De Soto Parish, for instance, the cotton production dropped from 16.000 to 9,000 bales. Hundreds of farmB were abandoned. The men went to cutting timber and getting out crosBties. The United States De partment of Agriculture established demonstration farms to prove that a crop of cotton could be rained along side a crop of boll weevil. The na tive believed only half of thiB propo sition; the best he would dp wsh to stand in the edge of the woods and watch. Then he took heart, hitched up his “galluBes” and pulled the bell cord over his mule again. Within a year or two he was raising 15,000 to 18.000 bales; but hiB foodstuffs—and this tells the story—increased from 300 to 500 per cent. In some of the upper river parish es, opposite Vicksburg, they took up rice on a large scale and found they could grow better rice than the planters on the coast. The acres were level, ideal for irrigation, and there was water in plenty; but the planter would never had thought of it If the weevil hadn’t said “Boo!”— Harris Dickson in Satsrday Evening Post. The Truth About the German Potash Law. (Advtrtlsenient) Among Germany’s most important natural resources there are about seventy mines that furnish the world’s supply of potash. At present these mines can supply more potash than the world is using, but not more than the world can use profitably, and not more than the world would bo using if farmers could buy potash as readily as they can buy other things. Under these conditions there is a tendency for some of the mines to try to get more than their share of the trade. In the past the mines have entered Into short term arrangements to sell their products through a single com pany, organized and owned by the mines. Each mine has agreed to fur nish a certain fraction of the world's demand to the selling company. This fraction was known as the quota of the mine. As new mines were de veloped there were usually assigned a fair quota, but occasionally a new mine declined to sell In this way and sought to secure more than Its fair share of the potash trade by selling Independently and usually at slightly lower prices. When the last soiling agreement expired three or four mines under took to get contracts to supply the entire American potash trade, which Is a little over one-fourth of ’ e potash trade of the world. Had t.,ey succeeded In filling their contract* they would, of course, have had much more than their fair share of business. Most of the mines are owned by private companies, but a few of them are owned by the Prussian and other German States, not by the Royal Family, as has been erroneously stat ed In some American newspapers. Owing to the action of a few mine* In trying to get more than their fair share of the business, the German Government passed a law regulat ing the fraction or quota of the world’s supply that each mine might sell, and providing that ench mine should have a share in both the ex port and the home trade. The law provides for n commission to enforce the law and lays a trifling tax on all the products of the mines whether exported or used at home, to pay for the expenses of the commls slon. This tax is not grenfer thnr the usual State fertiliser taxes It America, which range from ten tr. fifty cents per ton. without regard to the value of the fertiliser The German tax Is fairer, however, in that it takes Into account the amount of plant food In the different grades of potash compounds. The tax ranges from sixteen cents per ton on kalnlt containing twelve and one-half per cent potash, to slxtv-flve cents on muriate of potash. As one-half of this goes back for advertising ex penses previously met by the mines, the only additional expense Imposed by the law Is the trifling sum of from eight to thirty-three cents per ton The tax Is In no sense nn export tax, but Is paid on every pouad of potash whether used In Oermnny or sent to other countries. There’s In It no dis crimination against America or any other country. When we recall that the ocean freight rate on potnsh may vary as much as one dollar per ton In n Blngle month without any Increase In the cost of potash to the consumer, It Is at once evident that this trifling tax for administration purposes will have no more to do with potaRh prices than the State tax on fertil izers In the United States has to do with the selling price of our com mon fertilizers. The law, contrary to the genernl belief, does not require the formation of a selling company or syndicate. Each mine is free to sell its shar® of export and domestic as it 8efia fit, but it must not sell for export at a less price than is charged to Ger man buyers. There Is certainly noth ing in this, to give the American farmer who buys potash any cause for alarm. Why then, has our State Department been urged to protest so vigorously against the passage of this law? Why have we been told that the lnw means we must pay twenty dollars more per ton for all our pot’. ash salts? The law provides that If any mine shall sell more than it® assigned fair share it must pay on the excess over Its lawful share ® much higher tax, ranging from about two dollnrs and seventy-five cents to nineteen dollars and a half per t0n This will, of course, serve to restrict ‘ the mines to the legal quota of each Hut there is no intention of restrict Ing the total production of potasl On the other hand the publicity pro. visions are Intended to Increase th« rnnon m nf ! An The American fertiliser companls* sought to get control of all the potash coming to America. They failed to do It. They never Intended that ths farmer should get potash salts dlrset from them and they Insisted that tha Germans should sell only to these companies and that the German Kali Works, which la the Amerlcnn Com pany representlnR the potash mines, should cease to sell mixers, dealers and farmers. The German Kail Works was or Ranlsed for the purpose of Retting potnsh to the farmers, local dealers aid mixers, at fair prices It Is s matter of Indifference to them wheth er they sell It direct to these three classes or whether their offer* cauaa the fertiliser manufacturers to sell It to them at fair prices The fertll Ixer manufacturers do not want the farmers to secure potnsh except In the form of mixed goods containing about potmds of phosphate and filler to 2 pounds of potash salts Home mixing gives the fertiliser manufacturer nervous chills. It means the farmer may buy raw ma terial. compound his filler free fertil iser at a marked saving, and. worst of all, he will begin to figure on ths money he has been paying out for filler and freight on It. not a penny of whli h was of any value In Increas ing his crop. The American fertiliser manufact urers have claimed for years that they sought uniform prices fur potnsh rather than low prices. The new law gives every buyer the same price. Hut their strenuous objections prove what many already knew, that the large manufacturer does not want the mix er. local dealer or farmer to buy potash at all except in the form of filler-loaded mixtures which place the cost of plant food much higher than It can be sold for In raw materials. ENGINES and BOILERS . ,Z/*r,lon Engine. 1H tiurae compound. •&»; H hoc*, cornpourut. IN*); 16 ho«* plate tract**; 15 ‘jiSif 10 h.trap traction; 10 and 11 .-TTlR??f** ,run ,rur‘‘»- *> borer portable. n .kkl.; Ji. bon*. portable. on Iron truck.: geeo line anginee. a'l ilM; new »*w mlU boilere. rtiginoa, pump*, heater*. *'**7 Holler Works, Springfield, Oklo Steel Wheelsr That's Sol HI red liutiil* are K'Tiiujr Hcarivr evorv dtt v; ^but LOW MOWN STKllL i \\ llLLI.S will help to take \ thoir place. Then, too, the sun don’t affect it sli'cl wliool like it ill m■* tin. |m*st of hired help. Mart bruin Jind /r*s muncle nowadays. Culu lojfne /ir« to you. HAVANA METAL WHEEL CO. Itov tIA, Hi.vumt, III. TERRACING FARM. llUUES 1TH VALUE. KAF£ L®VKL *i"° best for Inching, (.ruling Irrigating. Mil,ling. Munt*y in runrnnir llnvi for othrra WrlU* now. for ftiwlikl Aguncy ofTrr frank Wrtghl. Mfg. Cava Springe, tie.