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2. Irrigation, when available, as it is in far more cases than it is popularly supposed to be, is not only an antidote to drought, but a direct source of plant-food in its cheapest form. This source is availed of in the writer's experience.
3. Muck is used both as a source of humus and of nitrogen. This material is in every section of New England.
4. Purchased nitrogenous foods are an economical source of the increased nitrogen supply required, and limit the direct purchase of this material in the fertilizer markets.
5. Chemical manures are one of the corner-stones of farm cropping thus laid out, and must be heavily drawn upon. They in turn increase the manure supply of the farm. When used with a reduced application of good manure, the effect of each is enhanced and both made profitable.
The writer is fully convinced that a readjustment of crops and their succession, the broadening of operations on the farms now in possession of representative farmers, and greater intensification of farming for the entire area, will place the returns of New England farming alongside of the most favored sections of the world.
TYPES OF FARM ORGANIZATION IN THE SOUTH
By G. F. Hunnieutt
The layout of farms in the South has changed much in a generation. Under the old regime, most of the farms were devoted to cotton, and were laid off in simple but magnificent proportions. It was not uncommon to find a fine colonial homestead situated in a grove of oaks; in the rear, a commodious crib and barn, built separately, and generally of hewn logs; a few hundred yards away a horsepower cotton-gin; down near a spring a row of negro cabins, constructed also of hewn logs; then broad outlying cotton fields completing the picture. These plantations were of one thousand to several thousand acres. They varied occasionally from the above description by having buildings constructed of brick, or of lumber when sawmills were convenient. Now the changed labor conditions, the advent of improved machinery, the growth of cities and manufactories, the realization of the necessity for diversification, both for soil improvement and to render the farms self-sustaining, have wrought great changes, and with almost marvelous rapidity the layout of the southern farm has taken on new and better proportions. From the single cotton plantation have come many distinct types of farms, an adequate conception of which can be obtained only when they are considered separately under their natural classification as cotton farms, cotton, corn and grain farms, dairy and stock farms, truck farms and fruit farms.
Another type of farm still common in the South, and representing the other extreme, is the fencedin small area in the wooded sections, usually belonging to a "cracker" farmer. It is clearly the
intention, in such cases, to set off the domain from the forest. Fig. 163. Of course such farms must necessarily be weak economic units, unless combined into larger properties.
Cotton farms and rental systems.
Many old plantations, more or less intact, and smaller farms, are still to be found in the South, the owners of which hold to the old system of growing cotton almost exclusively. They still try to cultivate thirty-five acres to the mule, nearly all of it in cotton. This crop is sometimes planted up to the very doors of the houses, and in many instances the land has been in cotton for fifteen or twenty years consecutively. Occasionally five or ten acres are put in corn, but it receives only the little attention that can be spared from the exacting demands of the cotton. Some of the farmers, who have exceptionally good lands and are good managers, are doing well, and have comfortable homes for themselves and for their tenants.
The tenants were formerly all negroes, but of recent years many of the negroes have moved to the cities and white persons have taken the places on the farms. In some sections, however, the reverse is true, the white people having gone to the towns and left the farms to the negro tenants. These tenants work the land on shares. The systems of tenantry may be grouped under three heads, at least as practiced in Georgia. (1) The "half-and-half" contracts cover about one-third to one-half of the whole. In this system the landowner possesses both land and stock, and furnishes the "cropper" with house, mule (or mules), truckpatch and firewood—also advancing his supplies. Each shares equally in the net proceeds after the cost of fertilizers and supplies has been deducted at the end of the season. On the "half-and-half" arrangement, it is usually agreed that about twothirds of the area cultivated (or an average of 20 acres per mule) is to go in cotton and one-third (10 acres per mule) in corn. The latter is seldom sold, but divided in kind and retained by both parties— by the owner for the maintenance of his stock and by the "cropper" for food. (2) When the renter or "cropper" possesses his own draft-stock, it is customary, in probably 30 per cent of the total number of contracts, to rent for a "third-andfourth"—that is, the "cropper" pays to the landowner one-fourth of the cotton and one-third of the corn. As in the "half-and-half" contract, he is furnished with a cabin, truck-patch and fuel, and has his supplies advanced up to "settling day" (Nov. 1), but he feeds his own stock and pays for three-fourths of the fertilizer used for the cotton and for two-thirds of that used for the corn. (3) In the remaining percentage of contracts the land is either rented at a fixed price per acre, according to its capacity and value, or for so many bales of cotton "per mule" (generally two 500-pound bales for 30 acres). A domicile may or may not be furnished with the land, and the renter finds his own supplies of every kind. This is the most variable and elastic of all the contract forms—and generally the most satisfactory to both parties, whenever it
can be effected. When the renter has stock, he usually pays what is termed "standing rent," which is 1,000 pounds of lint cotton for each one-horse farm.
As might be expected, these kinds of farming do not tend to develop diversity or stability, and the farm buildings are cheap and scattered about the place to suit the convenience of the tenant. There is no centrally located or well-appointed layout of the buildings, and no systematic arrangement of the lands or crops. Cotton and a little corn are almost the only crops grown. There is usually on such farms a cheap, unpainted house containing four rooms and a kitchen; in the rear, a hundred feet or so, is a cheap barn, capable of sheltering two horses or mules and a cow. On one side of the house is a garden spot, half an acre in extent, a few fruit trees, and then the cotton-field. The fields are
dred to three hundred acres. Many have their lands systematically laid out, and their farms present an attractive appearance. Some have areas of branch or creek bottom on which corn and hay are grown continually, while the hill lands are devoted to grain, cowpeas and cotton. The area in timber varies from one-third to twothirds of a farm, according to location. The farms near the cities are nearly all in cultivation. The pastures, as a rule, are sufficiently large, but inferior as to the quantity of grass, as the majority of the farmers depend entirely on native grasses. These farmers have modern cottage homes, painted and neatly kept, commodious barns and plenty of farm machinery. It is not uncommon on such farms to find gasoline engines to pump the water and to cut the wood and feed, grain drills, reapers and mowers, disc plows, harrows and weeders. These
Pic 163. A small poor farm in northern Florida, fenced off in the woods. Such units are too small for effective agriculture on poor lands remote from market.
irregular in shape and often intersected by gulches and galled spots, while the timber lands often project into them. This makes greatly against the appearance of the farms in the southern states. When cotton was selling low, this class of farmers experienced very hard times. It is a hopeful sign that they are rapidly decreasing in number, and giving way to farming on a better basis.
Cotton, corn and grain farms.
Various agricultural organizations have been advocating diversified farming, with the result that many farmers are pursuing more rational systems. These are following a three-year rotation, as follows: one-third of the land in cotton, one-third in corn, and one-third in grain and hay. They generally have thirty acres to the plow, this giving them twenty to cultivate, which they can work much better than the former large acreages of thirty-five or forty acres. Usually, corn is followed by wheat and oats, the grain by cotton, and the cotton by corn, which makes a satisfactory rotation. The grain lands are sown to peas, or peas and sorghum when the grain is cut, thus making two crops.
This class constitutes the most independent and progressive farmers. They usually have one hun
farmers are progressing, improving the soil and increasing the yield. Where formerly half a bale of cotton, twenty bushels of corn and ten bushels of wheat per acre were considered good crops, by thorough cultivation and a liberal use of fertilizers, farmers are now raising two bales of cotton, eighty bushels of corn and forty bushels of wheat. Last year (1905) the writer saw lands that yielded two hundred and one and one-half bushels of corn, three bales of cotton, and sixty-one bushels of wheat per acre. This, of course, is exceptional. There is no doubt that for the average southern farmer, far removed from the cities, this combination forms the ideal system of farming.
A more systematic layout of the farming lands is needed. The fields are generally irregular in shape and area, and do not present a pleasing appearance or offer the greatest saving in time or space. There is lacking that definite plan which would add greatly to the ease of administration and the value of the farms.
Dairy and stock farms.
Dairy and stock farms are springing up rapidly in the South, and many are being equipped with the very best strains of stock and all the up-to
date appliances. The increased population of the cities and the building of many cotton mills and manufacturing plants have greatly enlarged the markets for all dairy products. When intelligently managed, these dairies are prosperous. Many farms have well - equipped dairy buildings and bams, and the majority have silos. The southern farm can grow as much corn per acre as any other section, and fill the silos as cheaply. The great drawback is the fact that the farmers have not learned to grow enough grain, nor have they been in the business long enough to get the lands sufficiently fertile to produce large yields, as is done in the North. The dairymen are buying much of their concentrated food instead of producing it. Since the lands will produce two crops annually, wheat or oats followed by corn, peas or sorghum, there can be no excuse for not growing all the food supply. Some dairymen rely on pasturage to a great extent, and, as lands are cheap, they have large pastures. Others rely on soiling and have only small pastures for exercise and water. The Bermuda-grass cannot be excelled as a pasture-grass, and will furnish grazing for nine months in the year, while by the addition of bur clover and rye cows could be pastured for twelve months. Within the last twelve months many well-equipped creameries have been built in the cities. These will be a great stimulus to the dairy industry, as they will offer ready markets for the milk.
The stock farms, as a rule, are not so successful, except in the case of hog-farms. In the sandy sections the hogs are fattened on peanuts; in the
cattle and sheep, the southern farmer has not learned to handle them or raise them to advantage. The New South has not yet had time to develop a supply of capable stockmen. The sheep industry is being revived, and it is hoped that
One of the better type of southern stock barns.—On the farm of J. M. Givpus, Aiken, South Carolina.
This line of farming has received a great impetus within the last few years through the influence of better home-markets and increased shipping facilities. The truck-farms vary in extent from ten acres to several hundred. Around the cities many farmers are contenting themselves with small areas and are practicing the intensive system to advantage. Every southern state has sections in which numerous farms are devoted to truck alone. Berries, cantaloupes, watermelons, lettuce, radishes and the like are grown for northern markets. Near the cities, where truck is grown for the local markets, every variety of vegetable is produced. Fair yields are obtained by many of the truckers, though but few can equal the northern truckers, who have been much longer in the business. The writer has known of over three hundred dollars' worth of raspberries and strawberries to be sold from an acre, seven hundred dollars' worth of spinach, and eight hundred dollars' worth of cabbage. Some truckers are putting in irrigation plants, and many are building well-equipped hothouses and fitting themselves much better for their work. In the mild southern climate the coldframes answer the purpose of hothouses for all ordinary needs and are in general use.
In peach-growing the South has outstripped all other sections within the last few years. This is largely due to the Elberta peach, the fine appearance and shipping qualities of which have led many persons to put out commercial orchards. The profits have been such as to enlist men of all classes and professions as fruit- or peach-growers. In this kind of farming Georgia leads all other southern states, having many millions of Elberta peach trees. The growers are nearly all planting earlier and later varieties, so as to prolong the shipping season and not to have all the fruit marketable at one time. This crop has now reached a total output of 5,000 cars, and orchards are still being set out, varying in size from fifty to one thousand acres. It is found that the pebbly lands are adapted to peach-growing, and especially the hills, where the danger from frost is lessened. These orchards exhibit a more systematic layout than any other kinds of farms, and usually present a beautiful appearance during the spring and summer. The peach trees are set fifteen to seventeen feet apart each way, and are pruned so as to branch near the ground, and have a regular umbrella shape. Most of the fruits can be gathered by a person standing on the ground.
The apple has begun to receive attention and within the next five years will be developed greatly, and promises to keep pace with the peach. Canneries are now receiving due attention. These are being established in all fruit centers. The pear is almost neglected because of the serious ravages of the blight. Plums are beginning to receive attention, especially the new large varieties.
Suggested subdivision of a mixed husbandry farm for the South.
As the lands were originally surveyed into lots of two hundred acres, this would constitute the most convenient size of the average farm. The dwelling-house should be located according to road facilities, but as near the center of the frontage as a suitable site would permit. Two acres should be devoted to this site for the buildings, shade-trees and flowers. The dwelling should be a modern sixroom cottage, with ample porches on at least two sides to furnish shade and coolness in summer. The barn and lot should be at least two hundred yards in the rear and sufficiently large to house four horses and twenty head of cattle. An acre may be devoted to this and other outbuildings, such as shelters, hog-pen, and so on. An ample tool- and manure-shed should be one of the features. Two good servant-houses should be built on the edge of pasture or woods lot, according to convenience. A lane should lead back to a twenty-acre pasture, the location of which should be decided by the watersupply, the lay of the land, and the type of farming. This pasture should be enclosed with the best woven wire fence and well-set in Bermuda-grass, which is the blue-grass of the South. All the cattle and the hogs could range together. At least three good brood-sows and a thoroughbred boar should be kept; also five Jersey cows and five of the beef type; two strong mares and a pair of heavy mules. The chickens should be given free range. One acre, wellenclosed, should be devoted to a kitchen-garden, and three acres given to orchard purposes. Five acres near the barn should be devoted to potatoes, alfalfa, sorghum, and the millets to furnish ample green food and additional forage. There should be
twenty acres for hay land, and twenty-eight acres left in timber for wood and posts. This would make eighty acres, and would leave one hundred and twenty to be divided into three equal fields, to be rotated in cotton, corn and grain, the grain to be followed by peas. Such a system would give with intelligent husbandry the following approximate returns, besides the home supplies:
40 bales cotton at $50 $2,000 00
3 milk cows at $50 150 00
7 head beef cattle at $40 280 00
Butter and meat 150 00
Chickens, fruit and potatoes .... 100 00
Such a system of farming would accomplish five very desirable objects: (1) It would give cash for proper maintenance of the family; (2) insure abundance of food for the farm; (3) preserve and increase the fertility of the soil; (4) reduce the commercial fertilizer bill; (5) prevent the land from washing.
LAYOUT OF THE CORN-BELT FARM
The layout and organization of a farm in the geographical region represented by the Missouri valley country, has received by example, in squares and right angles, an inheritance from the United States government surveys that was adopted by the pioneer homesteaders in the early settlement of the country in the laying out of their farms, and has been brought down to the present time with marked unanimity in form and style. The corn-belt farm carries out the original idea of square tracts of land or tracts with uniform boundaries, such as are described by sections or fractional parts of sections.
The corn-belt farm has become a farm of mixed husbandry on which all branches of agricultural production, live-stock-raising and kindred interests are conducted, thus necessitating a studied and methodical subdivision to serve best the purposes of pasture, meadow and cultivated crops. The most generally accepted subdivisions for the convenience of crop and pasturage purposes, are the ten-, twenty- and forty-acre enclosures. At least two of these should be pastures directly accessible from the barnyard or feeding enclosures, which may be grouped with farm buildings and improvements and described more fully in that connection.
For best average results in conducting a properly balanced farm industry, the one-hundred-andsixty-acre farm may be apportioned in crop as follows: forty acres to corn, forty acres to meadow, forty acres to pasture, thirty acres to small grains. These may be subdivided to suit the convenience of existing enclosures. The twentyacre enclosure, however, on the one-hundred-andsixty-acre farm is handled to much better advantage in crop-rotation than larger divisions. One of the