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Fig. 56. Soil map of Mississippi.
Mississippi is one of the principal "cotton states." Cotton does well in all parts of the state except on the seacoast, the Delta being the best section. Other plants that are adapted to all parts of the state are corn, oats, sweet-potatoes, cowpeas, lespedeza, Bermuda grass, vetch, Johnson grass, melons, garden vegetables, strawberries, peaches, plums and grapes. Alfalfa does best in the northeastern prairie section and in the Delta. Sugar-cane does best on the sandy loam lands in the southern part. Carpet grass is an important pasture grass in the southern part.
Truck-gardening was first developed on the brown-loam soils along the Illinois Central railroad, but is now being extended to other lines of railways as well. It is well established at various
points in the state, chiefly at Crystal Springs, Madison, Durant and Booneville. It is being started at many other places, such as Centerville, Magnolia, Water Valley, Laurel, Hattiesburg, Poplarville and McNeill. The best orchards are at Madison, Durant, Crystal Springs, Booneville, Meridian and Laurel.
Stock-raising is profitable when properly conducted, especially in the northeastern part of the state. Dairying can be practiced successfully in some parts with more ease and economy than in many more northerly sections of the Union.
Mississippi is preeminently a place for general agriculture, and those farmers who practice diversification are the most prosperous in the commonwealth. As far as natural conditions and advantages may determine the result, this state will always have a diversified agriculture; but two powerful influences will retard this diversification, one being the influence of capital and the other the disposition of a large part of the farming population not to succeed with anything but cotton.
The state has its full share of productive soils. In the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta are over four million acres in one solid body. Similar good soil is found in the broad valleys and creek and branch bottoms in other parts of the state. The northeastern prairie contains over three million acres of good soil in a body. The table-lands and rolling or hill lands, while not so productive as the bottoms and prairie, are often some of the most profitable farming areas, as they usually respond well to good treatment, commercial fertilizers and other manures.
The total land area of Mississippi is 29,657,600 acres. Of this, according to the Twelfth Census Report (1900), 18,240,736 acres are in farms, 7,594,428 acres of which, or 41.6 per cent, are improved land. There were then 220,803 farms in the state. The total value of the farm property was $204,221,027. The total value of the farm products was $102,492,283. The values of the leading products were: Domestic animals, $40,843,300; dairy products, $6,064,513; cereals, $19,317,968; cotton, $54,032,341.
The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Mississippi is located at Starkville. The federal Experiment Station is a department of it. There are three sub-stations, one at McNeill, one at Holly Springs and one at Stoneville. The professor of chemistry at the Agricultural and Mechanical College is ex-officio state chemist and has charge of the inspection of fertilizers on sale in the state. The college also has charge of the farmers' institute work. There is a State Cotton Association, a State Poultry Association and a State Catt ItAssociation.
LOUISIANA. (By W. R. Dodson.) Louisiana presents three special types of agriculture,—the production of cane-sugar, rice and cotton. The production of truck crops and oranges may be added as of minor importance.
The production of cane is mainly limited to the alluvial lands south of the area of Baton Rouge and east of Lafayette. Excluding occasional rice fields and the extreme lower river and bayou coasts, sugar is almost the exclusive product of this territory. The rich alluvial land and comparative immunity from severe freezes limits the cane region to its present area.
In the vicinity of Shreveport and Alexandria, in the Red River bottoms, considerable attention is devoted to alfalfa, where the crops are harvested from four to six times each year.
Truck crops for shipment are mainly limited to the territory contiguous to the Illinois Central railroad from Ponchatoula to the state line, to the lower Mississippi and Bayou Lafourche, and the islands on the coast. Large quantities of strawberries, cabbage, radishes, beans and cucumbers are shipped to the early markets of the North. The sections more remote from transportation facilities produce potatoes, onions and cabbage. Oranges are grown only in the extreme southern part of the state, the largest number of producing trees being on the lower Mississippi. The northern and western parts of the state are developing the truck and fruit industries, mainly growing peaches, tomatoes, potatoes and melons.
From Lafayette to the western border of the state, in a belt varying from twenty to sixty miles in width, rice is the exclusive farm crop. The region devoted primarily to rice is especially suited for this crop, there being abundant fresh-water supply from bayous and artesian wells for irrigating the rice. The land is level, so that large fields can be secured with few levees. The soil is underlaid with a stiff clay that prevents loss of water from seepage into the lower strata. The soil becomes firm quickly after the irrigating water is withdrawn, enabling the use of most improved harvesting machinery.
In the remainder of the state, cotton production is maintained mainly as the money crop, from the fact of its adaptability to the labor conditions.
The profitable production of alfalfa is limited to the alluvial lands, the very stiff soil giving the best returns. Hill lands are not suited to the growth of the plant.
The production of Perique tobacco is limited almost entirely to St. James Parish, in the southern part of the state. Soil and climatic conditions produce a flavor that cannot be secured elsewhere.
The development in the future will be mainly along the lines already established, with an increased amount of attention to the production of live-stock. The great hindrances to the development of this industry have been the Texas fever and unreliable labor. It is now possible successfully to combat the Texas fever, and it seems to be a reasonable hope that the labor problem will be partially solved by securing the proper kind of immigration.
The building of new railroads, the construction of drainage canals, and the extension of the levee system, is opening up much valuable land for farming purposes.
The total land area of Louisiana is 28,000,000 acres. Of this, according to the Twelfth Census Report (1900), 11,059,127 acres are in farms, 4,666,532 acres of which, or 42.2 per cent, are improved land. There were then 115,969 farms in the state. The
Fir. 57. Doable negro cabin on the Mississippi delta.
Fig. 58. Distribution of leading crops in Louisiana.—A, rice, almost exclusively; B, oranges and rice; H, truck-growing; I, rice of secondary importance; T, sugar-cane, almost exclusively; IT, large fields of alfalfa; V. sugarcane and cotton.
total value of the farm property was $198,536,906. The total value of the farm products was $113,645,495, in 1903. The leading products, according to a state report of 1903, were: Cotton and cotton seed, $48,057,038; sugar and molasses, $28,689,925; corn, $12,469,262; rice, $9,655,537.
The Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge receives the benefits of the land grant act; the federal Experiment Stations are a part thereof. The Central Experiment Station is located at Baton Rouge. There is a well equipped sugar station at Audubon Park, New Orleans, and a station at Calhoun. There is a State Department of Agriculture, with headquarters at Baton Rouge, in charge of the Commissioner of Agriculture. This office is to be elective after 1908. This Department has charge of the inspection of fertilizers and feed stuffs, and has a supervisory relation to the experiment stations, and has supervision of the farmers' institute work. There is no state fair, but there is a movement on foot to establish one. The following are the leading agricultural and horticultural societies: The State Agricultural Society, the State Horticultural Society and the State Live-Stock Breeders' Association.
TEXAS. (By E. J. Kyle.) There are four principal types of agriculture in Texas,—general agriculture, or the growing of cotton and the cereals; fruit-growing; trucking; stock-raising.
General agriculture is confined principally to the eastern half of the state, reaching a little to the west in the northern part and not extending farther south than San Antonio. Cotton is fairly well distributed over this entire section, the greatest production being confined, however, to the black-land districts and the great Brazos and Colorado bottoms. Corn-growing is confined principally to the same section. Wheat and oats are grown principally in the northern and northwestern sections, while riceculture is conducted in the coast country, extending some twenty-five to fifty miles inland. The fruit belt lies in the northeastern section.
Fig. 59. Approximate boundaries
Extensive plantings of citrous fruits, especially the Satsuma orange, are now being made in the coast country.
Truck-farming is conducted in the extreme eastern section of the state, beginning with tomatoes in the northeast, cabbage, cauliflower and bunch vegetables in the coast country and ending with onions in the region south of San Antonio. This interest is now assuming vast proportions.
The great ranching or stock section begins in the northwestern and extends to the southeastern part of the state. Many hogs are now being grown in the northern and northeastern parts.
The rainfall varies from forty-five to fifty-five inches within a radius of 100 miles from Houston, to eight and ten inches in the southern and western half of the state, where crops are grown almost altogether under irrigation. In north Texas the temperature often falls below zero, while frost seldom occurs in the region south of San Antonio.
There are no real mountains in Texas, although there are some large hills in the central, northeastern and western sections. The altitude varies from a few feet along the coast country to 2,000 to 2,500 in the western part. Soil ranges from the stiff, black, waxy soil in the north, central and parts of the coast country, to a light, sandy soil which is found mainly along the coast in the south and nearly the whole of west Texas. In the northeastern section are the red and sandy loam soils.
The eastern part of the state has first-class railroad facilities, while Galveston is an extensive port
from which most of the cotton and grain grown in the state are shipped. The state is so large and there is such diversity of climate and soil, that no one branch of agriculture is likely to develop much more rapidly or extensively than another,although it seems at present that more attention is being given to truck- and fruit-growing than to any other line. The total land area of Texas is 167,865,600 acres. Of this, according to the Twelfth Census Report (1900), 125,807,017 acres are in farms, 19,576,076 acres, of which or 15.6 per cent, are improved land. There were then 352,190 farms in the state. The total value of the farm property was $962,476,273. The total value of the farm products was $239,823,244. The values of the leading products were: Domestic animals, $236,227,934; dairy products, $15, 510,978; cotton, $96,729,304; cereals. $47,132,566.
The Texas land grant college, together with the federal Experiment Station, is located at College Station. The state has two substations, one located at Beeville, founded in 1895, which devotes most of its time to vegetables, subtropical fruits and problems of irrigation. The other, located at Troupe, was founded in 1902, and has done most of its work with fruit. The State Department of Agriculture has headquarters at Austin, in charge of a Commissioner of Agriculture appointed by the Governor. The Commissioner is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the College and also has control of the nursery inspection. The state fair is permanently located at Dallas. The Farmers' Congress is composed of the following organizations: State Horticultural Society, State Cotton Growers' Association, Texas Dairymen's Association, Texas Jersey Cattle Club, Texas Livestock Association, Southern Cotton Growers' Association, Texas State Floral Association, South Texas Truck and Fruit-Growers' Association, Southern Texas Truck Growers' Association, Texas Bee-Keepers' Association, Texas Poultry, Pigeon and Pet
7. WESTERN COTTON STATES AND TERRITORIES
ARKANSAS. (By R. W. Wade.) There are two types of agriculture in Arkansas. To the first might be given the name of general farming, as it includes grain- and fruit-growing and stock-raising. The second type is more specialized, being almost exclusively the growing of cotton and corn. Alfalfagrowing in the northeast is possibly extensive enough to be classed as a third type.
The general farming and fruit area comprises the northwestern part of the state (see map), while cotton and corn culture occupy almost exclusively the south and east. Owing to the temperate climate of the northern part of the state, cereals and corn can be profitably grown, while the fruit-grower and truck-farmer find it a veritable garden. Because of the high altitude of the northwestern division, the season is rather too short for cotton-growing, and, owing to its hilly nature, a great deal of this section is best suited to grazing. There is an abundance of natural grass, and, as the winters are seldom severe, stock may be grazed nearly the entire year.
The rainfall is abundant over the whole of the state, and is well distributed to meet the needs of the agriculturist.
The southern and eastern parts of the state are lower than the northwestern division, and are made up of river valleys. The soil ranges from a dark sand, at Little Rock, to the black soil (buckshot) and yellow soils (gumbo) at the extreme south. All of these soils are very productive, and it is owing to their almost inexhaustible fertility that cotton and corn still remain the staple crops of this region.
Although the state has good transportation facilities by water, the railway system is not complete enough, as yet, to furnish the farmer easily accessible markets for his produce. Owing to the lack of railways and the high transportation rates, the fruit-growers of the northwest are unable to realize such profits as the favoring climate and the fertile soil warrant.
The northwest, as it gets better transportation facilities, will develop into one of the finest fruit districts in the world; and the southern and eastern division, when guarded from the Mississippi by levees, and thoroughly drained, will still produce cotton, corn and alfalfa as the staple crops; more and better stock will be kept, and Arkansas will sell more produce at less expense to soil fertility.
The total land area of Arkansas is 33,948,800 acres. Of this, according to the Twelfth Census Report (1900), 16,636,719 acres are in farms, 6,953,735 acres of which, or 41.8 per cent, are improved land. There were then 178,694 farms in the state The total value of the farm property was $181,416,001. The total value of the farm products was $79,649,490. The values of the leading products were: Domestic animals, $35,739,425 ; dairy products, $6,912,459; cotton, $28,053,813; cereals, $20,233,270.
The University of Arkansas, at Fayetteville, is the recipient of the land grant funds. The federal Experiment Station is a department of it. There
sery inspection, while the veterinarian of the Experiment Station staff has charge of live-stock inspection for contagious diseases. There is a State Horticultural Society and a Live-Stock Association. Many counties have fruit-growers' associations for mutual benefit in marketing and shipping fruit. Poultry breeders have also organized clubs. The farmers have formed a protective association for mutual benefit in selling farm products.
INDIAN TERRITORY. (By Fields.) Agriculture in Indian Territory is in an undeveloped stage, the business up to the present time having been for the most part conducted by tenant farmers who have leased from the Indian owners. These conditions are changing rapidly. In the southern half of the territory, corn and cotton are the chief products. In the northern part, cotton is replaced by wheat. The rainfall averages nearly forty inches, and with the long growing season, crops in great variety are grown successfully.
Oklahoma and Indian Territories logically belong together. The character of the agriculture within the area is modified by the gradually decreasing rainfall from the east to the west. The eastern parts more nearly correspond to the farming regions of the Middle West, while the western part of the area is deficient in rainfall, and special knowledge
Fig. 62. The agricultural regions of Indian Territory and Oklahoma.—A, grazing and drought-resisting crops; B.wheat; C, cotton; D, corn; E, fruit; F. wheat, corn, hay and some fruit, cotton and wheat in south; G, corn, wheat, alfalfa, (possibly fruit later); H, fruit, general farming; I, undeveloped, coal-mining, mountainous.
840,000 acres. Of this, according to the Twelfth Census Report (1900), 7,269,081 acres are in farms, 3,062,193 acres of which, or 42.1 per cent, are improved land. There were then 45,505 farms in the territory. The total value of the farm property was $92,181,615. The total value of the farm products was $27,672,002. The values of the leading products were: Domestic animals, $40,824,886; dairy products, $1,504,747; cotton, $5,407,052; cereals, $9,017,568.
OKLAHOMA. (By J. Fields.) Midway between the North and the South, and on the border line between deficient and ample rainfall, developed in a short period of time by farmers from every state in the Union, the agriculture of Oklahoma covers an unusually wide range of types. Originally consisting entirely of the pasturing of range cattle, this industry is now practically pushed out, still lingering only in Woodward and Beaver counties, in the northwestern part of the territory.
Corn, wheat and cotton, a most unusual combination, constitute the chief crops grown for market. In general, wheat is most largely grown in the north-central part, corn in the eastern half, and cotton in the southern half, but cotton is
grown in every county except two, and wheat and corn in every county.
In the same way, commercial orcharding and gardening are largely confined to the eastern third, but nearly every farm has its home orchard and garden. Kafir corn is an important substitute for corn in the western half and has made profitable crops possible on lands unsuited to corn.
Rainfall and temperature determine the principal crops. From an annual average of forty inches along the eastern border, the precipitation decreases gradually to about twenty inches along the northwestern border, and to less than that amount in western Beaver county. A fortunate distribution of the rainfall makes it possible to grow better crops than the above figures would indicate. On the average, two-thirds of the precipitation occurs during the months from April to September, the time from October to March being comparatively dry. Cotton-growing is being carried farther north, but it is not a safe crop in the northern half of the territory.
The cattle industry is hampered by quarantine restrictions against cattle from Texas fever districts, and more attention is being given to hograising and the production of good horses and mules. A marked development of dairying is apparent. Forage crops, including alfalfa, are easily produced. An increased acreage is being sodded to Bermuda grass for permanent pasture. Locally manufactured feeds, such as bran and cottonseed meal, are available, and markets for the output of creameries are convenient.
Oklahoma will always represent the widest diversification of crops, and it is doubtful whether any state can produce such a great variety of crops on a profitable basis. This makes for certainty of returns each year and minimizes the effect of even an entire failure of any one crop.
The total land area of Oklahoma is 24,851,200 acres. Of this, according to the Twelfth Census Report (1900), 15,719,258 acres are in farms, 5,511,994 acres of which, or 35.1 per cent, are improved land. There were then 62,495 farms in the territory. The total value of the farm property was $185,343,818. The total value of the farm products was $45,447,744. The values of the leading products were: Domestic animals, $53,921,827; hay