Written by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer, Nov. 29, 1948
Scotland County has one of the oldest and most efficient farm organizations in the state. It is the Scotland County Farmers Club and it has met regularly once a month for many years. One of its feature meetings is the annual ladies night when the men bring their wives and everyone enjoys a wonderful social hour. But the club gives careful study to all of the problems affecting agriculture in Scotland County. It invites the leading experts in their fields to come to the county, visit about with the farm agent, and then address the club that night on some pertinent subject. There is a discussion period thereafter and the results have been every good.
County Agent E.O. McMahan says the club has been in the vanguard of every good farming movement. The organization has promoted the five-acre cotton contest and the three-acre corn contest for years. In fact, the Scotland County five-acre cotton antedates the state contest by several years. Seldom do less than 80 men attend a meeting; and, at times, there have been between 300 and 400 when the members have invited all the local farmers to be their guests for some special meeting. I had the pleasure of being down there not so long ago when the members entertained their sons at a father and son banquet. This was one of the best meetings of the year.
How the club sponsors some particular movement was shown at a meeting held in late September when pastures were the subject for discussion. As a result of this one discussion, 11 of Scotland’s best farmers agreed to conduct a pasture demonstration with Ladino clover and fescue. Quite a few other men present said they are interested in pastures and would try to get them seeded this winter. There are likewise 57 farms on which the five-acre cotton contest is being conducted this year, and these are showing final yields of two bales an acre or better.
Incidentally, the first bale of cotton for Scotland County this season was ginned on August 11 when C.L. Jones and his tenant, James Ware, carried 1,440 pounds of seed cotton to the gin operated by W.L. Biggs and Son of Johns. The ginned bale weighed 500 pounds and was sold to Mr. Biggs for 35 cents a pound. Mr. Jones is cooperating in the Scotland County one-variety plan and planted the pedigree 100 wilt resistant variety. His first bale had a staple length of 1 1/16th inch, and graded middling. All the cotton growers certainly made good use of the ideal harvesting weather this fall and have housed one of their best quality crops. Most of the staple lengths have run from 1 1/32th to 1 1/16th inch and most of the farmers have been taking advantage of the free sampling and stapling service. They also have stored their cotton under the government loan plan and have made money on the deal. Of course, many others said they just couldn’t be bothered with the loan idea and sold on the “spot” market at a loss.
Other Crops In Scotland County
The cotton growers began to dust their cotton in June and did a better job of insect control this year than ever before. Most of them used the Benzene Hexachloride with DDT and sulphur and applied the dust with six- to eight-row tractor machines. Excellent results were secured. They were fortunate in that F.F. Bondy from the Federal Boll Weevil Research Station near Florence, S.C., came over and showed them exactly how weevil control work should be carried on.
Mr. McMahan says Scotland farmers produced an excellent cucumber crop in the early summer, although the price was a little low. The cantaloupe crop was short, due to reduced plantings, but the demand was good and the growers sold to truck buyers who came out to the farms and picked up the cantaloupes without trouble or expense to the growers.
Quite a bit of attention is being given to swine production in Scotland this year. Most of the growers are cross-breeding with purebred animals to produce feeder pigs for the market. A good corn crop and more pastures help to make this swine growing project a success.