Friday, December 27, 2013

Corn Is Backbone on North Carolina Farm, 1949

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, Dec. 5, 1949

Years ago, there was a saying in North Carolina that the sheriff never sold out a man who had plenty of corn in his crib. Major William A. Graham, who served North Carolina so ably as one of its great Commissioners of Agriculture, used to assert that this saying was true and that over a long lifetime in that great reconstruction period when North Carolina was finding itself and getting back on its feet, he found out the truth of the proverb. It was perhaps another way of pointing out that with plenty of feed and food for men and beast in the crib, barn lofts, smoke houses, pantries and other snug storage places, a man and his family were secure against the onslaught of cold and privation.

That’s a happy situation and the good farmer and his family enjoys such a situation more often and more  completely perhaps than in North Carolina this fall. We have had our setbacks, it is true; but if we look across the state as a whole we find that things are in pretty good shape. Some good farming has been done this year. There is accord in the state between all classes of people. Prices for farm products have been fair—not good in comparison with the things we have to buy, but reasonably fair. We are getting along all right; better than most, I would say. That is not a matter for smug gloating or for any feeling of superiority but rather a matter for devout thanks.

In Yadkin County, the folks are thankful this fall for the good yields of corn which they have housed. County Agent D.D. Williamson says that 15 Yadkin corn growers produced over 100 bushels and that 25 others grew from 75 up to 100 bushels per acre. The average yield for that county is much better than in 1948 and the growers say that by increasing production per acre they can grow their corn more cheaply and more economically. They do not have to use so many acres to get the amount of grain they need on the farm. 

These released acres are being put to pastures, hay and small grain crops that are not so costly to cultivate and are more easily handled with mechanical equipment. Yadkin always plants a rather large grain crop but the growers were delayed this fall due to the fact that the tobacco harvest was delayed two to three weeks later than usual.

Charlie Barbee of Albemarle, Route 4, in Stanly County, produced 129 bushels of corn per acre this year and has reported his yield for consideration in the state corn growing contest for the piedmont section. Mr. Barbee grew the NC 1032 hybrid and his corn was carefully weighed and a moisture test made before the final yield was recorded. The Stanly farmer said his yield would have been much better had it not been for that storm in the early fall that blew down the corn so badly that a large amount of the ears were damaged and had to be removed before the final weights were taken.

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