Monday, October 31, 2011

Avery County Farmer Favors New Green Bean Variety, 1946

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, October 21, 1946

Progress with the new Logan snapbean has been reported by Dudley Robbins, field man with horticultural crops in Mitchell, Yancey and Avery counties. 

Mr. Robbins says that Conrad Weatherman of Ingalls, Avery County, planted a row of the new Logans through a field of Tendergreens, fertilizing, cultivating, and harvesting both kinds in the same manner. Mr. Weatherman checked his yield of both Logans and the adjoining row of Tendergreens and secured 267 pounds of Logans from the first picking, followed by 105 pounds at the second picking, for a total for the row of 372 pounds.

Compared with this, he gathered 111 pounds of Tendergreens at the first picking and 91 pounds at the second, for a total of only 202 pounds. The Logans outyielded the Tendergreens by 170 pounds on that one short row and Mr. Weatherman said the new been far excelled the Tendergreens in quality. The percentage of U.S. No. 1’s was higher, the beans were longer and straighter, and the bushes were taller and much more bushy. It appears, therefore, that this new Logan is going to be one of our best beans for future plantings, especially for the late crop grown in the mountain area.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Green Hill Dairy Farm, Mt. Pleasant, N.C., 1948

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte News on October 25, 1948

That Cabarrus County farmers are using silage to a good advantage in their dairy feeding program is evident from the amount that is being used annually on the Green Hill Dairy Farm of Mt. Pleasant, Route 1.

R.D. Goodman, county agent for the State College Extension Service, states that the dairy on this farm, which now consists of 150 registered Guernseys, was started in the early ‘30s. The first feeding of silage to the dairy cows on this farm was made in 1933. Today, there are three large silos on the farm having a total capacity of 340 tons. The last of the silos with a capacity of 160 tons was built in 1941, Mr. Goodman said. The present silo capacity gives the farm several months extra storage for silage as evidenced by the fact that one silo filled with 90 tons of silage last fall was not opened for use until August 28 of this year.

The Green Hill Farm has fed silage continuously the year round for the past 12 years, the county agent said, with less silage being fed when cattle were on good pasture and more being fed when summer droughts retarded pasture growth. This practice has proven very economical because it permits more cattle to be carried per acre on the farm than could be carried by the grazing system lone. In 1040, this farm carried 45 cows for a little over four months on barley silage that was harvested from 12 acres.

As part of this year’s silage crop, 14 acres of Honbarier silage corn, averaging 12 to 14 feet in height and measuring 10 feet to the ear, was harvested. The corn was planted in 3 ½-foot rows and the average weight of 45 stalks cut form 200 square feet was found to be slightly under five pounds each. One load of silage, cut from two rows measured 700 feet in length, was weighed on tested scales and the yield, calculated on a per acre basis, was 22 ¼ tons per acre.

The bottom land on which this silage was produced has been in corn two-thirds of the time for the past 17 years, Mr. Goodman said. A nearby stream sends water over the bottom land quite often and this year’s corn crop was overflowed twice during the growing season. Realizing that this trouble is likely to occur each year, the owners of the farm do not depend entirely on the bottom land for their source of silage feed. In addition to the bottom silage corn, the farm also had 14 acres of silage corn on upland fields. Approximately 200 tons of sorgro was also produced this year.

The large farm is cultivated with the idea of saving and improving the soil and producing the necessary feed for all livestock. Therefore, all the necessary hay, silage and grain is produced on the farm and only protein and miner supplements have to be bought.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cabarrus County Farmers' Report, October, 1946

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, October 21, 1946

Cabarrus County Report
General farm apple growers report good crops. J.P. Cox of Stanfield, Route 2, in Cabarrus County, has harvested about 1,000 bushels this season from his home orchard. He suffered heavy damage from scab but made good yields despite this trouble. Mr. Cox is developing a reputation around Concord and throughout Cabarrus County for the quality of his fruit. People now demand Cox’s apple because they say it means the best in quality. That’s a fine reputation for any grower to have about anything he produces. It means money for the work done.

Roy D. Goodman, Cabarrus Farm agent, says that some of those who grew tomatoes as a truck crop in Cabarrus this past season lost heavily from a late blight. Paul B.C. Smith of Mt. Pleasant, Route 1, had his late crop just about wiped out; and he depended on it for a cash income during the late summer. This is the first report of this plant disease in the county.

Cabarrus is noted for its lespedeza and some of the growers near the Stanley County line say they, too, have had something new with which to contend this year. This new trouble is a weed called the Mississippi Spanish Needle. It is an erect-growing, hardy, tough weed that made its appearance this summer in the lespedeza field of southeastern Cabarrus. Roy Goodman says this is a pest that must be controlled or it is going to give all lespedeza growers lots of trouble.

Friday, October 28, 2011

NC Home Demonstration Club Accomplishments, 1952

From the October 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News, published by the Agricultural Extension Service, State College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh

Last year 15,000 Tar Heel farm houses were either built or remodeled and more than 7,000 kitchens were modernized. A convenient, comfortable and attractive home for every rural family is one of the major goals of North Carolina’s home demonstration clubs, and from these figures, it looks very much like the women have gone quite a long way toward reaching their goal.

And according to the report given at the 26th annual meeting of the Federation of Home Demonstration clubs at State College, nearly 3,000 new home demonstration club members were added to the club rolls throughout the state.

Last year, 8,000 women had T.B. X-rays and more than 4,000 donated blood. Alexander County gave $100 to the National Cancer Research Foundation in memory of Mrs. Carl Montsinger who had been a loyal club member for many years. More than $27,000 was donated by clubs to the Red Cross.

As a result of nutrition and corn meal enrichment programs, many families in the state have improved the family diet by better methods of food production, preparation and conservation.

At least 31 counties carried safety programs in their clubs and cooperated with schools and the highway department in their program. Safety signs were placed near many school zones throughout the efforts of club women.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Worthy of Note in Farm-News, October, 1952

From the October 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News, published by the Agricultural Extension Service, State College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh

Personal Mention by Frank Jeter

Wilson County
While driving across the bridge spanning a sizable Wilson County creek one day in September, Extension Agent W.D. Lewis saw a newborn beef calf about to be drowned in the waters. Without thought for his well-pressed clothes or of consequences to himself, he jumped from the bridge into the water and pulled the calf to safety. Only then did he give full expression to his opinion of the native intelligence of the average beef cow. E.L. Norton says he used rather picturesque language.
Johnston County
When the Clayton merchants held their annual cotton day festival, M.A. “Happy” Morgan beat John Piland by three full squirts in a milking contest between the two.

L.Y. “Stag” Ballentine auctioned the first bale of cotton of the 1952 season from the local gin for 55.5 cents a pound.

When it comes to harvest festivals and farmers’ days, our hats are off to the Town of Bethel and the officials of its Sweet Potato Market. Begun in the fall of 1949 with one small curing house with storage space for 35,000 bushels, the Bethel Market has storage space for 150,000 bushels this fall; will handle over 200,000 bushels of sweets on the market this season; and will do a million dollar business at its modern auction shed.

Credit J.P. Harris, retired minister, and L.N. James, plant grower, for much of the spade work. Credit also to the guidance and genuine interest of H.M. “Hank” Covington with this project. Bethel held its first fall harvest festival on September 25 with a three-block-long parade, a crowd of over 3,000 on the sidewalks and 17 educational exhibits in the original storage house.
Alamance County
Credit John Gray and the hustling forestry Extension group for reviving interest in the first pine planting project of plantation dimensions on the W.F. Vestal farm in Alamance. It was here that County Agent Kerr Scott and Forester Bob Graeber held one of the first thinning demonstrations in North Carolina. The seedling pines were set by Mr. Vestal when he transplanted 400 short leaf seedlings. This past season, more than 14 million forest tree seedlings were set.
Forsyth County
When A.B. Addington, assistant in Forsyth, went to Ashe to succeed Dana Tugman, who took over the direction of the Mountain Branch Station, the dairy folks of Forsyth gave Mr. and Mrs. Addington a farewell dinner and said a regretful goodbye to this useful couple.
Perquimans County
Clarence Chappell Jr. and Bobby Smith of Belvidere, Perquimans County, made up the winning demonstration team in the State eliminations of the National Junior Vegetable Growers Association held at State College. The two 4-H’ers, both 16 years old, won expense-paid trips to the national convention of the Junior Vegetable Growers Association at New York City, December 9-13. Their demonstration work won over 17 teams from 14 counties….
Lincoln County
When buying pigs, shop at home. That’s the advice of Rhyne Reep of Lincoln County. Reep needed some extra pigs to feed out for market. According to J.K. Butler, Extension livestock specialist, he bit at the opportunity to buy “cheap” animals out of state. The pigs turned out to be heavily infested with worms and other parasites and were also stunted from lack of feed. The Lincoln farmer had a long and costly experience getting them near the hog stage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Person and Wilson Counties Honor Retiring Ag. Agents, 1952

From the October 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News, published by the Agricultural Extension Service, State College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh

H.K. Sanders retired as farm agent of Person County on September first, after 25 years of service and Joe Anthony retired as farm agent of Wilson County with 15 years of service there.

The Rotary Club of Roxboro tendered Mr. Sanders a testimony dinner on the evening of September 24 and presented him with a beautiful bronze plaque testifying to his years of service.

The Board of County Commissioners, the Farm Bureau, and the men and women of Wilson County held a similar dinner for Mr. Anthony on the evening of October 1. During the evening, he was honored with gifts of appreciation and, as with Mr. Sanders, was eulogized for the work which he has done.

It made one proud to attend such occasions and to be a member of an organization so highly appreciated by the people.

Sanders wrote the following on Extension work:

The Chinese poet, Wong Wei, lived 4000 years ago. Upon being asked “what is the most worthwhile think in life?” he replied:

“I am old. Nothing interests me now. Moreover, I am not very intelligent, and my ideas have never travelled farther than my feet. I know only my forests, to which I always come back.”

You ask me what is the supreme happiness here below?
It is listening to the song of a little girl
As she goes on down the road
After having asked me the way.

Agricultural Extension work is an educational organization that sends men, women and youth singing down the road of life because it carries to them knowledge and helps them to develop their farms, their homes, their children, their institutions and themselves.

Sending rural people on down the road singing is the spirit and the heart of Extension. It is what Agricultural Extension work is.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Farm Briefs, Around the State, October 1952

From the October 1952 issue of Extension Farm-News, published by the Agricultural Extension Service, State College of Agriculture and Engineering, Raleigh

Around the State
An average of better than $61 per hundred pounds was paid for the more than 7,000 pounds of tobacco entered in Robeson County’s first Junior Tobacco Show and Sale, according to G.T. Rodgers, assistant county agent. Top honors went to Lamarr Ivey, 14-year-old 4-H Club boy of St. Pauls, whose 2,344 pounds of tobacco produced on 0.97 acre brought $1,528.26
Some 200 persons turned out to attend the first dairy cattle show held for Negro junior farmers of Duplin County. Twenty animals were exhibited. Taking top honors were Joe L. Carlton, NFA member of Charity High School; Jasper Bizzell, 4-H member of Branch Junior High School; J.W. Mainor andGeorge Mainor, 4-H members of Magnolia Industrial High School. The event was sponsored by merchants and businessmen of the county, according to Riddick E. Wilkins, Negro county agent.
C.E. Tharpe of Rhonda has installed the first hot air hay drier in Wilkes County, according to G.C. Farthing, county agent. The oil burning drier has been installed in a barn and will be used for drying hay, corn, and small grains. The total outlay for barn and drier was $3,000. The equipment will dry 600 bales of hay in from 24 to 36 hours at a cost of five cents per bale.
North Carolina won five of the 10 prizes offered for the best country-style cured ham at the National Frozen Food Locker Institute’s National Ham Show in Omaha, Neb. In the lightweight ham class, Johnston County Frozen Foods, Smithfield, placed second; Robeson County Cold Storage placed third; and Colonial Frozen Foods, Roanoke Rapids, placed fourth. In the heavyweight ham class, the Roanoke Rapids firm placed second and Wayco Corporation of Goldsboro placed fourth.
Two rural Fayetteville farmers, Charlie Brown, owner of Hog Haven Farm, and Jack K. Hubbard are finding good markets for their hogs, according to Jack Kelly, in charge of animal husbandry Extension. Brown is keeping 68 purebred Poland China sows and is raising purebred pigs to be sold at 10 weeks of age to farmers interested in feeding out hogs for market. The pigs are sold vaccinated, treated for cholera, and weighing from 40 to 50 pounds each. His market is among farmers who would rather buy pigs at 10 weeks of age in place of preparing facilities for raising the young porkers. Hubbard keeps 10 brood sows and has a ready market for his purebred hogs.
Negro youth of Robeson, Cumberland, and Bladen counties held their first Southeaster District Tri-County Dairy Cattle Show at Lumberton with 178 persons present. Twenty-nine animals were exhibited, according to S.T. Brooks, Robeson Negro county agent.
The Anson County 4-H Clubs selected the Wadesboro town square as the most suitable location for their exhibit on 4-H Club work in the county. The exhibit consisted of one large sign with a map of the county. 4-H clovers were placed in the areas having 4-H Clubs. A total of 28 clovers appeared, representing a membership of 1,987.
Yadkin County 4-H Club members improved 783 rural mail boxes during a contest which closed recently. The Forbush Junior Club, which gathered the winner’s trophy, is now selling drinks and sandwiches at community events to pay for paint used in proving mailboxes and stands. Forbush improved 322 boxes in the contest, which was the county’s number one community project this year.
The first of 20 community farm and home tours and picnics in connection with the Haywood Community Development Program for Summer Recreation was held July 12 at Allens Creek with residents of Thickety Community as guests. Young people from Denton County, Texas, in Haywood on the 4-H Exchange Program, were also guests.
A group of progressive young Edgecombe County farmers has organized a Farm Management Association to study new farm practices that will lead to better farm management, according to J.C. Powell, county agent. Officers are R.R. Brake Jr., Route 1, Battleboro, president; B.P. Manning, Route 1, Tarboro, vice-president; A.H. Bundy, secretary-treasurer.
A 15-year-old Wake County boy, Curtis Jones of Rhamkatte 4-H Club, represented North Carolina in the regional 4-H Tractor Operators contest at the Atlantic States Rural Exposition at Richmond, Va. Curtis, a member of the ninth grade at Apex High School, won the state contest held at State College late last month. The 4-H’er has been driving a tractor since he was 8 years old. The contest was sponsored by the Extension Service and American Oil Company through the National 4-H Committee.
The motion picture “Greener Pastures for North Carolina” has attracted attention in far-off Borneo. The agricultural attaché there has written to request information on how much a copy of the film would cost.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

First Annual Red Springs Cotton Festival, 1949

From The Robesonian, Lumberton, Oct. 3, 1949

RED SPRINGS—All is in readiness for the first annual Red Springs Cotton Festival to be held Wednesday, according to George W. Ashford, chairman of this event. The festival is under the sponsorship of the newly formed Red Springs Merchants Association.

Highlight of the day will be an address by the Honorable Clyde R. Hoey, senior senator from North Carolina, who will deliver an address on current national affairs. Senator Hoey will speak from a specially built platform near the post office.

Senator Hoey will be introduced by Rep. Ertel Carlyle of Lumberton. Other guests of the day include Frank Jeter, Carolina radio commentator and agricultural editor for the North Carolina State College and Extension Service, [and] L.Y. (Stag) Ballentine, State Commissioner of Agriculture.

Activities will include a football game between the Red Springs and Clarkton teams to be played at Robbins Park, and a calf-catching contest. The latter will consist of 10 registered calves being turned loose in the ball park for 4-H Club members to catch. The calves must be caught, haltered, and lead to the finish line by a boy or girl with no outside aid. These calves will be exhibited and sold at auction at the 4-H Fat Stock Show to be held in Robeson County in May.

During the day, a free car will be given away by the Red Springs Merchants Association. The time and place for this is yet to be announced.

A display of jet planes from Shaw Field will fly over Red Springs during the day and will give a demonstration.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Anson County Farmer Developing Successful Turkey Business, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as printed in the Wilmington Star on October 10, 1945

In the fall of 1944, H.P. Tice of Marshville, Route 1, Anson County, built a turkey laying house of cinder blocks costing about $1,000.

This house is 30 feet wide and 100 feet long with a wire enclosed front and with windows in the rear. It will take care of 500 turkey hens and 70 toms. In front of the house, Mr. Tice seeded Italian rye grass for winter grazing and allowed the turkeys access to this grazing crop all through the winter. The nests, roost poles, feeding hoppers, and other equipment are all arranged conveniently within the house and lights were kept burning during the night all of last winter.

During the month of January, Mr. Tice gathered about 250 turkey eggs each day and was able to sell enough eggs for hatching purpose to almost pay the entire cost of his new house with that month’s output of eggs alone. They sold for an average of about 30 cents each.

This leads Roy Dearstyne, head poultryman at State College, to say that producers of turkey eggs should give consideration to the use of lights this winter. Early-hatched poults are much more desirable in this section of the country than the late-hatched ones, and this emphasizes the need of following any practice which may aid in bringing about early production of hatching eggs.

The Poultry Department has done some careful research work in the use of lights with its turkey breeding flocks. The results seem to indicate that egg production can be stepped up by as much as 60 days as compared with where no lights are used. The Station has turned on the lights beginning about December 1, starting them one-half an hour before natural daylight each morning. After about 10 days time, the lights are then turned on each morning at 4 o’clock and this is followed throughout the remainder of the hatching season. The Station has found that the use of the lights does not increase the total egg production but that it does cause the hens to begin to lay earlier in the season and since this earliness is a primary objective, the lights have been rather profitable.

The amount of light to use will, of course, depend upon the size of pen or house and its construction. Enough light must be used to illuminate the pen rather thoroughly, especially around the roosting area, so the birds may be led to leave the roosts early in the morning and begin their active hunt for food. It is also important to protect the lights, because turkeys are sometimes very foolish birds and may fly against them.

Dearstyne also says that the Experiment Station has done some interesting work in developing families of turkeys which lay more eggs than normal. Most growers know that a turkey hen lays very few eggs. That’s why they are so expensive. I visited turkey growers last winter who were securing 50 cents each for every hatching egg that they could supply, and even as late as April or May the eggs were bringing 30 and 20 cents each.

For the past six years, Mr. Dearstyne has conducted what he calls “family testing of turkeys,” and he reports that definite progress has been made in developing a high quality, broad-breasted Bronze bird. For example, this progress can be seen in the performance of one hen, bearing the designation A230. This hen was mated for the third year this past season. She laid 111 eggs her first year; 108 the second year; and 108 the third year. Eight of her daughters hatched in 1944, were trapnested during the past laying season and up until September 1 had produced an average of slightly over 140 eggs each. The range of production up until September 1 ran from 120 to 156 eggs and five of the eight turkey pullets are still laying.

Mr. Dearstyne set 387 of the eggs produced by these eight sisters and 311 out of the 387 were hatched. In other words, not only did these turkey pullets lay many more eggs than the average turkey hen, but the eggs were of a high fertility. The per cent of the fertility for all eggs was 86.8 per cent, and the hatchability of all the fertile eggs was 92.5 per cent. That’s almost perfect.

Not only did the hens lay well and produce eggs that would hatch but the eggs were large, weighing 70 grams per egg. The turkeys qualified for the rigid. Record of Performance standard which calls for at least 46 eggs in the first 91 days of lay and high hatchability.

This is not the only high producing family which Mr. Dearstyne and his associates have developed, however, because he observes a general improvement among the flocks as they are bred for higher productivity and better health. He trapnested some 213 other young turkey hens this past season and 70 of them produced over 100 eggs per bird. The highest in this general lot laid 180 eggs and three others of the pullets produced over 170 each.

This is certainly a decided improvement over the production of the average turkey hen as she is found generally on the farms of North Carolina. I am not an authority on this subject but I would say that such hens certainly do not lay over 40 eggs per bird in a season. The average I believe would be lower than this. Three dozen eggs per turkey hen before she becomes broody would probably be a nearer figure.

At any rate, we are at long last able to make a start in the breeding of better turkeys for this state. Mr. Dearstyne said this morning that he had 125 fine young toms selected and saved from those produced during the past year. All of these have been engaged by Jimmy Cameron of Anson County and will be placed with the progressive turkey growers of the White Store community in that county. The people have decided to make turkey growing the leading farm industry of that section and they are building better flocks year after year.

Friday, October 21, 2011

This Sampson County Family Won't Go Hungry, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as printed in the Wilmington Star on October 29, 1945

One farm family will not go hungry this winter—come what may. It is the family of Mr. and Mrs. D.P. Dillard of Clinton, Route 1, Sampson County. Mrs. Dillard is a member of the Salemburg Home Demonstration Club, and there are six in the family, including grandpa, and a son in the armed services. Mrs. Dillard has been able to produce and conserve almost all kinds of food as needed except the staples of sugar, coffee, and other such materials.

But the whole family has worked this year in the growing and collection of fruits and berries for canning. Even grandpa helped to gather while the other members of the family prepared and preserved the food. There is one young four-year-old who did what he could even though it consisted mostly of getting underfoot at critical times. This year, Mrs. Dillard said there was so much to do on the farm with only the family to do it all, that she took much of her garden produce over to the community cannery in the Salemburg High School and had it canned there.

At any rate, here are the results to date: 88 quarts of peaches, 55 quarts of tomato juice, 10 quarts of apple sauce, 2 ½ quarts of grape juice, 40 quarts of string beans, 11 quarts of corn, 8 quarts of turnip greens, 4 quarts of tomatoes, 17 pints of butterbeans, 16 pints of garden peas, 9 pints of okra, and 11 pints of pimento peppers. This figures up to 244 quarts of fruits and vegetables, according to my reckoning.

But that’s not all. Mrs. Dillard has canned 16 pints of fried chicken and 25 quarts of cooked pork.

And still that’s not all. A freezer locker plant was established in Clinton this year, I believe, and in this locker, the Dillards have placed 25 quarts of fresh strawberries, 29 quarts of fresh peaches, 11 ½ quarts of apples, 12 quarts of butterbeans, 7 pints of okra, and 22 pints of creamed corn. This is a little over 100 additional quarts of food.

And then, she has these frozen meats: 24 pounds of fresh ham, 12 pounds of liver pudding, 12 pounds of sausage, 15 pounds of spareribs, and 8 pounds of tenderloin. This makes 71 pounds of pork so far stored in the locker this season.

Mrs. Dillard put the strawberries into the locker last April and the other food in June and July.

“We use the food I the locker as we need them,” she said. “The strawberries make grand shortcake, and the apples are delicious in pies. The family marvels at the flavor and color of our frozen foods. They are perfect.”

And Miss Eleanor Southerland, home agent in Sampson, says that Mrs. Dillard is an outstanding farm woman who is trying to follow a sensible plan of food production and conservation. She is improving the diet of her family and its general health and vigor as a result.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Richmond County 4-H'er Raising Chickens and Hogs, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as printed in the Wilmington Star on October 8, 1945

A hog will not catch chickens if it is fed a balanced ration. That’s the conclusion Jimmy Gibson of the Ledbetter community of Richmond County has reached after giving the matter a thorough trial. Jimmy is a 4-H Club boy and he not only owns a fine purebred Hampshire gilt, of which he is very proud, but he also owns some very nice Hampshire chickens. Some of the young pullets which he is now raising have been associated with the Hampshire gilt and, until recently, they apparently have been getting along well together. All of a sudden, however, the gilt developed savage tendencies and began to feast on Jimmy’s prize pullets. Eggs and chicken meat being as scarce as they are caused Jimmy to take steps at once.

At first, he decided to fatten the gilt for immediate slaughter, then he reasoned that perhaps it was not the pig’s fault. She has been fastened in a pen for some weeks and perhaps she was not getting the balanced food that she needed. Jimmy decided that the gilt would not so suddenly take a liking for chicken meat unless something was lacking in her diet, so he talked with Assistant Farm Agent Q.E. Colvard about the matter and as a result, Jimmy bought some fish meal and is now giving the gilt about one-half of a pound of this high protein feed each day. The gilt has lost her appetite for chicken and the two different kinds of Hampshires have re-established friendly relations. The chickens visit the gilt and the gilt seems to be happy in the companionship.

Jimmy says, therefore, if you must keep hogs confined in a pen, see to it that they are fed some green stuff as well as a supplementary protein ration. Corn alone is not enough.

Jack Kelley, swine specialist, adds to this hog story by urging all farmers to raise an extra pig per litter this fall would result in about 85,000 additional pigs in North Carolina, or 17,000,000 pounds of pork worth $2,473,500 when the pigs are finished at 200 pounds each.

Jack suggests a plan which is being used by some of our most successful hog growers and which should help in increasing the number of pigs raised per litter. This is the plan: Hand feed the sow during the gestation period and keep her in good, medium condition. One bushel of corn, one bushel oats, and five pounds of fish meal or tankage per day is satisfactory. The sow should have plenty of green feed and a mineral mixture consisting of 10 parts limestone, 5 parts steamed bone meal, and 2 parts salt. All of this should be kept before the brood animal at all times.

Clean the house out thoroughly before farrowing and bed it with clean, fresh straw. The house should be moved to clean ground that has grown a crop since being used as a hog pasture. This prevents wormy pigs. Be sure the house has a guard rail to prevent pigs from being mashed by the mother sow.

Pigs at birth often have eight sharp teeth which prevent them from nursing. These teeth should be cut with a pair of small sharp side cutting pliers, being careful not to injure the gums.

Give the sow plenty of water but no feed during the first 24 hours after farrowing. Start her on feed by providing a small amount of slop mixture made from middlings. Increase the feed gradually and about the third or fourth day she may have some corn. When the pigs are about 10 days old, the sow should be on full feed. Use a self feeder and full-feed grain, protein supplement and the mineral mixture. A good, annual pasture will save about 1-3 of the protein feed and 15 to 20 per cent of the grain. Pastures also will help in preventing parasites and diseases of pigs.

The best time to trim pigs is when they are about five weeks old. When doing this, be sure they are dry and clean.

When the pigs are at eight weeks of age, continue full feeding until they are finished for market.

Jack says that this is an almost sure way to have that extra animal per litter this fall and he invites every hog grower in the state to give it a trial.

Many eastern Carolina farmers are feeding hogs the economical way this summer by providing grazing crops. For instance, Charlie Clark, farm agent in Onslow, tells about a test being made by J.H. Gillette of Silverdale. Last July 28, Mr. Gillette placed 25 pigs on 10 acres of soybeans. He picked out four typical animals, notched their ears, and weighed them. Each pig weighed 83 pounds when placed on the soybean pasture. On August 29, after 36 days of grazing, the four pigs were caught and weighed again, tipping the scales at 99 ½ pounds each or having gained 16 ½ pounds per head or nearly one-half a pound a day with no other feed except for a small amount of corn supplied each day.

Also on August 9, Raymond Oldham of near Swansboro put 47 pigs on a field of soybeans and selected four pigs for weighing. The animals were started on the grazing period at an average weight of 38 pounds each and on August 30, just 21 days later, they were reweighed, showing a gain of 9 ½ pounds each or about one-half a pound of gain per day. Mr. Oldham fed the pigs about three-fourths of a pound of grain each day consisting of a mixture of one-half oats and one-half corn.

Charlie Clark says that both farmers are pleased with this demonstration of how to feed pigs cheaply and they plan to use grazing crops more extensively in the future. In doing so, they are simply applying knowledge that will mean much to the hog growing industry of the state.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Craven County 4-H Girls Show Farming Ability, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as printed in the Wilmington Star on October 29, 1945

Farm women and girls have proved their metal in North Carolina during the war emergency. They show about as much farming ability as their husbands and brothers.

For instance, Jessie Trowbridge, home agent of Craven County, says the 4-H Club girls are about as good crop farmers as are the boys. Ella Merle Koonce of the Brinson Memorial Club grew one of the best acres of corn in that community this year. She planted an acre of hybrid in April, fertilized it with 300 pounds of a 3-8-5 fertilizer at seeding time, and then side-dressed it with 200 pounds of nitrate of soda. The acre yielded a little over 50 bushels of corn which is twice the average yield made by her father.

The dad said, “She plowed as good as any boy,” and rather grudgingly admitted that she had beat him this year.

Now Ella Merle plans to swap her corn to her father for feeder pigs and start in the swine business.

Margaret Cox of Jasper and Mona Tyndall of Bridgeton are two other girls who are growing beef cattle. Margaret bought her calf last June when 11 Craven boys bought theirs from Master Farmer Fred Latham at Belhaven. Mona has three baby beeves and plans to select the best of the three for entering in the eastern Carolina fat stock shows next spring. The two girls will be the first of their sex to compete in these shows from Craven County in a number of years, and they are out to win.

The calves have been grazed all summer on good pasture and will shortly be placed in stalls for full feeding on crushed corn, cottonseed meal and roughage. Mona and Margaret are taking time to train the animals for the show ring, and they say that some boy is going to watch rather sadly while the blue ribbons are placed on these two animals.

Then, there is Lillie Mae Gatlin of Vanceboro who is doing a splendid job with her garden and poultry flock. Her carefully kept record shows a net profit above all costs of 4151.22 from the 72 hens in her flock. She did not keep a record of the quantity or value of the vegetables produced in her garden, but she grew all that has been used this summer by a family of 11 persons. That sounds like a fairly good garden. These incidents could be multiplied many times in North Carolina, showing that the girls and women have sought to do their part in the war emergency.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Whole Community Works Together to Support Agriculture, 1944

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as printed in the Wilmington Star on October 30, 1944

Civic leaders and business and professional men in Elkin have set about to make the town a center for a progressive farming system. The plan has been under way for about three years now, since the time when Garland Johnson, vice-president of the Bank of Elkin was appointed chairman of the Agricultural Committee of the Kiwanis Club, and then decided to do something about it.

When Garland makes such a decision, things begin to happen. But he never works alone. His first effort, therefore, was to solicit the interest of all his fellow citizens and then to start some definite planning. A second step was to get the support of the county farm agents of Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin counties and then to make Elkin the center for various farming activities.

No less interested has been Harvey Laffoon, able editor of the Elkin Tribune, and winner of more citations for community upbuilding than any other editor of a weekly or daily paper in North Carolina.

Working with the North Carolina Bankers’ Association, the Elkin folks decided last year to hold a district livestock show featuring finished beef steers and wool. The show was an immediate success and although only 22 steers were exhibited, Elkin became widely known for its support of the livestock program in North Carolina.

The second such show was held the other day, and it is not an exaggeration to say that it was one of the most successful events of its kind ever staged in the state. The affair got underway on Tuesday evening, October 17, when a banquet held for the youthful exhibitors was addressed by W.D. Halfacre, vice-president of the bank of North Wilkesboro. Ninety club members and their guests were present. Early the next morning, the judging was begun and the steers were placed by Dr. D.E. Brady, livestock and meat specialist from State College.

Once the animals had been placed, they were paraded through the principal street of Elkin, after which a luncheon was held in the local Y.M.C.A. auditorium when plates were prepared for over 1,200 4-H Club boys and girls and vocational students. L.R. Harrill, 4-H Club Leader at State College, and Fred Greene, secretary of the North Carolina Bankers’ Association, addressed the group. That afternoon there were judging contests in which Billy Miller, 4-H Club boy of Booneville, Yadkin County, emerged as the champion in the weight-estimating contest, and R.L. Southern Alleghany County won the trophy for best showmanship.

On the following day all the steers and wool was sold at public auction with Oscar Pitts, state superintendent of prisons, acting as auctioneer. The champion steer of the show, a Hereford owned by Sammie Lee Myers of Iredell County, and weighing 890 pounds, sold for 60 cents a pound, bringing the boy $534. This record-breaking price exceeded by two cents the previous high established at Asheville a few days before. The calf was the first one Sammie had ever owned, said Iredell Farm Agent Maury Gaston, and while the club boy needed the money, he cried when it came time to turn the steer over to the buyer. Maury said that Sammie’s father was dead and that he and his mother were running the farm with Sammie doing most of the work. The steer that he fed and finished was bought by a local grocery store in Elkin and the meat will be featured at a special sale.

The second prize or reserve champion steer was owned by a club girl, Ruby Hutchison of Wilkes County and sold for 40 cents a pound with the 870-pound animal bringing the club girl a net of $348. All in all, the 48 steers sold for an average of 24 cents a pound and thus broke another record for such events in North Carolina. The total weight of the steers was 38,265, bringing to the young people the sum of $9,183.40.

The first prize wool was purchased by W.A. Neaves, vice-president of the Chatham Manufacturing Company, who paid $1.50 a pound for it. Thirty entries of wool were made with most of it selling for $1 a pound.

One of the best things about the sale, however, was the crowd of rural people, mingled with business men of Elkin, taking an intense interest in the entire proceedings and watching to see why one animal sold above another. The sale was staged in a local tobacco warehouse and some 500 persons [were] present from the three counties.

The show was managed by W.A. Neaves, assisted by Neill Smith, county agent of Surry County. The North Carolina Bankers’ Association donated $500 to be used as prizes, and various other persons helped to defray the local expenses. T.C. McKnight, secretary of the Elkin Y.M.C.A., staged the banquets and luncheons and served all comers with efficiency. Mr. McKnight has a wide reputation for his chicken gravy and his coffee. The 4-H Club members who dined with him during the show said the reputation was well deserved.

On the final evening, following the sale, members of the civic clubs and the Junior Chamber of Commerce gathered for a joint banquet when plans were made for holding a better show in 1945. They also gave attention to the needs of the section in the past war era and made plans to continue the work with livestock, which even now is beginning to pay such handsome dividends.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Anson County Folk Plan for Life After War, 1944

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star on Oct. 23, 1944, and the Wadesboro Messenger and Intelligencer on Oct. 26, 1944.

Anson County rural life will be disrupted as little as possible by postwar conditions if plans now being studied by the Anson Agricultural Workers Council can be made effective. The council is composed of members from every agricultural agency and rural organization in the county and there is a cooperative spirit present not found in many counties.

Much of this is due, of course, to the effective leadership of Jimmie Cameron, who has been county agent there for nearly 30 years and who, with the home agent, Mrs. Rosalind Redfearn, has served his people continuously without friction and with the highest interest of the rural folks always in mind.

The other evening Jimmie held a dinner meeting in the old National Hotel in Wadesboro with representatives present from all the official life of the city and county. Each representative was asked to tell briefly just what his organization had in mind for postwar work and how plans were being made now to meet the situation.

It was interesting to hear that the mayor of Wadesboro, the County Commissioners, the health department, the educational authorities, the welfare department, the civic clubs, the bankers, and even the ministers had in mind some activity which would tend to brunt the evils of a postwar let-down in business. All of these people spoke briefly and to the point. The Extension workers, the rural electrification people, the farm security and soil conservation folks, the vocational teachers, and the Triple A committee also had suggestions, and Mr. Cameron reminded them that much more than planning would be needed. He asked for action because, as he pointed out, Anson has much of its acreage in cotton and the outlook for cotton after the war is not very rosy. He told of other crops that could be grown profitably and pointed out that in the previous fall the farmers had used 440,000 pounds of winter peas, 30,000 pounds of vetch, 30,000 pounds of crimson clover, and about 14,000 tons of limestone in an effort to make the soil more fertile for these substitute crops.

There are 851 rural boys and girls organized into 4-H Clubs and studying just how they may improve farming and homemaking in the county. The rural electrification line serving Anson and adjoining counties has 1,728 patrons at present with 28 new extensions built last year and with many more awaiting the close of the war. At that time, Mr. Cameron said, there would be a demand for more brooders, water pumps, milking machines, milk coolers, and host of other electrical appliances needed by the rural people. The people have increased their flocks of chickens and their turkeys and the increase to food and feed crops has been little short of phenomenal. Jimmie says that local Neighborhood Leaders are responsible for much of the good work being done by the rural people of Anson County, and he looks for their influence to be continued.

These people meet with their neighbors to discuss the importance movement that should be undertaken and usually they get concerted action. For instance, last spring there were about 60 food conservation meetings held among the women with 1,823 people present and learning how best to conserve food of all kinds.
Building richer soils, checking soil erosion, establishing a diversified crop system, and improving the farm and farm home surroundings is the main goal of the present Anson County farm program. There are many well laid out fields in the county as a result of terracing done, and these take the place of gullies and washes. The winter rye grass and small grain planted each fall add a touch of beauty to the countryside each winter in addition to providing grazing and hay and grain for cattle.

Already about 90 farm families are shipping milk to outside markets. Two routes have been established leading to the Carnation processing plant in Albemarle, another goes into Charlotte, and a third into Hamlet. As the acreage to permanent pastures and grazing crops increase, more cows will be added and the sales of milk and cream will be enlarged. The 90 families now selling surplus milk say that they get an average of $40 per month.

Anson also is one of the leaders in growing beef cattle. Adam Lockhart was a moving spirit in having the present Hereford Breeders Association organized and served as its first president. He has in mind now an overall livestock association that will include all breeds and kinds of cattle. Some 23 farmers are growing beef cattle in Anson now, and these will be increased if the grass and grain situation warrants.

Anson grows excellent cotton. In the Sandhills section there are fine fields of crotalaria. Anson peaches are noted for their flavor. There is more alfalfa and the old county, rich in tradition and populated with some of the finest people in North Carolina, is on its way to becoming a well balanced farming county. The postwar plans now under way will hasten this. Particular attention will be paid to poultry, eggs, milk, and swine. Hens are kept in flocks of from 100 to 1,000 for egg production, and the eggs are satisfactorily handled by the truck routes. There are plenty of local hatcheries which use eggs from locally grown, blood-tested, producing flocks.

Last year, the poultry income of the county amounted to around $150,000. The growers are improving their turkeys and are adding to the fine reputation that these birds now have on the North Carolina market. The growers brought in 110 new purebred toms bred by the poultry department of State College and will endeavor to produce a medium-sized broad-breasted bird, which will give the most meat at the least expense.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Young People Showing Cattle at Dairy Shows, 1944

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star on Oct. 9, 1944

That 400 eager young faces turned in intelligent attention and seemingly enjoyed every part of the program is enough to inspire any speaker appearing before an audience of rural boys and girls. Such an audience was provided by Dr. F.L. Jackson of Davidson College the other evening in the Barium Springs Orphanage dining hall as he talked to the young people who had come to exhibit their cattle at the Fourth Annual Upper Piedmont Dairy show sponsored by the Belk stores of that area. Many of the young folks had brought their parents along with them and also, scattered throughout the audience were the farm agents, home agents, and vocational teachers who are all helping to make this dairy cattle venture a success.

Maury Gaston, farm agent of Iredell County, headed the steering committee having the whole thing in charge and he had arranged well. The children came in to the Iredell County fair grounds with their calves on the evening before the show and spent busy minutes getting the animals groomed and ready for the judging the next morning. The next step was to clean up a bit and go to the orphanage dining hall where the Carnation Company had provided a dinner for all comers.

Superintendent Joe Johnston, orphanage superintendent, or “father” as he is more appropriately known, had planned an excellent meal of fried country ham, grits, ham gravy, sweet potatoes, sliced tomatoes, ice cream, cake, milk, coffee, and other well-cooked dishes. All the serving was done by young ladies at the orphanage and during the meal the Glee Club sang songs, new and old, that delighted the young people and their parents. Everyone seemed to be in good humor and it was a delightful occasion.

In addition to Mr. Jackson, other speakers were John A. Arey, dairy extension specialist; Maury Gaston, farm agent; L.R. Harrill, 4-H Club leader; and R.J. Peeler, FFA leader.

The dinner over, the club boys returned to the fair grounds where many of them spent the night snuggled down in the hay, while others less hardy, returned home to come again the next morning.

The judging started early the next day with Fred M. Haig of State College and Dr. Al Shaw of Davidson County placing the cattle. It was an inspiring sight to see the young people parade their 215 calves in proud ownership before the judges and spectators.

Seven classes of females and three classes of bulls were judged. A pure bred dairy heifer was given as an attendance prize by J.A. Knox of Merchants and Farmers Bank of Statesville, and Bill Winters of a local farm implement company, paid all the expenses incident to holding the show. It was made it possible, of course, through the premium payments of $1,000 donated by the Belk stores through W.H. Belk of Charlotte. Mr. Belk offered $5,000 four years ago to stage an annual show for five years with the idea that in that time the young people would have gained knowledge and experience in handling dairy cattle sufficient to make Piedmont Carolina a milk producing section. John A. Arey, dairy extension specialist, said the show had been vastly beneficial and that he hoped the series of shows could be continued after the Belk fund had been exhausted.

This event was duplicated the following two days when Dean I.O. Schaub of State College spoke at the banquet held in Lexington, Davidson County, for the show made possible through a donation of $7,500 by George Coble, local dairy products manufacturer. The dinner as well as the premium money of $1,500 was donated by Mr. Coble, and the Lexington Country Club dining room was taxed to seat the boys and girls from northwest North Carolina who came as guests. The show was planned by W.H. Wooten, Davidson farm agent, and was the second in this series.

It also marked the tenth anniversary of George Coble’s milk processing business. In that brief time, he has built one of the most remarkable milk markets ever seen in the south, sending out his trucks along country roads and collecting fresh, clean milk from thousands of isolated farms whose owners never dreamed of being able to sell their surplus milk to advantage. During the Lexington dinner, J.M. Scott, an agricultural official from Florida, impressed with what he had seen in a trip through the territory, gave George a permit to sell surplus products in that state so that North Carolina farmers are assured now of a continuing market for their milk even though local army camps are not so heavily populated.

The Coble show was hampered by a tremendous downpour of rain but even this failed to dampen the enthusiasm of the calf owners. They brought in so many animals that Mr. Coble had to increase his premium payment rather than to have any of them get less than the catalogue had listed. More than 325 calves were entered and probably more would have been shown had there been space for them. Over a thousand spectators braved the rain to watch the judging.

The third and final dairy cattle show was held in Raleigh on October 3 and 4 for eastern North Carolina. Like the one at Statesville, this one was also financed by the Belk Stores and in time, will be divided into two separate shows. More than 700 animals were entered at the three shows and no one can calculate the tremendous good which the dairy industry of the state has received as a result. The young exhibitors have watched the judges as they placed the calves; they have heard about how to feed and manage their animals for greatest production; they have seen calves better than their own; they have learned what makes a blue ribbon calf; and they have met competition as good sports determined to show again another year and put into practice those things learned this season. The whole effort was well worth while.

Curious About 2011 N.C. Ag. Statistics?

History's interesting but if you want to compare the historical statistics with what's going on in agriculture today, check out

The "09" in the address refers to the month, not the year. These are the statistic for the state of North Carolina for September, 2011.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Former Tenant Farmer Restores Land, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published October 22, 1945, in the Wilmington Star

In December 1941, four years ago, Homer C. Johnson of Cameron, Route 1, Moore County, paid out his last $3 to have a man move him to another farm. In the four years that have elapsed since that time, his net worth has increased to $5,000 and he is getting along very nicely.

After eight years of tenant farming, the Johnson family always found itself in about the same financial condition each year. As individual they were not getting ahead. Although they were hard-working and ambitious and had lived on good farms, tenant farming didn’t seem to offer them the opportunity to accumulate anything.
So Mr. Johnson applied to the Farm Security Administration for a loan with which to buy a farm of his own. The application was approved by the county FSA committee and the Johnsons were told to locate a suitable place. After an extensive search, and several disappointments, they located a 50-acre farm. The farm was approved by the committee, and the Johnsons purchased it in December, 1941.

The family moved onto their farm with one mule, a one-horse wagon, and a milk cow. Their total net worth at the time was $549 and their debts amounted to $206.

Today, the Johnsons have a net worth of $5,982. They have no debts other than the remainder due on the loan.

The story of this family’s success comes from E.H. Garrison, Moore County farm agent, who has visited many of the 34 farm ownership borrowers in that county. Mr. Garrison has assisted the families in various ways from time to time. He says the Johnsons borrowed $4,150 from the Farm Security Administration at 3 per cent interest on unpaid principal. The next year, particularly, was hard going. They missed electricity for lights, ironing, and refrigeration. Water had to be carried up hill about 700 yards. They lived in an inconvenient old dwelling while their new house was being built. The land was run-down and acre yields were low. The neglected soil was diseased with root knot, and neighbors assured Mr. Johnson that he wouldn’t be able to make enough to pay for his fertilizer.

Now, after four years of rather careful planning and hard work, together with cooperation from the Extension Service, Soil Conservation Service, and the Farm Security Administration, the farm looks like a different place.

The Johnsons live in a modern 5-room dwelling. They have a barn, poultry and brooder house, a smoke house, and two tobacco barns. A hydraulic ram has been installed at the spring and the family enjoys running water for the home, including a shower bath. They also have water for the poultry and the livestock, and often furnish it to neighbors for spraying crops.

The yard was landscaped by John Harris, farmstead beautification specialist, and most of the work is now complete. Brick are on hand for under-pinning the house. The family enjoys a gasoline washing machine, a kerosene refrigerator, a pressure canner, sewing machine, and a radio.

The Johnsons have improved their run-down soil by terracing, crop rotation, and the seeding of winter and summer legumes until the farm is now completely self-supporting. Proof of this may be found in the annual farm and home record book, which they keep. They grow adequate hay and grain for the livestock, with some surplus to sell. They have a year-round supply of beef, milk, butter and cheese, pork and lard, chickens and eggs, fresh and canned and stored vegetables, fruits, and sweet and Irish potatoes. They sell surplus butter, eggs, and sweet potatoes.

Crop yields have increased on a per acre basis as follows since 1941: tobacco from 700 to 1,200 pounds; corn from 15 to 55 bushels; and wheat from 15 to 25 bushels.

The first two years, the land wouldn’t grow lespedeza hay. Now, after using lime and phosphate, it yields around 1,500 pounds per acre.

Mr. Johnson says he can grow from one acre of alfalfa as much hay as he formerly produced from five acres of ordinary hay crops. He believes that the three acres of alfalfa which he has now seeded will provide hay for all his livestock next year. He keeps two cows, two heifers, about 100 hens from 200 spring pullets, three hogs, a beef calf, and one horse. He has a tractor complete with combine, mowing machine, hay rake, hay bailer, planters, cultivators, drill, wood saw and disk, and does much custom work for his neighbors.

There are only 30 acres of land in cultivation. Five other acres are seeded to permanent pasture. The income is supplemented by the sale of soybean, lespedeza, and wheat for seed. An excellent home orchard has been started. Mrs. Johnson cans an average of 500 quarts per year and enjoys her pressure canner.

Mr. Garrison said that only one visit is necessary to be impressed by the three healthy, attractive Johnson children, Fay, 12, Joan, 10, and Wayne, 7. None of them has ever been seriously sick or missed a day from school. They are alert and active—a happy family. All of them take part in church, school, and community affairs.

Upon being complimented recently on their progress, this family said their plans for this fall and winter and going to keep them really busy. Among the things they aim to do are:
--Get electric current for the dwelling and all the farm buildings.
--Add a bath room with hot and cold water.
--Repaint all the buildings.
--Buy a second-hand piano so the daughters can take music lessons.
--Cut down their debt to the FSA more than in any previous year.

Incidentally, Mr. Johnson is already two and one-half years ahead with his annual payments.

Mr. Garrison says that after years of close cooperation between his office and the Farm Security Administration workers there, it is gratifying to observe the fine work being done by the farm ownership borrowers of Moore County. Their economic progress, after a few years on the program, their improvements in the soil, farm buildings, and in dietary habits is amazing.

Food and feed production, conservation, and health of families, and the standards of living generally have been improved. If the Farm Security Administration had nothing more than this which has been accomplished in Moore County, its existence would be justified.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

War In Europe Presents Opportunity for Piedmont Farmers, 1940

From the October 9, 1940, issue of the Wadesboro Messenger-Intelligencer

Prof. F.H. Jeter, the Charlotte Observer farm page editor, said in his letter Monday that ordinarily I try not to preach or to urge or even to insist when commenting on the agricultural affairs of the State in this column. But here is one time I shall depart from the usual custom. I do so because there is a real opportunity for Piedmont farmers to make some money this year. There is also the opportunity to have a commodity which may be scarce and high in price next fall. That commodity is crimson clover and vetch seed.

The United States normally imports from abroad, largely central Europe, about one-half of its supply of this seed. Now that Mr. Hitler has set about gobbling up most of Europe and upsetting the normal course of life and commerce, the supplies of seed secured from that continent will certainly be curtailed if not stopped altogether. Certainly, people are not going to busy themselves with saving clover seed when they might better be saving their very lives.

Charley Brickhouse, district agent of the Extension Service, was in Washington a few days ago and found the agronomists and conservationists up there very much upset because of the outlook for clover and vetch seed. Enos Blair, extension agronomist, has also become concerned and only lately, I have had advices from Washington to the effect that if we didn’t save our seed of these two crops, we would have a hard time getting any.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cleveland County Cotton Farmers Have Diversified, 1948

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer, November 22, 1948

Formerly known as one of the great cotton producing counties of this state, Cleveland County farmers have kept their cotton and have reached out along other lines. They milk cows, grow apples, have good gardens, produce certified seeds, and have some of the finest small herds of swine to be found in North Carolina.

In this, they are doing just what our leading farmers have long advocated for the other parts of the state. Then, too, there are many small industries over the county that provide both employment and markets for farm produce. There are also many good Cleveland farmers who know that it is not wise to have only one or two cash crops as the sole source of income but who do have these crops, intend to keep them, and are making other acres, not in cash crops, help to produce an income also. Long ago Cleveland farmers gave up the idea of cotton alone and began to use their extra acres for pasture, corn, small grain, alfalfa, clovers, sweet potatoes, and all the several kinds of feed crops needed for hogs, beef cattle, poultry and dairy cows.

But let’s never that forget that Cleveland is a good cotton growing county and that they intend to keep on growing cotton. That is, if the cost of picking doesn’t get too high in comparison with the price of the staple. The growers say they caught a “fit” this fall. The price of picking started out at $2.50 a hundred. Then it began to rise as the fine harvesting weather continued. Finally, it leveled off at about $4 a hundred and some men said they have paid as high as $4.50 a hundred. At the present price of cotton, this is just about one-third of the money received for a bale.

Many growers say that if this keeps up and if they do not soon get a mechanical picker suited to the small farmer and with many of the present kinks ironed out of the machine, they may have to abandon cotton in favor of some other crop. The present picking machine is not yet satisfactory for North Carolina conditions, especially in the Piedmont.

A few men have changed from cotton to other crops. Ted Ledford of the Midway community does not grow a stalk of cotton. He owns 62.5 acres of land with 34 acres in crop land. Of this 34 acres of crop land, Mr. Ledford has 31 acres of Ladino pasture. He buys feeder calves and grows them out on this pasture for sale as grass fed steers in the fall. In addition, he grows about 20,000 broilers each year. He says he gets more clear profit at less hard work from these chickens and beef animals than he does from cotton and that his land is getting richer and more fertile right along.

Dairying has long been one of the chief farm industries in Cleveland County, and County Agent B.P. Jenkins says it is fast becoming of chief importance. All the local milk markets, or processing plants, which buy the fluid milk are increasing their routes and new patrons are joining in selling almost every day. Many of these newcomers to the cow-milking business say they are highly pleased with what they call “this newly found sideline.” Several of these new cow men say that they have been averaging about $25 a cow in each of the two-week checks which they get from the milk plant.

Ben Jenkins estimates that dairying has now reached up into a million-dollar business for Cleveland farmers and the fundamental reason for this nice cash income is because the landowners are growing alfalfa for hay, Ladino clover and orchard grass for pasture, and have excellent local outlets for all the milk they can produce. Another thing that will have a great influence on this milk business is the new artificial breeding association, recently formed. This allows the little fellow with only one or two cows to breed up his stock from some of the best blood lines of dairy stock in the United States. John H. Wright, who has this work in charge for the association, says it is breeding an average of 100 cows a month, in widely separated parts of the county.

This first test-tube heifer to be dropped in Cleveland County is owned by John Rufus Dellinger of the Belwood community. Young Dellinger is the sixth member of the endless chain calf club to declare a dividend since this chain was established two years ago by the Shelby Rotary Club. Fourteen of these heifers were placed originally over the county and when the Dellinger heifer is six months old, it will be placed with another 4-H club member. Then John Rufus will have fulfilled his obligation to the Rotary Club and his cow will be his own without any further cost.

Some of the other members of the Cleveland endless chain calf club who have paid for their cows by passing on a heifer to some other boy or girl are: Robert Cabiness of Lattimore, whose cow was placed with Dwight Tessener of Boiling Springs; M.D. Cabiness Jr. of Lattimore, with Donald Hastings of Casar; Joyce Williamson of Lattimore, with Bobby Huskey of Bethware; and Ralph Crotts of Polkville, whose calf went to Charlie Bridges of Polkville.

There has been quite a movement to add more silos on Cleveland County farms. Beginning early last May, these feed-saving storage places began to go up at a fast clip. Many of the men wanted to be assured of succulent feed for their cows in winter and many others wanted the silos to provide summer feed when dry weather began to hit the pastures. They say it is coming to be about as important to have insurance against dry weather as it is to have insurance against winter hunger.

Many a feeding problem is being solved by the simple expedient of growing alfalfa for hay and Ladino clover for permanent pasture. Tom Cornwell has been growing some fescue seed for these new pasture planters. He planted five acres to Fescue 31 last year and combined an excellent crop of seed during the past summer. Dewey and Paul Hawkins of Shelby also seeded five acres of fescue in the fall of 1947 and early this past summer they combined 250 pounds of valuable seed. Then they grazed the fescue for the remainder of the summer and added Ladino clover this fall. The Hawkins brothers used a part of their fescue seed to plant more pasture this fall but sold most of it to neighbors at a good price. Lamar Herndon followed out the same idea with his Ladino orchard grass pasture this year. He saved one acre during the early summer, combined the seed, and got 60 pounds of excellent Ladino clover seed from that one acre. He has planted five more acres of the mixture this fall to further increase his pasture growing.

Along with this expanding of pastures by growing seed at home, quite a few Cleveland men have changed over from the production of grade “C” milk for manufacturing purposes to grade “A” milk for bottling. Ray Waugaman, Shelby, Route 1, and Earl Wallace of Cleve-Co Farms in the Elizabeth community have both built new barns to conform to the grade “A” requirements. Mason Roberts of Shelby, Route 1, is building a large dairy barn, 40 feet wide by 60 feet long, and is adding 25 milk cows. He plans to add a grade “A” milking room so that he too can sell the premium product. Tom Hamrick of the Oak Grove section has recently built a 10-stanchion milking barn.

One of the problems facing those who plan to expand their dairy business is to find good cows. All summer long, Cleveland farmers have traveled from one sale to the other and from one breeding establishment to another hunting dairy cattle. Seven Guernseys were bought at the annual Guernsey sale in Statesville early in September and 10 Jerseys were secured at the annual Jersey sale at Statesville also in September. The would-be dairymen say they are still on the hunt for good, high producing cows at a reasonable price.

Cleveland County now has some excellent apple orchards. As yet these are not planted widespread over the county but those on hand are well kept. Some of the leading orchards are owned by Lutz and Ledford, J.D. Elliot and son, Wayne L. Ware, and B.H. Grigg and sons. Lutz and Ledford made an exhibit of their quality fruit at the North Carolina State Fair where it won much favorable comment. The orchard owners have begun to plant Ladino clover among their trees so as to produce the nitrogen needed for best fruit production. This reduces the cost of producing the apples and helps to maintain a high quality of fruit. Then, too, this clover can be cut and allowed to lay on the ground, thus providing a valuable mulch which helps to conserve needed moisture. This moisture problem is one that the successful orchardist of that section must meet if he is to produce the highest quality of marketable fruit.

B.H. Grigg and Sons are enlarging their present orchard out on Shelby, Route 4, from 19 to 30 acres. They have six acres of bearing trees that are now eight years of age and then they have 13 other acres of Stayman Winesap, Red and Yellow Delicious that are only two years old. Mr. Gregg has planted Ladino clover in his old orchard as a cover crop and a nitrogen gatherer.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

North Carolina Farm Ponds, 1946

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, October 14, 1946

Now that the rush of summer work is over and the fall harvest gets underway, North Carolina landowners have begun to think again of farm fish ponds. One of my Raleigh friends took a trip during the summer and, being an inveterate fisherman, he naturally began to notice the many new fish ponds in all parts of the Piedmont as he took his vacation trip towards the mountains. He talked to a number of folks about the ponds and found them happy about having this new recreational feature added to their farms.

Reports indicate that there will be no lessening of interest in the ponds this year. New ones are being built constantly, and the farmers found that not only do the ponds add fish but they furnish a needed supply of fresh water. They add beauty to the farmstead, and they are fine to have on hot summer evenings when one has worked hard all day in the fields.

W.C. Boyce, Franklin County soil conservationist, says owners of fish ponds in that county are fertilizing them to increase the crop of fish. S.V. Hill and D.C. Hicks used 200 pounds of high analysis fertilizer, followed by 50 pounds of nitrate of soda, just as if they had been growing a corn crop in the old days. The surface of these ponds covers slightly over one acre. The two ponds were stocked only last fall, but fish have been observed during the summer which would weigh as much as one pound each. The purpose of the fertilizing is to cause the water to produce more food for the fish. As the fish increase in size, they require more food.

In Guilford County, G.T. Rumley of the Madison township say he will construct the ideal farm fish pond this fall. The entire water line around his pond will be excavated to a depth of two feet so as to provide for good fishing over the entire area. Then after the dam has been completed, he will run terraces so as to divert all surplus water from the crop land, within the drainage area, away from the pond. The water supply for the pond comes from a strong spring and a little extra surface water draining from a patch of woods and some pasture land. Mr. Rumley will fertilize his pond, and he is getting his stock of bass and bream from the fish and wildlife service through the local Haw River Soil Conservation district.

S.R. Clinard of Oak View section of Guilford completed his pond in early August. It is located only about 200 yards from his home and about one-half of the 40-acre watershed draining into the pond is in woodland. The other half, in open land, is terraced. Mr. Clinard is arranging a crop rotation so that the silt will not wash down into the pond, filling it up and ruining it. J.R. Warf of Summerfield, Route 1, built a pond about a year ago, and says he sees the need right now for better terracing and more careful disposal of the water washing down from nearby cultivated fields.

Thirty-six thousand small blue-gill bream were delivered in early September to Guilford farmers in the Haw River Soil district. These 36,000 blue-gill bream were planted in 46 acres of farm ponds. Bass will be added to each one next spring to complete the stocking and the owners say they will fertilize their ponds next summer to increase the food supply in the water.

George Setliff and Ira Powell of the Oregon Hill community, and A.J. Martin of the Stephens Cross Roads section of Rockingham County, received fish for their ponds in middle September. R.A. Baughan of the Dan Valley section has just completed a small pond for fish production and for supplying fresh water for his livestock. As soon as he had completed his dam, Mr. Baughan immediately seeded it and all exposed areas around the pond to a mixture of redtop, orchard grass, dallis grass, and small amount of white Dutch clover.

In all, about 25 farm ponds were built in Rockingham County this summer, and while this is quite a good record, the local farmers say they will continue to build as they have the opportunity.

Alamance farmers in the Haw River district, also have been busy building ponds. The ponds will be stocked next spring. Henry Thiel, soil conservation specialist in Alamance County, reports that 16,000 bream were delivered to 12 good farmers just recently. Bass will be delivered to these same pond owners come the spring.

Don Matheson, Orange County agent, says that Miller Brothers, who operate a large poultry farm about two miles from Hillsboro, freezing the extra fish which they take from their one-acre farm pond. The last catch was about 50 pounds of mixed bass, pike and perch. These are all quickly frozen and placed in the home freezer cabinet. One of the bass weighed four pounds.

Johnston County farmers also have become interested in farm ponds. They plan to use them both for fish and for a water supply for the livestock. In the past, the building of these ponds in that county has been difficult due to the lack of necessary equipment, but M.A. (Happy) Morgan reports that J.J. Broadhurst of Smithfield and Woodley Warrick of Selma have both bought large tractor equipment and that this is available now for the construction of ponds throughout the county.

But this farm fish pond idea stretches on into the southwest section of the state. Many Gaston County farmers are building new ponds working on them in their spare time and in off season. Such a farmer is G.W. Stone of Stanley, Route 1, who has his pond staked out and all specifications for his dam. Mr. Stone says the pond will cover an acre of ground and will be a pleasant addition to his farm. Dan J. Stowe of Belmont and Elbert Robinson of Gastonia, Route 3, are two other men who are building new ponds. Mr. Stowe has begun work on the two-acre pond, and Elbert has ambitious plans for a 15-acre pond. Both are to be stocked with bream and bass and fertilized so that the fish will really grow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Life on Graham County Farms, 1948

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer on Oct. 25, 1948

Almost as far west as we can go in North Carolina is the little county of Graham. It was named after William A. Graham, former Governor, and contains only about 175,000 acres of land. About 19 out of every 20 acres of this land are covered with forest trees, and those forests are beautiful at the present time. Graham County lies just south of the Tennessee River. It is bounded on the west by the magnificent Smoky Mountains. Inside the county there are numerous small streams, all flowing into the Cheoah River, which in turn flows into the Tennessee. These valleys are rich and fertile. In fact, they comprise about all the land that can be cultivated in Graham County and it is only their high fertility that makes it possible for farming to be profitable.

The county has been noted in the past for its beef cattle production. Native grasses, free of onions, not only make fine grazing but are highly nutritious. More lately there has been a shift from beef cattle to dairying as new roads and milk routes make it convenient to market fresh, cold milk in wholesale quantities.
But so often, we lowlanders do not understand that our mountain citizens are just about as good farmers as we are and that they live much as we do. The mountains are no longer isolated. The Tennessee Valley Authority and the local REA lines have brought electric current to every cove. There are fine highways all through that section; good farm homes abound; and the people have their radios and newspapers just as does the average Piedmont or Coastal Plains farmer. Of course, the ground is rugged, and the hills are steep, and erosion must be fought continually, especially where the trees have been removed from the hills and sold for lumber.

P.J. Gibson, county agent, says that 94 per cent of Graham County is covered with forests. Yet the supply of timber grows less and less each succeeding year. The average farm woodland in the county is now producing less than 1,000 board feet an acre; and so the men who own land in the mountain county have begun to give attention to the better handling of their farm forests. They are cutting out the scrubby underbrush and are setting out seedlings of popular and pine. Just recently the TVA nursery serving that area allocated for the use of Graham farmers alone this winter; 10,000 white pine; 35,000 shortleaf pine; 3,000 black locust; 5,000 yellow poplar; 500 white ash; and 500 red cedar. Mr. Gibson says these trees will be secured by the individual farmers and planted this winter. The seedlings are delivered in Robbinsville at no cost to the man who will set them out.

But not only do mountain farmers have great concern about the future of their timber supplies. They are realizing that much of the valley soil that once yielded so abundantly is becoming exhausted. Its mineral elements are being depleted and crops no longer produce high acre yields without lime, phosphate, and other fertilizers. Not only that—but as land is cleared, it washes away. So the people have organized by communities, on each watershed, and they have adopted new methods of farming to build their standards of living.

R.W. Shoffner, who travels all through that territory as district farm agent, says that some of the results are really amazing. By their organized efforts, the neighborhoods are transforming their total situation and are increasing their individual incomes. In Graham County, for instance, the little Sweetwater community was organized back in 1942, about six years ago. Naturally, it is out ahead of other communities in the use of limestone and phosphate to improve the lands and in the adding of modern conveniences to make rural homes more comfortable. The last organized communities in Graham are Long Creek, Stecoah, and Bear Creek. In between are Sweetgum, Santeetlah, Tuskeegee, Panther, Wolf Creek, Atoah, Yellow Creek, Cochrans-Gladdens Creek, and Mountain Creek. Five hundred farms in these 12 communities are being definitely improved through the joint efforts of their owners.

One of the interesting things about this community effort is that the neighbors vote on one farm to be a demonstration place. They select a family which they believe can carry out the ideas of the county agent and the Tennessee Valley folks, and then this family tries to put these ideas into operation insofar as it can. They keep a careful record of all results. The neighboring farms are also eligible to get TVA phosphate for use on their pastures and soil lands. They see what has happened on that main demonstration place and pretty soon they see the same results being secured on their own places. Another thing, these communities have learned that by working together they can bring about so many changes which the individual could not or would not do alone. In fact, he wouldn’t try it because he would fear ridicule, perhaps.

But take the case of the Stecoah farmers. For years, they have allowed the old “open range” in that community. This means that the man with crops and a garden fenced them in if he wanted to gather any kind of a harvest. The livestock ran free to wander as it would. And this livestock would almost always pick out the best corn patch in the community if it were not protected by a fence. But the Stecoah people decided they wanted to go into the business of selling milk. They wanted to have a milk route to come into the community. This meant more hay, better pastures, and better dairy cows. Obviously, the individual couldn’t go very far in this with beef cattle and scrub animals of all kinds wandering about over the place. So, they took community action and closed the range. They no longer have free range. From now on the cattle will be confined to pastures and lots. After the people had decided on this, they got to work mineralizing their sod lands, renovating old pastures, and seeding new ones. Now the community is on its way to produce and sell cold mountain milk, highly nutritious, and almost totally free of any kind of odor or bacteria.

The folks also found that there were some jobs in this new kind of farming that were a little more complicated than the old style and were more than the individual, working alone, could handle.

This was the case in the Franks Creek section, for instance. Here J.L. Postelle, Ralph Matheson, Jesse Hyde, and Wayne Holloway set an example of community co-operation not exceeded anywhere. These men have worked out a system of labor sharing, especially during harvest time, that makes the work on each farm easily done. Each man does that thing which he can do best and his neighbor does the same. The sum total of their efforts means more prosperity for the four families.

In their community efforts, the rural families, more than any other, are not always looking for a dollar. No one needs it any more than they do; but not every farm family is interested primarily in getting a dollar for every service rendered. In the Bear Creek community, for instance, the people decided that they needed a new church. The old one was just about gone and was a disgrace to such an up-and-coming neighborhood. The folks of Bear Creek got together, cut the timber, and built a new Baptist Church and wired it for electrical current. It was built and paid for last year.

The East Buffalo watershed also has just finished its new and modern Lone Oak Baptist Church with the entire community furnishing money, materials, and labor to have a better place in which to worship.

Mr. Gibson says that these examples are just a few that are being brought about as a result community interest and organization. The farms are small, markets are far distant, the amount of produce to sell from each farm is not great. The people, therefore, are thinking strongly now of pooling their produce just as they have worked out the milk routes to come in and carry out that high grade mountain milk.

To see what has happened in the homes as a result of all this, we go back to the Sweetwater community—the first watershed valley to be organized—back in 1942. The farm home of Mr. and Mrs. H.T. Davis is a good example. As the income of this family has increased, they have done what farm families everywhere try to do—they have set about adding those little things which mean so much to a better family life. These additions have been made by the Davis family a little at a time; but if you could visit this rural mountain home today, you will find a new and modernized kitchen with beautiful refinished walls and all the necessary electrical equipment. Mrs. Davis says she didn’t have heat in the kitchen so when she bought a stove on which to cook the family meals, she bought a combination electrical and wood range. In the winter when it gets awfully cold in Graham County, Mrs. Davis uses the wood burning feature of her range and says it keeps the kitchen nice and cozy. Then in summer, when it gets almost as hot up there in the day as it does in Charlotte, Mrs. Davis uses the electrical part of her dual purpose range. She says this certainly is a convenience too, while she is busy doing her canning for winter.

The Davises also own a big nine-foot electrical refrigerator. This is a rather large size, but Mrs. Davis says somehow it always manages to stay filled with many things which she needs to keep cold. Over at the end of the kitchen, under the windows, is a beautiful two-basin sink with wide drainboards on either side and the daughters find that this makes dish-washing easy.

The Davises also like to live well. The living room has been beautifully redecorated. So has one bedroom and the hall. The family is now in the midst of its plans for the other rooms. Both Mrs. Davis and her two married daughters, Mrs. Clarence Crisp and Mrs. Floyd Phillips, are members of the local home demonstration club. They are active in the church and community activities and the husband is one of the leading farmers of Graham County. In fact, he is on the watershed committee which forms the policies of all community action undertaken by those who live in the Sweetwater neighborhood.

Graham farmers are quick to adopt the new things which will aid them in making a better living. For instance, there has been lots of trouble over the county with a late blight of tomatoes. This disease seems to kill out the tomato vines just about as soon as they are fully loaded with fruit. Talmadge Sherrill of the Sweetwater community whipped that trouble this year by dusting his small crop of 50 plants with a copper preparation. He used $6 worth of the copper sulphate dust and harvested 25 bushels of tomatoes. He actually sold $42.50 worth and said he would have done better but that the wilt, a seed-bourne disease, came in and killed some of his plants after he fought the blight successfully. The wilt cut his yield in half, he estimates.

Austin Sherrill of the Talulah area treated 180 plants with the copper spray at a cost of $7 and sold $209.80 worth of tomatoes from 100 vines. In addition, his family enjoyed the tomatoes all summer and his wife canned 50 quarts for winter use.

Graham farmers have also organized an artificial breeding association; they are fighting all kinds of animal and plant troubles, and they have learned to work together.