Written by F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer, Nov. 29, 1948
In Richmond County, sound farm planning has been followed this season.
For instance, back in late September and early October, it appeared that few men would get to seed acres to alfalfa, grazing crops and permanent pastures as they had planned. It had been dry for some time, and it appeared that the dry weather would linger on indefinitely. But these men got their land in shape, they bought their seed mixtures and stood by for the season to come. And as it always does, the rains finally came.
They had good seasons during the first week in October. Farm Agent N.L. Hendrix says you never saw anyone anywhere get busy so quickly. They began to put seeds in the ground on the next Monday—it’s mostly sandy in Richmond—and by the end of that week, most of the growers were boasting of the fine stands that they had. Not only did the alfalfa come up promptly but the pasture grasses, the Italian rye grass and the other grazing crops also jumped into a full stand one week after seeding.
These Richmond County farmers have become greatly interested in growing alfalfa for hay. Some of the new seeders this fall have been J.M. Frazier, F.L. Stutts, W.R. Land Jr., A.L. Leviner, A.E. Crump, B.F. Stutts, A.H. McCall, Arthur Richardson, and T.C. Andrews. Those who had the alfalfa growing on their farms this past summer mostly made five cuttings, despite the dry weather of mid-summer. The quality of the hay was excellent, and the acre yields were good. Last fall, 35,982 pounds of Italian rye grass or enough seed to plant 1,000 acres were purchased in Richmond and the amount has jumped above that this fall.
Some excellent permanent pastures also have been planted by W.R. Land Jr., G.W. Hill, J.C. Broadway, Dewey Thompson, Clarence Parsons, H.A. Parker, S.G. Anderson, H.V. Chandler, W.C. Hollingsworth, M.M. Hill, Sam Bowman, J. Gus Covington, T.H. Cloninger, and R.L. Bennett.
Charles Auman seems to hold the record in corn production for Richmond County this year. Wednesday, October 20, 15 of Charles’ neighbors gathered to harvest and weigh the corn from one acre and a net of 8,010 pounds was weighed. County 70 pounds to the bushel, this is a yield of 114.5 bushels. However, 70 pounds of the corn was shelled and then weighed, producing 60 pounds of actual grain. At this rate, Charles actually produced 112.5 bushels on his acre. Dr. Emerson Collins visited the acre about three weeks before the corn was gathered and he estimated form ear counts that Charles would produce 121.6 bushels an acre. Pretty accurate! Richmond corn growers suffered from the dry weather of the summer and so far few constants have reached the 100-bushel mark. Most of them have been at 90. The 4-H Club members have been especially disappointed this year.
J.M. McKenzie Jr. of Rockingham appears to be the champion cotton grower of the county so far. Mr. McKenzie picked 94 bales from 70 acres in September and says he would get at least seven more. He harvested nine bales from his five-acre plot at the first picking. This 70 acres of cotton land is going in winter peas as fast as Mr. McKenzie gets his cotton cleaned out. Three gins in the county are cooperating in the cotton stapling work and quite a few men have placed their staple under the government loan. There are two bonded warehouses in Rockingham cooperating to store the cotton and the Richmond County Bank has been financing all loans. Some of the growers said they secured $7.70 a bale above the spot prices by taking the loans on their early cotton.