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Hibbard, Benjamin Horace, 1870-1955 / The history of agriculture in Dane County, Wisconsin
(1904)

Chapter III: Tobacco,   pp. 155-175 PDF (4.7 MB)


Page 166


366      BULLETIN' OR THE UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN.
   After all, the area planted to tobacco is small; in Dane county
 it is only about ten per cent. of the acreage once sown to wheat,
 and when the whole state is considered it drops to a small frac-
 tion indeed. In the towns where the most is raised the ratio to
 the whole area has never equalled one to ten; yet the most en-
 thusiastic tobacco men are continually advising the grower to
 plant less, and not more. A prominent tobacco dealer of Stough-
 ton who was for years engaged in growing tobacco on his own
 land estimates that five acres is as much as can profitably be
 grown on an eighty-acre farm. This would. allow but i,44o
 acres in a town were it equally distributed over the entire extent,
 but such a distribution can never be made, and in order to reach
 that amount in the aggregate many eighty-acre farms produce
 twenty or more acres each year. In I893, with an acreage very
 much less than at present, and with prices almost as good, our
 tobacco editor, so frequently quoted, is eloquent in his appeal to
 his constituents to go into dairying as a means of keeping up
 the fertility of the tobacco fields, especially as an antidote to
 over-production, against which, as an imminent catastrophe, he
 forever warns thern.-
    METHOD OF CULTIVATION AND PREPARATION FOR 3MARKET.70
    In the first place the ground must be in process of prepara-
tion some months in advance. A few years ago it was customary
to plow once in the fall and twice in the spring, but at present
one plowing is considered sufficient, and this is done but a short
time before planting. If tobacco has been raised on the land the
previous year some mode of cultivation to prevent a second
growth is desirable, and a disc harrow is a satisfactory tool for
the work. Manure is spread upon the ground any time during
the fall, winter, or spring. Occasionally a top dressing is ap-
plied after the ground is plowed, but does not seem a very popu-
lar method. One of the most important considerations of the
whole process of tobacco growing is to have the ground in good
shape before the crop is planted. It must be mellow and warm.
  The seed bed is the next care, and much depends upon the
  "Wisconsin Tobacco Reporter, December 15, 1893.
  'OA careful account of this Is given in the Tenth Census Report, but great
clannses have taken place since that time.
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