Hibbard, Benjamin Horace, 1870-1955 / The history of agriculture in Dane County, Wisconsin
Chapter VI: The one-crop period, pp. 121-142 PDF (5.1 MB)
HIBBARD-HISTORY OF AGRICULTURE IN DANE COUNTY. 121 CHAPTER VI. THE ONE-CROP PERIOD. SECTION I-WHEAT. It will no doubt be objected that there never was in southern Wisconsin a time when one crop was raised so exclusively as to warrant the title given to this chapter. We look back to the to- bacco culture of early Virginia, or to the cotton production of the gulf states in ante-bellum days, and unhesitatingly speak of them as one-crop periods. We speak glibly of the old Norfolk four- course system as practiced in England for a century previous to the depression of I875, yet does anyone suppose that the tobacco growers of Virginia or the cotton planters of the South would have accepted the term "one-crop system" had they been accused of practicing it? Or does any student of English industrial his- tory think that the Norfolk system was followed with such con- scious care and precision that one could predict the periodic return of a certain cereal to a particular plot as an astronomer predicts an eclipse of the sun? However, the term "one-crop period" was chosen advisedly and serves the purpose of giving a general idea of the conditions of these different times and places. Likewise, it must not be understood that every other crop was insignificant; yet seen in perspective even at this short range, it appears to the observer that dairying, stock raising, the growing of other grains, were, all combined, but mere incidents'in the general business of attempting to grow wheat. That is to say, wheat was the staple; it was the crop produced for the market; the crop from which a money income was expected.7 "'rat. Office Rept., Agriculture, II, p. 465.
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