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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 167


    HIBBARDI-HISTORY OF AtiRICCLTURE 1N DANE COUNTY. 16t7
skill with which it is prepared and tended. Much theorizing and
experimentation have been done in this connection, but in a gen-
eral way it may be said that the best results are obtained from an
outdoor bed made in some sheltered spot as soon as the weather
will permit in the spring. It was at one time thought of great
consequence to burn some brush on the bed in order to destroy
weed seed and animal life in the soil, but this is practiced very
much less of late. As early as the danger of hard freezing is
past the seed, which has already been sprouted, is sown in the
bed, and canvas is stretched over it as a protection against wind
and frost. The seed used should be entirely free from weed
seed, as all weeds must with scrupulous care be kept out, and
it is difficut to pull any great number of them without injuring
the small and tender tobacco plants. When the little plants are
about two inches high the cloth covering is taken off and they
become toughened somewhat by exposure to the sun and wind.
It is of great importance to have them ready for setting at the
first moment the weather seems to permit, which is usually dur-
ing the first half of June; they must be large enough to handle
and if they are kept in the bed long after the proper size-from
three to five inches in height-is reached they lose rapidly in
vigor.
  Transplanting has been greatly simplified by the invention of
the machine for doing the work. As in the case of the grain
binder, this machine came at a time when there was great de-
mand for such a device on account of the increased quantity pro-
duced, the high price paid for the product, and the extreme diffi-
culty of getting the requisite amount of desirable help at the
critical moment. The first trial recorded in Wisconsin took place
at Janesville in i88&, the machine being the invention of Mr.
Maurice Smith of Farley, Iowa." Although many improve-
ments have since been made, the description of this first machine
gives a good idea of those now in use:-
  "The machine proper is a carriage having attached in front a
roller, and just back of that two blades. which together make a
small furrow in the ground and throw the earth to one side.
Two boys sitting just behind these blades drop the plants about
  nAnotber transplanter much In use was Invented by Mr. F. A. Bemis of Lodi,
Wisconsin.
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