Wisconsin State Agricultural Society / Transactions of the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, including the proceedings of the state agricultural convention held in February, 1885, together with other practical papers
Vol. XXIII (1885)
Coon, F. W.
The ins and outs of tobacco culture, pp. 301-320
.302 WISCONSIN STATE AGRicULTURAL SOCIETY. experie.nce in tobacco, beginning nearly fifteen years ago with a backaching job of weeding plant beds and in water- ing out tobacco plants in a dry season, upon the homestead in southern Dane county, and closing with three years of ,hard labor as publisher of a newspaper devoted to the" * in- .terests of tobacco, leads us to confess at the opening that as between the ins and outs of tobacco culture, - the "ins" have by a very large and respectable majority. To forestall any verdiet of my- listeners, who - may say when I have closed, that the- 11 outs " have not been fairly treated, the - writer desires further to. confess judgment upon the - charge that he is an Anthusiast upon the subjeet of 'tobacco and has Mo- disposition at this time to go back upon his record, There is in my opinion, no agricultural industry in our ~state that is attracting more wide-spread attention from the farmers of our- state to.-day, than that of tobacco culture. This is due partly to the seductive reports that are now be, ing published of the profits growers are reeeiv ing- for the the crop and partly beeause people outside the tobacco section are learning that most of these reports are true. . Tobacco growin g is by no means a new indastry that has sprung up to claim this attention, Ralph Pomeroy elaims the honor of raising the first erop of Wisconsin tobacco on rented land, on the prairie near'Syene, Dane county.. in 1854. Three years later.. 1857.. Chester Pomeroy grew his first to- bacco, crop, in, the state in the town of Fulton, and a erop has been grown on the same farm' every year since that date. The Pomeroys having been engaged in tobacco cul- ture in Ohio previous to their removal'to this state, continued to grow the weed in Wisconsin a number of years before their neighbors became interested - *in' the matter, and. discov- ered that as a farm,. product it paid fairly good returns. It took years to establish a market in the state for this produet, and to demonstrate that Wisconsin tobacco was of more than of average quality. In 1874, or- just twenty years after Ralph Pomeroy made his first experiment on tobacco cul- ture, the total aereage of the state had grown to but 1.9444 aeres - less than is now raised, in -some one of the townships of Rock county;
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