Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / The Wisconsin horticulturist
Vol. III, No. 9 (November 1898)
Walsh, George E.
American seed farms, pp. 18-20 PDF (796.2 KB)
18 THE WISCONSIN HORTICULTURIST. AMERICAN SEED FARMS. By George E. Walsh. American seeds for garden and field culture are superior to those of any other country, partly as the result of special cultivation and selection, but more largely as the result of peculiar soil and climate adaptation. Seed growing has de- veloped with marvelous rapidity in this .country within re- cent years, and the industry now ranks among the leading ones of the land. We not only supply the enormous demand for seeds in the United States, but extensive exports of seeds are annually made. At the present rate of progress it is only a question of time when American-grown seeds will be the reliance of the farmers and gardeners of the whole world. Formerly farmers raised their own seeds, and it was a rare thing to purchase from professional seeds- men; but of late years the very reverse has been the case. The reason of this is plain. The professional seedsman can raise and sell the seeds cheaper because everything is done on a large scale, and he can guarantee the finest quality. So many seedsmen are in the business now that competition renders it absolutely necessary to success that superior seeds should be placed upon the market. The most favorable locations are selected by the seeds- men to grow their seeds; and where certain plants have be- come famous because of the peculiarity of the soil or climate, there their farms are generally located. For instance, the valley of the Platte River, in Nebraska, is especially favor- able to the growing of vine seeds, such as cucumber, melon, and similar plants. Some of the seedsmen contract annually for hundreds of acres of land in that section simply to ob- tain the finest cucumber, watermelon and muskmelon seeds. Excellent seed peas can be grown in Jefferson County, N. Y., and annually between three and four hundred carloads of seed peas and beans are shipped from that county. Con- necticut is famous for her fine onion seeds, and hundreds of acres are devoted entirely to the raising of onion seeds for the markets. Michigan ranks next in order for fine onion
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