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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)

Page 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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