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Hibbard, Benjamin Horace, 1870-1955 / The history of agriculture in Dane County, Wisconsin

Chapter III: Tobacco,   pp. 155-175 PDF (4.7 MB)

Page 162

cast is to be preferred. But whatever the color or quality of the
soil, if it is thin and lies upon a cold subsoil which is saturated
with water until late in the season it is useless for tobacco, for
the plant will not grow with a chill at its roots.""' This brings
out the fact that tobacco land cannot be chosen by a novice, and
that even the best of judges depend more upon experiment than
upon any preconceived notions. It would seem to the writer
after an extended trip through the tobacco district that the above
observations as to the color of the soil are hardly warranted, and
that more stress might be laid on the excellence of the "sandy
calcareous" soil.
   The different classes of soils here enumerated are not mutually
 exclusive, for some of the prairie is also of a calcareous nature,
 and when this happens to be the case it no doubt constitutes the
 choicest of tobacco land. Within the limestone area of Wis-
 consin a more specific classification of tobacco soils can be made.
 Of the four principal limestone soils, two are used for tobacco
 growing: the Trenton, and the Lower Magnesian. These soils
 have more friable loam than is found in the higher and more
 rugged Galena limestone and are better drained and richer than
 the Niagara limestone. Neither the Potsdam nor the St. Peters
 sandstone districts have become important in tobacco production.
  Shall tobacco be raised for a long number of years on the same
ground or not, is a question that growers are still asking rather
than answering. So far as practice goes there cannot be said
to be at present any regular system of rotation. Tobacco land
requires so nituch manure, and the manure used is of such a
crude kind that it would be folly to attempt the preparation of a
new tobacco plot every year or two. It is no small undertaking
to get a piece of ground readv for tobacco, as can be easily un-
derstood bv any one who comprehends the high state of tilth
and fertility to which it must be brought. Tobacco of good
quality can be raised on the same land year after year, and the
cumulative effect of the manure makes it possible to produce a
given quantity with less expense than where a new piece is taken
"'Wisconsin 'Tobacco Reporter, May 13, 1892.

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