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General Agriculture.
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00000206/00063
Finding Guide: A Guide to the Peter Henry Rolfs Collection
 Material Information
Title: General Agriculture.
Series Title: Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Physical Description: Unknown
Physical Location:
Box: 2
Divider: Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
Folder: General Agriculture.
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Florida -- Experimentation.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Brazil -- Minas Gerais.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Florida.
Citrus fruit industry -- Brazil.
Leprosy -- Research -- Brazil.
Minas Gerais (Brazil) -- Rural conditions.
Escola Superior de Agricultura e Veterinaria do Estado de Minas Gerais.
Florida Cooperative Extension Service.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
University of Florida. Herbarium.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID: AA00000206:00063

Full Text




Sv'p' JV Or f..L. AGRICULTURE

"- By P. H. Rolfs, Dean, College of Agriculture,
University of Florida


rcr ^ I Florida is the oldest State in the Union and yet

from the standpoint of development in the agricultural line, it

is Iarme the newest. B6IPi kl hy has -r been noted for the pro-
A
duction of tropical crops. The earliest history of the develop-

ment of the State -a-- ...a. replete with the production of sugar cane,

oranges, cotton, and other tropical crops. Among the earliest of

the general industries was that of raising of cattle, especially the

wild range typ-e. The new agriculture of Florida, which dates back

to about forty -ears ago, has taken on a very different aspect. In

the minds of most people, Florida is noted and especially distinguished

for raising winter truck crops, citrus crops and entertaining tourists.

The average visitor to Florida overlooks the fact entirely that her
er
livestock and general agricultural crops are of great/actual value to

the State than the lines for which it is especially -'!n..i a.

The aver:.le mind is more likely to be attracted by the unusual than

by the commonplace, even tho the commonplace far out balances the

value 'of the unusual.

A ten acre grove, heavily laden with fruit will cause
more interest in the dInd1s of the average visitor than will a hunldred

acres of corn, producing an average of seventy bushers to the acre.

General agriculture in Florida has been overlooked
by the average new comer to the btate due to the fact that he wants

to see the unusual. He fo og sf over fifty per cent of the

population of Florida is engaged in agriculture and that her r'i-ntay

and 1-rge development is along the lines of stock raisiiv" and genrral

crop production.


I"







-2-




The State e&F l4r4 i is capable of carrying a population

of twelve million without rn-r material change in t -thods of her

pasriat agriculture. In a general way about sixty per cent of her

surface is good agricultural land. Forty per cent includes the si.urap-

lands, laTkes, sandy ridges and other lands that are considered un-

productive for gn:-ral agriculture at the present time.

SOIL 7"

Florida is in the region generally classed as the

coastal plains. It is the newest of lands f *oim a geologic stand-
the
point. It likewise is/most productive State in the Union when viewed

f.- the st-- rioint of the value of the crop per acre. It is like-

wise the leading State -*'hen viewed from the standpoint of the value of

the crop produced as a result of a days work.

The oldest settlers in Florida recognizedthat there

were contained within its border, lands of great varying productivity.

Before the art and science of commercial fertilizers was known, the

farmer picked out the spots that he called rich. The earliest

efforts in Florida agriculture, combined with it a drainage -'sf.em.

The old Turnbull Canal, altho constructed during the Sr"nish sover-

eignty, is still aoing service. Over seventy years age, canals

were dug to reclaim some of the rich low hammocks in "'-n.rtee County

in the sugar plantations established there.

THL'.-"OCK, This type of soil is characterized by the presence of a

heavy growth of h?,rc.1r-ood, more or less interspersed with .-'-nl',e.ttos

and in some regions growing a few black pines. It is the eaasfc, t

type of soil that was used for agricultural ,,or': ii the State. The

aio is of Indian origin. They were used for the crude agriculture

of the Indian before the advent of the white man. The. soil inher-






I-3-



ently, either from a chemical st.mn-lcloint or from a physical stand-
point r"i not -M different froi the su-irounding area. The floor
of the hammock is usually moist, owing to the shade of the broad
leaf plants. This allows an accumulation of humus and prevents
the frequent fires so destructive to fertility in the pine woods.
The rise in fertility in hammock land due to the accumulation and
decay of vegetable matter is dissipated by cultivation in the course
of a few years or a decade. It was not an unusual practice among
the older planters to bring new hardwood lands into cultivation .nrirl
when thece had lost their fertility, transferred their operations
to another field. ft~ h hammock land is the most productive
land that we have. It is adapted to a greater variety of crops
than any other kind.
FOLLIT- T, PIT L'i, Rolling pine land is much more extensive in
Florida than h'I.:.locks and much more agriculture is being carried
on on this t-,pe of soil than on the hammock l-ndl. It differs from
hammock soil in that Was virgin s~cl contains only a very small amount
of humus, periodic fires having burned p nearly all of the organic
matter occurring 6n the surface. The recurring fires likewise des-
troy all small hardwood trees, -1ile the pines and palmettos are
natrually so organized as to be able to live thru these catastrophes.
This class of soil makes the best and rost ideal farm lands. They are
cheapest to bring into cultivation, may be obtained in almost un-
limited area, and are naturally well drained. In other -,or;ds,
they require the minimum original outlay for the establishment of a
f-=.rn. They likewise require greater care and intelli ,.nce on the
part of the farmer. He starts in with a soil that is comparatively
un1pr6d1"rtive and is required to build this up by conservation of





-4-



organic matter d-e th rtrnni i i i. un. By the correct

use of fertilizer, these lands produce .;sxi.mum general crops.

FLAT 7OODS. This term is applied to a very lrge percentage of the

area of the State. It is characterized by being level, tho not

necessarily lor, giving little opportunity for natural run-offs

for the rainfall. Flat woods when properly drained and brought

up into good agricultural tilth, is among the most productive of

our agricultural lands. rA fifty pCocnt :f oragrlol- ..al...


TUCK LIANDS In the common vernacular, muck land is a r-n .,ral tcern

applied to any soil that contains a considerable amount of organic

matter and whose location is such as to require drainage. It also

includes lands that are ordinarily classified by the technical men

as peat soils. v4A ^ ^e- 0 /-r

BLCK JACK RIDC(,. NTrtively they have a rather low productiv.-

pouer and are not generally used by the experienced farmers. It

requires a consid.:-ble nunib:-r of -oears of tillage and attention
Cn ap 'ric of a 1 crr.nt f hrforc. tho7o T T0- Ir
c .... -. --- .. --_1..

p -,ICE PINE. They have a rather restricted agricultural value, -

Wet are pre-eminently the pineapple lands of the State.

F..'F:7 CROPS

Very few people realize the extensive production of

general farm crops in Florida. Some eminent writers have held us up

almost to ridicule because certain kinds of food stuff i.ere imported

into the State, forgetting at the same time that millions of tons of

food stuff in the most palatable and nutritious form were annually

shipped fro, the State, to say nothing of the thousands of head of






-5-



cattle and hogs. If Florida were' to be completely isolated from all

the outside world, she would come nearer supplying herself with food and
than
raiment axt would be the case with y th stt in th ~n Iowa,

Illinois, Indiana or any other mid west state does not produce fiber

material enough to enable each one of its citizens to have even a hand-

kerchief, to say nothing of other lines of clothing. The point to

our agriculture is not that of raising everything we need, but to

raise those t'-in:s that will give us the largest returns for the days

labor.

CO7,- is the leading single agricultural crop in the State. Approxi-

mately 16,000,000 bushels are grown annually. l.'ny thousands of

these bushels are grown on lands that have produced a crop the same

year. Florida is the only State in which her corn club boy has been

able to raise more than 100 bushels of corn on his acre for three c6n-

secutive years. This corn was raised without fertilizer.

S'7-ET POT T,,S. This is one of the leading farm crops, and exceeds
er
in production that of Irish potatoes and pbti is of great/value

in the economy of the State than that of Irish potatoes, tho the averv.ge

man .':oulC: not be likely to hear about the sweet potato crop. Only

a very general estimate can be m-de of the quantity produced. Good

authorities have placed it at 2,000,000 bushels. There is certainly
not only
no general farmer in the State but what produces/all his family needs,

but produced a considerably quantity that is fed to livestock.

PE T'ITS. Thruout the northern part of the State, especially between

Gainesville and Pensacola, the bpanish peanuts are produced in large

quantities. This is due to the fact that they have brought such good

prices in the peanut oil mills. In the eqrly stage of peanut growing

in Florida, it was considered nothing more than a 'W crop During

the last year, Florida peanuts have been used so largely for confec-

tion purposes that practical none of them have been ground into oil.





-6-




The hogs nere given correspondingly a smaller proportion of the crop,

In south Florida, especially on the muck lands-L. the Valencia peanut

produced enormous yields. "ith the proper organization among the

farmers for the marketing of this Valencia peanut, the muck land region

especially that around Lake Okeechobee can be ri--.e one of the greatest

peanut producing centers in the world. The Valencia poi-ms- is es-

pecially desired by the peanut venders. Millions of dollars worth

were formerly imported from northern Africa. All of these could be

produced right in the State of Florida at a profitable price.

HAY. Among the --rotein producing hays we have a wealth of kinds to

choose from that exceeds any other state in the Union.


pe-nuts, co s peas and be-..ar-i-.ed.

'The leading crops for carbohydrate production are

Crab grass, Natal grass, Para grass and other crops.

PASTURE GRASSES. Bermuda is the basis and the one leading pasture

grass for the State. "ruch condemned, much abused but still showing

its head wherever opportunity permits. The harder it is grazed the

more bountiful it grows. It is especially adapted to the best farm

lands, consequently has been very much despised by the cotton planter.

As a basis for pastures it still stands in the lead. Piper's Carpet

grass is especially well adapted to the moister lands where Bermuda

is less well adapted. It spreads rapidly and stands hard and close

grazing to best advantage. Para grass is especially adapted to those

lands that are even boo moist for Piper's carpet grass. It is an

abundant producer and makes a large amount of for-:e.





e, -7-



SIL.GE- CROI With the introduction of better livestock, the very

large extension of dairies, abundant silage crops have come into use.

To a l-rge extent the silage crop may be produced as a catch crop.

This is especially true of corn and sorghum. Japanese cane s 7



Iapier grass will produce l qLmie quntities of forage y.n.. may be used

either for silage or soiling purposes.

FOE .. CROPS. Florida, with her agricultural lands selling aeyr-k -e

from ."25 to "50 per acre can produce more tons of forage per acre per

-ear than can the mid west dairy states on their lands which range

from ,400 to "'800 per acre.


0I 1 I I I I I








f GENERAL AGRICULTURE

By P. H. Rolfs, Dean, College of Agriculture,
University of Florida


Florida is the oldest State in the Union and yet
from the standpoint of development in the agricultural line, it
is one of the newest. Particularly has it been noted for the pro-
duction of tropical crops* The earliest history of the develop-
mient of the State has been replete with the production of sugar cane,
oranges, cotton, and other tropical crops. Among the earliest of
the general industries was that of raising of cattle especially the
wild range type. The new agriculture of Florida, which dates back
to about forty years ago, has taken on a very different aspect. In
the minds of most people, Florida is noted and especially distinguished
for raising winter trucl crops, citrus crops and entertaining tourists.
The average visitor to Florida overlooks the fact entirely that her
or
livestock and general agricultural crops are of great/actual value to
the State than the lines for which it is especially distinguished.
The average mind is more likely to be attracted by the unusual than
by the commonplace, even tho the commonplace far out balances the
value of the unusual.

A ten acre grove, heavily laden with fruit will cause
more interest in the minds of the average visitor than Twll a hundred
acres of corn, producing an average of seventy bushers to the acre.

General agriculture in Floridc hvs been overlooked
by the average new comer to the btate, due to the fact that he wants
to see the unusual. He forgets that over fifty per cent of the
population of Florida is engaged in agriculture and that her mainstay
and large development is along the lines of stock raising and general
crop production.











The State of Florida is capable of carrying a population

of twelve million without any material change in the methods of her

present agriculture. In a general way about sixty per cent of her

surface is good agricultural land. Forty per cent includes the swamp-

lands, lakes, sandy ridges and other lands that are considered un-

productive fcr general agriculture at the present time.
SOIL TYPES

Florida is in the region generally classed as the

co-stal plains. It is the newest of lands from a geologic stand-
the
point. It likewise is/most productive State in the Union when viewed

from the standpoint of the value of the crop per acre* It is like-

wise the leading State when viewed from the sl andpoint of the value of

the crop produced as a result of a days Wrork.
The oldest settlers in Florida recognizedthat there

were contained within its border, lands of great varying productivity.

Before the art and science of commercail fertilizers was known, the

farmer picked out the spots that he called rich. The earliest

efforts in Florida agriculture, combined with it a drainage system.

The old Turnbull Canal, altho constructed during the Szanish sover-

eignty, is still eoing service, Over seventy years ago, canals

were dug to reclaim some of the rich low hacumrocks in ;Tanatee County

in the sugar plantations established there.

HAIMMOCK. This type of soil is characterized by the presence of a
heavy grorith of hardwood, more or less intererspersecd with palmettos

and in some regions growing a few black pines. It is the earliest

type of soil that was used for agricultural work in the State, The

armed is of Indian origin, They were used for the crude agriculture

of the Indian before the advent of the white man. The soil inher-





-3-




ently, either from a chemical standpoint or from a physical stand-

point need not be different from the surrounding area. The floor

of the hammock is usually moist, owing to the shade of the broad

leaf plants. This allows an accumrulation of humus and prevents
the frequent fires so destructive to fertility in the pine woods.

The rise in fertility in han~rock land due to the accuiirmulatVon and

decay of vegip ble mew.tter is dissipated by cultivation in the course

of a few years or a decade. It was not an unusual practice among
the older planters to bring new hardwood lands into cultivation and

when the:e had lost their fertility, transferred their operations

to another field. Now, the hamrmock land is the most productive
land that we have* It is adapted toga greater variety of crops

than any other kind.

PULLING PINE LAND Rolling pine land is much more extensive in
Florida than harmocks and umah more agriculture is being carried

on on this type of soil than on the hammock land. It differs from

ha,,nock soil in that the virgin soil contains only a very small amount

of humus, periodic fires having burned up nearly all of the organic
matter occurring A the ediftace. The recurring fires likewise des-

troy all small hardwood trees, 7Ihile the pines and palmettos are
natrually so organized as to be able to live thru these catastrophes,

This class of soil makes the best and iost ideal farm lands. They are

cheapest to bring into cultivation, may be obtained in almost mn*

limited area, and are naturally well drained. In other words,
they require the mininmum original outlay for the establishment of a

farm. They likewise require greater care and intelligence on the
p;-rt of the farmer. He starts in with a soil that is comparatively

unrpdcuctive and is required to build this up by conservation of






-4-



orhanic matter and the conservation of huinlm.s By the correct

use of fertilizer, these lanirs produce .:,axchmurn genezsl crops.

FLAT '00PDS. This term is applied to a very lqrge percentage of the

area of the Ftate* It is characterized by being level, the not

necessarily low, 'ivini little opportunity for natural run-offs

for the rainfall, Flat roods when properly drained and brought

up into good agricultural tilth, is among the most productive of

our agricultural lands, Over fifty percent of our agricultural

lands are r.'cluded in this classification.

MUCK L/-T, In the common vernacular, muck lanel is a ',neral term

applied to any soil that contains a crnside~i-ble oaount of organic

matter and whose location is such as to require dr .:inage. It also

includ;.s lanIds that are ordinarily classified by the t cynical men

as pent soils.

BLACK JACK RIDGES, N-tively they have a rather low productiv4M.

power and are not generally used by the experienced f.3mers. It

requires a consider able nurb r of years of tillage and attention

and the addition of a considerable amount of h.ais before these can

be brought up to producing large crops of a general agricultural nature.

SPRUCE PI7SE. They have a rather restricted agricultural value,

They are pre-eminently the pineapple lands of the State.

FAP. CROPS

Very few people realize the extensive production of

general farm crops in Florida, soiie eminent writers have held us up

almost to ridicule because certain .kinds of food stuff were imported

into the State, forgetting at the same time that millions of tons of

food stuff in the most palatable and nutritious form were annually

shipped f -ol the State, to say nothing of the thous nds of head of






-5-


cattle and hogs. If Florida wqsi.to be completely isolated from all
the outside world, she would come nearer supplying herself with food and
than
raiment xit would be the case with any other state in the Union, Iowa,

Illinois, Indiana or any other mid west state does not produce fiber
material enough to enable each one of its citizens to have even a hand-

kerchief, to say nothing of other lines of clothing. The point to

our agriculture is not that of raising everything we need, but to
raise those t- ngs that will give us the largest returns for the days
labor.

CORN, is the leading single agricultural crop in the State. Approxi-
metely 16,000,000 bushels are grown annually. Many thousands of

these bushels are grown on lands that have produced a crop the same
year. Florida is the only State in which her corn r,* boy has been

able to raise more than 100 bushels of corn on his acre for three con-

secutive years. This corn was raised without fertilizer.
S-.YET POTATOES. This is one of the leading fnrm crops, and exceeds
er
in production that of Irish potatoes and probably is of great/value

in the economy of the State than that of Irish potatoes, tho the average
man would not be likely to hear about the sweet potatojcrop. Only

a very general estimate can be m-de of the quantity produced. Good

authorities have placed it at 2,000,000 bushels. There is certainly
not only
no general farmer in the State but what produced/all his family needs,

but produced a considerably quantity that is fed to livestock.
PEANUTS, Thruout the northern part of the State, especially between

Gainesville and Pensacola, the Spanish peanuts are produced in large
quantities. This is due to the fact that they have brought such good

prices in the peanut oil mri.ls In the eqrly stage of peanut growing

in Florida, it was considered nothing more than a hog crop, During
the last year, Florida peanuts have been used so largely for.confec-
tion purposes that practical none of them have been ground into oil.










The hogs were given correspondingly a smaller proportion of the crop,
In south Florida, especially on the nick lands, the Valencia peanut
produced enormous yields. V'ith the proper organization among the
farmers for the marketing of this Valencia peanut, the rmuck land region
especially that around Lake Okeechobee can be made one of the greatest
peanut producing centers in the vorld. The Valencia peanut is es-
pecially desireamby the peanut venders. Millions of dollars worth
were formerly imported from northern Africa. All of these could be
produced right in the State of Florida at a profitable price.
HAY, Among the protein producing hays we have a wealth of kinds to
choose from that exceeds any other state in the Union.

The leading protein producing crops are velvet beans,
peanuts, oowpeas and beggarweed.

The leading crops for carbohydrate production are
-C~gegrass, Natal grass, Para grass and other crops.
PASTURE GRASSES. Bermuda is the basis and the one leading pasture
grass for the State. Much condemned much abused but still showing
its head wherever opportunity permits. The harder it is grazed the
more bountiful it grows It is especially adapted to the best farm
lands, consequently has been very much despised by the cotton planter,
As a basis for pastures it still stands in the lead. Piper's Carpet
grass is especially well adapted to the moister lands where Bermuda
is less well adapted. It spreads rapidly and stands hard and cltse
grazing to best ndvantsge. Para grass is especially adapted to those
lands that are even boo moist for Piper's carpet grass. It is an
abundant producer and makes a large amount of forage.






a -7-

SILAGE CROPS, With the introduction of better livestock, the very
large extension of dairies, abundant silage crops have cone into use.
To a large extent the silage crop may be produced as a catch crop.
Thi3 is especially true of corn and sorghum* Japanese cane is a
permanent crop and one that will occupy the land for the entire year.
Napi-:r grass will produce large quantities of forage and may be used
either for silage or soiling purposes.
FORAGE CR:)PS, Florida, with her agricultural lands selling anywhere
from !25 to $50 per acre can produce more tons of forage per acre per
year than can the mid west dairy states on their lands which range
f.om l400 to 0800 per acre,


Jr 3 .! .