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aBCOK GROWING AS A QUICX DONEY, CEO?
Its outlook and its Limitations.
By iFH. Rolfe. '
iHntIlTO:, kperiment Station and Agrioulturalj ix-
tension Division, Unlversity of Plorid4.
I a:a glad to be with you thib morning and
address you on one of the great industries of the south,"
Truck Growing* I shall feel especially grateful i I
ean say something that will enable the Georgia tirok
growers to escape some of the pit falls that beset us on
'all aides. If I oan brtig you a message that w-ill en-
able j/ou to euoape some of the disappointments that have
befallen us. As Chairman of the ixeoutive Committee of
the florida State Horticultural Sooiety, I can assure
you of a hearty affiliation. Yoxtr own grand horticulturist
the late Prosper J. Berkmans honored u- by permitting us to
enroll him among our honorary members .t first sight it'
woald seem, that i was rather far froi home, but au a Imtter
of fact, I am fewer miles from Gainesville, rloriaa-than I
would be if I were at ..ensacola or ut Homestead.
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Financially Georgia and Plorida are quite inter-
Gependant on one another,- a good price for cotton gtves
us a good. marett for citrus fruits and midwinter truck. A
good price for citrus fruits enables us to buy your eummer
Twenty years ago cotton was relativeLy the most
important crop grown on the 'loridae farm Today it is
relatively an unimportant orop. Cur truck brop sells for
about three ties as much as 'our cotton and the fruit crop
'for about four times as much. Rven corn il worth more
than-three times as-amch as is our cotton crop*
Georgia is just beginning to awaken to the poss--
bilities in the p roduotion of truck.*
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C routMiiz n .ers aGeorgla has 37 alllion acrea oa
and, 32 amil2 3on acres are sald to be improvedM 3and on
r/ 'arm8s, according to the Ui tes States Census Report for
1910. Assuming .that nearly the entire area tI capable
S or tbbeiing tl3 ed we Have under nominal cultivation about
.; one-third of the entire area. Tahe l target amountt of laprove
S meat o f arm In Wl in Georgia has ta]:en place outside of
what is popuiarny lawn as the "wire-grass' country. This
S corresponded in a gendras way to the area that is 3own more
correctly as the coastal pLi41ns.. O th ooauta plaln
region accurs what 1, now-it uafl t pt orar r~qe T1
: Jf I h-tht rsion3 o r-66 aaree .arast Of InVry chomap arfl
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o' thn conditiotis as they exist, these lands are capable
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O_ o r being made in to the bes t'b our agrilcultura ]aa s in
^ th ,te State, -TaFe ense ca aB3e of produoring miff lcient
=:e :t, ,
aS .. sount of tanm oeops to support a population mwny tties
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larger than is conained in the nti re State. It baas
only been within recent years tbat tie region. has been
conai4lred to be at alI suitable for .the whit6 I-an to
live in. T numerous 1Justrations t at may be ci ted
of splendid homes and prosperous farms in tils. Te ion
aoly that it has beer a 3asg negleotl' region. The
coastal plains regn oa f Geoltale and for that. matter the
rest of the Southern States, had to await the adv at of
qu'io ,tranporartation and the depletion of the Western
anda. orthemn rfre. The plonees of tha West were not
faloflOturists but soil robbers, They found a very fer
o1ef and phome rodutve el that was oa33ed inexhaustible.
After thirty.or forty years -of soil robbing they "were Trce
to tae i th the feat that their so3 a ld e orn out tnd
-nedea Iald ing up to be mae Geargain productive. aDurig tit
last fif t Rare ther Stated States has been anvat of
qior, tnaion rtatenl t camn tI fto te pplid the saest
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E. We hia*e onstantly been approaching .arer-
Br the poInt whore the food products produced
Last year (14) we cro the
L ine where we -becams e an importing nation food prodipe ts
igis.- does not mean that we did not-export omi6 wheat
and otafer small grain-s9 but we imported a sufficient
amount of other food- product so that we% ad no b4tmoe ia L
favor tcf hsap taina ani ool aa paeduots.ater these con-
ditions the rice aof food t phduot
that does nhalot greater dlneed t itheritenomey ourat
metod otef farmLng as mak, ourt farm pote a more u cprodntive
rtaen In t ae oited stadeor and the present outlooe 19
Sthat wee s elj hereafte aned to si.ther n tiono oiTy our
risen t in ofe fnieng aWtaae OUT fand lthe pee re p3?oomctlTe
la we e*a' *ee~e ne_ *-lte neo a
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S- -Ac~C ^- ^Lc-L- cA- i -%Hmm
-4 ii 1r >esaltiles.
S _e a3) know this is quite unnecessary, as it is
possible for the Unt ted States to produce all the corn
needed. by our oti people, but the fact remains that we
do not do it. AS long as prices of food products ranged
very low there was no great Incentive efl a Jarge amount
of aki n and energy t-tr -usaV in produotion of these ar-
Sti W as
jira --amwl A-or n ,tiiter tn -r--- 4ft'-- e &- "-- mor pr.
dhettb .... A year or two ago when the price of food ro-
ducts -was increasing Tery rapidly, and probably reached
its msminum, someone aai4 facetloudly that the nec-ssitles
of life ha ftoome. ad expenasve that he would have to
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o r eas atS less of ir el:=.CLC t we Wca3 neoessitles.
I SsJutt tt t 0. w hV, M r d qw *% 1 : '
ale know this is quite unnmecessarm as It Is
possible for the t'nted States to produce a33 the corn
-neede. b' our o li people e but the fact remains that we
do not do it. AS long as prices of food. products rmaned
r ey low there was no greA t incentive tr- a large amount
of tti33 and energy4a-btnr~uaed~in production of these ar-
& m. fr aR, ** "%. t
dfettto... A year or two ego when the price of food pro-
"'"' ". as increasing weay rapl, and.t probablyy reachedl
its saEm, .adomeope sala-t raetionpay thati the e nceasr-es
3a-rs- .tt... ....t gm a..e..T tha e ,-,l.a.e o
oftSfltkS. a ar ago GKtre tra hs. oW fd hv to
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.live on the luxuries. There is more sense to this state-
S. Rnt than we would at first saoord it. We- xR ftIn that
S. th)e products which we conlsdered luurles twenty te. 0-
ir.tmly-flve years ago are oanoidered stap.e neemssltles
of the houseehold of tool Mwent-flve years ago It was
aC onsidefed quite a lumry to have ripe tomatoes 94r other
S fresh vegetable, -we ..w l .1 _ay--at Chrlstmastime or at
Rastertide. Now, however, these materiala are being
prrodfoed in such large quantltles an dellvere~ to the
Consumer at such p eeaonnab prices that they have become.
StA tat0e srtloaes of rood for almost every month In the
S year. -
I.remember inJ the spring of 1893 seven ar3oaals
of tomatoes were placed on the iA YorX market in a single
g dy, and broke the prioe's to lees than the coat of trans-
poxrtetlon. This was heralded by the lorlda papers as a
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or 1er-p ion t h
large over-proautlion of this sit r vegetable. At the
Spreaent time it sl not anuneoamon thing for an entire
: train oad of tomatoes tsbe thrown on the w York mar-
ket without causing Teen the .ausppl on of a 'break in
prices.- M a" caattor o ot .n I IKave seen a8 marty as
Sporty arloads of cucumiers leaing a single statlon tIA
gne day and yet the market was calling for more oucumbers.
SaR ol ting tr8 itllustratlon to show how enormeouly the
tr ae In vegetables .s grovwp d ar ag the last two decades.
I can bring this before you Maet more onc ortely by g-i- -
Ing you sataistos in ten-year periods of the rise of
track growing in F orida- for .the sale oa te -point I
want to make later in a~g a.drees I a. a3so giving you the
rise of t l fruit crop in Florlda during the sae period.
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I- R. .ae 9f Trust Growing Rise of Fruit Crop-
i .n florlda 24 P 3ortga *
I890 o 900,000 1890. $500,000
2.;900 2. 10,000oo (2893g 1 ,200,000)
S' 3910 6 0z3o,000 (3 96 3650,oo)
4<, i. l V a- S-, v^ / A -,.
;i' 2900 1,200,000
/y7 /,A,1- 1910-.:: 5,900,000
12 9 8,o000,00.
X Ware gtre4 these. tables in round numbers. and confined
Siie. ~ tto. t9 t money values of tie orops. Shonul we go more
:, ._ly Into thBe tatistta we wouId r' n there were sore
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year during wflIch there was a large Inorease in the
: aibonta of truolk shipped, and then posalb)y the neKt year
tHe aiownt ahipped allghtly eoreaat., 'but the. general
S denoy- wl.l .udoiute dy eMontiue almost indeainttely, -
oe taIr cnly: Indefinitely so far as it oonderns those o? us
S' are- aseblea re today.
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V .ith all of the tremendone amount.of truca
.i. oult-ivating fivo time ars mucCh lands amo i u lo ru
rhero thi a difference, however, Georgia e s giving
her main attention to the production of. fai :cse nmd
bstapl oetwile lnorida is giving much more attention to
the proltuction of tck orops and.fruituh I Florida
the value of the farmropse proeverd annGoria is de-
idedlr m.le thaln toh value of the trock and f-ruit
oro p combinon te tru )k rop m f alone approuh nearly
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two-thirds of the value of the field cropse
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STBUGS MAREBTS Bi3iC3IOPS GIABAStIur
Te Youll all reember :that in the winter 'of
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K1 .l45 we had'devatating frost in Florida, which
destroyed' for nts about 70,OOO000 worth of eitrue
tree. The result of th$p disastroua frogt was a tre-
maendous stimulation for a year In truck production.
this however, did not- greatly change the bniez Ial upward -
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.ten&ency. There- as a qnlok rise but it sthbeeided and la
the aMd 6f the decade we were probably not shipping uech
i orb traOk thari we would have if the freez.s ha.d not
occurred. It. is quite likely -
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e 04"' .ers Gg -- to tX trk rowi tile
year. Mire to no 4oubtbut btDat a large number of the
't.on farmers. -can do so ery pro ftably ',ra *a I
..quid -ong oop. or tue sae o o mparason I am
in.. t -the f 'n a t ,ertan ,tC orop... .
Be tfie'anera o50 to a65 ./ igarot 3. an 320 to 2
Co'3 (.r)- b ..- 7 q 3 0
(83294ye r. hor TO BOaal douqt 60o
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'.." .. tiw c s riop. for oottn wl utim oaWl many oI--
...bbag. 20 3 *e
o frm ers .a 90 o atermefltay. t o i a
*^..';t: to the time of ulaflettog cref'in truotc crops.
SC ateops 90 P 80 ;' atoea 90 130
,i: otn O saarg)- *a d70 o vSqua u m pasr) -50 60
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'Bb1",,i. a g 120 34. ai -. 20 3
l.-'. Caultflower 120 15O L 1uppers Zo. o *1)10
*|,Pes6,' 0lte 3so6, a"'r-Oo .- ioas 90 io
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-ruck growing, In florld a at ,least ls the pokler
g,.. in agrtoulture. To show-exactly what I meau by the
l expre aion., let. a cite an iJustration. Mr. iaPo, a
MisasslaIppi bIr-, but trucking nA the Terra Cait section Co
l. lqida in 389., was wll3ing to sell out his entire hold-
S. Wings. for $40 at t e time the tomatoes were beginning to
,wet fruit. Ee 0hel about eighty acres of land w;lich was
::. . aortgagea to secure money ror Ierttll zer and
labor. His nelgMbors, Sesres Howard and Kennedy refused
to. accept the propoaltion, saying that he had entered tne
.. iasl wliwthiem and le would ave to.atey. thUn and either
sink or swim with them. i. JUly of the saae year the aort-
Mgage was entirely paed otf and a uaiflolent amount of money
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In the b a to fa'an. the 0*94 orop. In 1908 a personal
f friend of mine, *miose name I will not give,. aouftt a prop-
,erty at saford fror about $7000. H planted the tire
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area to oeaery and that year made en ~g profit from ten
rpres of celery/to pay for the, entire property and have
noney in bank for financing the next crop. During the
buBer inhe prepared for another large ce2 ery crop for the
next year. He and his family were preparing for; a trip
to tour ropee after the second crop should be turned
into. oney. A splendid crop of celery was raised but
at the time it waa sipped it would not pay for trans-
tertation. As a result Of tle second year s*venture
there was no trip to Kurope but on the contrary a heavyy -
mortgag on the property and te. daughter of the family
we;e teaching so 1 the nixt year.
Truck growing is the poker game of agriou] ture.
Last year an unpreeadentedly large ao- of tOruk
was planted out in e t 8ae Southern ]3orida, especially
around Fort *yers and in the seoayne Bay region. Brery-
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thin-g went along splend dly. There was scarcely a beo
tar year -for truck growing, but on the 7th of March a
frost soonrrel cutting off a r3 the trucr to WMasa about
thirty een am south of Mlram. Two waeks after the frost
T50o sacreof tomateum south of the region visited by the
jfrot,. He told mse .Jrnma that the frost was worth
15,000 to .=la, but be greatly wander estimated it, sin*e
before the and of the seasac It proved that ithwas wort~
.ore iman $0ooooo 0 to mm.
Trok growing i the poker game of agriou3ture.
^35000~~~~~~~~ to -~m ---------- udr stmte isi
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Who Are the fSoocstful Track Growers?
Fortunes of onsiderable size have been bull t up
on'the truck growing business in Florida, 4s ny 133us-
trations show, Jere sl no certainty $s to whether the
track grower who plunges; anlputs his last dollar lnto the
business is going to come out at the end of the season
Svety oe31 y off or w thout n meney-rrr l
Satirt. From zy dbseaatione among tae truoX growers
'In Florida, extending over a score of years, I am inclined
to believe that the financial credit of i truo) growers
cannot be nulned matterr how wild and reckless a plunger
he it is almost certain if he cangrow truck that
sooner or later somebody can be found wlo will finance
n his no matter if he has credit iutltxs
0gI OZ These plungers. however, rarely
Make any money for themselves. If they do it one year
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they are very sure to ~bntinue to plunge until they lose2
Their career as penniless as when they. begon.
In spite of the licissitudea surrounding truck
growing when indulged in on the gaml ar' S 'p32, there is
abundant opportunity for making a-a.4-- ofoney In trucc
growing If the grower plays safe". There is no truck
grower who las rthe keenness of Insight to enable nita to
teq]3 'what axops are going to,be sauoesstf during the
ensuing year. ij3. ieare anyone Wah can. foretell what
either proes or olimatic conditions are going to be.
There is no 4trficulty about making the stuff, the daFti- -
oulC coaeas in marketing it,at such a time as prices are '
remmaerative. Taoe 3ast year as an illustration In
73ortda. The frot w tri I rdefrred te'out off a very
large proportion of the;ring orop., Go large were the
r-Iplantings. however, and so abundant( was the crop
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A- Maw that Wragb g theta t ippig ea arV
Sm l different Rinds of truck oropa
were allowed to rot in the field for want of a market. AnA
yef last year was b a A which prices generally prevailed
liigh and the diiflcu2ty was more in the direction of adverse
climatic conditions tbar, adverse prices.A aIn i3ustration of
how fate pl3ys tricks with the trucker I want to cite the
case of Mr. KeiGy-y t a-e- ntee. .He was a new comer to the
State. co:,ing froam Louisiana, I believe, Throughi illness he
was unable to p]ant his lettuce crop a" the schedule time
but was about 38 days late In setting it out. The lettuce
that was planted out at the proper time brought less than
freight charges. Sr. Kelly's lettuce, that by a3l the rules
of the gane sHiould have been worthless, brought him about
00oo0 per acre net. /The mer in Florida wlo have prospered
at truck gr-',ving are t;osae who have playedd safe'. Tley
have usually put in those crops that so far as predictions
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tooIG te i&1new blhbl good ptlces.
I','. A dition- t tA hi ;, ,'9'- ..,at p*al one. ypar
in the t=arukoroa was never so 3arge a P tirtlon of
t r o aptal 4s to e i ouSly emb rra ti r o er-
ations a second year in -case the drop was a tota3 tai3ure.
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to1 yo as n auoc.aon a3ou.d be veras
tay .at ae the pers.onaaal credl and a conS -
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.l fun t'oi a""state t. back tem. for a t ird
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,fijrm A neighbor of -mine who was said to be without any
money ,twenty years ago is at the present time. estimated to
be o .r So somewhwere from o100,000 to $300,0o00, his surplusa
from truck) growing having been Inested in real estate
.a~q other propert ea.,, Yet he is located in a tpgiod that
does not coise into the market any earlier than toe coast
p" i a
reglois of Georgia. ar. Joftir ro, to -wiho I referred
'lri a former portion of nqr adresa, has been truckingg for
over' twenty years an4 has followed this butinesa in ee*
Sregol $ulu e'nt tfth He.-has worked ind er many
Sandfliaps and dcisaavantages but a' now worth rrom -$100,000
S to $200,000 though. he began a-withoat any money or ary fl-
". i ntght continue to. alte illlustratlons "y-it
-eeG_, ~ 0. ma scores of illustrations of _n-
srauce4safu tuojcer wo make It a pratics to plunge.
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Should jou aak Is wbat 1t the most serious biana .
cap~ to tru ing in tlar extreme South -b ty whmorh I' ean
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6 *eorgia, Iortlda and southern :A;abasi arA EnC1Judfing- to
greater or 3ess extent Bouth and North CarolIna& -I ahduld
*Wvr It, was the lac= of coordination and organiantton.
Strteniotsl attempts are befnug made in F lorida to correct
S this de'fet. We ha' e now an active Growers4 & ShBippera'
Leag~it with 'many 2oca organizations, This Growera' &
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Shippers' ZLagueQ doea not conoarn Itaese wth .the Bar-
eting and-of the trnA dlg bll lines' , The Florida Citrus
tclhange oancerna Itseet whely witn the -arketing of 01traap
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fnruta and onfcinda it afctivt-es to -that ciop. oPrvate
-' "iterprise and -sall Q E40 organizations are all weharve
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I. In tihe*qWy of marletirg '8orga1atlonsE for truck o*rop .
The marketing and di strMbting mnd of our work -i ONO
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-baieind tmh times. To sho hoV ttiis works, let -a alto an
123: station that occurred two year ago. 'A nelSnor
to tie Speirimaent Station., tW*fMambs had ton acr&a' o
'. as tine lettuce as wfe-ever produced outside a greenhouse.
During Februy so suoh lettuce was being turee-bon the
Snret that the. atuff would.not bring the freight. There
Swas -nftoing f6r m.r-it-arby- to do but turn his mi' cows
ipto the. lettuce feld. At th. same time tnat tLe cows
were -roweing on' the jettuaoe,Qcsaumers in Indianapo6l
wo rere paying 25 oents a lead ror their letttce. T'he. let-
tuce p --BrsTfed to l r~mi2r cows -could have been
capped and marketed in Indianar.ol s very profritaby at 5 '.
cents a haaw. Gtihb 1llustratlonsa 4ght be ntultiplied
by tile hnarad a. TmS growers bOtasS"out the omnalastoan liae
'a=pauf9gw., The Oc lsalon Oan'cusesa"out the grower for
i- dliwnO.ty- atnd now and tiUn tase. a hian at housing out
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the local distributor, retailer or whatever you may call
: ui"mi. And all of this gets us nowhere. Just as among as
the, truck growers make no effort to oombine and correct
tese eils there is no probability that tney will be die-
oontinued. iuaring the last five years we have had
little trouble from real over production of truck crops.
"ur troub3 e as arisen mainly from the 1 ack of proper 4.a-
-tribution. The *rg oaenters are quickly glutted
| '. "G~n.. .o _-.BJ
1and it becomes almost impossible to get the stuff eatUeen&
g Wp so that -It can be used up before it has decayed. r
proper, organization and coordinattn tilrs stuff would be
asent into the proper hainnels and kept from congestl g 13
Sthe larger centers. T~his ta not a theoretical and Vislon-
try idea at a]I, it has been oomplete3y worked out WS dif-
frernt agencies in 4firerent parts of the United States,
and Can be worTed out just as readily in Georgia and Blorlds
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:aeturtly anti themain int'ereests that is the 'track
grsrowers thaweles,'shsalL recognize the necessity for
ooordiliption and proper AiEtribution. Temporary over
. th rower to aa hi tu it stan i the ;iald
,atoi a shp it forward into the fmarketr ani hhe it a '
abandoned. tar'ew Orga azations aro ng the truckers ito
.the .nly way to prqthw glutting te smarkat. It s naot
ta. paurt0oe to talk on the atter of organiation among
k-, ruok-'.ro**re,, bs; for tb.e oomapleteness of my adrea- ,
atoda it is wooea-aryto mention this somewhat at length
S aAnother l1iraitationawe haye -in the trucking bL -'
ineas at the Ixresapt time is a lot k eat starnardisationo
t-hi eaan be over a e9w oLy. ba tabtla~Isg autral paokag
hoaaey foe thM e t o nityq This works is einag rapidly
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: oarr.e4 forward in florida.- The snall individual paoke
'.:; g house .for each farmer is rapidly loosing favor. Thea
, -;.' : .* .
S eeztzal peo kng house gives a aane1hbettor opportunity for
S grading, sizing, and markoting the material.
S'* I have already referred to selling organisationes-
This, however,, was in a rather broader sciise than I want
r. ,' . -'
to mention now,- h.;att I am refe-ring to here is not aay
..' broad scheme of marketing, but a local .organisation whioh
runs the central packing house,- grading, make tin6 a '.
c, collecting :the returns for, th truak4 whether it is oon-
aigaed to the Mkotarkt, sold to buyers or disposed of in any
first steps in the right direction and one that is qtite
s'el d :. e .
aa: *3. aj nd: .reQul. J #* .. d
i:':.::. "" i -' 4.
GN-ORIA S1 PAVOR kBAS G0GERASICAL ?OSIT-ION.
at. "t)I-n a small way tce the at the-
II .. .*- I- S .
^:..'^- tiT tsufsk grofint, wOaratyone in thio m egion should tory
Iouatr as other" E il ie t "o t.h e i e i at te
1f -a n - l
-. GhiO Ppe h as GZGEPROA -IaT Iela. G9is i6 th Oi e
tin atruc Geeronit A. to miLryten tii- regiotana isoultry
^'** *-.. ' '* *+ 'aeab .o nery .em nl- -'
S .- ,-
abot ." a.s.l th" ge i = -nsmu G
? -- - :
*+ .. N ...
J!,' a .te. ha.vig as-n to it tgat hia' get.r fain work, stook,
populatir yb aoe is hl-L cidhao -tha n e t .o.. arei-thirn g *
hi- - - - - - ------- ---- -
.,tj.,. -. o,.. -.. ,.. ." W bY S C y...+ ....... ,+I. -, F... ,'.,I .'-4 + ', + :K . ,.,'.S 4 ,..r. ++ +,%
s i i
the di-stance from'tBe great buI~ of the people, ts e great
vegetable consaumng population of the Uilted states that
TexaQs is. The difference n freight srtes alone to sut-
fiolent to make a handsome profit to the Georgia farmer.
Ant with twiu b lwaneteltof or the trauc
.rops (an a tariff that can na ser .e removed) there is
ao toy no reason,wy this satire seotlon should not
enjoy a very luoratives and wholeane traAe In thl truck
rops., The time "as long since passed whn frean VeMe-
tab32ls n the early spring months-are regarded as luxIutee.
They are now necessalteas, de1 anaong the6 poorer 0 assea of
the larger o.tert -
1. Truck can be -tpicLat-a.1a marketed in so
short a time that it makes an ideal quiok..money orop.
P. Truok growvin should be carried on in con-
junotionwith other intensive far.ninig operations.
3 The tiauoker who is a plunger ia almost cer-
tain to end a bankrupt.
4+ the tru.kel who plants a liiaitei amount of
vegetables of r.ll chosen kinde io almost certain to
i. Georgia has an ideal soil and location for
trucking. It cojesoff alter tho Florida crops and be-
fore those of the Carolinas*.
6. The most serious limitations to increasing
our truck crops greatly is due to the lack of proper organi-
.aations to effect a proper distribution.
7. Proper organization must como about by agree-
ment of the truck growers.
., -, f -
8. Proper distribution' oan be aided by federal
le~gilatioa and made effeotiTe through looal orgnt.iasations.
'-' e .
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