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Group Title: Bulletin / University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ;
Title: Adjustments for greater profits on small flue-cured tobacco farms
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026737/00001
 Material Information
Title: Adjustments for greater profits on small flue-cured tobacco farms
Series Title: Bulletin / University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ;
Physical Description: 23 p. : chart, maps ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Brunk, Max E ( Max Edwin ), 1914-
Hampson, C. M ( Charles M. ), b. 1891
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla
Publication Date: 1943
Copyright Date: 1943
 Subjects
Subject: Tobacco -- Marketing   ( lcsh )
Farms, Small -- Economic aspects -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Farm management -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Max E. Brunk and C.M. Hampson.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026737
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltuf - AEN5837
oclc - 18266476
alephbibnum - 000925191

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page 1
    Board of control and station staff
        Page 2
    Main
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
Full Text


Bulletin 387 June, 1943



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
WILMON NEWELL, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA









ADJUSTMENTS FOR

GREATER PROFITS ON SMALL

FLUE-CURED TOBACCO FARMS


By
MAX E. BRUNK
and
C. M. HAMPSON












Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA







EXECUTIVE STAFF BOARD OF CONTROL
John J. Tigert, M.A., LL.D., President of the H. P. Adair, Chairman, Jacksonville
University3 R. H. Gore, Fort Lauderdale
Wilmon Newell, D.Sc., Director3 N. B. Jordan, Quincy
Harold Mowry, M.S.A., Asso. Director T. T. Scott, Live Oak
L. O. Gratz, Ph.D., Asst. Dir., Research Thos. W. Bryant, Lakeland
W. M. Fifield, M.S., Aast. Dir., Admin.4 J. T. Diamond, Secretary, Tallasassse
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor3
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Assistant Editors BRANCH STATIONS
Jefferson Thomas, Assistant Editor3 NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian
Ruby Newhall, Administrative Manager J. D. Warner, M.S., Agronomist in Charge
K. H. Graham, Business Managera R. R. Kincaid, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Pathologist
laanelle Ald, erBuman, Acuntant Elliott Whitehurst, B.S.A., Asst. An. Hushb.
W. C. McCormick, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.
MAIN STATION, GAIE Jesse Reeves, Asst. Agron., Tobacco
MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE W. H. Chapman, M.S., Asst. Agron.'
AGRONOMY Mobile Unit, Monticello
W. E. Stokes, M.S., Agronomist3 R. W. Wallace, B.S., Asso. Agronomist
Fred H. Hull, Ph.D., Agronomist Mobile Unit, Milton
G. E. Ritchey, M.S., Associate3 Ralph L. Smith, M.S., Asso. Agronomist
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED
Roy E. Blaser, M.S., Associate A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Horticulturist in Charge
G. B. Killinger, Ph.D., Associate V. C. Jamison. Ph.D.. Soils Chemist
Fred A. Clark, B.S.A., Assistant B. R. Fudge, Ph.D., Associate Chemist
ANIMAL INDUSTRY W. L. Thompson, B.S., Associate Ento.
A. L. Shealy, D.V.M., An. Industrialist 3 F. F. Cowart, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Dairy Husbandman J. W. Sites, Ph.D. Asso. Hort.
E L Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Technologi. W. Lawless B.S., Asst. Horticulturist'
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian R. K. Voorhees, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
M. W. Emmel D.V.M. VeterinarianH. 0. Sterling, B.S., Asst. Hort.
L. W. EmmelSwanson, D.V.M., PVearasitologistan3 T. W. Young, Ph.D., Asso. Hurt., Coastal
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist4 T. Young, PhD.RAso Herr. Coastal
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husb.3 C. R. Stearns, Jr., B.S.A., Chemist
T. R. Freeman, Ph.D., Asso. in Dairy Mfg. EVERGLADES STA.. BELLE GLADE
R. S. Glasscock, Ph.D., Asso. An. Husb. J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Biochemist in Charge
D. J. Smith, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.' J. W. Wilson, Sc.D., Entomologist
P. T. Dix Arnold, M.S.A., Asst. Dairy Husb.' F. D. Stevens, B.S., Sugarcane Agron.
G. K. Davis, Ph.D., Tech. in An. Nutrition Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Sugarcane
S. P. Marshall, M.S., Asst. in An. Nutr. Physiologist
L. E. Mull, M.S., Asst. in Dairy Tech.4 G. R. Townsend, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
0. K. Moore, M.S., Asst. Poultry Hush. R. W. Kidder, M.S.. Asst. An. Hush.
C. B. Reeves, B.S., Asst. Dairy Tech. W. T. Forsee, Ph.D., Asso. Chemist
J. E. Pace, B.S., Asst. An. Husb. B. S. Clayton, B.S.C.E., Drainage Eng.2
F. S. Andrews, Ph.D., Asso. Truck Hort.'
ECONOMICS, AGRICULTURAL Roy A. Bair, Ph.D., Asst. Agron.
C. V. Noble, Ph.D., Agr. Economist" E. C. Minnum, M.S., Asst. Truck Hort.
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Associate N. C. Hayslip, B.S.A., Asst. Entomologist
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., Associate
Max E. Brunk, M.S., Assistant SUB-TROPICAL STA., HOMESTEAD
Gee. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Plant Path. in Charge
ECONOMICS, HOME S. J. Lynch, B.S.A., Asst. Horticulturist
Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ.1 E. M. Andersen, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
Ruth 0. Townsend, R.N.. Assistant
R. B. French, Ph.D., Asso. Chemist W. CENT. FLA. STA., BROOKSVILLE
C. D. Gordon, Ph.D., Asso. Poultry Geneticist
ENTOMOLOGY in Charge
J. R. Watson, A.M., Entomologist' RANGE CATTLE STA., ONA
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Associate RANGE CATTLE STA., ONA
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant W. G. Kirk, Ph.D., An. Husb. in Charge
E. M. Hedges, Ph.D., Asso. Agron., Wauchula
HORTICULTURE Gilbert A. Tucker, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.'
G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist' R. A. Fulford, B.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.
A. L. Stahl, Ph.D., Associate FIELD STATIONS
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Truck Hort. Leesburg
R. J. Wilmot, M.S.A., Asst. Hort. Leesburg
R. D. Dickey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort. M. N. Walker, Ph.D., Plant Path. in Charge'
J. Carlton Cain, B.S.A., Asst. Hort.' Plant City
Victor F. Nettles. M.S.A., Asst. Hort.' A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Byron E. Janes. Ph.D., Asst. Hort. Hastings
A. L. Kenworthy, M.S., Asst. Hort. A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
F. S. Lagassee, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.- E. N. McCubbin, Ph.D., Asso. Truck Horl.
II. M. Sell, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.2 Monticello
Montieello
PLANT PATHOLOGY S. 0. Hill, B.S., Entomologist2 A
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist' 3 A. M. Phillips, B.S., Asst. Entomologist2
George F. Weber, Ph.D., Plant Path.3 Sanford
Phares Decker, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Pathologist R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Chemist in Charge,
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist Celery Investigations
Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist Jack Russell. M.S., Asst. Entomologist
SOILS Bradenton
R. V. Allison, Ph.D., Chemist' 8 Jos. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Truck Hort. in
Gaylord M. Volk, M.S.. Chemist Charge
F. B. Smith, Ph.D., Microbiologist3 E. G. Kelsheimer, Ph.D., Entomologist
C. E. Bell, Ph.D., Associate Chemist F. T. McLean, Ph.D., Horticulturist
J. R. Henderson, M.S.A., Soils Technologist A. L. Harrison, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
L. H. Rogers, Ph.D., Asso. Biochemist David G. Kelbert, Asst. Plant Pathologist
Richard A. Carrigan, B.S., Asso. Chemist' Lakeland
L. E. Ensminger, Ph.D., Asso. Soils Chem. E. S. Ellison, Meteorologist2 *
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist Harry Armstrong, Asso. Meteorologist'
Gee. D. Thornton, M.S., Asst. Chemist
T. C. Erwin, Assistant Chemist Head of Department.
J. N. Howard, B.S., Asst. Chemist 2 In cooperation with U. S.
R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Soil Surveyor'* Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
Olaf C. Olson, B.S., Soil Surveyor i On leave.

C-..L Unlv. Pith










ADJUSTMENTS FOR GREATER PROFITS ON SMALL
FLUE-CURED TOBACCO FARMS
By MAX E. BRUNK and C. M. HAMPSON
CONTENTS
Page Page
Location of Study .... .... ................... 5 1- and 2-Mule Farms .......... .. ............ 13
Selection of 'arms ........... ......... How the Businesses of 1-Mule Tobacco
Description of the Farming ............... 6 Farms Might Be Improved .............. 13
Importance of Tobacco in the Area ..... 7 How the Businesses of 2-Mule Tobacco
I u of Certain Factors on Farmin Farms Might Be Improved .................... Is
Influence of Cetai Factors on armi Production of Food for Use in the Farm
Retur ..... ..... ............................ 7 H om e ...... ...... .... ...... .... 2

INTRODUCTION

Farmers should always be looking for a way to increase their
earnings. Farming is such a complex business that a great many
things determine the farm income. In general, there are 2 ways
farmers are able to improve their businesses without increas-
ing the need for additional farm capital. They may attempt to
do more efficiently that which they are already doing. They may
undertake some new but proven enterprises, or shift enterprises,
in order to utilize more fully the available labor and capital.
Both methods require good farm management.
This study indicates how farmers can appraise and improve
their businesses in the light of the experiences of other farmers.
To study the experiences of farmers, a great amount of de-
tail concerning crops, livestock, expenses, receipts, and the like,
is necessary. Such detailed farm records were obtained in con-
nection with the development of a Land Use Planning Program
for Columbia County, Florida.1 These records were based on the
1939 crop year, a year during which there was no control over
flue-cured tobacco acreage under the Agricultural Adjustment
Agency. Tobacco acreages during 1939 were large and prices
were low. Despite the fact that 1939 was an unusual year in this
respect, records are valuable for comparing results obtained on
many farms under different methods of operation. This study

Acknowledgments.-The writers wish to thank the various members
of the Department of Agricultural Economics for helpful criticism in the
preparation of this manuscript. Much credit is due Dr. C. V. Noble, under
whose direction this study was made. Acknowledgments are made to the
late Mr. Bruce McKinley and Mr. Donald L. Brooke of the University of
Florida and to Mr. F. M. Hodge of the regional office of the Bureau of
Agricultural Economics at Atlanta, Georgia, for collecting the data upon
which this study is based. Appreciation is expressed to the many farmers
of Columbia County for their courtesy in furnishing the data for this
study.
1A Preliminary Report of Land Use Planning for Columbia County,
Florida. August 30, 1939 (Mimeographed).















olumbi ^OlUIl \ i
County u \










Area El














Fig. 1.-Location of Columbia County, Florida. Fig. 2.-Location of Area El in
Columbia County.







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 5

is not an analysis of price or income but rather a study of the
effect management factors have on the successful operation of
farms. Farming practices are slow to change and today differ
little from those in 1939.

LOCATION OF STUDY
Columbia County is located in northern Florida (Fig. 1). The
farms studied were all located in that part of the county de-
scribed as Area El in the Preliminary Report of Land Use Plan-
ning for Columbia County, Florida.1 This area, shown in Fig. 2,
is located in the west-central section of that county.
Area El "varies but little from the general county pattern of
agriculture, except more cotton is raised per farm than in any
other area of the county. Nearly all the land is in farms." 1
Also the preliminary report defines areas designated with an E
as "areas which are now in farms, and which should remain in
arable farming."
The soils of the area are mostly Norfolk and Blanton fine
sands, together with small spots of Leon fine sand. The Nor-
folk and Blanton soils in this area are rolling and well drained.
Leon soils are poorly drained and not well suited to crops. The
Norfolk soils of this area are well adapted to tobacco. Occa-
sionally, however, the subsoil of the Norfolk series will extend
down several feet before the clayish stratum is reached, making
these particular areas of Norfolk fine sand extremely dry and
therefore unsuited for crops.

SELECTION OF FARMS
The individual farms included in the study were selected en-
tirely by chance. Names of all farmers located in Area El-
over 300-were drawn from farmers' worksheets in the files of
the Agricultural Adjustment Agency. Working facilities did not
permit visiting all 300 farms, so every third name was removed
from the list. The remaining farms were visited by farm man-
agement enumerators. After the field work was started it was
necessary to omit a few farms, either because the operators
were not at home or because they did not answer all essential
questions. In all, 186 farm records were obtained for the crop
year ending December 31, 1939.
SSee footnote 1, page 3.








6 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

DESCRIPTION OF THE FARMING

A detailed description of the farming in the area surveyed is
impracticable because of pronounced differences in race, farm
tenure, size of farms and types of farming. Less than 15 per-
cent of the 186 farms were operated by tenants. Farm owner-
ship was as high in proportion among negro farmers as white
farmers. Two-thirds of the colored and 1/3 of the white farm-
ers had but 1 mule each. Negroes generally operated smaller
farms. There were about 2 white farmers for every negro
farmer. The number of farms in each size, tenure and racial
group is shown in Table 1.
TABLE 1.-NUMBER OF SURVEYED FARMS BY SIZE, TENURE AND RACIAL
GROUPS, 186 FARMS, COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.
Size of farms
Tenure 1 2 3 I 4 All
Mule I Mules Mules I Mules Tractor Sizes
Number of White Farmers

Owners ....-... ----34 36 12 4 3 89
Part-owners ....-..... 2 8 7 1 18
Cash renters ............ 6 6 2 I 1 15
Share renters ......... 2
Total .... .... ... 42 52 21 4 5 124
Number of Negro Farmers

Owners ......... 34 9 3 46
Part-owners ...... 1 4 1 6
Cash renters ........ 5 3 8
Share renters .......- 1 1 2
Total ............. ..| 41 I 17 4 1 62

Flue-cured tobacco, peanuts, cotton, hogs and poultry were
the principal commercial enterprises of the 186 farms. Flue-
cured tobacco production was the most important cash enterprise.
More than 1/2 the farms produced tobacco.
Farms which had receipts of over $100 from crops, livestock
and livestock products were classed according to type. If over
50 percent of such receipts were derived from 1 enterprise, the
farm was classed as of that particular type. If no single enter-
prise accounted for over 50 percent of the receipts from crops,
livestock, or livestock products, the farm was classed as "gen-
eral." Farms with receipts of $100 or less, regardless of source,
were classed as "subsistence farms." The number of farms in
each type group is shown in Table 2. Over 2/5 of the farms
operated by negroes were subsistence farms.







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 7

TABLE 2.-NUMBER OF SURVEYED FARMS BY SIZE, TYPE OF FARMING AND
RACIAL GROUPS, 186 FARMS, COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.

Size of Farms
Type 1 2 3 4 All
Mule Mules Mules Mules Tractor Sizes
Number of White Farmers

Tobacco .... .... ... 15 28 6 1 3 53
General .............. 10 13 8 2 1 34
Subsistence .. .. 7 4 2 13
Hog .............. 7 4 2 13
Poultry ................ 3 1 1 5
Peanut .............. 3 1 4
Cotton ..................... 1 1 2
All types ........ 42 52 21 4 5 124
Number of Negro Farmers

Tobacco .... ... ...... 8 8 3 19
General ........... ... 6 4 1 11
Subsistence .... 24 3 27
H og ............. ..... .. 2 1 3
Poultry ......... ........
Peanut ....... .. 1 1
Cotton .............1 1
All types 41 17 4 62

IMPORTANCE OF TOBACCO IN THE AREA
On 72 of the 186 farms surveyed, tobacco sales amounted to
over 50 percent of the farm receipts from crops, livestock and
livestock products. Many other farms produced tobacco in less
important amounts. All cash receipts from crops, livestock and
livestock products on the 186 farms amounted to $87,325. To-
bacco sales were 50.0 percent of this amount. Receipts from
tobacco accounted for 75.9 percent of all crop receipts.
Because tobacco is the principal cash crop in this area and be-
cause 82 percent of the farms were either 1- or 2-mule farms,
the remainder of this analysis will deal only with 1- and 2-mule
tobacco farms. Likewise, because of the relative unimportance
of tenant-operated farms, only owner-operated farms will be
considered. There were 21 1-mule and 25 2-mule, owner-oper-
ated, tobacco farms.

INFLUENCE OF CERTAIN FACTORS ON
FARMING RETURNS
Tobacco Acreage.-The farmer can do little at present to im-
prove his income by increasing his acreage of tobacco because of
acreage control by the Agricultural Adjustment Agency. In 1939,








23 farms 23 farms
having having when there was no such con-
3.2 acres FARd more than trol, the 21 1-mule farms
or less IDCOE 3.2 acres grew an average of 2.8 acres
of tobacco of tobacco of tobacco. The largest acre-
age reported on a 1-mule
S farm was 6.6 acres; the
$800 -smallest 0.8 acre. On the
25 2-mule farms the largest
and the smallest acreages re-
$700 ported were 11.6 and 1.3
acres, respectively. The ef-
$600 ect the acreage of tobacco
had on farm income is il-
lustrated in Fig. 3. The 46
$500 -farms were arranged in or-
der of tobacco acreage and
divided into 2 equal groups
$400 of 23 farms. The 23 farms
with the lowest acreage (3.2
$30 acres or less) had an aver-
$300
age farm income of -$29.
The farms with the highest
$200 -acreage had an average farm
S income of $24. This was
*,. true despite the fact that
S $100 Agricultural Adjustment
S Agency payments averaged
$0 $39 to farmers with 3.2 acres
or less of tobacco and $15 to
** ** farmers with more than 3.2
$-100 acres of tobacco.

-Farm income is obtained by
-$-200 subtracting farm expenses from
farm receipts. Farm expenses
S include all cash expenditures in-
volved in the operation of the
-300 farm as well as an allowance for
S depreciation of farm capital.
They do not include the value of
the operator's labor. Farm re-
$-400 ceipts include receipts from crops,
livestock, livestock products, Ag-
ricultural Adjustment Agency
(One dot=one farm) payments, miscellaneous items
and an allowance for increases
Fig. 3.-Effect of small and large in farm capital.
acreages of tobacco on farm incomes,
46 1- and 2-mule tobacco farms, Co-
lumbia County, Florida, 1939.







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 9

Under the Agricultural Adjustment Agency acreage control
program, a large proportion of the farms now are allotted in the
neighborhood of 1 to 2 acres of tobacco. Most tobacco barns
are built to cure tobacco from approximately 4 acres. The same
amount of labor and firewood is required to cure a barn half full
of tobacco as is required for a full barn. Therefore, more labor
is expended per acre on 1 or 2 acres than on 3 or 4 acres of
tobacco. A recent study made in a nearby county shows that
Hours cf it takes an average
rfan 'crk of 469.9 hours to pro-

duce an acre of to-
l,a0. \ bacco excluding the
time required for
1,000 curing. The same
study shows that it
800 requires, on the aver-
age, 401.6 hours to
600 cure a crop of tobac-
co when only 1 barn
400 is used. To produce
1 acre of tobacco, it
would require 871.5
200
hours of man labor
0 per acre compared
1 2 3 with 570.3 hours of
Acres of tobacco man labor per acre
Fig. 4.-Hours of man time required to
produce, cure and market from 1 to 4 acres to grow and cure 4
of flue-cured tobacco, acres of to b a cco.
Farmers with small acreage allotments can in many cases save
some labor by curing tobacco with a neighbor who also has only a
small acreage. In this way curing labor is greatly reduced, de-
pending on how close together the farms are located and how
practical it might be for the farmers to cure the crop together.
If the farms are not located close together there is some danger
of damaging the leaf in transit and extra labor is required to
handle and transport the crop to the neighbor's barn. Fig. 4
shows the time required per acre to produce, harvest and cure
from 1/2 to 4 acres of tobacco if the farmer does his curing alone.

Unpublished data (preliminary) from the files of the senior author on
labor and material requirements for producing crops in Madison County,
Florida.








10 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

Tobacco Yield.-Variation in yield of tobacco, within a par-
ticular year, is largely under the control of individual farmers.
Those who had high yields of tobacco had relatively high farm
incomes. The yield of tobacco averaged 646 pounds per acre on
the 46 1- and 2-mule tobacco farms. The farm records of these
46 farms were arranged in order of tobacco yield per acre. The
average farm income was computed for the 15 farms with the
lowest yields, the 16 farms with the next lowest yields, and the
15 farms with the highest yields (Table 3). The farms with
the lowest yields averaged 419 pounds to the acre and had an
average farm income of -$47. The farms with the highest
yields averaged 892 pounds to the acre and had an average in-
come of $75.

TABLE 3.-TOBACCO YIELD AND FARM INCOME ON 46 1- AND 2-MULE
TOBACCO FARMS, COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.
Average To-
Group Number bacco Yield Average
of Farms per Acre Farm Income
Low yield ......... .... 15 419 -$47
Medium yield ................ 16 628 33
High yield ...-------......-- 15 892 75
All farms ................. 46 646 -$ 2

The reason some farms have high yields year after year and
other farms have low yields is associated with both manage-
ment and soil fertility. It is the common practice to use 1,000
pounds of fertilizer per acre, regardless of soil fertility. Yield
depends largely on the success of getting a good stand in the
field at transplanting time. This is frequently determined by
the farmer's ability to get plants either from his own seedbed
or from other farmers. Farmers who fail to produce enough
plants in their own seedbed are forced frequently to wait until
other farmers are through planting before they can get plants.
This is a serious handicap in attaining high yields. Cultural
practices vary little from farm to farm.
Tobacco Price.-The price received for tobacco reflects the
quality of tobacco sold. Quality depends upon the weather, cul-
ture, and soil; and in addition tobacco lots on the market depend
on grading. The price the farmers receive for tobacco is an im-
portant factor in determining farm income. An average price
of 11.9 cents per pound during 1939 was reported by the 46
farms. The average price was 8.1 cents per pound on the 15







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 11

farms which reported the lowest price and 15.9 cents per pound
on the 15 farms reporting the highest price. The farm incomes
were -$153 on the 15 farms with the low price and $164 for the
15 farms with the high prices (Table 4).

TABLE 4.-PRICE RECEIVED FOR TOBACCO AND FARM INCOME ON 46 1- AND
2-MULE TOBACCO FARMS, COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.
Average
Group Number Tobacco Price Average
of Farms per Pound Farm Income
Low price ...... 15 $ .081 -$153
Medium price .... 16 .116 17
High price ....... 15 .159 164
All farms. 46 S .119 -S 2

During 1939 there was very little relationship between tobacco
yields and quality as measured by price. Of the farms with
below-average price, 14 had below-average yields and 10 had
above-average yields. Of the farms with above-average price,
11 had above-average yields and 11 had below-average yields.
Labor Efficiency.-A productive man work unit is the amount
of productive work accomplished by an average man in a 10-hour
day. The number of hours required in the production per unit
of crops and livestock either is known from enterprise records
or has been estimated. The man work units required on each
enterprise unit are obtained by dividing the number of hours
required by 10. These quotients multiplied by the acres of vari-
ous crops and the numbers of various livestock give the total
man work units accomplished on a particular farm. The num-
ber of productive man work units per worker is a good measure
of labor efficiency.
Labor cost is one of the most important items of farm ex-
pense. The efficient use of labor is vital in the successful opera-
tion of a farm. The degree of labor efficiency depends upon size
of business, diversity and balance of farm enterprises, flexibility
and quality of the labor supply, and many other items of lesser
importance. On the 46 1- and 2-mule tobacco farms the average
number of productive man work units per man was 222. For the
15 farms with the poorest labor efficiency the average number
of work units per man was only 168. The farm income on these
farms was -$69. On the 15 farms with the highest labor ef-
ficiency the average number of work units per man was 320 and
farm income was $84 (Table 5).







12 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

TABLE 5.-LABOR EFFICIENCY AND FARM INCOME ON 46 1- AND 2-MULE
TOBACCO FARMS, COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.
Average
Productive
Group Number Man Work Average
of Farms Units per Farm Income
SMan
Low labor efficiency ......... 15 168 -$69
Medium labor efficiency 16 231 21
High labor efficiency ...-..... 15 320 84
All farms ..............-....... -46 240 $ 2

Many of the farms in this study were too small to justify
the amount of available man labor, despite the fact that many
of the operators worked off the farm at odd jobs. Excess labor
around the farm is frequently associated with depressions, old
age, and the lack of ambition. On larger farms it may be the
result of poor management.
Other Factors.-Many other factors besides those thus far
analyzed affect the successful operation of a farm. One such fac-
tor is efficiency in the use of workstock. One-half of the 46
farms had businesses which required over 110 days of work per
year per mule. Farm incomes on these farms averaged $30
compared with -$35 on the 23 farms having less than 110 days
work per mule.
Efficiency in the use of farm capital is an important item on
many farms. Efficiency in the use of capital is measured by
dividing the farm capital by cash farm receipts. On half of the
46 farms cash receipts were over 17 percent of the total farm
capital. On these farms the farm income was $119 compared
with -$124 on farms having cash receipts of less than 17 per-
cent of farm capital.
One-half of the 46 farms raised more than 15 pigs during
1939. On these farms the farm incomes averaged $74 compared
with an average farm income of -$79 for farms raising less
than 15 pigs. The production of hogs fits in well with the type
of farming in this area. Brood sows were kept on each of the
46 farms. Farms producing less than 15 hogs have but few
for market. The production of food for home use does not ma-
terially affect farm income but does contribute to the welfare
of the farm family and thereby reduces the need for cash
income.
Some other common factors which affected the successful oper-
ation of farms were yields of feed crops and cash crops other
than tobacco, labor costs, soils, and other important items.







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 13

1- AND 2-MULE FARMS
Because of limited resources, most farmers cannot materially
increase the size of their businesses at will. For this reason the
1-mule farms in this study will be analyzed separately from the
2-mule farms.
Within each of these size groups there was a wide range in
the size of business. Some 1-mule farms operated enough land
to justify the use of 2 mules, while some 2-mule farms operated
only enough land to justify the use of 1 mule. Thus, within
each size group there was great variation in size of business.
The first concern of the farmer should be to operate his present
farm at its maximum efficiency. Only when he is sure that he
has reached this point should he attempt to increase the amount
of his invested capital.
HOW THE BUSINESSES OF 1-MULE TOBACCO FARMS MIGHT BE
IMPROVED
The 21 1-mule tobacco farms were dependent on tobacco for
64 percent of their total receipts. Receipts from tobacco aver-
aged $172 per farm. Cotton, pork, eggs, Agricultural Adjust-
ment Agency payments and other minor items supplied the
remaining receipts. A summary of farm business factors for
the 21 farms is shown in Table 6.
Both tobacco yields and prices were low in 1939. One-mule
tobacco farms suffered because they were highly specialized in
tobacco. A greater diversification of enterprises might have
increased somewhat the income received. Pork, poultry, cattle,
peanuts, and cotton were all produced successfully on some farms
in this area. The production of a large quantity of products for
home use is also good insurance on small, 1-crop farms.
The 10 farms having highest tobacco yields were selected from
the 21 1-mule farms. Tobacco yield on these farms averaged
748 pounds per acre. If, without additional cost, all 21 farms
had had a yield of 748 pounds, the average farm income would
have been -$24, instead of -$74. This increase in income is
computed at the average price of 10.6 cents per pound for to-
bacco. The 10 farms receiving the highest price for tobacco
averaged 13.4 cents. If the 21 farms had obtained an average
yield of 748 pounds, as well as an average price of 13.4 cents,
the average farm income would have been $35, instead of -874.
Of the 21 farms, 5 were among the 10 best farms from the
standpoint of both yield and price.







14 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

TABLE 6.-AVERAGES OF FARM BUSINESS FACTORS FOR 21 1-MULE TOBACCO
FARMS, COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.
Tobacco .......-.................. -------------- (acres) 2.8
Cotton ....... ---.......---- ..-..------. ................. .--- (acres) 1.9
Solid corn ... ......... ......... ........-- -.....- ..... .- ---...... (acres) 3.2
Interplanted corn with peanuts hogged off ........................... (acres) 14.5
Hogged-off peanuts, planted solid ............... ---.................. (acres) 3.5
Miscellaneous crops ............ ....------- ----------.................... (acres) .6
Garden* .............----.....------............... .........---- ----.......... (acres) 1.1
All cropland ...--- .---- ...............-... ... ------ -------(acres) 27.6
Resting land ...... -------- ..... ......---------- ..-........... (acres) 16.5
Cows ..........--..--- ..-- -.. ..-...-- --...................(number) 2
Brood sows ....-----..-.---. ....--.-.........- ............- (number) 2
Pigs raised --- --- ............ ...----.. ---.... .-----------........ (number) 9
Chickens ............ .. .------........ .......--........--- ... ..-- ..-- (number) 34
Eggs sold .---------..................----------(dozens) 41
Tobacco yield per acre ..........-- ............----......... ........(pounds) 581
Tobacco price per pound .--- ---..........----.... ..... --. (dollars) .106
Hired labor cost ...........-... ...........------.......-----..........(dollars) 49
Family labor cost --.. ----............. ..................--...........(dollars) 43
Labor efficiency ..-...... ....-... ...-- .. ..-.....-- ..-(work units per man) 209
Workstock efficiency ..........--.............................(work units per mule) 113
Capital efficiency ...--................-- .....(cash receipts farm capital) 22
Agricultural Adjustment Agency payments --.......---....(dollars) 16
Farm receipts ..--........ ........... ..... ....... (dollars) 268
Farm expenses ....- ....-- ....----------.... ---..-..(dollars) 342
Farm income .-.......... ... .. ............ .......... (dollars) -74
Includes sugarcane. sweet potatoes and watermelons grown for home use.
** In this area it is a common practice to permit land to lie idle and grow up in native
vegetation every other year. Land in this stage is referred to as "resting land".
Farms with below average incomes were studied for the pur-
pose of determining how they might improve their businesses.
There were 9 1-mule farms with farm incomes below -$74. On
each of these 9 farms 1 or more outstanding factors contributed
to their unsuccessful operation. Of the 9 farms, 3 had less than
2 acres of tobacco, 3 reported a per acre yield of tobacco under
500 pounds, 3 reported tobacco prices per pound of 9 cents or
less, 4 had less than 200 work units per worker, 2 had less than
90 work units per work animal, 2 had farm receipts that were
less than 11 percent of farm capital, 5 reported less than 7 pigs
raised, and 6 reported hiring over $100 worth of labor during
the year. These were the outstanding points affecting the un-
successful operation of the 9 farms. Three of the 9 farms dem-
onstrate the effect many of these important factors have on
income. For convenience these farms were called A, B, and C.
Each of the farms was selected to illustrate the importance of
one or two particular factors which were common causes for
the unsuccessful operation of farms. A summary of each farm
business is shown in Table 7. Bold-face type designates the out-
standing problems on each of the 3 farms. Each farm can be
compared with the average of all farms by referring to Table 6.








Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 15

TABLE 7.-THE BUSINESSES OF 3 1-MULE TOBACCO FARMS SELECTED TO
ILLUSTRATE THE EFFECT OF CERTAIN FACTORS ON FARM INCOME,
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.

Factors j Units Farm A [ Farm B IFarm C

Tobacco ................. Acres 1.4 5.5 2.9
Cotton ................... Acres 1.2
Solid corn ............ Acres 1.9 .4
Interplanted corn
with peanuts
hogged-off ........ Acres 8.6 15.7 4.0
Hogged-off pea-
nuts, planted
solid .................. Acres 6.0 .7
Miscellaneous
crops .............. Acres .4
Garden* ................ Acres 0 .2 1.1
All cropland .... Acres 17.9 21.4 10.7
Resting land .... Acres 15.0 22.5 8.3
Cows .................... Number 0 7 0
Brood sows ......... Number 1 2 1
Pigs raised ............ Number 0 7 3
Chickens ................ Number 23 33 0
Eggs sold .............. Dozens 10
Tobacco yield per
acre ................... Pounds 500 195 862
Tobacco price per
pound ............... Dollars .055 .140 .070
Hired labor cost Dollars 18 15
Family labor cost Dollars 60 100
Labor efficiency .... Units per man 127 348 109
Workstock effici-
ency .................... Units per mule 61 118 60
Capital efficiency Receipts capital 11 13 35
Agricultural Ad-
justment Agen-
cy payments .... Dollars 38
Farm receipts ..... Dollars 142 164 285
Farm expenses .... Dollars 270 243 383
Farm income ........ Dollars --128 -79 -98
*Includes sugarcane, sweet potatoes and watermelons grown for home use.

Farm A.-The outstanding factor affecting the income on this
farm was the small size of business. Inefficient use of labor,
workstock, and capital resulted.
Labor, including the time of the operator, was the most im-
portant item of expense on nearly all farms. Idle labor was
often the result of an extremely small business, a poorly ar-
ranged business from the standpoint of seasonal labor require-
ments, or an excess of unemployed family labor. Farm A had
too small a business to occupy the full time of the operator.
Idle workstock is often associated with idle man labor. Idle
workstock can seriously limit farm profits. No income can be
made by growing feed for an idle mule. The mule on Farm A
was used only 54 percent of the time he would have been used on







16 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.

the average 1-mule farm. An increase in size of business is
necessary to remedy this condition. This farm business might be
improved by using all or part of the 15 acres of resting land and
using fall cover crops on the better fields to build up the soil.
Fall cover crops are not grown successfully on the poorer soils
of this area.
The tobacco produced on farm A was either of poor quality
or was poorly graded. This is evidenced by the price received.
Had farm A produced tobacco of average quality, the farm in-
come would have been -$92 instead of -$128.
Only a few 1-mule farms raised pigs for market. The pigs
raised were needed for food on the farm. Producing pigs for
home use does not increase farm income but it does reduce the
need for it. No pigs were raised on farm A. Neither a family cow
nor a garden was on the farm in 1939. This was true despite
the fact that cash for family living was scarce and there were
13 months of man labor available, of which only 1/3 should
normally be required in the production of crops and livestock on
this farm.
In the fall of 1942 this farm was revisited to determine what
changes had taken place. It was found that in 1940 the operator
had sold his farm after making an unsuccessful attempt to en-
large his business by expanding his poultry enterprise. The new
owners purchased in addition 22 acres of cleared land on the ad-
joining farm. The enlarged farm has been operated with the
same mule that formerly worked the original farm. During
1942 the operator worked away from the farm as a painter so
that the farm was not operated at capacity, although 1.5 acres
of tobacco, 8 acres of Spanish peanuts for digging, and 6 acres
of corn were produced. Livestock on the farm in 1942 consisted
of 4 brood sows, 1 cow and 1 calf, and 40 hens. The wife tended
a large farm garden and canned better than 200 quarts of vege-
tables from the garden. Although the farm is operated only
part-time, the family has produced much in the way of food for
their own needs.
It took a change of ownership, as well as some additional cap-
ital, to bring about desirable adjustments on this farm. There
are many farms in the county needing similar adjustments. A
change of ownership may not be necessary. Good farm manage-
ment on the part of the operator can do much to improve such
businesses without requiring much additional capital. A good







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 17

farm manager will plan his work so that available labor, work-
stock and capital are used efficiently.
Farm B.-Although farm B is not much larger in crop acres
than farm A, the larger acreage of tobacco and more livestock
employs the farm labor and workstock to a greater degree of
efficiency.
The outstanding difficulty on farm B was the low yield of
tobacco. Average yield on this farm was only 195 pounds per
acre, compared with 581 pounds on all 21 farms. If yield on
farm B had been average, cash farm receipts would have been
increased 8297. If this yield had been obtained, some additional
labor would have been required. The cost of the extra labor
would have been only a small part of the gain. The importance of
some diversification in cash enterprises to meet the emergency
of a low yield is here obvious.
Low yield of tobacco on this farm was attributed by the farm-
er to loss of plants in transplanting from the seedbed to the
field. This is probably the most common reason given for low
yields.
More should be done on this farm in the way of producing food
for home use.
Farm C.-The business of this farm was too small to use all
the 24 months of available family labor. This was a common
problem on many small farms. Other than the operator, 1 son
spent the full year on this farm. The value of the labor he per-
formed was estimated at 8100. If the operator had performed
most of the labor done by his son, the son might then have
been employed elsewhere. If this had happened the labor ef-
ficiency on this farm would have been near average and the farm
income would have been $100 higher. At the same time, 1 less
person would have been at home to be supported from the prod-
ucts of the farm. The economic use of surplus family labor on
small farms is a very difficult problem.
Like farm A, farm C illustrates the importance of a high
price for tobacco on a farm highly specialized in tobacco. If an
average price of 15.9 cents' per pound had been received for the
tobacco instead of 7 cents, the farm income would have been
$124 instead of -$98 and, had it not been for the surplus family
labor, the farm income might well have been $224.
The production of feed crops on such a small farm is a serious
problem. The entire 19 acres of cropland should be used each

SSee Table 4.







18 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

year in order to produce feed for a cow, a brood sow, and a few
chickens for home use. This land can be kept in a productive
state by planting winter cover crops on the better fields.
This farm was operated by a negro who inherited the farm
in 1920. Since then he has made his living from this 20-acre
tract supplemented by occasional work off the farm. In 1939
he had a $106 mortgage on the farm. This mortgage was re-
financed in 1941. Prices were good for tobacco in 1942 and he
retired his mortgage. The war has solved his surplus family
labor problem. During 1942 he tended his farm alone and also
found time for odd jobs on other farms.

HOW THE BUSINESSES OF 2-MULE TOBACCO FARMS MIGHT
BE IMPROVED

Tobacco sales amounted to 63 percent of all receipts on the
2-mule tobacco farms. The balance of the receipts came from
pork, cotton, eggs, Agricultural Adjustment Agency payments
and other smaller items. The 2-mule farms, like the 1-mule
farms, were not diversified enough to guard against a year of ad-
verse conditions. Labor requirements on tobacco are highly
seasonal. Work is particularly heavy during June and July.
Opportunity exists for greater diversification on these farms by
"fitting-in" enterprises having low labor requirements during
June and July. Such enterprises might be hogs, peanuts for
nuts, cotton, or poultry. It probably would not pay the average
2-mule operator to go heavily into any one of these enterprises to
the point that additional labor or capital is required (Table 8).
Of the 2-mule tobacco farms the 10 farms with highest to-
bacco yields averaged 904 pounds per acre, compared with an
average of 701 pounds for the 25 farms. The 10 farms with
the highest tobacco price averaged 16.4 cents per pound, com-
pared with the average on all farms of 12.9 cents. The farm in-
come for the 25 farms was $58 each. Had the yield on all farms
been 904 pounds and had this tobacco sold for 16.4 cents a pound,
the farm income would have been $302. This assumes no ad-
ditional cost of production. Actually, the cost of production
would have increased slightly. It is not unreasonable to expect
individual farms to be among the leading 40 percent of all farms
in both yield and quality of tobacco. Actually, out of 25 farms
there were 3 farms among the 10 leading farms that had both
high yields and high prices. These 3 farms had an average farm
income of $371 per farm.







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 19

TABLE 8.-AVERAGE OF FARM BUSINESS FACTORS FOR 25 2-MULE TOBACCO
FARMS, COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.
Tobacco ---............ -- ----.. ......... .. ............. (acres) 4.2
Cotton .........- ----------------- -- ......... .....------ .....(acres) 1.8
Solid corn ..................- ............ ......... ----- -............. (acres) 2.2
Interplanted corn with peanuts hogged-off ............................(acres) 40.8
Hogged-off peanuts, planted solid ................................... (acres) 2.4
M miscellaneous crops ............... .. ...... ....... .................. (acres) 1.7
Garden* ................--- ......... -----........-- -- ..-- -- (acres) 2.0
All cropland ...-............---------......----- ....(acres) 55.1
Resting land ...............------.......--........(acres) 53.2
Cow s ............... ...... ... ........ .... .........(num ber) 4
Brood sows -... ... -- ............ ....- ------ ..---- (number) 4
Pigs raised ..- ..- ....... .-- .....-- ............... (number) 27
Chickens ............................... .... .....-......- ......... ...... (num ber) 63
Eggs sold .................... ...... ..... ..... (dozens) 228
Tobacco yield per acre ............... ...... .......................(pounds) 701
Tobacco price per pound .........-- --..... ..........................--- ...(dollars) .129
Hired labor cost ... ----..........--...... -----.......... ......(dollars) 152
Family labor cost ......----- ....--.............------- ....--..... (dollars) 58
Labor efficiency ...-............-- ...- ..-- ...........(work units per man) 265
W orkstock efficiency .............-.. ..................-..(work units per mule) 110
Capital efficiency .-----...........................(cash receipts farm capital) 25
Agricultural Adjustment Agency payments ....................(dollars) 37
Farm receipts .--.----........ -..-..--...... ........ ......-------..........---(dollars) 601
Farm expenses ......----... --.....-- -- .....---- .... (dollars) 543
Farm income .........-........---- ...------- ---- ...................(dollars) 58

"* Includes sugarcane, sweet potatoes and watermelons grown for home use.

There were 12 of the 25 2-mule tobacco farms with farm in-
comes below the average of all 25. These farms were studied
for the purpose of determining the reasons why they were below
average. In each individual case 1 or more outstanding causes
accounted for the low farm income. A study of these causes re-
veals the weak points on many other farms of this same type
and size. Four of the farms had less than 3.2 acres of tobacco;
2 had tobacco yields under 500 pounds per acre; 4 had tobacco
prices of 9 cents or less per pound; 2 had a labor efficiency below
200 work units per man; 3 had a workstock efficiency below 90
work units per work animal; 3 had receipts representing less
than 11 percent of farm capital; 3 raised less than 16 pigs dur-
ing the year, and 4 had labor costs exceeding 8300 per farm.
Five of the 12 farms had only 1 of these outstanding weak points.
These 5 farms had an average farm income of -894. The other
7 farms had more than 1 outstanding weak point and the farm
income on these farms averaged -$194.
Three of the 12 farms were selected to illustrate the effect of
the most common of these important factors. Each farm illus-
trates a difficulty common to many farms in this area. Bold-








20 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

face type designates the outstanding problems on each farm.
The 3 farms, called D, E, and F, are outlined in Table 9.
TABLE 9.-THE BUSINESSES OF 3 2-MULE TOBACCO FARMS SELECTED TO
ILLUSTRATE THE EFFECT OF CERTAIN FACTORS ON FARM INCOME,
COLUMBIA COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1939.
Factors Units Farm D ] Farm E Farm F

Tobacco ............... Acres 3.7 4.5 3.9
Cotton .................... Acres 7.0
Interplanted corn
with peanuts
hogged-off ........ Acres 50.9 42.4 33.9
Dug peanuts,
planted solid .... Acres 20.7*
Miscellaneous
crops .................. Acres 1.1 2.5 .7
Garden** .............. Acres 2.4 2.2 .7
All cropland .... Acres 85.8 51.6 39.2
Resting land .... Acres 45.0 54.0 40.0
Cows ...................... Number 1 10 1
Brood sows .......... Number 4 2 5
Pigs raised ............ Number 17 17 33
Chickens ................ Number 35 70 25
Eggs sold .............. Dozens 400 104
Tobacco yield per
acre .................... Pounds 270 667 i 769
Tobacco price per
pound ................. Dollars .155 .160 .090
Hired labor cost Dollars 7 264 5
Family labor cost Dollars 65 210 150
Labor efficiency .... Units per man 406 199 228
Workstock effici-
ency .................... Units per mule 146 109 78
Capital efficiency.. Receipts -- capital 13 12 11
Agricultural Ad-
justment Agen-
cy payments .... Dollars 10
Farm receipts ...... Dollars 205 593 286
Farm expenses .... Dollars 242 915 373
Farm income ........ Dollars -37 -322 -87

Fifteen bushels of nuts were dug from a part of the field.
** Includes sugarcane, sweet potatoes and watermelons grown for home use.
Farm D.-Low rate of production is the outstanding cause for
the low farm income on this farm. This was true with tobacco,
cotton, feed crops and pigs raised per brood sow. There are two
outstanding reasons for this poor production. First, the soil is
a dry phase of Norfolk fine sand. Second, the farmer, in attempt-
ting to overcome the effect of poor soil, plants more acreage than
he has labor to cultivate properly. Even the very best farmers
can seldom make a success at farming on poor soil. Moving to
better land is usually an extremely difficult task.
Yield of tobacco on this farm in 1939 was 270 pounds per acre.
Had this farmer been able to obtain a tobacco yield as high as







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 21

on the average 2-mule tobacco farm the farm income would have
been about S210 instead of -S37. The possibility of his reach-
ing this "goal" is indeed remote. During the 1942 crop year
the tobacco acreage on this farm was limited to 0.9 acre. On
this allotment 361 pounds of tobacco were produced. This crop
was described as being a better than average yield for this farm.
Poor soil has its effect on cotton yields. During the 1939 crop
year 8.7 acres of long staple cotton and 7.0 acres of short staple
cotton were planted. The long staple cotton did not come up and
the 7 acres of short staple produced a total of 300 pounds of
seed cotton which sold for S9. Twelve acres of cotton were
planted in 1942 but the cotton produced was not worth picking.
The 20.7 acres of Spanish peanuts were planted for digging.
It required 16 bushels of seed to plant this crop. Only a part of
the peanuts were dug because of low yield. This was the only
year peanuts were planted for digging on this farm.
The acreage of feed crops on this farm appears excessive for
the number of animals fed. Because of low yields this was not
the case. It required much of the farmer's time to produce
enough feed for his 2 mules.
When the farm was revisited during the fall of 1942 the farm
business was still in distress. One mule died during the year
and the milk cow was lost the previous year. However, 20 pigs
had been produced for home use during 1942.
The owner inherited this farm in 1923 and has farmed it since
that time. In 1923 the farm was free of debt. Now there is a
$200 mortgage on the place. The farmer who is now 55 years
old has farmed all his life; 19 years on this farm, 11 years as a
sharecropper, and 5 years on his home farm. He is a hard
worker. He tends this farm by himself with some help from his
family. In addition, he works a few days a year for wages on
nearby farms.
This farmer will probably remain on this farm as long as he
can retain title to his land. To improve his farm business is the
logical approach to the solution of his problem, although it is
recognized that little success will ever be attained so long as he
remains on poor soil. The farm business might be improved by
farming less land, using only the best fields. Volunteer vege-
tation will not build up the soil sufficiently. For this reason
cover crops on the better fields and less cash crops are advisable.
It is essential that organic matter be added to the soil. The
farmer is attempting to produce too much in the way of im-







22 Florida Agricultural Experiment Station

mediate cash crops. Less emphasis should be placed on these
enterprises and greater effort made to build up some of the poor
soil so that when a cash crop is planted it will yield more than
the seed used to plant the crop. The most important enterprise
on this farm should be the production of food for home use. Cash
crops should be of secondary importance.
The problem presented by this farm is a common one. Much
has been said about such farms in recent years. Less has been
done in the way of the solution of their problems. The best
solution probably lies in the broader vocational education of the
children reared on such farms.
Farm E.-This farm business would have been about normal
if it had not been for the high cost of farm labor and the low
labor efficiency-a condition common on many farms. It demon-
strates the importance of good farm management. Sometimes
this condition is associated with farms owned by persons having
employment away from the farm. Sometimes it is associated
with old age or some other physical handicap of the operator.
On this farm, as on many other farms, it is a result of poor
management. The cost of labor on farm E could have been re-
duced materially by increasing the efficiency of labor. Some re-
organization will be necessary to reduce the peaks of seasonal
labor. This could have been done by producing more hogs or
some cash crop such as cotton or peanuts for market. The sea-
sonal labor for these crops fits well with tobacco. Any increase
in diversification should not require additional laborers but
should be designed to utilize idle labor already available.
The labor on this farm, besides that of the operator, consists
of a grown son who spends his full time on the farm and 1 full-
time hired man. The farm business is not large enough to justi-
fy the employment of a full-time hired hand. If this is to be
done, then certainly more products need to be produced to utilize
this excess labor fully. The cropland could easily be expanded on
part of the 54 acres of the resting land.
The 10 cows on this farm were range cattle. Very little feed
is grown for them. Velvet beans are planted in the corn and pea-
nuts and the cows are turned in on the velvet beans after the
corn has been harvested and after the peanuts have been grazed
by the hogs.
On a revisit to this farm in the fall of 1942 it was found that
the labor situation was slightly worse than in 1939. The total
acres of land in crops was the same, although only 1.9 acres of







Adjustments for Greater Profits on Tobacco Farms 23

tobacco were produced in 1942, instead of 4.5 acres. The 1942
tobacco crop of 1,780 pounds sold for an average price of 34 cents
per pound. The only other material change in size of business
was that 16 turkeys were being raised in 1942.
Farm F.-Farm F illustrates another condition common on
many farms in this area. The farm is too large to be worked
with only 1 mule but too small for the efficient use of 2 mules.
The business, as operated, did not justify feeding 2 mules. An-
imal efficiency was only 78 work days per year per mule. Mule
work would be considerably less than doubled if 1 mule, instead
of 2, was maintained, because much effort is expended in raising
mule feed. The size of the business should be considerably in-
creased if the 2 mules are to be retained. There are 40 acres of
resting land available for expansion. At least part of this could
be used to increase the hog enterprise or to produce some cash
crop other than tobacco.
Another outstanding factor below average on this farm was
the price received for tobacco. The operator reported that the
great amount of rain in 1939 made the tobacco coarse and difficult
to cure properly. During 1942 there were 1,725 pounds of tobac-
co produced on 1.7 acres of this farm. The average price re-
ceived was 33 cents a pound.
During 1941 one of the mules died but was soon replaced by
another mule. The size of business has not been enlarged. Com-
paring 1942 with 1939, there was a reduction of 2.2 acres of to-
bacco. Three acres of peanuts for digging and 5 acres of fall
oats for hay were added to the farm business. No other material
change has taken place. If the farmer had not replaced the
mule that died in 1941, he would have had an economical 1-mule
farm.

PRODUCTION OF FOOD FOR USE IN THE FARM HOME

Little reference has been made in this study to the production
of food for use in the farm home. The results of the survey re-
vealed that many farmers were doing very little in this line. The
problem was of such importance that it was treated separately.5
The production of a maximum of food for home use is an import-
ant consideration in the management of any farm.

5 Food for Home and Victory. Fla. Agr. Ext. Serv. Circular 61. 1942.





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