• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Abstract
 Foreword
 Acknowledgement
 Table of Contents
 List of Tables
 List of Figures
 Introduction
 Purpose of study
 Historical background by areas
 Statistically speaking
 Research
 Extremes of weather
 Addendum
 Reference














Group Title: Economics report - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 81
Title: Irish potato production in Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00027735/00001
 Material Information
Title: Irish potato production in Florida a historic data series
Series Title: Economics report
Physical Description: xii, 131 p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Rose, G. Norman
Publisher: Food and Resource Economics Dept., Agricultural Experiment Stations, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1976
 Subjects
Subject: Potatoes -- History -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
statistics   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Bibliography: p. 128-131.
Statement of Responsibility: G. Norman Rose.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00027735
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000304411
oclc - 03845619
notis - ABT0990
lccn - 77622042

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Abstract
        Abstract
    Foreword
        Page i
    Acknowledgement
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
    Table of Contents
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    List of Tables
        Page ix
        Page x
        Page xi
    List of Figures
        Page xii
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Purpose of study
        Page 2
        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
    Historical background by areas
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    Statistically speaking
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    Research
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
    Extremes of weather
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
    Addendum
        Page 127
    Reference
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
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FOREWORD


Irish Potato Production in Florida--A Historic Data Series is the
fifth in a series of historical reviews.
Among the pioneering family names preserved herein for posterity
are those who have the distinction of being the oldest documented in
America; others came to America, settling in Florida the year our fore-
fathers signed the Declaration of Independence. Others settled in time
to participate in the War between the States and many others migrated to
,-the rediscovered land of promise shortly after that war. Their descendents
are among those who continue to help feed the nation from the bounty of
Florida's soil.
America and Florida are proud of the heritage of the few who
served so well in developing productive farms from what often was con-
sidered worthless land. By their rugged life of tilling the soil a
nation is fed; potatoes are an important staple in that food supply.
In this "Bicentennial Year" many c.an justly claim double honor in the
heritage of their fathers.










ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


The author again wishes to express appreciation to Dr. Leo Polopolus,
Chairman of the Food and Resource Economics Department at the University
of Florida, and to i'lbert A. McGregor, Statistician in Charge of the
Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, for their continued 5upp-rt,
assistance and allocation of time for research, analysis and tabulation
of documented data. After retiring at the close of 1975, the author gave
considerable "free" time to the completion of this manuscript.
This historic review is the fifth in the series and constitutes the
end result of a planned effort initiated by Dr. K. R. Tefertiller, then
Chairman of the Food and Resource Economics Department and now Vice
President for Agricultural Affairs at the University of Florida, and Joe
E. Mullin, who preceded Mr. McGregor as Statistician in Charge of the
Florida Crop and Livestock Reporting Service (FCLRS).
In researching letters and notes of FCLRS, the name H. A. Marks was
found many times. If one were dedicating this report to a particular in-
dividual, it should be to Mr. Marks. He was the Statistician in Charge of
the FCLRS, starting in 1026 and serving Florida until his retirement in
1942. His was a one statistician-one assistant office with one clerk-
typist; yet he laid the groundwork for a system of crop reporting that is
outstanding among the states. Prior to 1926 he was with the Fruit and
Vegetable Branch of the U. S. Department of Agriculture as a specialty
crops field agent for 9 years; his territory extended from M-.ijiii'-srta east
and then south to Florida. Mr. Marks continued to live in the Orlando-
Winter Park area after retiring. His funeral was attended by the present
statistician-in-ch -,rze and this writer on April 16, 1976. He was 99,
approaching his 100th birthday. This near centenarian was probably
the only man in the Crop Reporting Service to have such a distinction.
Other statisticians who kept the industry informed worked with Mr.
Marks or succeeded him; J. C. Townsend served well as a field statistician
before heading the Florida office for many years; Reginald Royston also
performed admirably under Mr. Marks. Later James B, Owens devoted many







years, first as a market news specialist and later as a statistician, in
improving the vegetable, potato, strawberry and melon estimates and re-
ports. This writer owes much to these men and especially to J. C. Town-
send and Jim Owens for their guidance and planning for better crop
reporting in vegetables and potatoes.
The Federal-State Market News Service, and Elmo Scarborough, in par-
ticular, have provided timely price reporting to the industry and to FCLRS.
Its shipment data are converted to hundredweights and presented herein.
Appreciation is gratefully extended to Dr, Donald L. Brooke, Profes-
sor of Food and Resource Economics, for assistance rendered in the pre: -
ation of this manuscript and to Dr, Cecil N, Smith and other reviewers
for their patience and skill in editing it.
The forces of nature have affected potato production but not to the
extent the very tender crops Pave been adversely affected. Gordon E.
Dunn, former Head of the National HUrricane Center, and Warren 0. J'hn:.n,
former Meteorologist in Charge of the Federal-State Agricultural Veither
Service, definitely merit praise and our thanks for their timely warnings
and documentation of extremes of weather affecting agriculture in Florida.
Various growers, packers, shippers, suppliers, sellers and trans-
porters have been of immeasurable assistance in providing a high degree of
accuracy.to these data. Crop reporting has never been compulsory. It is
based on the composite best judgment of the reporters. Information by
growers has usually been freely given.
Guidance in preparing the narrative came from many. Where information
came from a documented source it is credited in the list of references.
The writer wishes to thank many others who were interviewed by phone or in
person.
In the Hastings area many rendered invaluable assistance--O. F.
Alford, Tommie Beach, Francis Brubaker, Mrs. W. E. Byrd, C. A. Campbell,
Emmett Campbell, W. H. Deen, Mr, and Mrs. Raymond Dorwart, Mrs. Lela
Campbell DuPont, Miss Mgagaret Enzor, Miss Phyllis Leonard, Harold Maltby,
Mrs. Guy Masters, Gordon Middletoij, Norman Pounds, Jr., Milton Rogero,
Mr. and Mrs. John Stone, Frank Teague, John Tenny, Miss Mary Valance,
Mrs. Violet M. Wigton, A. G. Wilkie and W, F, Wolfe, to name the princi-
pal ones. Of course, there were others for this is an old area; some of
the potato acreage is almost in the shadow of the oldest European settle-
ment in America.








In the LaCrosse area L. S. and Ralph Cellon, Sr., M. 0. Harrell,
Mrs. G. E. Spires, Mrs. Dewey Gethea and the late C. D. Ncwbern were
most helpful.
In the extreme western panhandle, FCLRS notes were supported by a
statement concerning the area by Corlis Meadows of northern Escambia
County. This area. is often considered by shippers in Atmore, Alabama
as a part of the Alabama crop.
In the Everglades considerable reliance was placed on no:-S of
J. B. Owens on file with the FCLRS and on interviews with Mrs. Ruth
Wedgworth and Mrs. Curtis Thompson as well as on Lawrence E. Will's do-
CLIumentations.
In the Balm-Plant City area J. B. Sweat and T. B. Elil; were most
helpful. Notes on file with FCLI,3 relative to the areas fnt+i.vi *ur
were a real source of assistance; they were backed up by an interview with
pioneer planters Thomas M. Biggar and Elmo Ballard.
South of Miami our thanks go to many, for this area, like !l.-;,-;,;
has had many pioneer growers. Mason W. Alger, Abney Cox, the l,.- .1 '. --7
Cooper, John Dunn, Mr. and Mrs. Arch. W. Hutchinson, N"illi 7j"..;I .L. J, S.
"Jack" Peters, Lewis Peters, Walter Peterson, George W. Smith, Wilbur
Vick, Dan Williams and Warren Wood were each very helpful, often concern-
ing others as well as their own family participation. Notes on file
by FCLRS were a reliable source for later planters.
Footnotes are not used in reference to most of the above, but their
assistance, for which the author is very grateful, was very helpful
indeed.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page

FOREWORD . . . . ... . .. i

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . ii

LIST OF TABLES ... . . . . ... ix

LIST OF FIGURES . . . . . . xii

INTRODUCTION . . . ...... . . . 1

PURPOSE OF STUDY . . . . .. . 2

SOURCE OF DATA . . . . . . 3

Statistical Records. . . . .. . 3

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) . .

The Division of Statistics .. . . .. 3
The Bureau of Statistics. .. . . .. 4
The Bureau of Crop Estimates. . . 5
The Bureau of Markets and Crop Estimates .. . 5
The Bureau of Agricultural Economics (BAE) . 5
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) . 6
The Bureau of Agricultural Economics (BAE) ... .. .. 6
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) . 7
The Statistical Reporting Service (SRS). . 9

Other Sources of Numbers to Consider . . . 16

The Florida Department of Agriculture (FDA) .... 16
The Census of Agriculture. . . . ... .16

HIGiORICAL BACKGROUND BY AREAS .... . . . 19

Where It Began . . . . . . 19

Production Predates the War Between the States . 19
The Hastings Area. .... . . .. . 21

Location and importance. .. . . .. 21
Some interesting figures to consider . .. 21
Early history of the Hastings area . . 24
The town of Hastings ... . . . 28
Demand, early growth and marketing at Hastings 38






TABLE OF CO;,JTENTS--Contiinued




Financing the Hastings potato crop .

(ontvact farms . . .
Fertilizer financing . . .
Local bank loans . . .

Cooperative Efforts Activated . .
Natural and Physical Aspects . .

Soils . . . .
To-'o',raphv and Water . . .

Varieties Grown in the Hastings Area .


. 44
. 48

. 48
t ;:


S;l)auildling Rose No. 4 . .
k.at.'. .-d in . . . .
Sebago . . . .

Culture . . . .
Labor . . . ..
Equipment t. ............. .
Hastings Provides Early New Potatoes
for the Chipping Industry . .


Success brings improvement .. .. bs
Gioiiirq potatoes under contract for processors 58
Fedecal or State Marketing Agreement and Order .

What of the Future?. . . ... .. 61

Nortii and West Florida . ... .. . . 65

The LaCross.: Area . . *
The iWst Florida Area. . .. . . 68

The Central Areas . . . . 70

The- Balm-Plant City-luskin-Sarasota Areas . .. 70
The Arcadlia-WidLchula Area. . ... . 72
The ;JNorcli Central Area . . . . 72
The East centrall Area . . . . .

South Florida. .. . . .... . 74

The Everglade-; Area. . ... . 74

World War II handlers. ... ... . ... 77

The Ft. IMyer.s Area. . . ... *


f I I I I I 1







TABLE OF CONTENTS--Continued


The South Dade County Area . . .

Factors Pertinent to Dade County Production.

Culture . . . .

Climate . . . .
Soils . . . .
Drainage and irrigation . .
Land preparation . . .
Fertilizers . . .
Seed . . . .
Cultivation . . .
Spraying and dusting . .

Marketing . . . .

Harvesting . . . .
Labor . . . .
Grading and packing . .
Containers . . . .
Selling . . . .

Cooperation among producers . .


Page

. 83

. . 90

90


S. 90
. . 92

92
. . 92

93
. 93
9


. .. 94
. 94
. . 95


The Dade County Potato Growers Association .

What of the Future? . . . . .

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING . . . . . .

The Federal-State Market News Service (MNS) . . .

.Lt:SEARCH . . ...... ... . . .

Publications by or in Cooperation with the University
of Florida . . . . . . .

EXTREMES OF WEATHER . . . . .

Adverse Weather Less Damaging to Potatoes. ... . .

A'DENDUMb . . . . . . .

The 1974-75 Potato Crop . . .

Winter 1975 . . .. . . .
Spring 1975 . . . . . .


98

98

98

99

99





115

120

120

127

127

127
127







TABLE OF CONTENTS--Continued




Hastings . . . . . /] ,
Other (than Hastings).. ... . .. 127

The Total 1975 Crop................ ..... 127

REFERENCES . . . . . . I


viii











LIST OF TABLES


T bi le pag.-

1 Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage, production and value,
1866 through 1908, available crop years . . 4

2 Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage planted, crop years
1929-1974 and acreage harvested, yield, production, dispo-
sition and value for crop years 1908-09 through 1973-74 8

3 Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage, production, value and
farm disposition, winter 1928 through 1974. . ... 10

4 Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage, production, value and
farm disposition (commercial), spring 1928 through 1974 11

5 Florida. Irish potatoes: Acreage, production, value and
farm disposition, spring, Hastings, 1928 through 1974 .. 12

6 Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage, production, value and
farm disposition, spring, "Other than Hastings ," 1928
through 1974. . . . . . 13

7 Florida Irish potatoes: Other early (non-commercial),
1923-24 through 1947-48 .. . . . . 14

8 U. S. Irish potatoes: Acreage, production and value in
averages of five-year periods, 1949-50 through 1973-74. .. 15

9 Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage, production and value in
averages of five-year periods, 1949-50 through 1973-74. 15

10 Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage, production and value,
1889-90 through 1925-26 crop years, as reported by the
Commissioner of Agriculture (FDA) in biennial reports . 17

11 Florida Irish potatoes: Farms reporting, acreage, pro-
duction, and value to the U. S. Bureau of the Census for
census years 1879 through 1969. . . . 18

12 Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage reported by the
Commissioner of Agriculture (FD,\), by counties, 1889-90
through ]925-26, for available crop years. ... . .

13 Florida Irish potatoes: Charter membership in the
Hastings Potato Growers Association, August 8, 1922-
January 4, 1924 . . . . ... .. 35






LIST OF 'iABL .- .--; Ii ;.,-


Table a

14 -lorida Irish potatoes: Carloads, Hastings :-'rea,
1920-1925 . . . . . .... 42

15 Florida Irish potatoes: Grower members of the H:.ting;
Potato Growers Association, selected ,cro y'.-,i,
1922-23 through 1971-72 . . . . 46

16 Florida Irish potatoes: Varieties planted in the :iai. :.
area, shown as a percent of the total, 1937-48 tliion:
1948-49 . . . .. .. . . 51

17 Florida Irish potatoes: Usual material requirements
acre in the Hastings area, 1915 -4, thr:.:i- 1948-49. ..... 52

18 Florida Irish potatoes: Usual material :. ;:.-.
acre in the Hastings area, 1959 t'iiIro.lh 1961. 53

19 Florida Irish potatoes: Usual labor requirements per.acre
and season of operations, Hastiings area, 194,- through .'?. 54

20 Florida Irish potatoc-s: U.sual season of operations and
labor requirements in hours per acre, in the Hastings '..
during the 1959 through 1961 period . . . 55

21 Florida Irish potatoes: Farm operators (F.O.) report-ng
acreage to the U. S. Bureau of the Census by counties for
the 1919 through 1969 census years. . . 62

22 Florida irish potatoes: Usual labor and material reqire-
ments, and season of operations, LaCrosse area, 19,46
through 1949 period. . .. .. ... . 69

23 Florida Irish potatoes: Usual labor and mat.-ri1l require-
ments per acre and season of opIrations in the iEerglades
area for the periods 1946-49 and 1959-61. . . 79

24 Florida Irish potatoes: Usual labor and material require-
ments per acre and season of operations in the Ft. M)'ers
area for the periods 1946--19 and 1959-61. . . 80

25 Florida Irish potatoes: Usual labor and material reqiire-
ments per acre and season of operaition, in the Dade
County area for the periods 1946-49 and 1959-61 . 91

26 Florida Irish potatoes: Acres for h:ii.'vest by areas and
counties, all seasons combined, 1~J9-29 through 1973-74 100

27 Florida Irish potatoes: Prices received, all types of
sales, shipping point level, .1949--0 though 1973-74. 110







LIST OF TABLES--Continued


Table Page

28 United States Irish potatoes: Prices received, all types of
,sales, shipping point level, 1950 through 1974. ..... 110

29 Florida Irish potatoes: Monthly and season averages of
prices received, compared with U. S. comparable months and
seasons in 5-year periods, 1950 through 1974. . .. 111

30 Florida Irish potatoes: Interstate shipments by months,
1949-50 through 1973-74 . . . . 112

31 Florida Irish potatoes: Percentage distribution of
production by months, 1949-50 through 1973-74 . 112

32 Florida Irish potatoes: Costs and returns in the
Hastings area . . . . . 113

33 Florida Irish potatoes: Costs and returns in the Ever-
glades and the LaCrosse areas .. ............ 114

34 Florida Irish potatoes: Costs and returns in the Ft.
Myers-Immokalee area. . ... . .. 115

35 Florida Irish potatoes: Costs and returns for white
potatoes produced in Dade County during the period
1934-35 through 1937-38 . . . .... .116

36 Florida Irish potatoes: Costs and returns in the Dade
County area . . . . . . 117

37 Florida Irish potatoes: The adverse effects on potato
crops by extremes of weather, 1894 through 1975 . 12










LIST OF FIGURES


Figure Page

1 Florida Irish potatoes: Florida production compared
with U. S. production in periods of five-year averages,
1949-50 through 1973-74 . . . ... 15

2 Florida Irish potatoes: Farms reporting acreage and
production to the U. S. Bureau of the Census for census
years 1889 through 1969 . . . . 18

3 Florida Irish potatoes: Diagram of a surface irrigation
system.... .. .... . ..... ,

4 Florida Irish potatoes: Average acres for harvest
during the 1950s .. . . .. '.

5 Florida Irish potatoes: A sample Florida report showing
the estimated acreage and forecast of production with
comparisons, competing seasonal states and storage stocks
on hand from the previous fall crop with comparisons. ,'

6 Florida Irish potatoes: An excerpt (sample) from the
Federal-State Market News, dated March 25, 1975 . 108

7 Florida Irish potatoes: A portion (sample) of the Fed-
eral-State Market News, Hastings report, for May 16, 1975 109

8 Florida Irish potatoes: Monthly and season averages of
prices received compared with U. S. comparable months
and seasons in 5-year periods, 1950 through 1974. . 11


xii











IRISH POTATO PRODUCTION:IN FLORIDA--A HISTORIC DATA SERIES


G. Norman Rose


INTRODUCTION


The potato, Solanum tuberosum, is native to the Americas. Potatoes
are said to have been first cultivated in South America and have been
found growing wild as far north as Colorado. Therefore, they are not
native to Ireland, even though they are called "Irish" potatoes.
Sculptured Peruvian pottery traced to the second century A. D.
depicts the potato as a cultivated plant according to Redcliffe N.
Salaman, in his authoritative book, The History and Social Influence of
the Potato. Potatoes may well have been used for feed several centuries
earlier, either in the wild state or cultivated in valleys of the Andes,
some 6,000 feet above sea level. Potatoes continue to be grown there.
Spanish explorers found potatoes to be good eating. One scouting party
visited a high plateau village at 70 N. latitude, where they found what
the villagers called "truffles." However, this Spanish expedition, led
by Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada, was more interested in gold and precious
stones, as were most of the Spanish explorers. Yet the potato has been
more valuable and had more effect on the history of mankind than all the
precious metals and gems.
There is evidence that the potato was first introduced to the people
of native Spain between 1550 and 1570. An account book of a Seville
hospital shows potatoes were a regular food item purchased in 1576.
L.:geidLrvy stories have it that-.the first potatoes were brought into
Europ.e by Sir Walter Raleigh from Virginia, but there are two things
.jwroig with this legend: Raleigh is not known to have visited Virginia at


G, NOiORlN iJ OSL is associate professor emeritus of food and resource
economics at the Univer.sity of Florida. He is stationed with the Florida
office of the Statistical Reporting Service (SRS) of the U. S. Department
of Agriculture in Orlando where, since 1945, he has collaborated in vege-
table crops estimating and reporting.







any ti..i: the .....;.. was also unknown in i 1';!'.. in i.. ,i s day. Sim-
ilar le,;.' ..u credit this epochal event to Sir trjancis Drake or to Sir John
Hawkins.
The potato came to Ireland during the last 15 years of the 16th cen-
tury; how it came is uncertain. The Irish took to potatoes- like a cat to
..':p. Climate. and soil of the Emerald Isle were ideal for potato cul-
ture and the people were b:d-,ly in need of additional f-od. Cultivation
spread such that by the 19th century an epidemic of potato b3.li:h1 in i-
47 caused a severe famine. During the 17th and 18th centuries ,:. :'es
were gi:duAllyY introduced into most other countries where they are now
grown. Tvicy were brought back to America in 1719 by Ini:_ ..' ..;. .ts
who settled at Londonderry, New !Iiipshiri. I cig.ti,.n incr .'-.1 as a
result of potato famines in L ur.oi.'.'.
The original word for potato, used by the South .:!..:.. native,
was "papa," a Peruvian word which means "tuber." Th.e .o .: '_: '-." so
generally applied to potatoes, probably comes from the Scottish word
"spud," r,..:-lni a kind of spade or digging folk comiionr.ly used in .I:tti-
vating and har~.~stini potatoes [141.1


PUIPOSL OF STUDY


This potato study is the fifth in a s.?ri.es of historic data com-
pilations. Statistical data on Florida potato production started in
1866 and, with the exception of a brief interval in the 1870--;, are
continuous t;roii\~ 1974. Historic memorabilia of the various areas;
names of area pioneer developers and planters; and those who contribu-
ted in biiii'ingg about constructive methods and chan,:'. are recorded
herein for p!-,-.ierity. Local transition has been quite prcii.:r pecially in the more recent y).as and was brought about by economic
factors. Some localities, once quite promiinent in potato production,
no lon.ngcr produce commercially; in fact, since noii-comiiicrcial produc-
tion. for home use has declined so sharply, some areas are no lone;
credited with po, 'It acre.'gc.


B1rac,'t'! numbers refer to references on pages 128-131.








SOURCE OF DATA


Statistical Records


i;'..a herein presented are documented estimates of acreage, pro-
duction and value or parts thereof. The source of all such data is basi-
cally the same--farmers and allied industry or farm representatives in
the various counties and areas; the documented data are from three ...,i'...
ig n.:i, of government, each given for a specific purpose.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

The Department of Agriculture was established May 15, 1862. L:_i-
dent Abraham Lincoln appointed Isaac Newton Commissioner on July 1, 1862.
The President called it "an agricultural and statistical bureau" [37].
The Division of Statistics.--This agency was established in the :.i:;r-
of 1863; the first monthly reports were started July 10, 1863. Lewis
Bollman, an Illinois farmer, headed the infant division. Dartmouth ':r> :ig.
awarded Bollman an honorary A. M. degree in 1879. Besides being a -
er, he had wide experience as a teacher and journalist [37].
It is interesting to note that potatoes were covered in the first re-
port. Regular reports of condition, acreage, yield per acre and piodu.l.-
tion were developed in 1866 under the Chief Statistician, Jacob R. Rod:.
Florida's first estimate of potato acreage, production and value was
made that year.
These data, 1866-71, are presented in acreages of less than 1,000
in their reported form except that yield and production were converted
to hundredweight (cwt.) and the price per unit derived on the cwt.
'.. from the origiiill value. This unit value cannot be rv'u.--.,it~iive
for it is based on the price of potatoes on December 1. fo,' ..ely,
Florida had few potatoes, if any, available for market at that time of
the year. However, reporting prices as of December 1 was a national
policy which continued through 1908 (Table 1); then the season av'-,m-?: pic.e
per unit, received by farmers, was adopted as the basis for determini.--.
v..i:.; of production and *-.les. '1ll data for years 18o6-71 were d~.pp~A
from Lihe ;i":,.it.. estimates in a revision to hundrcdwveights, a'-.,ordiig
to data in Statistical Bulletin No. 251, released by the Agricultural
Marketing Service, USDA, in June 1959 [37].










Table 1.--Florida I rl;, politoct': Acrie;ce, production ond valuin, 1i86 through .L908, available crol) yo'aro
D eC. A Vititru
Crop your Acrerrg Ylr ProlIuction price prI of
Pllrtord U'rMr per' acreL cwt. production
Acres Acres Cwt. wvt. -L''A !-'.
1865-G6a NA 82 113 9,233 .09 9,096
1866-67 104 87 9,000 1.31 11,819
1867-68 163 66 10,800 2.11 22,768
1868-09 400 45 18,000 2.25 40,412

1869-70 133 45 6,000 1.72 10,323
1870-71 132 44 5,820 2.89 16,836
1871-72 NA NA NA NA NA
1878-79 NA NA NA NA NA

1879-80 NA NA NA NA NA
l. .,-'1 1,000 35 35,000 .92 32,000
1881-82 2,000 38 77,000 1.58 122,000
1882-83 2,000 10 60,000 1.50 90,000
1883-84 2,000 38 77,000 1.83 141,000

1884-85 2,000 36 72,000 1.67 120,000
1885-86 2,000 36 72,000 1.67 120,000
1886-87 2,000 35 70,000 1.67 116,000
1887-88 2,000 40 80,000 1.53 123,000
1888-89 1,000 37 37,000 1.17 .43,000

1889-90 1,000 32 32,000. 1.62 51,000
1890-91 1,000 31 31,000 1.50 47,000
1891-92 2,000 35 71,000 1.25 88,000
1892-93 2,000 38 77,000 1.95 150,000
1893-94 2,000 38 77,000 1.25 96,000

1894-95 3,000 32 05,000 1.'67 159,000
1895-96 3,000 43 130,000 1.40 181,000
1896-97 3,000 44 133,000 2.00 266,000
1897-93 4,000 28 113,000 2.00 228,000
1898-99 4,000 37 149,000 2.07 303,000

1899-00 4,000 36 144,000 1.77 254,000
1900-01 5,000 38 189,000 2.15 406,000
1901-02 5,000 43 213,000 2.03 433,000
1902-03 5,000 46 231,000 2.10 485,000
1903-04 6,000 53 I ?,." 2.15 681,000

1304-05 7,000 53 374,000 2.00 748,000
1005-06 8,000 48 384,000 1.83 704,000
1906-07 8,000 49 389,000 1.58 616,000
1907-08 8,000 49 394,000 2.25 888,000

aSource: [34).
bso'urce, (351.

In. 162 the employment of part-time state statistical agents was a

major step in developing the statistical service. Perhaps this delay ac-

counts for the fact there were no statistics on Florida potatoes duJrinn:

the period 1.7-t:J.

liie .ure.au of St..itistics.--stablished on July 1, 1903, the oi.i-.,i

of Statistics resulted from the merger of the Division of Statistics and

thie Division of Foreign Markets. The Crop Reporting Board was established

in 3.JiS; that year can be viewed as the end of the founding days of agri-

cultul;ral estimates. A period of growth (1905-50) followed.









The i .Lu of Crop Estimates.--It became the official title .--. the
crop estimates program on July 1, 1914; an office was set up for most
states. (In 1920 the name "state statistical agent" was dropped and the
title of "statistician" was adopted.) With the 1914 change in title, re-
ports.on two important vegetables, cabbage and onions, were started. In
1916 coverage was extended to include potatoes (though annual estimates
by states go back to 1866) and several vegetable crops; cotton forecasts
during the producing season started in 1915. Commercial potato production
estimates were continued after the World War I armistice on November 11,
1918 and were expanded to include monthly potato stock reports.
The Bureau of Markets and Crop Estimates,--This bureau, established
in 1921, was but an intermediate step in the goal of its chief, Henry
C. Taylor. His ultimate objective was to combine all activities rel.-ti.*
to agricultural economics in one bureau.
The Bureau of Agricultural Economics (BAE).--The BAE was formally es-
tablished on July 1, 1922, under authority of the Agricultural Appropria-
tions Act. The Crop and Livestock Estimates Division (CLED) had the
responsibility indicated, which included potato production estimates;
W. F. Callander was appointed the division chief in 1923. Statisticians
in the various state offices of this division of BAE were responsible for
gath-.ring data, analyzing, editing and estimating acreage and for-c.i: f ~ 0
production for the Crop Reporting Board's adoption and national release.
After the end o2 the season these and shipments of record, prices received,
etc., were evaluated for estimates of the season's acreage, production and
value. At first, these estimates were in bushels but were later converted
to cwt. Seasonal and area brea:l,Josns Ycre made under BAE.

During the period when the CLED was under the BAE, FlorJ, potato
growers were confronted with many economic situations. The Florida land
"boom" was one; disaster struck in the October 29, 1929 stock market
crash, which touched off the longest and most severe depression the U. S.
ever experienced. Potato prices were depressed along with all other
farm commodity prices to the l]otst level in the 20th century. 7T:'e low
$1.38 average per cwt. in 19)3 was second only to the $1.17 in 1958,
all other averages in the 20th century have been higher. The Agricul-
tural Adjustment Act (AAA) became law when passed by the Congress and








signed into law by the President on May 12, 1933, Various .- .y
measures were activated. On August 4, 1935, potatoes were added to the
list of controlled crops (see Marketing, page 95). State statistic .-ins
were responsible at first for state and county acreage estimates, but
later AAA set up its own state and county organizations which relieved
BAE of much responsibility. The Dust Bowl of 1934 in the Great 1 li,
did not affect Florida other than in its adverse effects on the national
economy. On January 6, 1936 AAA was declared unconstitu .in.,.; by the
U. S. Supreme Court, but the concept it represented was reactivated in 54
days.
The Agricultural Marl.eting Service (AJ.S),--On October 6, .-38, ci l
replaced BAE as the organization under which the Division of "'r- and
Livestock Fstimates functioned; its name was changed to A:-i i:.rtural
Statistics Division (ASD). Florida growers marketed a lar;.' ... of po-
tatoes in 1938 at the lowest average price ($1.17 per cwt.) of any .,.-.
since the depression started. 'Potato prices averaged low th!,.:.l the
early years of World War II, but began an upward swing in 1942. ..-ld
War II started in Europe on September 1, 1939. The U. S. eintir was
after Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Reorganization of the various
branches of USDA followed.
The Bureau of Agricultural Economics (BAE),--Again BAE was the aerc'
(1942) under which the Agricultural Statistics Division (ASD) was to
function. On July 1, 1942, W. F. Callander relinquished his or ;.tion as
head of ASD to become head statistician for Florida. ASD was respoi-.ibhle
for estimates and forecasts during a period when food for U. S. citizens
was secondary torequirements for members of the armed forces. ;li-War
Food Administration had to think of U. S. needs in those categories as
well as help feed our allies. Germiany surrendered May 7, and Japan on
August 14, 1945.
BAE was reorganized by Memorandum 1139, dated December 12, :...4"
from the Secretary of Agriculture. Oris V. Wells was named Ciicf of the
Bureau on May 16, 1946 and W. F. Callander, who had relinquis1-ed the
reins of the Florida office to statistician J. C. Townsend and returned
to WaFiiington to head the 1945 Census of Agriculture, was brought back
to BAE as chairman of the Crop Reporting Board. The six new divisions
of the ASD reported to him. Increased demand for more frequent, accurate








and detailed reports brought about a most significant development in ag-
ricultural estimates during the 'forties and 'fifties. Potatoes in Flor;id
were mostly enumerated after 1945 in accordance with a work agreement in
which the Department of Agricultural Economics of the Florida Agricultural
Experiment Stations, University of Florida, collaborated in the BAE-ASD
work performance in Florida. This writer was selected as the leader of
this project in November 1945 with work supervised by the Statistician
in Charge of the Florida field office of BAE. Potato production estimates
were still in bushel units. County and area data were made available to
those demanding improved reports on vegetable, melon and potato production
in Florida.
The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS),--Under Ezra Taft Benson,
Secretary of Agriculture, the new AMS was the result of the reorganizatl.V'
of 1953 in which BAE and the Production and Marketing Administration (PMv,.'
were abolished. Agricultural estimates added cold storage reports; ther-
wise, it was pretty much as it was under BAE. The name was changed to
Agricultural Estimates Division (AED). The six divisions of BAE became
branches in the new organization.
With the 1955 Census revisions, potato estimates of production
shifted from bushels to hundredweight. In 1959 data for all prior years
from 1881 through 1953 were converted and published in cwt. with acres and
value unchanged. The price received was on the new "price per cwt."
basis. These data, on the new basis, are available in Statistical Bulle-
tin No. 251, released by AMS-AED Fruit and Vegetable Branch in June 1959.
In 1955 the non-commercial potato estimate, called "Farm Early," was
incorporated into the Spring-"Other,." (commercial acreage) and was.so ad-
justed for prior years back through 1949. Now there were only two
seasonal groupings--winter and spring--but spring was divided into the
Hastings area and "Other." These data are presented in Tables 2, 3, 4,
5 and 6. The "Farn. Early" estimates are shown in Table 7.
"A Program for the Development of the Agricultural Estimating
Service" was presented to the Secretary of Agriculture and to Congress
in February 1957. It provided in Project A for additional and improved
estimates of acreage, yield and production of major crops and livestock
numbers by species at the county, state and national levels. The program
did not do away with the old methods but they were augmented by a system






8



Table 2.--Florida Irilh potatoes: Acreage planted, crop ycars 1929-1974, and acreage harvested, yleld, .... dlspBedtlo
and vltte for crop years 1908-09 through 173-74
t%" if'( | ... l. '.__ si ll __ -~ 1. .OL... .. ...
Si- i.eld Protduc- Li I Ir il
r Planted liar- per tion .. Production per Produc- Sales
vested aPre total I ., i ,; -... i sold cwt. tion
home use ond loss -


1908-09

1909-10
1910-11
1911-12
1012-13
1913-14

1914-15
1915-16
1916-17
1917-18
P319-19

1919-20
1920-21
1921-22
1922-23
1923-24


'*'-.^..Acres-*-"
9,000

10,000
10,000
11,000
12,000
13,000

13,000
15,000
23,000
28,000
18,000

23,000
17,000
'27,000
21,000
29,000


1924-25 23,000
1925-26 24,000
1926-27 29, u)(.
1927-28 -'.2 00
1928-29 24,000 23,500

1929-30 33,300 32,800
1930-31 29,800 29,300
1931-32 23,800 23,300
1932-33 19,800 19,300
1933-34 26,900 26,400

1934-35 28,600 28,000
1935-36 29,400 28,900
1936-37 36,300 35,800
1937-38 35,900 35,400
1938-39 31,200 30,700

1939-40 31,600 29,100
1940-41 30,600 30,100
1941-42 28,000 28,000
1942-43 32,600 30,600
1943-44 33,900 32,500

1944-45 35,400 35,000
1945-46 i,'nO J, ',3(00
1946-47 29,400 26,100
1947-48 24,000 22,900
1948-49 -2,100 21,800

1949-50 24,900 24,00
1950-51 24,300 24,200
1951-52 31,300 30,600
1952-53 42,400 41,500
1953-54 32,800 32,800


56
58
68.
79
76

92
67
88
73'
S64

91
95
74
97
147

136
156
150
148
178


-.,. ... .00 rwi..---- ------- Dollars 1, ,'l,0 doli -r.',


545 19 5 521 2.22 1,209


456
516
034
756
803

702
720
1,028
1,932
1,069

1,325
979
1,782
1,159
1,531

1,711
1,699
1,827
2,400
1,636

1,535
2,268
965
1,471
2,170

1,562
1,664
2,449
2,782
2,321

2,689
2,005
2,470
2,222
2,067

3,171
3,749
1,942
2,212
3,205

3,351
3,774
4,589
6,144a
5,839


5 432 2.02 920
5 489 1.98 1,023
13 592 2.40 1,521
18 711 2.08 1,576
16 762 2.28 .1,834

14 666 1.87 1,.
14 680 2.43 1,752
49 1,542 4.25 6,921
58 1,828 2.33 4,508
22 1,029 3.40 3,635

26 1,274 6.62 6,766
20 941 3.33 3,264
53 1,695 2,75 4,900
23 1,120 3.67 4,280
31 1,483 3.55 5,436

34 1,652 2.90 4,962
34 1,644 5.07 8,609
37 1,736 3.13 5,725
48 2,342 2.50 6,000
33 1,551 2.97 4,852

16 1,484 3.07 4,707
46 2,157 1.78 4,045
19 906 2.12 2,042
29 1,375 1.38 '2,034
87 2,003 1.88 4,087

41 1,448 1.72 2,682
50 1,531 2.42 4,022
73 2,288 2.17 5,305
97 2,569 1.17 3,246
81 2, t 1.80 4,177

80 2,518 1.52 4,078
50 1,883 1.50 3,007
62 2,319 2.57 6,339
56 2,080 3.23 7,184
41 1,951 3.32 6,856

64 3,025 3.97 12,578
75 3,593 3.28 12,311
58 1,815 2.65 5,145
55 2,098 4.18 9,254
32 3,132 3.84 12,321

34 3,288 2.80 9,379
30 3,704 3.08 11,599
23 4,53.5 4.11 18,877
32 5,859 2.06 15,747
49 5,755 2.52 14.727


aSee footnote, p. 9.


of added indications based on a probability sample. Project B provided

for strengthening agricultural price statistics. Project C asked for ac-

celerated reporting. Project A was funded and made operational in 11

states on July 1, 1960.


1,156

872
970
1,420
1,481
1,740

1,244
1,654
6,559
4,266
3,501

8,428
3,138
4,661
4,105
5,265

4,792
8,330
5,441
5,856
4,601

4,552
3,848
1,916
1,~02
j .


2,485
3,702
4,956
3,020
3,859

3,818
2.822
5,954
6,728
6,468

12,000
11,796
4,808
8,777
12,037

9,208
11,417
18,655
15,583
14,514

Coi.In i j









Tale 2.--Florila. Irish potatoes: Acreage planted, crop ytiars 1929-1974, and acreage harvested, yield, production, disposition
and value for crop years 1908-09 through 1973-74 --Contlirved
Aer.i e Flim disposiion Value of
Yieldi Produc- Used on fir nis3 Price
Crop Planted per tion where own Prrluction per Produc-
year Pla vestntd acre otal Feed, eedhrinlag sold cwt. tlon
home use I and loss
-------Acree ------- Cwt. ---------- 1 wt. ---------- Dollars I~n dol. rs
1951-55 38,500 38,000 160 6,080 32 49 5,990 3.99 24,279 23,,10
1955-56 42,500 41,700 162 6,766 26 37 6,703 3.65 2-1,723 24,476
1956-57 57,000 54,300 140 7,610a 20 40 7,016 1.97 13,910 13,796
1957-58 49,900 44,400 135 5,977a 14 53 5,515 2. 6 14,744 14,588
1958-59 37,700 37,000 133 4,916" 9 60 4,599 2.81 13,127 12,934

1959-60 37,500 37,300 122 4,535 9 24 4,502 3.92 17,794 17,668
1960-61 34.700 34,100 170 5,810 9 45 5,756 2.28 13,251 13,122
1961-62 30,600 30,500 152 4,633a 8 26 4,599 3.11 14,396 14,290
1962-63 35,200 35,100 179 6,268a 10 33 6,212 2.50 15,611 15,50-1
1963-64 33,100 32,700 158 5,180 4 45 5,131 3.69 19,128 18,948

1961-65 41,800 41,200 148 6,082 4 26 6,053 4.70 28,6&1 28,462
1965-66 44,800 43,500 134 6,294 5 29 6,260 3.52 '22,162 22,042
1966-67 45,000 36,100 132 4,778 5 20 4,753 3.50 16,709 16,624
1967-68 43,300 41,900 162 6,767 4 29 6,734 3.40 22,992 22,880
1968-69 41,900 40,400 180 7,264 4 23 7,237 3.10 22,487 22,402

1969-70 37,700 36,700 162 5,936 4 25 5,907 3.88 23,055 22,938
1970-71 36,400 36,300 134 4,862 4 22 4,836 4.00 19,438. 19,332
1971-72 33,700 32,600 141 4,606 3 21 4,582 3.46 15,933 15,850
1972-73 30,200 30,200 182* 5,510 3 31 5,476 5.49 30,275 30,089
1973-74 31,300 30,900 179 5,533 3 27 5,503 7.72 42,733 42,491

aIncludes production not marketed for economic reasons: 1953, 218,000 cwt.; 1957, 534,000 cwt. 1958, 395,000 owt.L
1959, 248,000 cwt.; 1962, 13,000 cwt.; and 1963, 13,000 owt.

Source: [35,36],


The Statistical Reporting Service (SRS).--This new agency was co:mi, ..:

of AED, the CRB, the Statistical Standards Division (SSD) and the Market

Surveys Branch of the Market Research Division. Both SRS and the newly

crc-ated Agricultural Research Service (ERS) became effective April 3, 1 l

under the guidance of the Director of Agricultural Economics, Willard W,

C,-chrane (administratively at the level of Assistant Secretary). Harry

C. Trelogan was appointed Administrator of SRS (Dr. Trelogan retired

July 1, 1975). SRS-AED was made up of five branches concerned with crop

and livestock estimates. Potato acreage and forecasts of production are

reported to the Field Crops Statistics Branch, but it is closely affiliated

with the Fruit and Vegetable Statistics Branch; potato prices received

are reported to the Agricultural Price Statistics Branch [37].

The opening of the Washington Data Processing Center accelerated

the mechanics of processing data from the field rapidly. The original

objective was to measure agricultural production. Most potato data in

Florida have been obtained by a direct interview in person or by mailed

questionnaire or telephone. Lists of commercial growers are kept up-to-


















Table 3. -.Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage, production, value and farm disposition, winter 1928 through 1974

Avren e Yield Prod ucc .-- ** Price '11lu. of
1iar- per tion per
Season Planted .. Pr. : Produc-
Sesnvested acre tota-llrn,.r- sod W. tales


-----Acres------- Cwt.

1928 6,000 30
1929 2,500 2,400 46

1930 4,100 4,000 54
1931 3,300 3,100 51
1932 2,500 2,500 50
1933 1,600 1,600 81
1934 4,700 4,600 96

1935 5,500 5,400 841
1936 6,900 6,500 62
1937 9,900 9,800 87
1938 12,000 11,800 87
1939 10,200 10,000 87

1940 11,700 9,500 54
1911 10,000 9,800 75
1912 8,600 8,600 99
1943 9,200 9,200 90
1944 11,200 10,500 66

1945 12,100 11,800 138
1946 14,800 13,600 105
1947 12,000 10,300 73
1948 8,100 7,300 123
1949 9,000 8,700 159

1950 10,100 9,800 150
1951 8,600 8,500 153
1952 11,300 10,700 141
1953 15,200 15,000 159
1951 11,600 11,600 183

1955 12,800 12,800 180
1956 16,300 16,000 173
1957 25,000 23,000 140
1958 17,500 13,500 98
1959 12,500 12,000 155

1960 10,000 10,000 110
1961 10,200 9,700 135
1962 7,300 7,200 185
1963 8,400 8,300 155
1916 7,500 7,400 160

1985 10,100 10,000 145
1966 11,300 10,900 145
1967 12,000 11,900 180
1968 11,700 11,400 175
1969 12,200 11,000 180

1970 11,000 10,300 158
1971 10,900 10,900 140
1972 10,400 9,700 140
1973 9,100 9,100 195
1974 9,500 9,300 190


------------

150
111


SCwt---------- .,-l.r .' d lys
3.50 525
3,67 407


4.17 900
3.08 488
2.50 312
1.50 194
2.00 883


454
406
853
1,027
870

513
735
852
828
693

1,628
1,428 2
748 1
898 1
1,383 2

1,470 1
1,300 2
1,5.1 1
2,385 1
2,123 1

2,301 1
2,768 1
3,220a 1
1,296 1
1,860a 1

1,100 1
1,310 1
1,332 1
1,286 1
1,184 1

1,150 1
1,580 1
2,142 1
1,995 1
1,980 1

1,627 1
1,526 1
1,358 1
1,775
1,767


2.12 960
2.17 879
2.80 2,132
1.17 1,198
2.08 1,812

2.17 ,M12
1.58 1,164
2.58 2,199
3.25 2,691
4.75 3,292

4.17. 6,785
4 1,422 3.83 -,, ". 5,446
1 746 3.33 2,492 2,466
3 894 4.50 4,039 4,023
14 1,367 3.92 5,421 5,350

15 1,451 2.86 4,204 4,158
6 1,292 3.75 4,875 4,845
8 1,532 4.34 6,688 6,619
12 2,372 3.06 7,298 7,258
11 2,111 2.32 4,925 4,898

12 2,291 4.09 9,423 9,370
14 2,753 3.76 10,408 10,351
17 2,912 2.14 6,334 6,296
6 1,289 4.75 6,156 6,123
29 1,770 2.33 4,194 4,124

7 1,092 4.65 5,115 5,078
16 1,293 2.85 3,734 3,685
8 1,323 2.90 3,863 3,837
6 1,279 2.92 3,755 3,735
7 1,176 4.33 6,127 5,092

6 1,443 5.50 7,975 7,937
8 1,571 4.39 6,936 6,897
6 2,135 3.90 8,354 8,327
7 1,987 3.90 7,781 7,749
6 1,973 3.80 7,524 7,497

8 1,618 5.02 8,168 8,122
8 1,517 4.60 7,020 6,978
7 1,350 3.95 5,364 5,333
10 1,765 6.35 11,271 11,208
10 1,757 10.20 1,, 0?J 17,921


aIncludes prcd.ioulcu.. n.:., I., .c : ic-I k.r economic reasons 1957, 260,000 cwt. and 1I59, 60,0u0 cat

Source: 35, 36).







11

Tablo 4. --Florida Iriih po|itoes: Acre;,;C, pri'(tucloni value aund farinm l;lpoliton (commcrehl), sprhlng 1i28 thro iigh 9'I4


YI Seas on Ppold l per tion .. ,_,,j I._ Prodiuction per Proluc-
vested re total I., -."I...,. sold cwt. Hona
-lim is ::I Sl Cild l.s


--------Acres -------

26,000
19,6(00

27,400 27,000
24,200 23,900
19,500 19,000
15,900 15,400
19,300 18,900

19,800 19,400
18,100 18,000
21,900 21,500
19,900 19,600
17,000 16,700

16,400 16,100
17,300 17,000
16,400 16,400
19,400 17,400
18,800 18,100

19,400 19,300
22,000 21,700
11,100 12,800
13,700 13,100
13,100 13,100

11,800 14,800
15,700 15,700
20,000 19,900
27,200 26,300
21,200 21,200

25,700 25;200
26,200 25,700
32,000 31,300
32,400 30,900
25,200 25,000

27,500 27,300
21,500 24,400
23,300 23,300
23,800 26,800
25,600 25,300

31,700 31,200
33,500 32,600
33,000 24,200
31,600 30,500
29,700 29,100

26,700 26,100
25,500 25,100
23,300 22,900
21,100 21,100
21,800 21,600


Cwt.. --------------- o w--------------- Dollars 1000 dollars

84 2,188 2.40 5,260
74 1,447 2.92 4,212


1,272
1,981
786
1,216
1,533

989
1,109
1,118
1,498
1,208

1,971
1,143
1,442
1,237
1,231

1,393
2,178
1,069
1,209
1,822


1,881 28
2,4174 38
3,018 30
3,759a 34
3,716 34

3,776 31
3,998 25
4,3900a 19
4,681a 13
3,0566 8

3,435 8
4,500 8
3,301 7
4,982a 9
3,996 3

4,632 3
1,714 '4
2,636 4
4,772 3
5,281 3


1,309
3,336
3,248
3,735
3,760


2.88
1.68
1) 22.08
1.38
1.83

1.56
2.50
1.97
1.18
1.62

1.35
1.43
2.57
3,22
2.55

3,77
2.88
2.17
3.92
39 18 1,765 3.79


1,834 2.75
2,412 2.72
3,003 4.00
3,487 2.39
3,644 2.64

3,708 3.93
3,950 3.58
4,074 1.84
4,226 2.00
2,829 3.11

3,410 3,69
4,463 2.11
3,276 3.19
4,933 2.38
3,955 3.50

4,610 4.45
4,689 3.23
2,618 3,17
1,, 0' 3.19
5,264 2,83


17 4,289 3.45
14 3,319 3.72
11 3,232 3.25
21 3,711 5.09
17 3,746 6.56


3,668
3,328
1,635
1,676
2,810

1,544
2,773
2,795
1,762
1,962

2,654
1,639
3,702
3,084
3,141

5,248
0,270
2,317.
4,733
6,900

5,175
6,724
12,189
8,419
9,802

14,856
14,315
7,576
8,588
8,933

12,679
9,517
10,533
11,856
14,001

20,629
15,226
8,355
15,211
14,963


14,8,7
12,418
10,569
19,004
24,710


5,050
6,572
12,006
8,325
9,616

14,570
14,125
7,500
8,465
8,810

12,590
9,437
10,453
11,769
13,856

20,526
15,115
8,297
15,131
14,905

14,816
12,354
10,517
18,881
24,570


a"Icludes production not matrklted for economic reasons: 1953, 218,000 cwt; 1957, 274,000 cwt.; 1958, 395,000 owt.
1959, 188,000 cut.; and 1963, 13,000 cwt.

Source 135,36).











Tablo 5. --fl},'lnorI: Irish poilttoes A1creagc, prlyuction, value and farm (lipositiont sprlin3, !H:r: s Iti:R, 19298 tIhol;tah 3 7



Seasn I d Ilr- per tlon 'r.__.' .' ."'_. Production pI'r P'roduc-
vested icrp otal -.-i,- .i I .. sold cwt. (on


----------c- ---------------- i. ii.,<-- .L."" *..I -.1


21,500 90 1,935
16,100 15,800 78 1,233


22,800
18,600
15,400
12,800
14,900

15,900
14,900
16,200
15,200
13,200

12,200
13,000
12,000
14,000
13,000

12,000
12,500
11,000
10,300
9,800

11,200
12,500
15,500
19,500
17,000

21,000
21,000
23,000
25,500
21,500


22,500
18,000
15,000
12,500
14,600

15,600
14,800
16,000
15,000
13,000

12,000
12,800
12,000
12,000
13,000

12,000
12,400
9,500
10,200
9,900

11,200.
12,500
15,500
19,300
17,000

21,000
21,000
26,000
25,500
21,500


23,000 22,800
21,000 2'1,000
20,700 20,700
24,600 24,600
24,000 23,800


27,800
30,500
30,000
28,300
26,500


27,800
30,000
21,600
27,400
26,300


24,700 24,500
23,100 23,000
21,300 .2 li)
19,000 19,000
t9,000 18,600


1930
1931
1932
1933
1934

1935
1936
1937
1938
1939

1940
1941
1942
1943
1944

1945
1910
1947
1948
1949

1950
1951
1952
1933
1954

1955
1956
1957
1958
1959


2.40 4,644
2,92 3,594

2.92 2,992
1.73 2,650
2.17 1,365
1.40 1,418
1.83 2,280

1.58 1,260
2.50 2,265
2.00 2,131
1.20 1,361
1.70 1,631

1.33 2,208
1.50 1,267
2.58 2,076
3.33 3,000
2.50 2,535

3.83 3,257
3.08 4,359
2.17 1,841
4,17 4,080
3 15 1,497 3.75 5,681


40 1,029
82 1,529
42 630
81 1,013
85 1,244

51 795
61 90D
67 1,065
76 1,1331
74 060

138 1,656
66 845
96 1,152
75 000
78 1,014

71 800
114 1,414
89 850
96 979
153 1,515

141 1,579
171 2,138
168 2,604
153 2,953a
186 3,162

159 3,339
168 3,528
145 3,770a
155 3,952"
125 2,688a

125 2,850
190 3,900
145 3,002
190 4,674
160 3,808

155 4,309
145 4,350
110 2,376
160 4,384
185 4,866

165 4,043
132 3,n01.
142 ,;..
180 3,420
175 3,200


2.78 4,390
2.79 6,965
3.98 10,364
2,42 6,861
2.66 8,411

3.85 12,855
3.49 12,313
1.85 6,604
1.96 7,134
3.08 7,700

3.80 10,830
2.09 8,330
3.19 9,578
2.38 11,124
3,43 33,061

4.30 18,529
3.24 14,091
3.15 7,484
3.16 13,853
2.80 13.625


3.40 13, 16
3.70 11,233
3.25 0,737
5.05 17,271
6.10 20,069


"Inclihids productlop not nmarkltcd for economic reanons 19j13, 118,000 cwt.; 1957, 200,000 cwt.; 1.958, 312,000 cwt.
and 1959, 188,000 cwt.

Source: (35, 36].


1,561
2,115
2,589
2,819


3, 05
3,509
3,553
3,599
2,472

2,835
3,967
2,086
4,649
3,770

4,291
4,330
2,363
4,363
4,850

4,027
3,023
2,98 3
3,-100
3,275


4,340
5,901
10,304
6,822
'8, 323

12,724
12,246
6,573
7,054
7,614

10,773
8,291
9,525
11,0: 5
12,931

18,451
14,079
7, 113
13,787
13, 80


13,602
11,185
9,685
17,170
190978






13

TaIbl IIv 6. -FInrlIll irin II I II | kll ,..; Mut110 |''', )ii iki t 9hroulh 1! 1


1At' 1 ln r | tio l,'"r,.... ,,:: ; I I'Ui, P e, r P ru .. .. .
.. ..-'('.II ..... '.. '. .. .' ... ........ IIl .1 .. 8
a eio tlot:i p '>'d iriik:i, sold I (cwVt. tion


.-----..- Acres----.-- E. ----.---------. 1 I. ... Dollar I. ( dollars

1912 4, '00 56O 25 2.43 61 i .
31920 3,900 3, 800 56 214, 2. 8) 611

19300 ,00 4,r500 55 214 2.75 67G
1931 5,-100 5,300 85 452 3.50 678
1932 41,100 4,000 311 105 1.73 270
1933 3,100 2,000 70 203 1.27 258
1931 4,400 4,300 67 289 1.83 530

1935 3,900 3,800 51 1!t1 1.47 2&8
193: 3, 2O 3,200 65 203 2.50 508
1937 5,700 5,500 64 353 1.88 661
1938 1,700 4,60O 79 3614 1.10 401
193f 3,800 3,700 67 248 1.33 331

1910 4,200 4,100 77 315 1.12 446
1911 4,300 4,200 71 298 1.25 372
112 .1,400 4,400 66 200 2.50 726
19,13 5,400 5,40f 62 337 2.92 981
19 .l 5,800 5,100 43 220 2.75 600

1915 7,400 7,300 74 543 3.67 1, 9i1
19 1; 9,5E00 9,300 82 761 2.50 1,011
1917 3,400 3,300 06 220 2.17 476
1918 3:,400 3,200 72 230 2. f8 653
1919 3,200 3,200 96 307 36 3 268 3.97 1,219 1,061

1950 3, 3,3,600 84 302 26 3 273 2. O 785 710
1951 3,200 3,200 105 330 36 3 297 2.26 769 671,
1952 4,500 4,400 101 444 28 2 414 4.11 1,825 1,702
1953 7,700 7,200 112 So0G 33 5 608 2.25 1,508 1,503
1951 41,200 4,200 132 551 43 6 615 2.51 1,391 1,293,

1955 1,700 4,200 104 437 30 4 403 4.56 2,001 1, 46
3050 5,200 4,700 100 470 24 5 441 4.26 2,002 1,879
1957 6,000 5,300 117 620' 38 7 521 1.78 072 927
3958 6,000 5,400 135 729a 12 7 627 2.25 1,451 1.411
1950 3,700 3,500 305 308 7 4 357 3.35 1,233 1,196

1' O 1,500 4,500 130 585 7 3 575 3.10 1,849 1,817
1961 3,500 3,400 150 '510 7 7 490 2.31 1,178 1,146
1903 2,600 2,600 115 299 ii 3 290 3.20 957 928
0190 2,200 2,200 140 3081" 8 3 .281 2.48 732 704
1964 1,600 1,500 125 188 2 1 185 5.00 940 925

1965 3,900 3,400 95 323 2 2 319 6.50 2,100 2,074
1966 3,000 2,600 140 304 3 2 359 3.11 1,132 1,116
1967 3,000 2,000 100 260 3 2 255 3.35 871 854
1963 3,300 3,100 125 388 2 2 384 3.50 1,358 1,344
1969 3,200 3,100 135 418 2 2 414 3.20 1,338 1,325

1970 2,000 1,900 140 266 2 2 262 4,29 1,141 1,124
1971 2,400 2,400 125 300. 2 2 290 3.95 1,185 1,169
1972 2,000 1,800 140 252 1 2 2490 .30 832 822
1973 2,100 2,1001 150 315 .4 3 311 5.50 1,733 1,711
1974 2,800 2,800 170 476 1 4 471 9.7.5 4,041. 4,592


l'ncltides production not marketld for economic rcasonat 1953, 100,000 cwt.; 1957, 71,000 cwt.; 1958, 83, 000 cwt;
and 1003, 13,000 cwt,


Sourc(e [35, 361.














Table 7. --Florkit I rlill, piottoe: (theItr early (non-commillrclal), 1923-21 through 1947-18

Vloli per Total Price pet
Crop year production cwt.
in lla\ee)td 0 Ped on cat.
I _I ]_, ._._t ~


1923-24

1024-25
1925-26
1926-27
1027-28
1928-29

1029-30
1930-31
1931-32
1932-33
1933-34

1934-35
1935-36
1930-37
1937-38
1938-39

1939-40
1940-41
1941-42
1942-43
1943-44

1944-45
1045-46
1046-47


..-------.. Aercs -------. ---

1,000


1,500

1,800
2,300
1,800
2,300
2,900

3,200
4,400
4,500
4,000
4,000

3,500
3,300
3,000
4,000
3,900

3,00
4,000
3,000
2,200


1,100
900
1,000
1,000
1,500

1,800
2,300
1,800
2,300
2,900

3,200
4,400
4,500
4,000
4,000

3, 500
3,300
3,000
4,000
3,900

3,900

3,000
2,000


53

82
64
63
62
78

47
129
54
125
195

119
119
178
257
243

205
127
176
157
140

150
143
125


NA




3.47
2.99

2.96
1.78
1.75
1.31
2.01

1.50
2.48
2.12
1,11
1.66

1.52
1,61
2,49
3.24
3.02

3,63
3.06
2.69


Value




NA




215
233

139
229

104
394

178
370
378
286
403

S312
204
438
509
423

545
567
336
482


All subsequent non-connmercial are combined with spring "Other."

Source: (361.


date. As a result, a nearly complete eniuaeration has been made: ; .

most years. As the marketing season becomes active, shipments are noted.

During late March, April and May, when there are shipments from three

areas of separate seasonal estimates, origins of shipments are tabulated

from roadguard passing to provide weights for measuring the accuracy o.

forecasts. Revisions are made after yields are obtained in end-of-season

surveys wherein growers' are contacted for records of acreaI,:-, production

and monthly sales. Th'cse data are weighted against shipnimen l' c,' record

to achieve higher accuracy for the Florida estimates. Tables 8 and 9 and

Figure 1 compare the U. S. and Florida production. HowLve.r, Florida's

iriportance stems not from amount of production but from the chronological

fact that the Sunshiit State is the only source of fieshl potatoes to meet

the demands of the many consumers who prefer "new" potatoes ,'-r their










T ; nmblo 'A .-. U Irifilh po IhniocH : Aer,'i,; pvf )d; i v .t',-l J

S Average p,"'.od P 1"'... '-- ..

A ft'A. e L'3re"

1 1940-50 through 1053-54 1,499,440 1,4178,560

2 31954-55'throuh 1958-59 1,412,280 1,378,1300

3 1959-60 through 1963-64 1,387,480 1,361,080

4 1964-65 through 1968-69 1,457,440 1,420,880

5 1969-70 through 1073-74 1,385,380 1,351,400


195

233


-" o .*e :;,r' ptio")d ~-! --!-----i- r-: i



I ,0()00 t._ .,1 ) (0 o1l.
222,549 2,17 477,402

245,063 1.86 454,376

265,385 .2.06 536,543

302,387 2.18 654,0 4

3163114 3.20 1,007,841


Table 9.--Florida Irish potatoes: Acrena:e, producl.ioni and volue iO av Iaige a oI fiv -yea po '; i r19 0 1h ronhJ1 1973-'i 74

Area e Yil'd Pro Average period pla nee per tcre hdve' ij p. .; (f

Acres Acce s v I I, 0-00. .Lu t.00 d b .
1 1949-50 through 1953-54 31,140 30,740 154 4,696 3,03 14,086

2 1954-55 through 1958-59 45,120 43,080 146 6,034 301 18,151

3 1959-60 through 1963-64 34,220 33,940 .56 5,280 3.10 16,036

4 1964-65 through 1968-69 43,360 40,620 151. 6,237 3.64 22,591

5 1969-70 through 1973-74 33,860 33,340 160 5,289 4.91 26,282


Source: 136].


Period


(1) F ltouida 2. 1% 1



(2) Florida 2.5% i0 S .
'1 ._____ ,.----l. ___________ .~~.ll--..~






(4) Florida 2. 117,
(4) \ii-jh7.. ..._..._.Ij. -

F lorid', 2,7

() Fl or i da 1. 7'/1j -


50 300 150 200 250 300




Figure 1 Floritda In .1h pot a toie F lo ri da product io)~n emip'ared wi(h t 11U 1l'roduccltoin Ju periols of five -yeour gyia','
15 19-50 tO, 'otlgh 1973-74


__ 1._~_1_-_~~~_1~._1_


~_1~~--1__----^1^1~1.11








tables. '"i Florida potato 'cop also becomes av;, .'e *' ,
usually when the old stocks are becoming depletedearlier than potatoes
grown .. :-h! else in the United States.



Other Sources of Nuimbers to Consider



Thle lori.lda Departm'ent of Agricuiltur (FDA)

During the years prior to 1928 very few county level s'-.:-
determined by the USDA are available. Findings of the Commissioner of
Agriculture (FDA) on potato production at the state level are n.r< ;*'-.
for comparison for the crop years shown from 1889-90 through '25 .26.
A breakdown of data at the county level is presented later in this ,'.
The tate level reports are presented without knowledge of t'r :
ness and Icc.uacv (see Table 10) [13].

The C('nsus of Agri.culture

lne U. S. Bureau of the Census (USBC) has made periodic .-ur."-;.
dfi.ffK'ent commodities as to county, state and national "nm-r'-, -of -.,'
ope it'.aoi., acir-age and, s'ome- times, production .,ia value. An i;-..
study of the rise and fall in the number of f.jii, cper a'Lt-.,i and the rise
and lesser decline in acreage is illustrated in Fig.ure 2 f'.-ir:. the data
presented in Table 11. One reason for the incorporation of Tl-,ida's
"Farm [;.aly" (non-coinmercial) potato acreage into the spriln, "9.;i--
(commercial other t.h.-t' the Hastings z-prinig crop and souLth Florida's win-
ter crop) seasonal gioup was due to the. rapid decline in r;. number of
growers in this category as determined by the Census of P.A,- ..;.-.., .










County data are presented on page. 22 and 2J.








Table 1p,-,Florida Irish potatoes; Acreagc, production and value, 1889-90
through 1925-26 crop years, 4s reported by the Commissioner of
Agriculture (FDA)in biennial reports

Yrop Harvest4 Yield Production Price Value

Acres Cwt ~ Cwt,b Dollarse Dollars

1S89-90 1,620 15 24,424 2,22 $4,317
1891-92 709 38 27,012 2.30 62,149
1893-94 1,156 31 35,311 2,09 7,,875
1895-96 1,678 37 61,535 2.06 126,713
1897-98 2,374 47 111,941 1.64 183,803

1899-00 1,490 31 46,830 1.74 81,566
1900-01 2,517 43 108,506 1,97 213,871
1901-02 3,199 52 165,454 2.05 338,429
902,05 2,966 58 171,604 2,14 368,025
1903-04 4,545 56 255,890 1.60 408,384

1904-0 5,347 5 296,400 2.31 683,761
1905-06 4,339 58 2P3,067 2,36 598,342
1907-08 4,662 53 247,465 1.79 442,850
1909-10 7,642 62 476,847 1 .70 89,84i
1911-12 10,647 61 648,129 2,53 1,640,382

1913-14 18,077 64 1,16,2,615 2,02 2,343,242
1915-16 17,988 35 633,504 2.59 1,640,696
1917-18 38,596 71 2,731,446 1,61 4,403,361
1919-2p 23,487 41 731,466 8,96 6,554,785
1925-26 23,113 71 1,649,978 2,66 4,382,538

ayield derived,
production converted from bushels reported at 60 tbs, per bushel,
except in 1915-16 production was reported in barrels which were conyerted
to Cwt, at 165 Ib, per bol,

CPrice derived,

Source; [13] (Origina. data checked for error in addition and
corrected total tabulated herg )






18


Table 11.-Florida Irish potatoes Farms reporting,a acreage, production and valuuo to the U Bureau of theCensua for
census year)8179 through 1969


Cenus F.ilrn.i iAv r.lr..I ItCEr' Acre'-ve Dori'Pd Pr,1iictllo Prk. p-r
crop year reporting per tarm yield harvested uwt.

Number crs Acres Cwt. wt Dollars Dollars

1879 NA c 12,133 NA
1889 NA 1,218 36.5 44,453 NA
1899 3,408 1.1 3,752 37.1 139,327 1.34 187,274
1909 5,092 1.7 8,509 60.4 514,180 1.63 839,691
1919 4,931 3.6 17,525 60.5 1,060,318 5.00 5,301,586

1924 4,785 5.8 27,721 52.6 1,457,408 NA
1929, 7,113 3.3 23,480 69.4 1,628,594 2.95 4,802,959
: 1934 7,154 3.7 26,:,i3 82.3 2,165,968 1 90 4,115,340
1939 7,349 3.0 22,339 71.6 1,576,459 1.82 2,',' .," 3
1914- 7,771 3.6 27,671 66,0 1,825,257 3.26 8,944,511

1949 5,13:' 3.9 '20,974 128.4 2,693,399b 3.81 10,267,669
1954 5,4l7 5.9 32,243 169.8 5,475,758b 2.52 13,780,659
1959 1.2') 22.7 27,254 121.7 3,316,437b 2.80 9,286,024
1964 839 39.1 32,765 151.2 4,954,548 3.69 18,282,282
1969 265d 138.7 36,753 169.4 6,225,564 NA

aFarms reporting and value given when available; all cover home use and for sale.

bAl production converted to hundredweight (cwt.); exacludes production from farms with less than 9 cwt. harvested in
1949 and 12 cwt. in 1954 and 1959.

COwing to unsatisfactory reports, acreage not published for 1879.

dFarms reporting with sales of all farm products grossing $2,500 or more,

Source: (331.


Farm
Oper-

7,000



6,000



5,000


4,000



3,000



2,000



1,000


I ,i" ,Ju(
S1,001
C. t I
7.000



6,009



5,000


4,000



3,000


1,000


Figure 2.--Florida Irish potatoes: Farms reporting acreage and production to the i. S. Bureau of the Census
for census years 1889 through 1969








HISTORICAL lA!; G'I.(:IRI.Ir. I BY AREA


Where It Began


Jjduct:n Predates the War Between the States

Documented reports of small commercial acreages of earl, Irish:
toes in Florida began in 1866. There are ample evidences that potatoes
were grown as a local staple commodity much earlier.
Florida was named by Ponce de Leon upon his discovery of what he
thought was a large isl-and. The date was March 27, 1513. He went ashore
on April 2 and claimed it for Spain., After Flori-a changed hands a .
times among Spain, France and Britain, it was taken over as a territory
on behalf of the United States by Andrew Jackson at Pensacola on :
17, 1821. Two territorial counties were established on July 21, -:'I
by Gerhci-al Jackson when he proclaimed by this Ordin~.Aince:

All the country lying between the Perdido and S. ar-.
rivers, with all the islands therein, shall form one cjunt:
to be called Escambia. All the country lying east of the
river Suwaney, and every part of the ceded territories, not
designated as benlnging to the former county, shall form a
county to be called St. Johns.

A year later, on August 12, 18]2, the territorial council provided
for four counties, adding Jackson and Duval to Escambia and St. Johns.
Now Escambia was all that part of the Territory west of the Choctohacha
river; Jackson comprised all lands between the Choctohacha and the
"Suwaney" rivers; that portion of East Florida lying north of the river
S'. Johns, and north of a line, commencing at a place called the Cow-
ford ( ~c L :,- '.'ri' e) and telminiatini' at the mouth of the "S'.w; I'- : river
was called LouI.'I L..:urty; the r~lmiining portion of East Fl..r;'1- .,
Johns County. On March 3, 1845, the Territory of Florida, by the
si atJt. tre of President John Tyler, on the last day of his term, became
a full-fledged state [25].
In t-8. .7 'i.-dr' .- *ri. i]. was e'.t.iin~ :.ei1 at 000 p*'-r ,
the 1820s and '. 0s the fertile "oak and hicliory" uplands in the northern
border of the state began to be settled by cotton planters. On the banks






of the St. -:_.-. i..':.; were -i inhabited houses and !r:.I :; acres :
cultivated land. The best land was he0. by the Seminoles, but their
power was ',.!L.ki in the .ii-ii.a Wars of .1 .5 to 1842. In ll five
planters south of -1..- :' rhi parallel were grcwi~i!N oft'.:; there was much
interest in sugar production. In 1819 a large area of land .,in: the i
cambia River was Ibr-.::;h: into cultivation by American pi i-.) -. Cotton
.-;.':'.-ts out of ,:Ih '. -. tory had .. I .f ..i.i 4,146 bales in i ,." -29 to
over 100,000 bales in i*..'. i the ... sea-island cotton .. i
expanded. Cia;' tu.l .., was promoted about i.10) [17].
During the ant':- 1:. 1 imn period the '-tding of cattle and '.-.. on un-
occupied lands was an important ;;ricultural pursuit; the n.r.I- I
dustry was revived in rlti. '60s; corn and sweet potatoes were r- .
extensively for local consumption.
FjiL.-Aida's upw,.'.:i trend in ;ag.iculture was 'seriously set back the
Civil War (1861-1865) [17]. History indicates Florida farms were a source
of food for the Confederate armies, One war burden was a tax in kind
one-tenth of all :-. culturala l p ..lJlucts; it was called the "(... i:.
Tithe." Another, 1'hoiigh technically not a tax, authorized Confederate
agents to seize.food products and other articles useful to the .-.. at ar-
bitrary fixed prices, usually lower than the market and paid in '..' ..
money; this was the Impressment Act of 1863. Potatoes were among the
farm produce items confiscated i.' ]
In 1865-80 a period of economic and social reorganization `. '-~ d.
Populations increased as both so'.ith!ern and northern migrants. ri. .. In
1870 there were 187,748 people; by 1880 the population had increased to
.??,1.-193. Cotton production dJeclin-d from 65,153 bales in I:'-,' to --',789
bales in 1870; prodJiction had not fully recovered by 1900 [1V' : 1-.
roads were the real developers of Florida, building extensive'. .'. ,
];.1.4 through 1o6
Potato pr.-riuctI :.. was limited and confined to north and west
ida. T;,:. culture of sweet piiiat.o:-; pppe'-.-.d to be more general than
Irish potatoes. A heavily rural populati.o,' over the nation produced and
stored potatoes for winter and early .pring. Nearby markets relied on
these st'.-r.ice potatoes or :'. their staple diet. Eventually the desire /'-
new potato:.s was re,:,J-i zed and available transportation by rail and
even slower boat made u.'pplirn. rh.is dcan.ond possible.' Florida production







increased. i' -l:.age data compiled by counties reporting to the Commissioner-
of ..l ...Iture (FDA) in the early years are presented to show where p:.-
toes were ,,'wrn (Table 12). These acreages are quite variable f ,rf year
to .-r-r and show little relationship to those reported by USDA. 7 ~:y are
shown since they are the only documented county data covering the i. ,
-' s. of the industry. In no way can early acreage, production ...- v:,,
be verified; e.g., the first entry is Alachua County with 1,117 acres in
1889-90 which could make this county account for over two-thirds of the
state acreage that year. This writer thinks this is an error for an acre-
age above.1,000 did not occur again until the 1920s; in fact, from "-
throluh.il 1920 Alachua County reported less than 250 acres annually [y

The Hastings Area

Location and importance

The Hastings spring potato area normally takes in portions of a
"Tri-County" farming area. Flagler County's Haw Creek and Bimini sections
dominate the south portion, but at one time Volusia County was considered
a ,?rt of the area; some of the acreage was grown in the north part
county and some at Samsula (later the acreage was designated as a .'.
the "Other" spring potato producing seasonal group). Putnam County extends
to the south side of Crescent Lake where there is one grower but the ,-..-
cipal producing sections are Federal Point, Orange Mill and East
all southwest of Hastings. St. Johns County, with Hastings as its center
as well as the focal point of most activity for the entire area, was
and continues to be the leading producer of potatoes. Besides it.. it
has the Ellton, Spuds, Molasses Junction, Riverdale, Tocoi, P-'.' '
i.;.11 Creek sections. In the past Clay County produced a re 1..:ti small
jcrea.ae, but it has dropped out in recent years.
SHarvested acreage has been variable through the years; depression and
ifl.a ion, war economy and peacetime placidity have deterred the r:..-,
of many pointers such that grower numbers: have declined appie,- .t:.

So,..- i-nteristting figiiures to consider

The earliest documented acreagcs were reported to the C'-mu s-;.L~ ;' of
Agriculture (FDA) in 1889-90 when seven acres were documented in St. Johns
Co~rint) and eight acres were listed, in Putnam. The area really bean in

















Ta1e 1.-Florida Irish potatoes: Acreage reported by the Commissioner of Agriculture (FDA), by counties, 1989-98 through
1925-26. for available crop years


County


1889-90 1891-92 1893-94 (1I95-96 197-98 1809-1000 1001-02 1902-03 11903-04 19 (01-tl


Alachu:t
aker
Bradford
Brevard
Citrus

Clay
Columbia
Dade
DeSoto
Duval

Escambia
Gadsden
Hamilton
Hernando
Hillsborough

Holmes ,
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Lake

Lee
Leon
Levy .
Liberty
Madison

Manatee
.Marion
Nassau
Orarge
Osceola

Pasco
'Polk
Putnam
St. Johns
St. Lucle

Santa Rosa
Sumter
Taylor
Volusia
Wakulla

Walton
Washington

State total


1,1170 127 126
2
4 1 .8
21 18 26
39 7 45

5 6 1
3 1

1 16 7
27 182 62

37 21 28


1 1 -
1 I
11 19 17

6 6 3
,2 -
45 22 113

17 2-1 46

5 1
10 15 260

1 -
Nnt -

h:t 23
20 48 44
13, 39 11
90 53 87
1, 2

2 5
20 -
8 42 235
7 2 3


2 7
69 26
1 -
23 NA


6 16 7


1,620 709 1,156


14 31
6
S

105 122
81 149

25
4
21 1
9 48
71 731

49 41


4 4
166 127


73 31


118 87
19 193

2
3 1
NR
61 44
68 71

21 17


7 4
50 15

20 12

75

190 24

1 2
298 308




NR 2
395 295
NR NR
94 124
44 11

118 116
75 105
88 23
492


2

N NR6
NR NR


- 3 30 30
1


1,678 2,374 1,490


2,517 3,199


3 3
320 180
2 23



S 20
31 147
3
59 233
10 3

164 100
41
127 6
1,125 1,674



S 36

71 66


32 6
3 6
72 131
106 8
44 S6

S4 32e
6 161
22 22
8 20
71 196

57 101

1
11 13
151. 137



I I

42 34

1 7
3 ?
12 1



3 7
29

96 113
14 51

106 46
93 159
58 117
1,803 2,803
14


5 23


2,966 4,544


aSee page 22, Possible error of 1,000 acres, when compared wlih succeding years,

bNR--No report.

Source: (131.


-- -- -- -- -- --' -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -







1 bl.ll l lo'i t Iish pl |:!iw r A: r .an rv4ort4 d ly thr t'ii s. 192.,3 6, for avafilale crsO wair.s--trlin4u

- ---- - - - -e -- --_ -_ --. -. -'.- .-- -.. . . . .. ... ..- ,.. - ,, - --


Alachuaa 54 48 12 14 42 112 59 134 a4T 1 052
Blaker ; 1 .1 1 2 3 I5 24
ay 25 31 16 NR 14
rad1ford 539 12 2 33 24 235 12 32 13 17
Brvctrd 11 17 13 18 41 68 100 904 34 171


Broward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay

Columbia
Dade
DeSoto

Duval


Escambia
Flagler
Franklin
Gadsden
Hlamilton

Ilardee
Hernando
Highlands
Hillsborough
Holmes

Adian Iiver
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette ..
Lake

Lee
Leon
Levy
Lib rty
Madison

Manatee
Marion
.Martin
Nassau
Okaloosa

Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Palm Beach
Pasco

Pinellas
Polk
Putnam
St. Johns
St. Lucie

Santa iosa
Sarasota
Seminole
Sumtere
Suwannee


S NR -

65 76 129 165
- 11 1
75 5 2


13 21
102 289

13 102
919 572
62 132

945 398

24 46

46 91

1


120 490
23 12

6 7
117 532

1 22
249 303
145 3,941

32 181

18 237
2,522
47 28
5 2


10 4

14
9 137

4
61 243
89 108

37 119

62 79

NR 60
NR NR



11 1

270 324
NR 48


3
3
2 2
45 79


6' 102
251 78

18
19
50 51

140 130

150 39



2


10 10

140 259





1
7
15 8

'- 1
10 4
38 17



3
52 58


41
2 15
22 91

20 118
6 25
22 85
1
1

40 371
1 779

3 10


1,042
32 477
48 884
2,900 2,726
14 47

34 103
44 737
2,683 3,966
9,099 14,574
75 277

7 57

13 301
1
16 2


NR 2 -


607 757
6 5
7 9


1,317 801
1
9


1. 2 3 5 5 4


5,347 4.339 4,662 7,642 10,647 18,077 17,988 38,596


31 164
8
41
NR 1
21 1764



5,584 157
12


37 589
NR 2,937
25
NR 6


439
79 5
22
543 490
2 4?

283
5 40
2 7
1
25 88

11 37S
13 6
2 43t



6 186
61 30
liik5
112





109 45

567 684
26 43

BNR 2
500 393
2,729 4,076
14,591 7,380
NR 216

28 14
202
NR 46
MR 50
a 20

9
191
725 1,320



2 13

23,487 23,113


12 2 3 59

294 294 555 1,571
15 3 4 44


5 NR
50 190

NR NR



56 282
9
57
61


56 68
805 NR
2,756 6,509
31 42

S 20


12 19
4 2


2
1
98 106

24 19
1 8
6 29
5 1
1

80 23


2 135



261 56
NB 76
76 104
27 66

136 48
22 115.
1,176 2,236.
5,504 11,569
26 69

18 20

99
NR 64
NR1 NR


50 44
25 8

71 53


245 168
233 31
2,984 3,085
10 16

1 -


14 17


Taylor
Union
Volusia
Wakulla
Walton


StW e Itoal
State total


1


Source: (131.









cainest as a commercial area in the early 'teens [13]. The .lare.-t ..e-:;.
ever harvested was an estimated 50,P00 (mostly enumerated) in 1966; the
highest yield, ?00 cwt., was attained in 1975 (this is a preliminary esti-
mate, and datg wil) be presented in the addendum only). The greatest pro-
duction was that of the 1969 prop wheIn an estimated 4,866,000 cwt. was
produced and in 1974 gross sales exceeded those of all past scasoiS--b'.',
of course, inflation was affecting farm cconomlie [U6]..
Frost and freeze, drouth, rain and hail have adversely affected, to
some extent, each croi) throughout the man'y seasons, The Hastings area was
given national distinction in 1928 when statistics of acreage, produi-cti:.i
and value were estimaLtd and reported separately from those of otlr'!:r areas
of the state [35],

Early history ol" the Hastings area

The oldest families were not necessarily the earliest potato growers
in the area, Actually, the Solanp family (long listed aulion, the pF ... ..
growers of the area; now down tq one grower) if said to be America's
o dest documented family. The original 04oanp came with the Sp1anjiv-.:s-;
(-ocally claimed to have been with Ponce de Leon) who founded St. fA.Vt.ui.-
tine in 1565; the same pay be true of tlie Lopez and Sanchez families. lhi
latter name has been on the auia's list of potato growers.
Settlers from, the failing colony of Nlew Smyrna undertook a mass mi-
gration and arrive at St. Augustin9 in 1777, The,se Minorcans, as they
were called, were actually a conglomerate of Greeks, Italians and native
Mlinorcans. Among those who shared in the ill-fated effort to recreate a
little of Greece in the sands of Florida were ancestors of some 20th-' rn-
tury potato growers in the grea! Masters, Pacetti, Pellicer, Poger.-; and
Triay, families that are currently well known in potato production. By
intermarriage the descendents became related in other familiar farm fam-
ilies.
By 1800 a tentative reaching out Into the surrounding country ;5..1:'
had begun, l-iving the comparative security of walled St. Augustine-., in
search of land to settle aid farm, In 1O04 the Spanish government grant-
ed Andres Pacetti II a secti'qn of land (640 acres) on the road that
bears his name in the Bakersville area, some 10 miles west of St. Augus-
tine. Many generations later (1975) Qus and his son, Richard, are the only









Fa...ettis growing potatoes. Their farms are in the Mill Creek section.
More Pacetti descendents by marriage continue to live in the area, By
1810 Bartolo Solano had settled on some high ground along Moccasin Branch.
In 1825 he petitioned the government for 640 acres; acted on favorably In
1830, it was known as the "Solano Grant." Also, in 1825 a 20-year-old
French Hu.giIenot, George Colee, forced to leave his native land because
of religious persecution, settled at Picolata.
John Rogero, descendent of the 1777 Rogeros, was born in 1831 and
lived near Molasses Junction. His great-grandsons continue to grow pota-
toes in the area. The Masters (originally Mestre) family (as stated
earlier) also arrived in 1777; for nearly 200 years this family has lived
in the area and members have married and inter-married such that ... ., :.
are difficult to ascertain. They are known to have been potato farmers
for many years: Bartola Masters was born in 1870. His family home was in
the present Spuds area. He grew potatoes in a small way there or at
Elkton, as did his father, James. The Triays were said to have been
given a Spanish land grant but no record is available to this author,
They did live and farm near Moccasin Branch continuing, in a small-.
potato production through the history of the area.
Among the early settlers were Paul Weedman and his wife, Antonia
(nee Rogero), whose son Bartolo was born February 13, 1856. He recalled
that Indian attacks in his parents' childhood were not infreq',-t .. His
grandfather was killed by Indians in 1836. They settled in the i;:ii.e-
ville area [31].
The DuPont family has a long history of land ownership and farming
in the area; it is claimed by some to be one branch of the family made
famous through the DuPont industrial empire. Cornelius and .-..: DuPont
bought land in 1858 that was a portion of a grant of 2,000 acres given
Pedro Cocifacio under date of October 11, 1824. Early river ~ ,-; : o.o
necessitated many landings. The local wharf was called the Pi :T ~ 1'..'
The DuPont interests ranged from these small landowners and planters to
owners of railroads and large land companies in the area. Descendants of
these early families are still farming;the industrial DuPonts have their
Wi lington. Delaware headqoarteri-; a railroad through the Hastings F--',ilg
area (FEC RR) is owned by another branch of the family.









The Charles W. Brown's were early "pinerr farmers; some .
of this family live in the area to this day.
The Civil War (1861-65) brought hardships to all and v'.r'..r' ;:-. : into
the Confederacy, as well as Federal troop occupancy of St. ;...'. ...,':.--
the bivouac at the DuPont Landing on the St. Johns River. i-,: this
reason, this early settlement was later called Federal Point. .
Rebels were encamped in the .faatka area on the west side of the river.
The Mauritio Sanchez family settled on the St. Johns River across
Palatka. There is a story of Miss "Lola" Sanchez who .o1' a .,r
"Paul Revere" ride at night to warn the Rebels of an eminent attack
by the Federals. The ride and warning wer.. timely a.id successful -' the
Con ederates.
After the war the men returned to th-eir farmil.ies to ?.-.-T',i a more
peaceful and productive life [31].
John Francis Tenney had settled in the rDuPont Lmni.Y. area '.
the War Between the States. He later ran the wharf (now c-. Point) from which farm products grown in the area were shipped by river-
boat. At first oranges dominated shipments as citrus was the pr.'. '..
crop until the trees were killed in the 1894-95 freeze.
As reconstruction made progress and northern visitors were cv.:.
by rail or steamboat line mostly inland), to Jacksonville and thence .
the St. Johns by river steamer, sectlementS along the river grew ..
Some visitors, of course, transferred to the overland horse.-., -g :-
at Picolata and the miserable 18-mile ride to the Ancient City. !
was considered preferable to the coastal steamer that made two :--.,
each week from Jacksonville to St. Augustine. After 1870 I.:,, came to
Tocoi Landing and the first railroad on the Florida East Coast. It
was called the St. Johns Railway; horses or mules fuini shfe-i the energy
to pull the two-passenger cars at first [9]. The Grotelaiid House at
Federal Point still stands as a landmark of the reconstruction era
when it, too, housed northern visitors who preferred to re n.ii, inlando
Frank Folsum Tenney operated the hotel and also grew potato:'t-. '-.'e
was a post office and general store there. Francis P. Tenney, third
generation, was packinghouse operator for Tri-County Produ.;: as w:ll1 as
a grower of a small potato crop at the Point. Today there is a fifth
generation of this family that recently farmed in the area,








Sammie Floyd and J. B., Jr. are fourth generation farm.: in the
Elkton area who continue in the path of their fathers as young, active
ptat-:. growers. The Floyd family predates 1870; in 1871 Harry FJo:;d
married Isadora Rogero. The town of Elkton was named by a very yo'.ng
(15) Confederate soldier who, much later, settled there. His name
was Bartolo Genovar. He is said to have been the first to grow potatoes
in the Elkton area [31]. Others say the first potatoes in the E2kl .n
area were grown at Moccasin Branch and were shipped from Arm.strroin Lrv
rail. Still others think U. J. White and Cornelius A. DuPont intro.3uc':..
potatoes to the Elkton area. Cracker Branch flows north into Deep
Creek. Prior to 1890 a Mr. Merfield located near the branch where the
present highway 207 crosses the stream. The railroad had been built and
the first station in the area was located there and was named Merf.i
Station.
U. J. White,extensively involved in logging, promoted and t ilt ti...
St. Johns and Halifax River Railroad, which was started in 1882 to San
Mateo and extended from East Palatka to Daytona. He became preid -.-~t of
the line. In 1888 he sold this railroad to what is now the FEC RR and
received in part a body of land that now constitutes the rich far.minu
district around Hastings. It was said to have comprised 26,000 acres.
The clay subsoil flatwoods was thought at the time to have been useless,
as water would stand upon it at times of excessive rain. Mr. Whe be-
lievedit only needed drainage ditches to carry off the water. He start--d
with hand labor, draining as rapidly as possible; at the same time he
opened a large truck farm in the area and planted over 100 acres of
various vegetables. His produce (except cabbages, which were crat.d and
shipped) sold in local markets. He also grew rice and oats, bringing
in binders and a threshing machine. While drilling for an artesian well
for drinking water he discovered he could convey the artesian flow
through his fields in open water furrows for irrigation, a system
norerational today. He and his daughter, Lilly, were among the first to
groin potatoes in the area,. Their White Tower farmhouse is an east
,Hatings landmark.
Frank Elmer Bugbee ("Cap'n. Bugbee") came to Hastings from Vermont
via Ocala and St. Augustine, cleared land and planted potatoes for
U. J. White. His interests eventually encompassed all facets of the








potato industry (see ..0lniu;llt; under e-irly ir,.-?:.t in'). L'.-!. Barstow married
L.gbee's glghter and was an associate in the 7i.i'bce fLir Fr.i;''. '*.;tow
and son are third and fourth generation descendants of Cap'n. Bug; >.
W. H. Erwin, brother-in-law of Mr. White, settled in Hastings dur-
ing the first year after Mr. White's development started. He erngaid
in raising crops and became successful with celery, lettuce and '.', -
berries. Later he experimented with Irish potatoes and przi',.A.... this
crop could provide quicker cash returns than either col. .-.v or .:....
berries, though not as much return per acre. Potatoes p'-ou. ... :-..' :.
profits than rice or oats and were easier to ship than viege -.bles.
S. T. Spauldin, of Avoca, N.Y., working in connection with Mr.
Erwin, introduced and proved a variety of potatoes that was most -
tical for Florida. Mr. Spauldin :. was in the seed bui",-.. and renamed
the variety "Spaulding's Rose No. 4." This variety made St..':*-hr:
County potatoes famous [7],

The town of -la.stings

In 1890 Thomas Horace Hastings founded the town of Haski.i.-.. in
Johins County, Florida, He settled there at the suggestion of his ... -*
Henry M. Flagler, the Florila East Coast Railroad (FEC RR) system and
hotel magnate. Mr. Hastings built the first house, constructed ':,"-r
houses and began experimental ve._-.i able r.:iinig on a large scale. His
garden and greenhouse vegetables had a ready market in the Flagler hotels;
some were shipped to iNew York hotels. Pictures on file with the Town
Clerk show the "big house" compll-te with the name "Hastings" worked into
the banister.; surrounding the second-floor porch. The cucumber gr-...
house was 1,568 X 22 feet; the vines were trellised on an inver--:e'-
trellis. The tomato house would hold 3,000 plants when it was pIirtured
March 16, 1891. The 30-acre garden was planted to hardier v-.:~.. .M-
cab hi.ag., cauliflower, Bermuda onions and potatoes; rice was planted as
a summer ci-op. On the back of the picture of the cucumber house the
following was imprinted with a rubber stamp:

"From
Listings i'rairie Garden, Sub-Irrigation Farm
Hastings Station, H,St.A. & H.R.Ry.
St. Johns County, Florida"


then, written in ink: "Jany,. lb91."








The railroad station had been moved the very short di-..ta:,. I.. ..
Merfield to its longtime site in town and the name changed to Ha.; izngs..
Later it was moved to Elkton and used as a station there. The new one
built at Hastings was torn down and has not been rebuilt, but the old
one at Elkton has been converted to a packinghouse for potatoes and is
operated by L. A. Masters and Son (Larry), descendants of the Masters
from the early trek from New Smyrna in 1777. The author hesitates to
say what generation!
The Hastings Sub-irrigation Farm was of plantation size, conptan-
ing 1,569 acres. In addition to the owner's house, there were cabins
to house the families of the 50 men who were employedon the plantti,,
Even when Mr. Hastings had to move in to St. Augustine in 1896, tL
town consisted of nothing beyond the estate whichh he developed. .!-l
died in St. Augustine in 1897 [30]. The post office was establisl-he in
1891 and the first school was taught by Charles DuPontin 1897.
Another early pioneering family migrated from Massachusetts to
Lowell in Marion County in 1883. George W. Leonard founded the We'r r1'
Fruit Company there while his brother continued their commission mer-
chant brokerage in Boston. George W. later moved his family to the.lir
present location south of Hastings in 1893,to increase their citrus
holdings, clearing virgin land for groves. The disastrous freeze of
1894-95, followed by an equally severe freeze in 1899, literally des-
troyved their young trees as well as most other: groves throughout the
area. 'Wetumpka replanted its losses, but:ceased expansion in citrus.
Turning to a faster money crop, the firm became a potato planter.
outstanding feature of the firm was a tram (mule-drawn) line to the
In.is.ijigs rail siding about two miles away. r.This company was one of the
last in the area to divert production to.:the chipping industry. White-
skinrned varieties were always planted. :Uponthe death of third geF-e-F I
tion G. Wat.ernan Leonrard, his venerable father, George V. and IH:.,-
Phyllis, daughter of the late Lewis Leonard; -are the last of the
family active in producing potatoes, ably assisted by. W. R. Cotton at ti-
helm as president of the firm. The first potatoes in the area were said
to have been grown by three families that farmed south of Hastings, but
their names have not been ascertained by this ;writer. The Leonards
could well have been one of them.








The greAt-grandfather of James Leighton Middl.: c.o settled at Cow
Pen Branch (now the location of the farms and packinghouse of Cl:i, .S!. ;
4 Sons) ,poss~'bly in the late 19th century. This was an older settlement
than Hastings. He moved to Elkton in 1906 to live in a house built about
1901. Charles and James, two of his four sons, were growing potatoes at
Hastijngs and Elkton, respectively, in 1922. Gordon and James IeiEhton
Middleton are third and fourth generation growers who sjpplr +nt t1.':.r
farm enterprise with the manufacture of potato harvesting machines.
The John Atkinson family was one of the early settlers at Federal
Point, coming to the area before the turn of the century. Later G. W.
Atkinson was listed as a seed handler there and possibly R. W. Atkinson
as well.
Leslie Brubaker, one of three brothers migrating from Ge-x.ia~in to
Illinois, came to St. Johns County by covered wagon and started f~m~ine
to become an early potato grower. His son, C. C., married into one of
the very old (Triay) families of the area and started -rowing, potatoes
on his own in 1917. Grandson Francis has children who are fourth i;?-
eration in the area and are currently active. His daughter and a 1:;,
mate, Miss Griffin, very ably demonstrated the preparation of potatoes
and how to serve them before a large group of ladies assembled in the
1975 Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA) at Bal Harbor.
Paul Brubaker came to the area much later (1925), married the ;-.:,hil
of John Atkinson and became a longtime potato grower at the Point.
The Maltby family has grown potatoes for four generations in the
east Hastings and Federal Point areas. Paternal great-grandfather
Albert S. Maltby located in the vicinity of the "Point" in 1903. and
"raised" three sons, one daughter and lots of potatoes! These sons--
Adin, Sr., Hubert E.3 and Albert L.."Billy" grew potatoes extensively
in both sections; their sons and grandsons are following the traditions
of their fathers--Harold heads Tri-County Produce as grower, packer and
sales outlet (for his own produce and that of others) for cabbage and
potatoes. Greg and John are fourth generation Maltby farmers C 1975) of


3Long-time Agricultural Extension Service, IFAS, U. of F. agent for
Putnam County. Philip McMullen also served well and long in this capacity ,
in St. Johns County as did Louis Nieland in Flagler County.








the area; John and his father, Lee, are located north of the Tocoi-St.
Tngratir"e Road.
The Pellicer family, as stated earlier, walked up from New Smyrna
to St. Augustine in 1777. They came to stay and scattered throughout
the area. Paul Pellicer was mentioned as the "granddaddy" of the clan,
settling in 1903 in what became Flagler County on April 28, 1917 (named
in honor of Henry M. Flagler). The descendants of the first Pellicer
have farmed throughout the area, perhaps in all their generations.
John B. Johnston, great-grandfather of the Flagler County
Johnstons, must have settled there in the '90s for Ernest farmed the
Bimini section before sons A. B., Sr., E. C. and Danny. Now the fourth
generation sons continue to grow excellent red and white-skinned "spuds"
for fresh market and processing, and cabbage for fresh market.
The DuPonts ran their narrow-gauge railroad (formerly the St. Johns
and Halifax River R. R.) south and east through the area from East
Palatka with a branch line southward into the Haw Creek and St. Johns ?- 1
areas. This branch line connected with the FEC at DuPont. U. J. White
and Don P. Shockney promoted the DuPont Railway and Land Company. Miss
Lilly White later built the Dick Cody house in the Haw Creek area. R. W,
Cody bought one of the first farms in the area about 1910. His was one
of the earliest potato farms in that section; however, he had farmed
first in the Armstrong section northeast of Hastings.
About 1910 Thomas R. Byrd left the timber and turpentine stills to
farm in east Hastings. His son, William R. and grandsons Earl, Norman and
Milton were long-time potato growers, producing large acreages, primarily
for the chipping industry in the later years. One by one, they sold
their farms; W. E. was the last to sell (1975). Larry and Randy (W. R.
III) are current fourth generation potato farmers.
The turpentine industry lost again to farming when R. L. Campbell
bought the Merfield land in 1912. This tract was in Putnam and St. Johns
counties and extended from the railroad for 1.5 miles north. His son,
Chiirnelle A. Campbell, followed his father in growing potatoes until his
recent retirement. There were three brothers of R. L.--A. E., J. M., Ji,
and Charles. All farmed in the area, starting in the Iteens. htdi.i -e
was the first president of the Hastings Potato Growers Association (HPGA).
Cimnett, his son, expanded the operation and continues to grow potatoes,








handling his own and others through his firm, the Farmers Marketing Service.
J. W. and Ashley followed their father, J. M., growing potatoes in the
Molasses Junction section until J. W.'s retirement and, later, death
left Ashley to carry on for this branch of the family. Thus Ashley and
Emmiett are the last of the Campbell clan with no fourth generation to
carry the name into the future. Mrs. Leda DuPont, nee Campbell, served
for years in an accounting capacity with the Florida Planters, a market-
ing organization headed, much of the time, by C. A. Campbell as president.
Charles Dorwart came to the Federal Point area about 1912 and
farmed his first potatoes in 1913. His son, Raymond, married Thelma
Masters, uniting the newcomers with one of the older families in the
area. He recc'etly retired after furnishing 50 consecutive crops for
HPGA to market.
The Wolfe and the Parrish families moved to St. Johns County in 1917
from Tennessee. E. F. Wolfe located seven miles out of St. Augustine on
the Elkton road. Later this was known as the Parrish Ranch. One son of
Mr. Wolfe married into the Parrish family. Both Mr. Wolfe and Mr.
Parrish grow potatoes and marketed as members of HPGA. Later two of the
seven sons of E. F. Wolfe began to grow potatoes independently. H. E.
concentrated on developing the Mill Creek Ranch and Willie Frank located
on some heavy land east of Hastings, starting to farm for himself in 1922.
He had first farmed with his father, but he retired in 1967 with a record
of half a century in potato production. His son-in-law, Gerald Allen,
continues to grow potatoes in the Tocoi area. Leo Kight farmed potatoes,
assisted by hi, son, in cooperation with W. F. and H. E. Wolfe on the
Mill Creek Ranch for many years. They still grow potatoes there on an
independent operation and on their farms at Elkton and at Spuds.
The Beach family started farming in the area in the early '20s.
George, Sr., Laurie and William came down from the Carolinas about the
same time. Others came and returned. George, Jr., Ray, Adrian, Palmjr
and J. D. are sons who elected to carry on the start made by their
fathers; most of their farms were, or are, located north of Hastings--in
the Elkton, Spuds and Molasses Junction sections, in particular. Even
with this late start, one or more fourth generation sons are farming in
the area. The Cubbage family came about the same time as the Beach family.
George H. "Yankee" Stone started a labor camp at Orange Mill with









sons T. H. and Ransford. They lived in the old land-mark, t' ---tory
fad:,i:;.(..,- about a mile west of the camp. "Cracker" Stone lived on the
adjoining farm. The sons of "Yankee" Stone farmed potatoes for many
years, T. H. laying out a farm on the fringe of Hastings and living on
the boulevard. Ransford farmed the home place until he elected to devote
full-time to his Ft. Fairfax, Me., potato farm. John, son of T. H.,
married the daughter of Leo Masters, a potato farmer who was killed in a
1948 tractor accident. This union linked another 20th century family
with one of the 18th century (measured in history of the area). Jdhn
is a very active farmer, devoting his time primarily to potato production.
John and Frank R. Burrell came from Pennsylvania to farm in the
Haw Creek community. Later F. R. moved his family to Hastings and
farmed east of town. Sons Frank 0., G. A., Maurice, Charles and Stanley
continued with potatoes and cabbage for many years. At one time, F. R.
supplemented his Hastings production with an acreage and packing oper-
ation in Indiantown. Frank 0. followed his example. This move south
was an ill-fated venture and lasted only a short period. G. A. "Dilly"
,'ucirull is the last son to retire from farming (1975). A grandson of
tie late F. R., Tommy, is quite active in the current deal,
W. E. Knight, Sr., father of K. K. and Walter E., Jr., moved to
Haw Creek, where he grew extensive acreages of cabbage and potatoes, es-
pecially during the sons productive years. The Knights moved to the area
from Lake Butler, Florida, in the early '20s. Eldon and Eugene termin-
ated lic family farm enterprise after a :[ew years of'farming alone.
W. H. and R. W. Deen, Sr., left their original turpentine still and
timber to grow potatoes in 1918, but after three short years quit for
about 10 years. R. W., Jr., and brothers W. W. and Curtis (sons of
W. H.) resumed farming about 1931. R. W., Jr., sold his farms in the late
'50;. b.ut the Deen Brothers continue to grow red and white-skinned potdtoe:
season after season. Flagler County grows some red-skinned potatoes each
year, leading the area counties in this type.
Harry Clegg started farming in the Haw Creek area in the early '20s.
He served HPGA for some time as field supervisor, but left this position to
devote all his time to his own farm enterprise. Potatoes were grown the
first few years. The clay-based sub-soil is such that the area lard could
not compete with the more productive areas to the north. He desired to








excel in faring so concentrated his efforts on c,.ib.age production. He
accomplished his goal by putting up a package that commanded a premium for
many years. The farm continues to be well operated by George P. Clegg;
his son is with him in a continuing cabbage and cattle operation. This
farm location was the southern terminus of the DuIuPnt narrow-gauge railroad
that, for years, was the principal means of transportation to and from
the area.
During the World War I era, there was a sharp increase in acreage
of potatoes grown in the area as well as statewide when 1915-16 is compared
with 1917-18. A sharp increase is indicated in the Hastings area in
1918 over the acreage of 1917. These increases were brought about by
more growers going into potato production.
By 1922, and no doubt earlier, more family names were added to the
list of "independent" growers; thos.3 at Hastings included Allen, Badger,
Bradbury, Goodwin, Grady, Hewitt, Higginbotham, MaI1this, Minton, Mobley,
Morrison, Proctor, Rodenberry, Smith, Stephens;, Waller and Wilkerson, all
of whom grew from 40 to 400 acres. At Elkton were listed Davis, Shields
and i'olfe. Others were as follows: at San Mateo--Sutherland, Turner and
Tillet were listed; at Shell Bluff--NcCloud; at Yelvington--Thigpen; at
Palatka--Haimm; at East Palatka--Benjamin, Helm, Millican, Segan and
WadJui; at Moultric--Broal.ning; at Orange ).ilIs--Aiford, 'iurplhy and Willets;
and at Federal Point--Gray and McCalliui,
There were, of course, many others. The Hasitings Potato Growers
Association (HPGA) gave its list of 100 which is presented as a documen-
tation of its charter member list (Table 13). (See page 45 for informa-
tion on the organization of the HPGA.)
The Miles Potato Corporation was incorporated in 1928. Edgar S.
hiles was president for the first 18.>ears. Mr. Miles came to the area
apparently in the 'teens, from the Eastern Shore of Virginia and spent his
lifetime in the potato industry. At one time he was connected with the
Waller Potato Company as secretary-treasurer and, later,was reported to
have become the conmpiny's president. He developed farms in the East Palatka,
Federal Point and Hastings areas. Ansley Hall, Sr. was associated with the
Miles Poar.ao Corporation from its beginning as secretary-treasurer, contin-
uing until his death, at which time this position was taken over by his
son, Ansley, Jr. William Wigton, Jr., a cousin of Mr. Miles, came to








Table 13.--Florida Irish potatoes: Charter membershipa in the 1 -
Potato Growers Association, August 8, 1922-January 4,

No. Name Address Date of application


J. P. Appleby
R. G. Arnett
Carroll E. Badger
Chas. H. Badger
Geo. B. Badger
Ballard (W.H.) & Cooper(J.D.)
R.L. Bothwell
James Bradbury, Sr.
A. E. Campbell
C. H. Campbell
A. G. Carter
Chandler & Ivey (C.B.)
Dennis Dorsey
Joe F. Flake
J. F. Flake


T. R.
J. M.
Iagan
H. 0.
R. T.


Goodwin
Goodwin
Brothers (J.P.J.)
-Hammt
I'ewitt


Isabel Holding
Frank Johns 4 Son
V. A. Lane
M. T. Leahy
H. C. McKinney
A. J. Maltby
B. J. Masters
C. C. Mathis
L. J. Messervey
Chas. A. Middleton
Jas. L. Niddloton
Gee. M. Filler
J. T. Minton
J. L. Morrison
M. J. Murphy
J. W. Parrish
A. G. Pellicer
W. E. Pellicer
Geo. H. Proctor & Son
7;uss:?ll F. Proctor
C. C. Robshaw
Geo. W. Scoville


East Palatka
Hastings
it
"


Elkton
Hastings
I
11


Elkton
East Palatka
Hastings
ir


II
It
Orange Mills
Hastings
East Palatka
Hastings
Federal Point
Hastings
Federal Point
Hastings
Elkton
Hastings
Elkton
Hastings
Elkton

11

Orange Mills
Elkton
Hastings
Orange Mills
iH.-: i. ,l Point
,- ,l, a l Point


H!1 t i.
E 1.1 '-..


---- Continued
aPlany names are duplicates of personal or family names al:iad) cited;
all listed here are from the files of HPGA.


Sept.
Oct.
Oct.
Oct.
Oct.


19,
1 4,
17,
17,
17,


1922
1922,
1922

1922
1922
1922
.22
1922
' .

1922
1922
1922
1922


1922

1922


Oct. 9,
Aug. 8,
Sept. 5,
Aug. 8,
Sept. 4,
Sept.25,
Sept. 4,

Sept. 4,
Aug. 8,
Sept. 4,

Oct. 17,
Aug. 8,
Oct. 17,
Oct. 30,
Nov. 6,
Aug. 8,
Oct. 4,
. r.' ,11,

Sept. 4,

Aug. 28,

Aug. 8,
Aug. 8,

Oct. 9,
Oct. 17,
Sept. 1,


'- 2 :





1922




1"
. ..'


., "


16
17
18
19


21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29


31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40


Aug.
Oct.
Oct.
IR ;.


e. .29, .
a.1









Table '".--',-.. da Irish potatoes: Chaiiter membership in the ":
.. ..:o Growers Association, August 8, 1922-January .
.:-tinued


io,.' Address


Date of ap i ication


Geo. W. Scoville, Jr.
John T. Scovi !o
Wm. H. Scoville
(Mrs.) E. H. Shields
Smith :-v*. Farm Co.
C. H. '....ii .h ic.a
A. M. Stevens
Lee L. Thij.pin
N. E. Thigpin
fir; Tillie h.;,,pin
C. W. Turner
C; Weigel (Chas.)
Ludwell Williams
P ... ';' I :;
Geo. Wilton
M. C. W...- i,
Jas. G. v'"on.1ey
Paul R. Ye-,gley
J. H. Yelv'.-:tuln, Sr.
Arthur E, Yelvington


N. D. Benedict
S. R. R ,'el,
BRadh-..11 Bros. (R.C. K F.E.)
Br:dbury, J. ?1.
Cari'ngL on R. W.
Howard Ca.i'ter
E. H. Dowdy
Charles Dorwart
L. B. & F. P. I.uPont
R. H. Fi.: :on
0. H. Fay
J. H. Flake
N. L. & W. S. Fry
J. E. Gauzens
A. Mi. c''i on
G. H. Heath
W. H. Hi.yi. n :oth..i. n
S. J. Howart
A W i.- anar'
S. I. "i11;in-s north
W. H. : .,


Elkton

i
(I


Spuds
Hast inis
"t

Yelvi ni ton
Ha't cing .


Elkton
I ,.- ; i., 3
East Palatka
Elkton
Hastings
Orange Mills
1


i-;astings
"


Porato Llle
San Mateo
East Palatka
Hastings
Federal Poiint


II
Hastings
n




Spud!
Histi:IS
East Pal
Splld 5




East Pal


Sn


Oct.
Oct.
Aug.
Aug.
Sept.
Aug.
Aug.
Oct.
Sept.
Orpt,


Sept. 1,
Sept. 4,


July
b.. I .
July


Oct.
July

.Sept.


,J / :.'* I ". *
July 25, :;.
Nov. 30, 1923
July 23, 1 0
atka Sept. 3, 1923
June 22, .
July 24, 23
Oct. 1, -"
atka July 24, 1923
July 18, 9.7
on Au; 25, ":
Sept. 1, 1125
Seft. 5, i'.'.

C(ont inue-


,10I


, '" .* "'


1922
. -


1922
VV

1:
1922
1922

1922
i .,


63
64
65
66
67

69


71
72
73
74
75
76

78
79
80
6i
82
S3.


"~' ~L


; i 'i








Table 13..-Florida Irish potatoes: Charter membership in the Hastings
Potato Growers Association, August 8, 1922-January 4, 1924
--Continued

No. Name Address Date of application

84 W. K. Langford Orange Mills July 10, 1923
85 Ellard W. Leather Hastings July 23, 1923
86 Mrs. T. L. McDuffie East Palatka Oct. 9, 1923
87 Walter McClaim Spuds 1923
88 Maltby, H. E. Federal Point July 30, 1923
89 A. R. Masters Elkton June 30, 1923
90 C. J. Masters July 2, 1923
91 C. W. Masters Sept.29, 1923
92 J. A. Masters, Jr. June 2, 1923
93 Stanley S. Masters "June 22, 1923
94 P. J. Messervey July 16, 1923
95 L. Heisterhagen East Palatka Aug. 11, 1923
96 James Nolan Elkton May 8, '?-;
97 W. J. Pellicer Hastings July 13, !'
98 H. C. Ragin East Palatka July 26, 1923
99 J. H. Reid Hastings Jan. 4, 1924
100 R. W. Waite Spuds Aug. 31, 1923
Source: Files of the Hastings Potato Growers Association.

Florida in 1937 from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, also. He b-.-. t
,. .perience in produce as a receiving broker, both on the Eastern ...
and in Philadelphia, located in Coral Gables and handled produce in Home-
stead, Belle Glade and Hastings. He later became a co-owner of the
ii l'.s Potato Company and was president and sales manager for 6 years or
until his death. Mrs. Wm. Wigton, Jr. succeeded her husband, moved to
H.Rstings and continued as president of the firm until it was l-.-olved
in October 1974. J. B. McCallum was an independent farmer and farm ..ne-
man for the Miles farms. His death followed that of Mr. Hall, Sr. by
about two months.
Southern Potato Products Company was organized in 1929 by D. W.
T:rri~' 'e and A. D. Zachary. The firm had a small plant at Bunnell ... a
1 gesr plant at East Palatka. Potatoes were .-alned at both places under
the "Zacate" brand. The firm employed some 60 to 75 persons at East
P,:itka and had an annual pack of about 35,000 cases of 24 #2 cans.
Pearce and Kolbfield bought into the firm and in 1935, after it was deter-
mined the canning plant was unsuccessful, C. A. Merwin and B. C. Pearce








got possession _- all interests and renamed the ., ... : ., ..-
- I.'', ,,! .!r.,,in and Pearce operated a successful c.:bbag'- andp, ; .:L. I :.-
for many years in the East Palatka-COra'.ne Mill section.4

p.nmnd, "~ory ;n:.,,owrh ,ad! marketing ai. Hastings

.os many 'ears Irish potatoes were not grown commercially in Florida.
The .;!'.i. was i --.doiin. 1y. rural .Lc.4 potatoes grni. extensively for home
use, stored in the "l. i.i" (a hole dug inside or *..l y:i.ide, but lined with
straw, potatoes piled therein, covered with straw and t!h.-; with s0ii for
protection from chs winter's col.ji). Many had root cellars for storage;
others bL.-g: to put their larger :.-...o:- in more elaborate storage ,i ..il-
ties [36].
Late in the '90s the production A-*f Irish potatoes for no.-thi .r mar-
kets began in the Ha3sings area, and has increased until it is the.prinl;.-
pal farm enterprise in St. Johns and Flagler .-...-r:f is ,'-1 p.:..'-1ly in
l'Pu,.u. County as well). The groWiJng of potatoes was started .T.,. three
;.i:.: south of Hastn': s. In 3.i99! there were 128 acres in potatoes in the
area. In 1902, 15,000 barrels (24,750 cwt.) were grown, and by i..-: the
production was three times this amount [24].
In the Bunnell area later Flagler Co.ttv\), pottn-' fa-rmin-r. started in
the Haw Creek section, about 1907, and in the GreC r Cove :7.. '*.a area of
CI,. Crn,,t\. about 1912 [24].
IrairsAs and consumers had to be edl;.ated to th.; feasibility of fresh
potatoes b--ing mar1.,;ted from Florida When much of the nation was ,- 1: pont-
ing. There was vert, little, if any, market at first for early new,'-"
toes from Florida. I-or several years the effort to introduce t!-m to the
trade resulted in bitter disappointment. U. J. White, early :.-.. _.[-: .f
the Ilastings ar~.-a, consigned potatoes to John Ni>. and Coip.-mny of New
YoK;, about I85. Frank Nix, a me.iber of ,llis produce firm, Y.com9j ed the
n,,-arL-ting pj,.':..-,;bilities of these early new potatoes and rose to the :h-i.-
Tenre of cr .-ti,,g a re.-urring demand.
A few years later, the farmers formed an association; E. L. 4I C!luwi.
of Jacksonville was manager. Sales were on track or consigned, Mr.


'From a ckrmmpilation on file with the bicentennial Committee w vrki-ig
on the history of Putnam County; the committee is headed by Brian Michaels.
He and his .-.;istctat, Miss Margaret En:-ri'h, have offices in thl. County
Court House, Palatea.








McClung is credited with putting the industry on a cash basis, forcing
commission men to buy instead of soliciting consignments. About 1904,
a bad year, the Association discharged Mr. McClung. A representative of
John Nix and Company came down from New York and handled potatoes for the
Association on a basis of 3 percent on both track sales and consignments.
Later this was raised to 5 percent on track sales. The old association
gradually disintegrated. A picture dated May 5, 1904 is on file in the
town clerk's office; it shows wooded, slatted crates of potatoes being
loaded in vented cars.
A local farmer, "Cap'n" Bugbee informed Mr. Nix that he could pos-
sibly get an additional 1,000 acres of potatoes for the John Nix Produce
Com)panc to handle if the company would put up money for seed, fertilizer
and barrels.5 This was the beginning of the contract system.
In the earlier forms of the contract, the dealers put up the money
for seed and one-half the barrels against the farmer's land; labor, one-
half the barrels and profits were divided and the dealer sold the farmer's
share and received a commission for his services. About 1910 the system
was changed to the general system still in use in the '20s. The dealers
wished to get away from the fertilizer business as it was the heaviest
item of expense; thus, there was a great danger of loss in furnishing
fertilizer.
Clarence White of' the White aL~tomioLi Ie family is credited with
bringing the potato industry into the realm of scientific agriculture by
the importation of modern (for that era) machinery and the application of
scientific fertilization, together with investigation and experimentation
relative to the needs of the area for better methodology.
The Hastings-Elkton Potato Exchange was organized in 1911. The firm's
letterhead states it was sales agent and distributor for the independent
grower.; of the "Famous Hastings Potatoes," seed potatoes, fertilizer,
8oggs potato graders, Champion potato diggers and Cushman engines. They
advertised machine-graded potatoes. G. W. Waller was secretary, treasur-
er and general manager. The date of the letter on file at FCLRS is March


Shortly after this, for a period, the firm was Anoi'n as i:he Nix and
Bugbee Produce Co., but in 1919 Mr. Buglte left to form his own firm
known as the Bugbee Distributing Company and Mr. Nix was again alone (see
footnote 6).








6, i..;.; therefore, the Exchange could have had other original leadership
and could have built up in methods and services since 1911. A picture
dated May 10, 1915, on file in the town clerk's office, shows a Boggs
potato :..d:l," Llin, used in the field at Hastings.
The Nix Produce Company owned Barrel Warehouse No. land No. 2. Pic-
tures on file in the Hastings town clerk's office show potatoes being
packed in barrels of 165 Ibs. each which took the place .of the slatted
crates (March 1929), but earlier is a picture of the newly paved (brick)
Dixie Highwa" through Hastings in the summer of 1914. Another picture
dated May 19, 1915 shows the new brick streets and a 33 bbl. load of
potatoes pulled by a team of horses (the potatoes were labeled "Grown by
T. B. Glass"). Modern cars of the day--a 1909 Cadillac and a 1912 Reo--
are shown in still another photo. On May 20, 1915 the largest load of
potatoes--40 bbls.--ever hauled at IlastingL. was sold by Nix and Bugbee
for $170.00. The barrels carried the grower's own brand "G"; also pic-
tured are the gri;i-, T. G. .i.ts.s and the dealers, Frank Nix and F. E.
Bugbee. Others pictures included Flucas Flake, a member of an old family
of potato growers in the area.

Finni-xn-ji: the Histin potato crop

':,!i J. Dismukes who, at the time, was president of the First National
Bank of St. A, .o .:.*. saw the ..,.* .!. ties of farming the clay subsoil
:.,:!,.1I. of the Hastings area; with vision and courage, he began to lend
the farmers money to finance their development. He was later heard to
say he had the first dollar to lose through lending money to potato farm-
ers!
In an effort to solve some of the financing and marketing problems
connected with this rapidly expanding industry, the Florida Potato Growers'
Association was organized at Hastings in September 1918. Its purpose
was to buy seed and fertilizer, and sell potatoes. Growers also were
advanced money which the Association borrowed from the banks; some of
this money was not properly secured. Although it has been stated that no
attempt was made to operate after the one season--1918-19 [20], this
writer found evidence on file with FCLRS (see footnote, p. 41) that the
Florida Citrus Exchange came in to market the 1921 crop of the Association
on a $40 per car straight commission basis. The Association could not pay
off all the money owed and at the end of the season was short about $12,000.








The f. .- Potato Growers' Association became defunct. No i_:-i docu-
mentation is available to this writer.
In i92.' a study of financing conditions in the Hastings area showed
the iDipoertai c- of the potato crop.6 There were estimated to have been
19,000 acres in Flagler,.Putnam and St. Johns Counties plus about 1,000
in adjoining Clay and Volusia Counties, which was considered a part of
the j :l.Lt;: area. The yield arrived at in the survey was 40 bbls.
(66 cwt.) and the cost of producing, harvesting and loading was calcu-
lated at $160 per acre or $4 per bbl. Thus, about $3 million in short
term financing was considered necessary for such an acreage and production.
General conditions in 1922 indicated that although some were mort-
gaged, about 90 percent of the farmers in the area owned their farms.
Perhaps 95 percent of the landowners were white; most ran accounts at
local stores for household supplies. Land rented from $15 to $25 per acre,
averaging about $20.
The Florida potato industry was not large in the early '20s, but it
was important for its production came on the market in March, April and
May when there was a scarcity of early vegetables. Also, the production
at this time would serve to alleviate any serious shortage that might re-
sult from a poor crop, nationally, the previous fall. Since shipments
(rail) were the best indicator of production, Table 14 shows the carloads
by counties during the spring seasons, 1920-1925, and the percentage that
the area total was of the state total [24].
The 1922 study6 revealed around 30 percent of the potato acreage was
being grown by financially independent farm operators; about 70 percent of
the acreage was produced by farmers whose crops were under contract. These
contracts were written primarily by the Nix Produce Company, the Lugbee
Distributing Company, Chase and Company, G. W. Waller, American Fruit Grow-
ers, F. M. Leonard and Company, Upton and Company and a Mr. Lambert (a
banker at Euiinell). The combined acreage totaled 15,428, according to data
obtained by A. W. Clow of Hastings (who came with the Nix Produce Co.). The
figures are misleading as some dealers had acreage of their own included


A copy of this survey is on file with FCLRS in Orlando. A pencilled
name "Spencer" is on the cover page and "Assistant in Market Surveys" is
at the end of the report. The date 1922 is in the text as the only note of
the time'of the report.








Table 14.--Florida Irish potatoes: Carloads, Hastings area, 1920-1925

County 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925

Clay . .Carloads 340 81 59 56
Flagler. .. .. Carloads 321 157 423 267 420 592
Putnam . .Carloads 401 229 509 308 413 584
St. Johns. ..Carloads 1,748 1,401 2,340 1,996 1,887 3,259
Above shipments
as a percent of. .
all Florida. .Percent 71.7 74.8 71.6 75.8 63.4 87.4
Total (Florida). .Carloads 3,445 2,389 5,046 3,497 4,381 5,137

Source: [24].

which would fall in the independent category; also, some seed would have been
sold by th-se contracting dealers to the 30 percent group of independents.
Contr.ict farms.--'lhe dealer writing the contract made cash advances or
endorsed the grower's note at the bank. In both cases, 8 percent interest
was generally charged. The cash advance averaged about $20 per acre. The
dealer furnished seed, barrels and sometimes fertilizer, but most dealers
were found to prefer that the farmer deal direct with his fertilizer com-
pany; sometimes they endorsed the farmer's note for the purchase of fertilizer.
Notes were generally due in May or June 1 with interest at 8 percent
on the value of the supplies advanced. Generally the dealer's profit on
seed and barrels was sufficient to cover interest and none would be charg-
ed. The grower gave a crop lien to the lender. Some lenders required the
lien cover only the current crop; others took a promissory note for any un-
paid balance while other liens covered the current and all future crops
on the same land.
Coninission charges were 5 percent on tracksales and 8 (sometimes 10)
percent for consigned sales. Local dealers received a rebate of 3 percent
from cornigned sales. The 5 percent commission was on a f.o.b. basis
while the 8 percent charge was on the city jobbing price. Growers had to
stand the f.o.b. deduction if such was necessary.
The contract covered payroll, free of interest ( usually), at harvest
time. Settlements were made at the end of the shipping season.
Variations of this contract were numerous: (a) Upton and Company fur-
nished the fertilizer and one-half the seed and barrels. For this they








received 20 bbls. of No. 1 potatoes per acre; the farmer received the
balance of the No. l's and all the No. 2's; (b) the American Fruit 'ro .'.n
(4,';) mostly followed the general rules outlined above, but growers of
several hundred acres were furnished fertilizer, one-half the seed and
one-half the bbls. for the privilege of selling the entire crop at 5 per-
cent on track sales and 8 percent on consignments. After deducting
costs of supplies advanced and its commission, the balance was divided
equally between AFG and the grower; fc) Mr. Lambert, the Bunnell banker,
consigned heavily to Hearn of Philadelphia and Phillips of New York;,10
percent commission was charged and account sales were made direct to-the
grower in cases of limited financial backing, but at the end of the sea-
son 4 percent of such sales was rebated to Mr. Lambert; (d) G. W. Wal ir1
received northern monies which he loaned to growers at 8 percent interest.
Part of the crop was consigned to the northern dealer lending the money;
(e) a few northern dealers advanced money to growers through their local
agents with the understanding the growers' potatoes would be consigned to
them; and (f) Chase and Company charged the grower a flat commission of
30: per bbl.,on track sales and 35* on stock jobbed in the markets.
The main points of the form of contract in general use are summar-
ized as follows: (a) the dealer furnished seed at a profit of 501t to $1.
per sack. At an average of 754, this would amount to $3.75 per acre
(these were 165-lb. sacks; five bags were considered sufficient seed for
one acre); (b) the dealer furnished barrels at a profit of 35 each (40
bbls. at 3*) or $1.20 per acre; and (c) the dealer received 5 percent .*
mission on track sales (on an average f.o.b. price of $4.40 on No. I's
ind No. 2's combined at 40 bbls. per acre) or $8.80 per acre. Ilie total
profit for the dealer hi-lu: was roughl-y $13.75 per acre [p- some prf.it on
the interest charged on advances and notes,

Fertilizer financing.--In general, the fertilizer company would
ta1e the farmer's note with 8 percent interest; cash purchases commanded
a 5 percent discount. Concessions were extended large buyers, sometimes
almost $10 per ton. In 1922 the Truelin re tilizer Colpany of TA..].son
ville worked in cooperation wi t r.he flgbee Di.tributing Comprn. y with p.s, i b, ri"
secured by its lien, With a $4.40 average price per bbl. for No. l's
and 2's combined, less S.percent commission,, the farmer received $4.18.
With an average production cost of $4.00 this left only 18* profit--a








narrow n: l- .. : the risK was -, e cash
sale very desirable.
Local bank loans.--i,.. .., -.,; the -.:.U : .u .ive/ contacted local bank-
ers in Has-i ., i i and ..... ..r.'-,tine. It was ieainl.d that a ., e" .,e
or note was r.-,! *.1 1 to cover loans and made direct to growers:. !.-, the
credit !1;.; of the farm :,. 'ior was all-important. M,'l-ne', lent to a
dealer was secured by his personal note; the conti-acting l-ire\ 's note
to the dei'ler was used as collateral. The bankers prcf,.ire6 to lend to
dealers for the notes were paid when due whereas the farmers would en-
deavor to get the bank <-. .. 'i them ._I r so they would have .ii\:y to
spend duri.i',i, the year.
An estimated 75 I..:.*. -I:. of the money needed to finance the Has!, ;.l:-
potato dea4. came from the north, either i -..tly or indire'..t:!. The
banks could get northern money at 6 ,-.;:.-(.t' and lend it to the farmer at
8 percent. Some growers preferred to contract with the dealer and r-.,
th.ir' own ei',i-.. el 1I .-. The bankers believed this contract system was
bad for the farmer. 1:,. assistance was received from the go':';,,.-r "s '-
Finance Coripoia- i..Jn,, the ,on,". such source available in 1922.
From the above survey it is clearly seen that financing .
potatoes had been -;,,'.-:. by al....;n;.' firms. Due to the s p ,. lative
nature of the crop and the ioLi:... .-; '*j.o of ii., farmers, lo.s es to ... ;-
men were heavy. These losses necessitated a wide ii,,: of ,: .t on
suppies, sold the .... This p, .*. :ti e was not c:,',,tr'..-. i..'.. ical on
the p.rt of the dealer, but rather was considered good business. It did
mean, however, that the efficient farmer was p'--ali.-ed for ].:.--: .
others through l ;rm.;-i.m-ni 'ent or Or -c. .ral adversities(see footn';.t- 6, p. 41).

C:oopierat ive t.-t..rt.- t ~ L ,'' ted

The need led to a demand Cfi, an u ,vinj .:it:aioni that would select cred-
it risk, ,b.i in ii:i.; ties and.thus reduce costs of production and mar-
.t-i,.: .for the efficient tfr-, v-. It was felt sui.il an organization .,n .'.
inject a healthy competitive element into the deal. The Bankers' Trust
C:inp.'n.v o. Ati ,' i!-rgia was known to be agr.'edable to bec''iT', ; a source
of fiaiaice fo. a Oifl. ly or:.,,*. ,:4.. of responsible men :iry:-. is no
record of this source I:':.-'.;, i.l. Such an or-.3ization would [p.e: ii.
farmers to b'l.' their own :1 :.-!:. :. r, ii-ar'els and other necessary :' l -
plies and save the ,:.-i.t that o-1.: -.,, -.; would go to the delal.r.


ri r u L: 1 .


^..,-i^.- ... ,![








The Hastings Potato Growers' Association C (PGA) was incorporated
under the Florida Cooperative Act of 1909 on July 1, 1922, as an answer to
the grower's need. The purposes of the Association were to sell potatoes,
to extend production credit and to supply seed, fertilizer and containers
to its members. .The membership fee was $15 upon joining the Association.
At first ',io!-S.- "ship was for three years but this was later extended to 10.
A member could withdraw at the end of any season if his account was not
in arrears. All potatoes produced by a member were req:.i under-
alty, to be handled by the Association.
Finances for HPGA were and are handled through a subs i',-" .--The
Hastings Agricultural Credit Corporation (HACCo.) Its purpose is to facil-
itate the borrowing of monies by the parent organization from the --~'
Intermediate Credit Bank of Columbia (FICB) and other credit institutions
(local banks). Loans were obtained from FICB, starting with the 1924-25
season [20]. This was the Association's primary money source. The usual
procedure was for the member to give HPGA a note secured by a crop lien
and real, estate mortgage. The Association, in turn, assigned the grower's
pape' to the HACCo. The FICB loan to HACCo. was given security '-'* .- the
grower's paper and a margin of equivalent money per $100,000,
Charter members totaled 62 in 1922; the number was increased to :
in 1923 (to Jan. 4, 1924). Members are listed on pages 35-37. The mem-
bership and acreage handled mushroomed from its 62 charter members in
to its peak in 1928 or early '30s. Mc-iiibership later began to decline in
this and other established organizations. A number of new sales i. :
were started. Another factor in the decline is the tremendous reduction in
total grower numbers throughout the area; Table 15 shows HPGA i?,~ !r...,r i,
and is fairly representative of the decline.
During these years seed distribution was a primary means of determin-
i.'... .:-". -i-. In 1924 the two-year-old HI'GA, as a farm cooperative, led the
area in seed dist:' b j un; 'lhex ..iippliers were private fi' : Dist
Co., Nix Produce, G. W. Waller, Smith andi Holden, Chase : 'F ., D. C.
T-'-.nend, F. M. Leonard, a Mr. Parkhurst and E. E. Durkee, listed in "
of toninage. By 1930 several small dealers had dropped out and .., .'-V.
Brown, George Stone and Phillips and Co. had been added. HPGA, Eugbee
Dist. Co. and Nix Produce continued to lead, in the order listed.








Table 15.--F.orida Irish potatoes: Grower members of the Hastil.-. Potato
Growers Association, selected crop years, 192;i-. 'Vh ..ug
A. '"-72

4.op No. of Acres
i.ar mmc rs harvested acres

1922-23 .. "62 2,701
1927-28 192 7,.?-I 36
1932-33 116 3,980 32
1937-38 116 4,460 30
1942-43 104 4,802 40

1947-48 94 4,302 42
1952-53 81 5,369 28
1957-58 63 4,461 17
1962-63 35 2,889 12
1967-68 39 3,739 14

1971-72 25 2,600 12

Source: [20], and from records in files of HPGA.

In 1935 a group of growers met with A. G. Stands of Green Cove Springs,
manager of the North Florida Production Credit Association (NltJPCi) to work
out plans for a second cooperative. Thus Florida Planters, Inc., was organ-
ized. Horace W. Grimes was its first president. E. 0. David, C-L,,::,.u
A. Campbell, J. C. Kercheval, R. F. Proctor, R. M. bindi.ck, Clyde P. S1I,_.hi.
E. W. Keller, Sr. and W. F. Wolfe (who withdrew) were named directors. The
articles of iniorpor.ation were filed July 24, 1935. The incorporators were:
A. P. Pierson, L. Orrin Larson, J. O. Nobles, J. C. Kercheval, E. W. Keller,
Sr., A. J. Carre, Russell F. Proctor, Dick Beck and C. H. IcHioph. .'..
charter members wer: C. W. Keriheval, Fred Bradbury, G. H. Stevens, W. S.
Yelvington, F. V. Gray, J. B. McCallum, J. D. Hamilton, J. S. Abbott, S. A.
M.linton, H. E. Maltby and D. P. Barnum. The new cooperative fun,.:s,.loned well,
serving its members efficiently, and is continuing active as this report is
pr.padre in 197.',
Later Flagler County members were added and a packingho!'s' -. .-' at
Bunnell. The Robertson Bros., Cordell and Lloyd, Hoke Cobb, David Holland,
and others for shorter periods, were active grower memberr. Later the PI.lP' .\
changed its name to North East Product Credit Association (NEPCA).7


From records on file at Florida Planters, Inc.








In the late '30s several potato farmers in Flagler County formed a
Si.:.. and selected HPGA to buy their supplies, seed and fertilizer, and
handle their production. By 1938 or 1939 they mutually dissolved their
giq'-l; to become individual members of HPGA. Thus the first cooperative
advanced to serve the Tri-County area and Clay County as well.
In 1948 the S. S. Sawyer Co. was formed by Graham Lee, who shortly
thereafter resigned as manager of HPGA to take the lead as president of
the Sawyer Co. Emmett Campbell was vice-president of the firm. In
1952 Mr. Lee bought out S. S. Sawyer, took in Frank Teague as sales man-
ager and, at Mr. Teague's suggestion, named the new firm Tri-County
i'roduce Company. Its function was to finance growers, and to pack and
sell their potatoes. The firm functioned for two years after Mr. Lee's
death in the late '50s. Mrs. Lee joined forces with Harold Maltby who
later bought her interest. The firm's name was retained.
Frank Teague went into business for himself for two years before as-
suming the management of HPGA.
Emmett Campbell left the Tri-County produce Co., and formed a part-
nership with "Bill" Kerr and William Revels, naming the new company
C-K-R Farms. They also chartered in 1958 a new sales and han31.;. firm--
I-,irmeis Marketing Service. "Zeke" Holland assisted in administration,
,o.ierc Newsome served as field supervisor and, later, Doy Cloud was in
charge of sales. The firm handled potatoes for others; Beach and i.,. 11
(which still functions) and George Beach, one of the area's better growers
until his death, were the main farms it represented. The principals in
this organization split up in 1968. Emmett Campbell still operates as
Farmers Marketing Service. Bill Revels bought the George Beach Ec.-,
"Zeke" Holland formed his own brokerage firm for a few years -,i; i.:
Cloud represents L. and M. Brokerage, Inc., Raleigh, N. C. with area head-
quarters at East Palatka.
Another grower-packer-handler was Norman Pounds and Son (Norman, Jr.).
Mr. F.'uiids first started in the late '30s as a broker, selling for others;
then, in. I9-.50, he grew cabbage and potatoes, pal.ing and sell].: ,.
himself as well as for others. About a y)eai before Norman, Sr.'s death,
they dropped potatoes and gave their attention to cabbage. The Pounds'
farm is south of Hastings, but offices and packinghouse were located at
the East Palatka Farmers Market until it burned in 1975; then the office
was moved to Norman, Jr.'s residence on the farm.'








Natural and Physical Aspects

Soils

Most farmers in the Tri-County (Haistinrgs) area have been able to main-
tain or improve the soil condition of their land. By adhering to practices
designed to maintain fertility of the soil and control soil diseases and
nematodes, many farms have been built up appreciably over their virgin
status. The two types of soil best suited to the growth of potatoes in
this area are (1) the Bladen fine sand, which predominates around Elkton
in St. Johns County and Bimini in Plagler County, and (2) the Bladen fine
sandy loam, which is found around East Palatka, Federal Point, Hastings
and in the Haw Creek section of Flagler County [24]. Their heavy sandy-
clay subsoil, which occurs one to three feet below the surface, induces a
slow movement of ground water, detrimental from a drainage standpoint, but
of decided advantage in irrigation [ll]. The Haw Creek soils and some
others in the Hastings area have a more pronounced clay base and are not
as well suited for potatoes as some other soils in the area. Very vew po-
tatoes are currently being grown in the Haw Creek section and some farms
at iidstings have been diverted to cabbage, dropping potatoes because the
soil is better suited for other crops.

Topography a id Watc,-r

The land is comparatively flat and, in the Hastings and Bunnell
districts, especially, the water table is near the surface. rD~t .ge is
poor and, as stated earlier, the land was once considered worthless (see
page 25). Drainage was, and continues to be, a'necessity. Since the
potato crop is grown, from pi'eparation of s edbcd for plantinct i.:,ughi
the harvest period, during the prevailing dry period (Novib.: through
most of May), irrigation is a necessity. The drainage ditch serves a
dual purpose, but its initial purpose is to remove excess water which
can quickly ruin a crop. Thus a main canal with tributary Tareials ac-
cessible to each farm or a creek or branch flowing to the river is
necessary.
It is fortunate the area is in a flowing artesian well zone. The
consistency of the soil makes it possible to convey water several miles
when irrigating. A plan for a surface drainage-irrigation system is
shown in Figure 3.









Drain ditch NoJ.-
x Artesian
Direc- well
tion of
water
flow



4----- Drain ditch No. 2
Figure 3 .--Florida Irish potatoes: Diagram of a surface
irrigation system
Source: [7].


When necessary to irrigate, the flow from the artesian well is turned
into drain ditch No. 1 which is dammed to form a small reservoir. .Water
flows from this filled ditch onto the field through "water furrows" here-
in diagrammed at 40 feet apart to filled ditch No. 2, which is also dammed
at its low end. When the two drain ditches are full, the "water furrows"
will then fill, and the water will, by capillary attraction, work through
the soil of the 40-foot "land." The supply to each "land" is regulated
by partly or entirely damming up "water furrows" where they enter ditch
No. 1. When sufficient moisture has been obtained, the dams in ditches
No, 1 and No. 2 are removed, which allows the water to drain off p.:idl.
Cross ditches are usually placed from one furrow to another to aid in
draining excess water.
At first shallow wells (about 20 feet deep) were sufficient. As
the source was depleted, centrifugal force pumps were put to work to aid
the flow. When it became necessary to go deeper, the flow is augmented
by turbine pumps. These pumps have a tendency to take water away from a
shallow well and its centrifugal pump, especially if the shallow well is
located between two nearby deep wells. Soluble salt is a hazard brought
on by dry weather and the use of the deep well; it has been known to in-
jure potatoes equally as much as the drouth.
A good flowing well will water 40 acres in from 24 to 48 hours. This
irrigation system has been used almost from the beginning. A good flow
can be obtained at a depth of 250 to 400 feet [7]. Water conservation is
an actuality with the advent of plastic header pipes which replace the








main deli'v... ditch; some 5,000 or 6,000 acres are currcrtly conserve -
water with plastic headers 3 p. more are planned.
;:e..t pl!.:i'.ing and cultivating results are obtained by working the
land in ridges. Th1i:, pieiiits faster drainage and aeration after rains.
P -a-e.. are planted on more of a ridge in the Hastings area than would
be necessary '..so some other crops.

-' ..r. ., .. ....i. :,.-- H al-.' ings Area

SpauIding ,,e No. 4

As miiintionedL earlier (page 28), Spaulding Rose #4 (SR #4) was grown
throughout the area from its early introduction; in the mid-'30s at least
98 > rcent of the area shipments were of this variety. By 1939 it had
daropied to s:coi;dl place ( see Table 16) The SR #4 was a medium to medium-
late maturing variety, producing broad-roundish flattened to oblong-flat-
tened tubers having almost white flesh-colored skins; eyes were medium in
depth and number [11]. Tests conducted over a five-year period were
started in 1924 in plots grown in representative localities of the Hastings
area and in the Everglades; subjected to extremely variable temperatures
and rainfall, these tests proved the SR #4 was rather consistently out-
yielded in primes (N.. 1 potatoes) by Irish Cobblers, .,reap. 'nt-~r ',
Golden Russets and Bliss Triumphs. However, it continued as the led..Jing
variety. Plaintlng were made at about 5 bbl. (8.25 cwt.) p-.r acre [16].
Table 16 shows fth percentages by varieties planted during this
transition period, when growers were seeking a more productive, better-
quality pot.ito.

Fat ;hdin

This variety gave brief promise to lead production in the area, but
maintained the lead for only three seasons (1939-41). The Katahdin was,
at that ciduii, a ile, s~,edling, developed by USDA. It is described as
being resistant to mild mosaic, but not to spindle tuber or leaf roll.
Its tubers are short, elliptical to roundish, medium thick with smootlh
s. .n, dark cream-buff in color, andhave shallow eyes. It is classed
as a relatively late ,iiaturing variety [11].

Sebago
As shown in Table,16, this variety was first tried in the Hastings
area as early as 1938. It gained in acceptance in 1942 and rapidly







Table 16.--Florida Irish potatoes: Varieties planted in the Hastings
area, shown as a percent of the total, 1937-38 through 1948-49

Crop Year Spauding Katahdin Sebago Earline Othera
Rose _F
----------------------------Percent---------------------
1937-38 74 25 less than 1 1
1938-39 39 51 2 8

1939-40 10 79 6 5
1940-41 2 77 7 9 5
1941-42 45 45 10
1942-43 35 60 1 4
1943-44 28 65 7

1944-45 15 80 5
1945-46 95 5
1946-47 95 5
1947-48 90 .10
1948-49 .95 5
a
ayl.! include Bliss Triumph, Chippewa, Dakota Chief, Earline, Essex,
Irish Cobbler, Katahdin, Kennebec, Marygold, Pontiac, Sebago, Sequoia,
Spaulding Rose and White Rose.

Source [8].

increased to lead all varieties, attaining a status of 95 percent of the
entire Hastings crop. It continues to have this distinction in 1975, but
a new variety that is expected to replace it was released in June 1976
by the University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations. The
Sebago proved to be very well adapted to utilization for chipping and
has been in great demand for that purpose, but for the first 10 years
it was well accepted on the fresh market mostly. This white, thin-skinned
tuber is medium-elongated, generally smooth and maintains a favorable
specific gravity for processing. It is a high yielding, good shipping
tuber that has some disease resistance [8].
During the '50s, '60s and '70s various other varieties have been
grown in the area. Red Bliss Triumph was, for many years, the favorite
red-skinned table variety. Other red-skinned tubers are the Pontiac,
succeeded by the LaSoda in the Hastings area; some Nir'.l.hin. have been
tried as well as a few LaRouge while Pungo, Kennebecs, LaChippers and
Superiors have been grown to supplement the Sebago for a multi-purpose
potato.







Culture

The pioneer gr-ouer was beset with hardships that would cause the
modern farmer to look elsewhere for his livelihood. The earliest form
of energy was man-power and mule-power. Land was cleared and drainage
ditches were dug by this method. Labor was cheap. Not only were the
early plantings by hand but fertilization was primarily manure and the
supply was inadequate, but the manganese was needed.
In all areas, until recent years, potato seed were cut by hand un-
less small "B" size were to be planted. Seed were planted on beds in
all areas. Seed, unless red-skinned varieties were being planted, were
brought in to the Hastings area primarily from Maine and Prince Edward
Island.
A fairly loose, friable soil with an abundant supply.of organic
matter was, and continues to be, desired. Hastings potatoes are planted
on ridges built up on rather wide beds. By the time fertilizing is done
(usually two to six weeks in advance of planting) a rather flat-topped
ridge has been built up. A few growers fertilize at planting time. A
4-7-5 formula at one ton per acre was customary in the '30s.
Material requirements for potatoes during the late '40s and during
the period 1959 to 1961 are presented in Tables 17 and 18.


Table 17.--Florida Irish potatoes: Usual material requirements per acre
in the Hasting; area, 1945-46 through 1948-49
SAmount required
tem I Kind
Item Kind Range Usual

Seed Sebago 900-1,500 lb. 1,300 lb.
Fertilizer 5-7-5; 4-8-6 1,800-2,500 lb. 2,100 lb.
Dust Fixed copper dusts,
Zineb (dithane Z-78
or dry parzate) 80- 175 lb. 110 lb.
Containers 100 lb. burlap 85 bags

Source: [4].

Labor

As stated above, labor availability and wages presented no problem
during the formative years. World War I presented the first tight labor.
The land boom of the mid-'20s has never been mentioned as being adversely
affective in north Florida, but the relatively high economy of the '20s







Table 18.--Florida Irish potatoes: Usual material requirements per acre in
the Hastings area, 1959 through 1961

Item Kind Amount

Cover crop seed Sart, Star Millet, FS-1, 12 lb.
Hegari, Sesbania, Sorghum 20 lb.
Seed Sebago, Red Pontiac 1,700 lb.
Wireworm control Chlorinated hydrocarbon;
organic phosphate 1 gal.
Fertilizer 6-8-8; 7-8-8; 7-9-9 2,300 lb.
Supplemental fertilizer Nitrate of potash; nitrate
of soda; 10-10-10;
20-20-20 3 gal.
Weed control chemicals Dinitros 1 gal.
Spray Organic fungicides, chlori-
nated hydrocarbon and
organic phosphate insecti-
cides 800 gal.
Containers 100-lb. burlap bags 15O.

Source: [2].

was in sharp contrast with the over-abundance of cheap labor during the
"Gre.at Depression" of the '30s. During World War II a great labor shortage
gripped the farmers, especially at the time of potato harvest as the en-
tire crop had to be picked up by hand. This writer was privileged to be of
direct assistance at Hastings and in Dade County by determining the need
and placing off-shore laborers. These were brought in, mostly from the
Bahamas,and housed by the War Food Administration in portable tents
adjacent to fixed bath-houses and kitchen-dining areas. When the off-
shore labor supply became insufficient the Farm Labor Placement branch
of the Agricultural Extension Service certified the additional need in
both areas and procured prisoners-of-war to pick up the potato crop. Both
methods were successful. A few off-shore laborers were certified to live
on farms in Flagler County.
As farm equipment advanced in performance, it usually became more
complicated and thus required more skilled workers. During more recent
years the farm operator has had to compete with higher paying industrial
employees for such personnel.
Tables 19 and 20 show the results of labor surveys to determine the
usual labor requirements per acre and the season of operations during the
late '40s and during the 1959 to 1961 period.




54



1abl-i 19.--Florida Irish potatoes: Usual labor requirements per acre and
season of operations, Hastirngs area, 1946 through 1949

Usual dates Times Ilours er acie
Operation performed over Man Tractor


Preharvest:
Ditching and replacing water
boxes . . .
CuLting stalks or diskig .
Breaking . .
Disking . . .
Laying off, bedding up
and opening drains .
Cutting seed . .
Planting, fertilizing and
opening drains . .
Cultivating and opening
drains . . .
iHo.ing and weeding. .
Du: ting . . .
Irrigating . .
Plowing water furrows .


Sept. 1-;Iov.30
Sept. 1-lept.30
Sept.15-Oct.31
Oct. 1-NoV.30

Dec. 1-Dec.25
Dec. 20-Feb. 1

Dec. 20-Feb. 1


Jan.
Mar.
Mar.
Jan.
Nov.


15-i 'ar.15
1-Nar.31
1-Mar.31
15-Mar.31
15-Mar.15


6.0
.5
1.0
1.8

2.5
7.6


1 6.6


5.5
2.1
1.1
5.7
.4


Total preharvest labor


Harvest:
Dii ing. ... . ...
Picking up. . ....
Ch ckiir,......... .
Hauling to packinghouse .
Grading, packing and
loading. .. . .

Total harvest labor


Apr.
ii


5-May 15


2.2
31.5
1.1
7.7


S, 13.0

55.5 1.1


Total labor---growing and
harvest ing


96.3


10.3


Estimated average yield: 142 bu. (85.2 cwt.) per acre.
Row width: average 40 inches, Hastings; average 42 inches, Bunnell.
Distance of hills; average 11.5 inches.

survey covers the late '40s.


Source; [4].


.5
1.0
1.8

1.2


1.1

2.4

.8

.4


40.8


9.2


-- -- I


----I








Table 20.--Florida Irish potatoes: Usual season of operations and '
requirements in hours per acre, in the Hastings iarea, iJ.L'~.g
the 1959 through 1961 period

Operation Usual dates Hours per acre
peratperformed Man Tractor
Preharvest:
Field:
Ditching and draining. Oct. 1Mar. 31 7.1 1.3
Preparing land . ... Oct. 1-Dec. 15 1.8 1.8
Preparing rows . .. Dec. 1-Dec. 31 0.4 0.4
Planting and fertilizing Dec. 20-Jan. 31 9.0 1.0
Cultivating and fertilizing. Jan. 15-Mar. 31 1.4 1.4
Insect and disease control Feb. 10-Apr. 10 1.6 1.6
Irrigating . .. Jan. 15-Mar. 31 3.0

Total pre-harvest labor 24.3 7.5

Harvest labor: Apr. 10-May 25
Digging : 1.5 1.5
Picking up . . 27.0
Hauling to packinghouse . 4.1

Total harvest labor 32.6 1.5

Other labor 3.4 2.7

Total all operations 60.3 11.7

Estimated yield, cwt. 150

It should be noted mechanical harvesters and loaders have materaiady
reduced labor costs in that "picking up" by hand has been eliminated (see[19]).


Source: [2].


Equipn,, nt

An evolution from mule-drawn plow.and middle-buster, two-mule cultivator
and hand labor with a hoe in the pioneer days was inevitable. Breakthroughs
came with the tractor as a power source; mechanical planters, first the
single row and then che two-row planter, replaced seed pieces dropped by
hand. Multiple-row machines replaced the one-row equipment. lie same was
true of composted manure and commercial fertilizer; as equipment for i-.'!,
task became available the labor requirement decreased. Dust and spray ap-
plicators also advanced from the hand "sack" and the cranked duster opera-
ted while walking to mechanical, tractor-drawn spray rigs; when applications







were needed and fields were wet, dust or spray was, and still is, applied
by plane. Some prefer this method at all times.
Three systems for harvesting and handling have been used: (1) con-
ventional, (2) partially mechanized and (3) completely mechanized.
In the conventional system, a roto-beater prepared the field for
digging by beating down the vines. A one-row or two-row tractor-drawn
digger was used to dig the potatoes and drop them back on the ground.
The potatoes were then picked up by "stoop" labor and placed in burlap
bags or boxes. These were then loaded on trucks manually, hauled to the
packinghouse and unloaded manually.
Indirect harvesting was an advanced step in that a window attach-
ment placed two rows into one. The potatoes were then picked up from
the window by a moving chain elevator on an indirect harvester that
loaded them in bulk after eliminating vines, clods and trash. There were
various types with advantages in proportion to costs and time.
By direct harvesting (complete mechanization), potatoes are dug,
vines are discarded and the tubers are conveyed, bulk, into a special
body mounted on a truck or trailer. The bodies are hopper-shaped and
have in the bottom a draper chain (rod) conveyor by which the potatoes are
unloaded.
Mechanical harvesters came into general use as a means of reducing
numbers of workers, to improve the quality and salability of the tubers,
and to reduce costs and increase returns from potato production [26].
Mechanical harvesters were first used in Florida during the 1945
season when two farmers at Hastings used a home-made one-row machine
that placed the potatoes in bags [28].
In 1953 only 1,125 acres were estimated to have been harvested me-
chanically in Florida. Six harvesters were farmer-built and two commer-
cially built. During the 1954 season four farmer-owned and two custom-
operated two-row direct harvesters that bulk loaded the potatoes harvested
1,335 acres in the Ft. Myers and Hastings areas. Eleven farmer-built
one-row machines that placed the potatoes in bags were used to harvest
522 acres in the Hastings area. Another 746 acres were dug with con-
ventional diggers, picked up by hand, field loaded and hauled in bulk to
the packinghouse [26]. Dade County potato farmers, because of their
marl soil, were late in using mechanical harvesters. It was feared too








many clods would be picked up along with the tubers. The reader is
directed to University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations
Pul I3tins 579 and 612 for detailed information on methods of harvesting,
quipmel-iLft being used in the mid-'50s, and the effect on quality and costs
of harvesting and handling (see [26] and [19]).
Since 1954 the use of mechanical harvesters has increased rapidly,
especially in the Hastings area in the late '50s, but through 1957 use
was confined to Hastings and Ft. Myers. Observations during the 1957
season would indicate 35 one-row machines and 50 two-row machines oper-
ated in the Hastings area. They were estimated to have dug 25 to 33 per-
cent of the area acreage [26]. Currently the commercial crop is harvested
mechanically and moved to packinghouses in bulk.
Satisfactory equipment used at the packinghouse to help separate
soil, clods, vines, weeds and grass (which are frequently.contained in
loads of potatoes dug with mechanical harvesters) was designed by the
Department of Agricultural Engineering of the University of Florida [28].
Packinghouses had to improve with the harvesting equipment. Research
produced a flume designed for receiving and handling potatoes from the
bulk truck without damage to the tuber [27]. The average packinghouse
has bins for storage prior to grading where custom work, washing, dr)yijg,
sizing and bagging for fresh market sales is done. One economy method
of grading for processing is discussed below.

Hastings Provides Early New Potatoes for the Chipping Industry

In the late '40s, possibly 1949, samples of Sebago potatoes grown at
Hastings were sent by Graham Lee to be tested for potato chips. This
initiated a new era in utilization of Florida potatoes. Eventually, as
the demand for chip stock increased, economic measures were taken. The
packing operation reverted to the farm in many cases where the crop was
harvested for processing only. Since many chip plants prefer the tuber
dry graded and sized (mainly only with culls out), the potato is mechan-
ically harvested and brought bulk to a portable grader where brushes
get off most dirt and culls are eliminated by a small crew of (usually)
women workers. The sized potato goes over a conveyor belt into the truck.
The bulk load then travels by highway to the chipping plant.








*'i,-:. ..,'- ip fpvl -i iz.n tS

I,'liTL:-..ive lhiaigcs took place in the marketing and distributing
.ogmricnt of the potato industry. The merger movement in the retail food
distribution industry led to further concentration of food store sales
and pu uJC.Is.S. B-t'weCiL 1955 and 1958, about 2,650 locally operated
food stores with an annual sales volume of nearly $3 billion were con-
solidated tIhrulgh mergers [18].
In 1954 potatoes accounted for close to 61 percent of the value
of all farm products ($13,813,815) in the three counties that make up
the iHastligs area. Incomes from potatoes had been restricted to less
than $4 million annually until 1946; during the 1952-56 period, returns
averaged in excess of $10 million annually. The increase in income
was due in part to the increase in demand from processors. The Korean
War economy, Hurricane Hazel in the fall in '54 and a late freeze in
the spring of '55 were contributing factors. During this period many
potato growers paid debts, increased holdings, improved farms, purchased
new equipment and invested in new packing facilities. Prosperity was
short-lived. In the next two crop-years (1956-57 and 1957-58) .i.-... I:
were up 37 percent over the previous five-year average planted, but less
favorable growing conditions resulted in lower yields and poorer quality.
Outside the Hastings area more nearly normal conditions added to the
adverse conditions within the area such that the gross income from
potatoes was reduced about 32 percent. The area again attained a :ri.cord
yield in 1961, but area incomes did not exceed $10 million until 1963
when acreage and yields were again high. The average price was low and
larger quantities accounted for the higher gross [18, 36].

Growin- putaiocs unmde contract for piroces.5ors

For a second period in the history of the Hastings area contract
production was entered into by many farmers. The first form of con-
tract was made primarily with local dealers as a means of financing, pur-
chasing and handling the farmer's crop( see page 42).
The second type of contract farming grew out of the gre.,t demand
from processors who converted the potatoes into potato chips. Contract
growing was defined as a definite agreemirent, either written or oral, on
the part of a grower to produce and deliver a specified volume of potatoes
to a given buyer.








This second type of contract growing started in the Hastings area
J'lring the 1954-55 season; only eight growers had contracts. By 1957-58
the number of producers with contracts numbered 65 and the volume had in-
creased from 54,864 cwt. in 1954-55 to 384,370 cwt. in 1957-58. This
was only 10.7 percent of the area production sold.
Contracts for the 1957-58 season specified quality and size from
U. S. No. 1, size A to unspecified; price per cwt. was usually on a
sliding scale price (79 percent), mostly $2.50-$3.50, that season; the
flat rate type made up the other 21 percent, mostly at $3.00. Of the
24 contracting farmers surveyed, 14 agreed to furnish federal-state
inspection; 18 agreed to put their potatoes in new bags; and 22 said they
were required to supply the bags [18]. An interesting observation was
that these contracts were not designed to furnish any credit extension;
neither were specific types of transportation required. All contracts,
except one, were written. Almost 54 percent of the sample growers were
of the opinion that contract growing would increase. They were correct.
In 1958 over 50 percent of the potatoes grown in the Hastings area were
estimated to have been used by processors. A sample of 93 growers showed
that 74 lamented the declining relative importance of the fresh market.
These 74 growers suggested the increase might be brought about by im-
proving quality, by advertising, by more consumer packaging and by better
sales organizations.
The above data were gathered in a survey that shows a remarkable
amount of grower opinions. These findings are available in the Univer-
sity of Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations Bulletin 668. The sur-
vey was conducted and the findings compiled by R. E. L. Greene and Paul
T. Blair [18].
Growers contacted were of the opinion the main problems facing the
potato industry were: (a) too many potatoes, (b) too many handlers,
( c) poor quality, (d) poor market organization and (e) contracting [18].

Federal or State Marketing Agreement and Order

The AAA Act of 1933 was expanded to cover Irish potatoes on August
4, 1935. The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1937 authorized federal mar-
keting agreements and orders. A marketing order could allow regulation
of marketing in a number of ways, including: (a) quality regulation,








(b) quantity regulation, (c) diversion of surpluses, and (d) pack regula-
tion.
Since these were the basic needs indicated by the growers, represen-
tatives of USDA held a public hearing at Hastings on November 3-6, 1959,
concerning proposed Marketing Agreement No. 137 and Order No. 60. Follow-
ing the hearing, a referendum was conducted among the producers. The agree-
ment failed by a small margin of votes [18].
In 1960 an area-wide cooperative with one or more sales agencies was
considered by Hastings area growers. This proposed organization was to be
known as the Hastings Area Produce Exchange. Its goals were to regulate
quality shipped and pack specifications by imposing inspection as a
condition of sale, thus improving buyer confidence; equate bargaining
power with large buyers; utilize advertising and merchandising programs
as desired and expand to bargaining in contracting with chip manufacturers
and with farm supply sources. Such was not activated until the 1967-68
crop year.
The North Florida Growers Exchange was organized under the direct
supervision of the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association (FFVA). Its
marl eting division assisted in obtaining membership, acreage and pro-
duction data, forming committees to establish day-by-day prices and
keeping up with distribution.
In the first season the Exchange signed up 202 growers with an
aggrc 'ate of 20,495 acres or 73 percent of the 27,994 acres in the area
C SRS estimated 28,300 acres planted and 27,400 harvested, about 1 percent
more then was determined by the Exchange). The Exchange desired 85 per-
cent of the area crop for most effective results. The Exchange recom-
mended and established prices for No. l's and packs having a percentage
of No. l's (usually considered 85 percent or higher) and recorded
harvest progress by keeping account of acres harvested by weeks and cwt.
shipped by pricing periods. Thus out of 2,521,505 cwt., 20.2 percent was
sold as table stock or fresh market, 36.5 percent filled contracts with
processors and 43.3 percent was sold by handlers to processors. SRS
estimated the total sold, all grades and sizes, at 4,363,000 cwt. Ap-
parently, B size and creamers as well as commercials, were not
included in the aggregate of the Exchange data [12]. The Exchange con-
tinues to function, but with less acreage being planted and fewer growers,










no doubt the percentage covered by the Exchange has decreased; however,
:..dbbge has been added to the Exchange's coverage.
Since the Exchange started in 1968 the number of growers has de-
clined, for many have dropped out, died or retired: George E. Allen, Jr.,
Colquit and Pelham Arnold, Arvida Farms, Marshall Barnes, Frank S. Barstow,
F. Ray Beach, Robert and Tommy Bertha, Max Bobinsky, Paul Brubaker, James
Bryant, Charles R., G. A., Lora J. and M. I. Burrell, Milton, Norman and
W. E. Byrd, C. A., J. F. and J. W. Campbell, J. M. Carter, Bradley
Cliett, D. H. Cobb, Phillip Cochran, R. W. Cody, Paul and Stephen Colee,
F. S. Crabtree, Jr., B. C. Cubbedge, R. W. Deen, Jr., J. V. Ford and E. W.
Pellicer, J. L. Garrett, James E. and Paris W. Goodwin, A. C. and Donald
Gray, Arlis Greene, C. G. Higginbotham, Z. G. Holland, Ann J. Hough, C. C.
Huff, A. B. and D. C. Johnston, W. M. Kinney, R. B. Klaerick, Knight
.rus., J. F. Lawton, Jack Lee, Joan McCool, C. W. Maltby, Virgil Mathis,
Macheck Farm, Marshall Farm, Merwin and Pearce, Miles Potato Corporation,
Mrs. Geo. Miller, I. C. and Rufus Norris, Vernon Pacetti, J. B. Pellicer,
Pioneer Cattle Co., Earl Pomar, Sr., Pounds Produce Co., Harold Ramsey,
I. B. Register, Dow D. Reid, Jr., Milton Rogero, Josephine Solano, Sun-
shine Biscuits, C. Roy Sykes, Dennis Stembridge, Nellie Sykes, Tindall
and Vennestrom, Mrs. L. L. Thigpin, N. E. Thigpin, Ford Thompson, S. J.
Tilton, Leslie and Raymond Tucker, Gus Tomlinson, A. F. Triay, W. W.
Tilton, C. R. Usina, Joe Washington, Wallace Weeks, Sam White, Herbert
Whitley, Irwin Williams, W. F. Wolfe, George Wright, B. R. Yarborough
and W. G. Yelvington [12].
Unfortunately,replacements for these farmers have not come into
Hastings' potato industry. This can be seen when the acreage is com-
pared. The 28,300 acres planted in 1968 had declined to 16,200 acres
by 1975.

What of the Future?

As indicated above, new growers are not Coming into the potato
deal as fast as old ones are goiiig out. Table 21 shows farm operators
and acreage by counties, pointing up the trend at the county level.
There are quite a few young potential farmers. Some have already start-
ed in their fathers' footsteps; many have better educations than their
parents and grandparents plus the added self-education that comes through






62


Tlabl 21,--l'lorld:ll IrIh poSlaloe: I'ICIrm operators (F. 0.) reportlIn; ac eage to the U. S. Itircau of the Censuep by counties
[.].' lin. I '[**'i lI *..l~i I ti t 1 n' n n r -i r'i __ __ *



iil:*I2.,iIM-,AlZ AjIZ ~iii2 .. ~. A'2 i ~ -! -


1,415 266 1,278 188
4 54 28 11
30 64 33 94
133 180 93 165
81 42 44 32

.16 17 50 58
209 117 29 57
38 1i 73 21
48 13 54
324 143 1,032 21

3
37 135 .. 24 74
172 51 857 147
524 72 160 47
2 8 3 17


Alachua
1aker
D'ay
Bradford
Brevard

Broward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay

Collier
Columbia
Da de
Di'Soto
DI de

Dival
Et cambia
Flagler
Franklin
G: sden

Gilchrlst
Glades
Gulf
Hamilton
Hardee


1,430
6
29
206
37

272
11
40
18
316

2
18
4,753
246
12

105
713
8,124
3
47

12
18
8
9
217


20, 1,470
195 36
49 22
193 147
24 18

23 70
119 26
3 1
19 6
40 186


1
190
4,232
86
5

137
1,013
2.642
10
54

7
12
3
57
48


12 13 6 14
18 76 50 37
3 27 44 28
760 334 314 599
233 241 74 142

22 341 14
586 313 105 338
3 58 20 17
2 224 42 13
37 83 54 105


Lee
Leon
Levy
Liberty
Madison

Manatee
Marion
Martin
Monroe
Napsau

Okaloosa
Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Palm Beach


Pasco 48
Pinellas 32
Polk 231
Putnam 3,454
St. Johns 7,174


28 356 53 242 29
59 71 175 37 60
12 5 33 12 19
13 11 11 5 18
49 14 208 67 273

62 116 101 93 173
110 38 220 72 161
18 158 8

32 9 71 41 255

5 42 306 122 286
68 39 14 130 39
69 19 78 38 166
270 107 62 70 73
218 715 31 724 78


38 133 53 58 49
18 48 42 54 87
272 284 246 336 285
3,581 191 3,811 173 3,521
10,309 241 8,329 204 7,037


23
167
46
.29
176

91
219
11
1
91

242
7
34
23
31


643
85
17
6
53

98
62
94

38

109
5
19
16
1,046


110 34
25 13
323 256
105 2,936
172 3,934


159 720 21 .409 10
56 166 181 78 58
1 17 10 16
276 70 58 61 145
47 9 143 40 47


See p. 65 for footnotes.


10 147 217 152 189
57 1,344 229 543 361
368 2,130 90 2,175 79
2 6 1 6
24 72 44 42 113

51 16 85
399 20 14 27
14 4 37
14 2 34 17 34
660 187 103 315


14
115
140


4


311 1,416
107 86
15 3
234 422
24 75


3 6
156 39
70 1,848
15 94
12 2

327 146
202 1,043
40 2,228
2
178 156

98 17
1 2
50 51
292 .103
290 143


Hendry
Hernando
Highlands
Ill .b',rough
Holmes

Indian River
Jackson
Jefferson
Lafayette
Lake


10 1,294
40 25
152 25

400 68


9 5
9 19
41 194
41 21
62 4,840

15 24
16 14
371 365
69 2,234
162 7,330


St. Lucde
Santa Rosa
Sarasota
Semlnole
Sumtor


Continued


_ 31







63


Table 21.--Florlda lrish ,pol to(n): i'arm noprators (F. O.) reporting acrealIgeto the (r. S. burcnu of the CenBus by counties
for th 1919 thlrollugh 199 census yea rs-Conti nnO d
(1 Cnsusi years
L- --- --- ^ --- 1~1~9 1 ** ** --- ... -- ~ Iit .t 1T t 44


County !1, f l19)24 J_1-j 1- -
Acresa Acr a F.. Acres F. 0. Acres 3'F n c.n

Suwannee 45 2 178 36 158 53 421 115 461 115
Taylor 18 50 159 46 53 20 116 33 35 10
Union 398 117 188 21 208 50 184 112 225
Volusta 416 770 125 346 341 1,022 171 101 138 120
Wakulla 16 1 41 14 4 2 20 32 21 21

Walton 46 28 151 60 34 6 393 145 18 31
Washington 29 288 154 47 267 54 332 173 147 57

Total F. 0. 7,113 7,154 7,349 7,771
total acres 17,525 27,721 23,460 26,303 22,339 27,671




-- Census years
1959 9e~


County [ 1949 1954
I F. 0.| Acres F.O. IAcres
achua 131 291 111 823
ker 79 19 117 3
y 54 7 80 4
adford 61 73 109 273
evard 30 3 30 2


1 500
10 104 2
1
2 14 2
24 5 4


3 2 2 160
141 22 71 2
43 6,567 46 7,696
2 2 16 171
6 b 39

86 21 13 6
117 435 99 806
37 2,220 40 3,344
8 b 6
154 24 104 42

8 2 43 2
2 b 1 1
36 6 .2 1
131 26 135 18
70 7 50 1


Hendry
Hernando 19
Highlands 14
Hillsborough 293
Holmes 211

Indian River 2
Jackson 681
Jefferson 285
Iafayette 118
Late 62


1959.. O. 4 A .... 1964-
F.O. I Acres F .O. 1 Acres F.O Acres,


22 711
7 1
43 1
8 12
6 b


6 b

5 b
3 1


6 b
23 5,856
1 b
3 b

2 2
22 232
42 3,584
4 b
73 2

33 1
1 200.
19 b
30 4
12 3


5 390



1 1


b
5,316
b
b

8
151
3,775


15 b


10 2
6 b


3 62
2 4 3
15 1
584 230 604
30 413 13

2 1 1
45 1,005 19
23 49 2
b 202 2
14 16 4


8 1,027 11 1,720
157 15 104 1
21 6 19
64 5 6 1
190 24 324 5


See p. 65 for footnotes.


2 0

25 8,098
1 1



2 112
21 3,060

2 b




7 12
2 3


6 1
2 1


4 919 5 655 5 2,028
3 2 15 b 2 1
4 b 1 1
4 b
7 5 25 3 11 9

Continued


Al
B-


1 toward
Calhoun
Charlotte
Citrus
Clay

Collier
Columbia
Dade
DeSoto
ixie

Duval
Escambia
Flagler
Franldin
Gadsden

Gilchrist
Glades
Gulf
Hamilton
Hardee


Lee
Leon
Levy
Liberty
Madison


U











Table 21 .Florilan rilsh polatov: Farm opera~tcr (F. O.) reporUtng acre geb to the U. .S l ureaa of the Ceetmu by counteae
for t11 19)9 through 1980 ccrnsut yea rsiCon timed


,,.-., ,


Manatee
Marion
Martin
Monroe
Nassau

Okaloosa
Okeechobee
Orange
Osceola
Palm Beach

Pas co
Pinellas
Polk
Putnam
St. Johns

St. Lucie
Santa Rosa
larasota
'reminole
'urmter

Suwannee
Taylor
Union
Volusia
Walaulla

Walton
Washington

*Total F. 0.
SWotal acres


23
86
1

44

86

60
20
31

16
29
139
61
128

3
120
10
31
127

395
19
43
50
75

217
188

5,435


15
9
24

15

10

18
6
1,494

9
8
5
70
1,801
6,599

1
6
5
177
5

40
4
56
34


11
14


20,974d


21 3 21


S24
114
4

11

144
2
50
39
9

19
22
27
41
128

1
36
4
26
95

340
70
26
24
26

333
225

6,46T


2




9
5


6

2

3
2


2
2
18
2,900
10,849

110
1
1
20
3

4
1
76
16


8
10


32.243d


b

1
10
6
b
1,150

4
b
36
3,630
16,405


101
12
306
2

1
b

2
b

b

327

32,768


b

1
1
1,220




3,177
16,536




295
2

7


3

50

3
2
8

6
3
16
18
124

2
12
3
12
11

98
9
9
12
2

16
37

1,203


"Grown for home use or for sale.

bAcres reported in small fractions,

COmitted to avoid disclosure.

dExcludes farms with less than 9 cwt. harvested in 1949 and 12 cwt. in 1954 and 1959.

eFarms reporting that have sales of all farm products grossing $2, 500 or more.

fState total exceeds the sum of reported counties; difference covers footnote e,

Source: [331.




i,.-pcrience- b:li;t r'...: :-. on the it.rin, '....,-l i.i alongside the parent and

o't.-times havii. the incentive of inherited land and equipment.

.-i.. of the farms are star-tim Ii rds; others have increas. --d their

cattle numbers and diverted their land to i.I!i'pr-,v,.:d pasture.

Ii.: trend to manufacture extruded potato products from dehydrated

fall potatoes and reduce the i-, : -:,'s need for early fresh potatoes

for chips w-; n:-tir to .I.-.,i,..ni: an adverse economic situation, r..a:aearch

:)ideinrwdy may show the land can be used for cash grain crops such as corn

and rice .


b 17

1 3
3
2 8
b 2
1,141 7

2 12
b 1
14 12
1,842 33
11,102 119

301
b 28
27 1
14 7
1 3

4 5
b 18
72 16
b 9
b 6

2 2
4 47

839
27,254


1 70









New varieties could possibly swing the industry back to fresh po-
tato chips.


North and West Florida

The LaCrosse Area

Alachua County (established 1824) has been credited, as was stated
earlier, with potatoes since 1890 (see page 21). In 1895-96 there were
222 acres reported to the Commissioner of Agriculture (FDA); documented
acres were mostly less than 100 after that date until World War I
(1917-18) and even then the acreage was small [13]. Early settlers were
primarily dependent on cotton as their cash crop.
J. S. Howard, father of Amos and grandfather of Canova, came to
the Dukes area of what is now Union County in the early 20th century.
Vegetables were grown to a considerable extent later, but potatoes were
never a "big" crop with the Howards. "Jim" Brown settled west of
Worthington Springs about 1908. His sons, Carl, Morris and Wilbur, start-
ed growing Red Bliss potatoes during the '30s.
In north Alachua County, Frank Cellon grew about two acres of pota-
toes in 1910 or 1912 for home and "help." The first commercial acreage of
Irish potatoes in the general area of LaCrosse was grown in 1918. Frank
Cellon and Son( S. 0.), D. F. Conerly, Jasper and Thomas Harris, J. M.
Kite and R. T. McDavid each planted from five to 10 acres of Spaulding
Rose for market.
A Mr. Holden was another pioneer who may have been one of the oldest
growers dates back to the late 19th century. He grew potatoes for many
years as did Jimmy Dampier and Lacy Doke.
Farmers were being forced to quit cotton (mostly "sea island")
because of the very serious boll-weevil infestation. By 1924 potato
farming had become rather general, but 25 acres were considered a large
planting. This seemed to be the answer for a new cash crop. In 1924
the U. S. Census tabulated 1,415 acres in Alachua County, with a total
of 1,946 acres in the Alachua-Bradford-Union tri-county area.
S. D. Cellon and Sons (Willie and Lindley S.) farmed together
through most of the '20s (L. S. claims 50 years of active production--
1921 to 1971). In 1928 this partnership planted 100 acres, the largest








crop in the history of the area at that time. L. S. started on his
own in 1929. In the early '70s he stepped out in favor of his nephew,
Ralph, Jr., his young farm superintendent for several years. L. S.
established a paclinghi)use and sales office on the (then) Atlantic
Coast Line Roadroad (ACL) at Hague; the farm name was later changed to
Beverly Hills Plantation. Roy Cellon got into potato farming later
with headquarters at LaCrosse. DeWitt Hague, an uncle of the Cellon
brothers, was the "financial" interest in their potato crops from year
to year. He also backed the Imlers from Canada.
The LaCrosse Potato Growers Association was organized in 1926.
S. D. Cellon was the first president; J. W. Sessions was manager (Mrs.
Sessions was his office secretary, continuing for many years); and T.
J. Harris was secretary-treasurer. In the '30s J. M. Kite became
president, A. G. Hill, vice-president, and D. F. Conerly, .secretary-
treasurer. G. E, Spircs started with the Association as bookkeeper in
1937. He moved his family down from Lake Butler, farmed in a small
way and advanced to succeed Mr. Sessions as manager, a post he re-
tained until the Association dissolved. He was always most cooper-
ative in assisting the FCLRS.
The private firm of Phillips and Company was a Norfolk, Virginia,
dealer that was well represented by a Mr. Pitts who, as fieldman,
financed potato crops in the area, furnishing the grower one ton of
fertilizer (in 200-lb. bags) and approximately 11 burlap bags of
seed (io5 lb. per bag). Apparently this source meant 11 cwt. for
statistics of others in the area indicate 8.25 cwt.,which was about the
same as used in the Hastings area. The seed were white--Spaulding
Rose. The potatoes harvested were shipped out in barrels of 165 lbs.
each.
C. D. Bethea moved to LaCrosse with his father and married the
niece (foster child) of J. M. Kite. By 1926 or 192- Dewey was growing
potatoes as a partner of Mr. Kite. Prospering, he later increased his
holdings to 900 acres. Mr. Bethea left the area in the '60s to cen-
ter his activities in the Immokalee area. The Trueman Fertilizer Co.
of Jacksonville was a long-time supplier.
The Newbern's, C. D. and W. W., came to the area in the late '20s.
C. D. Newbern, Sr. planted his first potato crop in 1930; he graded









and loaded his produce at Worthington Springs, but Phillips & Co. hridled
his potato sales. W, W. Newbern had located at High Springs and grew
over 100 acres of potatoes in 1928, but probably started earlier. Both
grew large acreages of "Big Stem Jersey" sweet potatoes. C. D. started
with 100 acres of Irish potatoes but soon reduced his plantings to 60
acres.
Mr. Gallup, father of Ray and father-in-law of C. D. Newbern, Sr.
(and Wilbur Brown, mentioned earlier) came to the area about five years
later than his son-in-law. Ray Gallup was a long-time potato grower
in the Santa Fe-Hasan area until his unfortunate accidental death
when his pickup truck was hit by a train at the local crossing.
During the '20s vegetables were grown on a small scale and confined
to the area of Santa Fe, Hainsworth, Dukes and Worthington. Potatoes led
all commodities in the produce line.
In,1929 the U. S. Census reported numbers of farm operators in
the three counties that make up the LaCrosse area (Alachua, Bradford
and Union) at 563, but all producers, both for commercial and for home
use, were no doubt included. The LaCrosse commercial producing area
encompassed an area of about a 10-mile radius of LaCrosse.
"Ike" Fisher at Hainsworth was one of the early growers who op-
erated his own packinghouse. The Strjcklands, Clarence and Elmer, grew
small acreages south of LaCrosse. Wilbur Hague farmed after his father
at the old homestead a few miles north of Gainesville. No doubt the
railroad siding and community center nearby was named for the family.
Wilbur was active in reds and whites during the '50s into the early
'60s and possibly earlier. Bernard Gay started growing potatoes during
the '40s and was of great assistance to FCLRS fieldmen. He was an
area representative of Mo-Bo Produce for many years. He grew red pota-
toes mostly and custom planted for other small acreage farmers in the
area. B&G Farm Supply grew potatoes a few seasons during the '50s.
1 Llph Beville, in the Hague area, grew a small acreage of reds each sea-
son for many years. Walter Wi.lliams' father was a grower of a small
acreage at Worthington; Walter followed and perhaps increased his acre-
age over that of his father. N.: G. Hayes, A. L. Green, Clyde Cone,
Ralph and Aubrey Hazen and Everett Qaney were long-time Brooker area
farmers who grew small acreages of potatoes--mostly red-skinned








varieties. Some of the Thomas family, especially N. T. Thomas and Sons
and Wilbur Thomas were producers of small commercial acreages. N. T.
Thomas was the grower of the largest acreage among these, no doubt.
Some of these farmers were backed by Watkins and Wilson at Lake
Butler who financed their potato crops and packed and sold their pro-
duction. The number of potato growers declined; the census report of
1939 indicated 446 potato growers in the area; by 1954 the number was
down to 246 and by 1959 only 39 growers were reported. By 1969 the number
was only five and in the mid-'70s only one commercial grower was left.
Farm operators with large acreages had planted the varieties of the Has-
tings area, but were slower in going all out for chip stock. Red-skinned
varieties were grown mainly by the planters of small acreages in a heavier
percentage than at Ha: tings.
Table 22 shows usual labor and material requirements and season of
operations in the LaCrosse area during the period 1946 through 1949.

The West Florida Area

Plantings have hlng been concentrated in north Escambia County,
with small acreages grown in adjoining Santa Rosa. Grading, packing and
selling are centered across the line in nearby Atmore, Alabama. Acreage
reported for Escambia County to the Commissioner of Agriculture were less
than 100 acres each crop year preceding 1904, but r!achcd 101 in 1904,
237 in 1918 and 589 in 1926 [13]. The Census of Agriculture, however,
showed only 57 acres in 1919, but 1,344 acres in 1924. Number of farm
operators were listed first in 1929, wien 229 growers reported 543 acres,
an average of 2.4 acres per farm. By 1959 the number of farm operators
had declined to 22 and the acreage to 232; by 1969 the number of opera-
tors had declined to two [33]. Some potato growers lived in Atmore,
Alabama, but farmed across the line in Florida 1-1/2 miles away. For
this reason, the acreage reported by the FCLRS was often higher than
reports by USBC.
Pioneers in West Florida potato production go back many years. The
crop began to take some significance by the mid-'20s. The Barrineau
family of Barrineau Park may have grown potatoes for market in the late
'30s and certainly during WW II. Charles Gingles,of German descent,
and his family grew and packed potatoes for a few years also. In the









Table 22.--Florida Irish potatoes: Usual labor and material :: e-'.ir : i,) s,
and season of operations, LaCrosse area, 1946 through 1949 period
SUsual season Times Hours per acre
A f of operations over Man- Tractor
Preharvest:
Ditching and cleaning 9/1 12/15 1 1.9
Breaking land 9/1 10/31 1 1.0 1.0
Disking 10/1 12/31 2 1.0 1.0
Laying off and bedding up 12/1 1/15 1 .9 .6
Cutting seed 1/20 2/10 1 6.4
Planting and fertilizing 1/20 2/10 1 5.1 .8
Cultivating and opening drains 2/1 3/31 4 3.3 2.2
Dusting 3/15 4/20 3 1.0 .8
Plowing water furrows 12/15 3/15 1 .2 .2

Total preharvest labor 20.8 6.6

Harvest:
Digging 4/25 5/25 1.8 .9
Picking up 31.5 --
Checking .9 -
Hauling to packinghouse 8.9
Clad;ni, packing, loading 13.0 --

Total harvest labor 56.1 .9

Total labor--growiig and harvesting 76.9 7.5

Estimated yield--142 bu.; row width--avg.40"; distance of hills--12" avg.

B. Material requirements: Usual, per acre

Item Kind Usual amount

Seed potatoes Sebagoes 900 lb.
Fertilizer 4-8-6; 4-7-5 2,000 lb.
Dust Fixed copper dusts 45 lb.
Containers 100-lb. burlap 85 bags

Source: [4].

'.aln'ir. i-lill area Albert Mason was one of the earliest potato planters;
later, in the '50s, the Horace Ward family was active in this area also.
In the mid-'30s Joe Fritz was secretary of the Independent Potato
Shippers Ass'n. (Cantonment) and Marcus Urso was secretary of the
Barriinau Park Farmers Societty.
J. G. Meadows started potato production in 1946, frminiiig mostly in
the Davis community of Escambia County, Florida and Escambia County,









Alabama, as well, but to a lesser extent. Mr. Meadows ret .9 before I.;
death in 1954 and Corlis, his son, took over the farm .-,~prinLir.&,_, .i,,ch he
currently continues. His son-in-law, Billy Ray J.ll iaos, now farms with
him. "Lem" miller r grew potatoes near the state line, starting in the
early '40s. Roderick Faircloth, Walter 1IcElhann-y and, later, his son
Cecil were growers in the area. Joe McMurphy was another who f, Iel in
both states with his pi,.cki.nlhouii;., office. and residence in Atmore; son
John is continuing the farm operation, following his father's retire-
ment. C. E. Graham at McDavid and Herman E. Goetter at Cantonment were
active planters of small acreages in the late '40s.
In the mid-'40s Talton O'Farrell, with grading, packing and selling
headquarters in Atmore, contracted potato crops with a number of the
planters of small acreages on the Florida side of the area. He f.,a'cid
their crops to maturity, handled the production and made return pa:,. i'nts
on a 25-75 percent basis until the indebtedness was met, then reversed
the ratio to 75-25. This relationship continued though the '50s. Arthur
Gomilla started about 1952 while Howard Patterson started even earlier--in
the late '40s or early 'SOs, continuing into the e:irly '60s. V .,..
headquarters in Atmore.
Wylie Wig.ins was a small acrca~ e ,;ro\er and was followed by his
son, Billy, who is one of the few remaining active growers in the mid-
'70s. Ciarles Ashcraft intermittently farms in Alabama and then in
Florida. Atmore, Alabama, has long been the marketing center; varie-
ties have been priimirily "reds;" sales have been primarily to the
"fresh" trade; shinplmen-s have been heavily in 100-lb. bags. i' iPn:
usually starts in mid-February for June harvest, sometimes starting in
late May. Production was probably at its peak during the '50s.
Holmes, Jackson and Santa Rosa County fanrers have planted inter-
mittently, but have never been considered a contirniol's, source thr,:ugh
the years for shippin..


The Central Areas

The Balm-Plant City-Ruskin-Sarasota Areas

These west central areas have long been producers of red potatoes,
startifig with Red Bliss Triumphs, then progressing to Pontiacs, LaSoda









and I..-; 'v. Only in the late years have white-skinned tubers been
grown for the chipping trade.
B. J. Sweat pioneered the Balm deal, starting in 1915 with mule and
plow on raw, virgin land in sandy and organic soils. Mr. Sweat married
in 1916, carved out a good potato farm enterprise, raised a family and
took, in stride, WWI of 1917-18; the Florida "Land Boom" of the mid-
'20s; the "Great Depression" of the '30s; WW II; and many threats of loss
by frost and freeze, drouth and flood. He was ably assisted by his son-
in-law, "Wes" Tyler and, later, his grandsons, the Tyler boys. Thus
his name was known in the potato world from 1915 to 1975 for 60 years
of potato production, growing, grading, packing and selling his own
crop from year to year.
Several neighbors grew potatoes for many years; Capps and David
(who also packed their own), Grady Sweat, the Jamersons, Marnegils',
Faganbush and ofttimess) Brandon at nearby Wimauma, were the more impor-
tant ones.
At Plant City, A. A. Ellis settled south of town during the ..
and began to farm, usually including a small acreage of Red Bliss ,,:.
tatoes. He was succeeded by his son, T. B., who grew a spring ;:.
each year into the mid-'70s, closing out just short of 100 years of
potato production for the Ellis family. The Parks Brothers were active
in potato production in this area for many years as were many small
acieaLc farmers, especially during the war years' economy. The 1944
Census listed 570 farm operators who grew 787 acres of potatoes in Hi.1--
borough County [33]. Sales were usually through local outlets. .-.-
Bee Farms, operated by Perry Smith, had an outlet for his Highlands
County potatoes, cabbage and melons through a Plant City firm, managed
by Aubrey Bone. These potatoes were white skinned and were grown for


At old Sun City in soLuth~vest Hillsborough County, Harr'' .'--,
1.r,,.time ;.,:'g.,iui of potatoes in the ilastings area 2and, later, in 1i.:
Palm City area of Martin County, recognized the advantage of nearby
Cockroach Bay warmth. He contracted "whites" for chipping and has been
able to bring in crops each spring slightly earlier than the Hasting:
crops. Delbert Reeder followed his example, producing several crops in
succession.







In Sarasota Coiaty muckland potatoes were frequently .,.-:.-d _:7'rI .-
ing early celery. Row sp ~,ings were such that yields per acre were iowe-i
than the normal of other areas. No plantings have been reported in
recent years, but during WW II the 1944 census listed 67 farm operators
.with 506 acres [33].

The Arcaldia-WaiiuI,]a Area

DeSoto County farmers have grown small acreages of potatoes. nDrin
WW I plantings were increased sharply to 3,941 acres in 1918 and 2,554
acres in 1920, according to the Commissioner of Agriculture [FDP) [13].
The county was split up into five counties on August 23, 1921. The
smaller DeSoto County acreage ranged up to 300 acres during the '30s and
'40s, and very few thereafter. Sorrells Brothers grew a small acreage
during the '50;. In 1961 a Mr. Tallman grew a sizeable ocrgc-dag of
Sebagoes at Bermont.

Ti-he North Central Area

For many years Volusia County was considered a part of the greater:
H.stiniis area. Records show seed suppliers in IHastings moved seed into
Seville, DeLeon Spri.,s, Daytona, Samsula and on down to Ft. Pierce in
St. Lucie County. The Bugbee Potato Compainy represented the lTriuerran
Fertilizer Company and may have furnished both seed and fertilizer durii:ng
the '30s. During w I II potato farming was revived at Samsula and inter-
mittently the:.-eaftlt. W. E. Kerclhoff, east of Osreen, grew several crops.
Peter Swibelius, and Wright and Pleterski in the late '60s were active
with potatoes for a very short period. At Sanford the average ar1-ua.::!':
per farm was small; the same was true of Orange before and after Seminole
was split off in 1913. In the late '60s and early '70s Walter H.
Meriwether and Donald Dunn and Sons grew sizeable acieage of reds for
fresh market. Walter sold his equipment to Long and Scott iFm.i.s (sand
land) in the Zellwood area; planting of potatoes has been a part of
its crop progaiam each year to date. Thuis production of reds was revived
for a short time at Sanford and continues at Zellwood.8 No doubt these


8The Seminolc Indians are said to have grown "apopkas" (their name
for potatoes) along the banks of the lake long before the Spaniards spotted
them growing there. It was only logical to name the lake "Apopka," accord-
ing to a lead paragraph in the Market Bulletin of the FDACS, dated March
15, 1976.








were the first since Piowaty Farms grew potatoes in the Zellwood mucklands
during the late '40s or early '50s.

The East Central Area

The Bugbee Potato Company and other dealers at Hastings probably
supplied the first potato seed for the East Central area and may have
written grower contracts during the '20s. However, St. Lucie County had
reported only a very few potatoes each year;in 1917-18 the WW I effort
pushed them up to 277 acres; this higher acreage lead held into the mid-
'20s. Indian River County reported 233 acres in 1926-26 [13]. The USBC
listed growers in these counties during the '20s and '30s.
There were experimental plantings of reds that were not tried the
second year in Indian River County while along the Martin-St. Lucie coun-
ty line potatoes were grown by several farmers in a partnership or. land
rental with tha L. R. Becker Ranch. In the late '50s McDonald and
Garrett, McDonald and Ward, John Baum, Harry Thomas and Irving Hopkins
and Company were growing potatoes in this area.
Martin County was established in 1925. Indiantown was planned to
serve as a center for the Seaboard Air Line Railroad (SAL) and land in
the vicinity was developed for production of vegetables and potatoes.
The railroad placed an agricultural agent at Indiantown to develop and
lease the land for farming. Many "snowbird" farmers came in. Martin
County reported 112 acres of potatoes in 1925-26 [12]. The Census of
Agriculture listed 18 growers and 158 acres in 1929, but subsequent cen-
sus checks showed fewer, probably because'most growers had their head-
cqui'rtels outside the county [33]. The FCLRS estimated 250 acres for
harvest in 1945 -46, but very few thereafter until 1951-52, when 325
acres were reported; the following year there were 800 acres for har-
vest. After this, reports carried four counties--Martin, Palm Beach
(east) and St. Lucie or Indian River--in a combined acreage to avoid dis-
closure [12]; in 1956-57 the aggregate exceeded 2,000 acres (1,100 in
Martin). During this period growers were in from Hastings to try for
earlier harvest than could be obtained at home. Frank R. Burrell and his
son, F. 0. Burrell, grew several crops, built a packinghouse and shipped
over the SAL RR. A Mr. Yelvington later came with them and farmed as
Burrell and Yelvington. Louis F. Rauth grew potatoes here while








experimenting with vine-ripe "staked" tomatoes. Eb Case of the oC Co,
came from rocihester, New York via Dade County to grow and market several


The sands of Delray in east Palm Beach County were also in and out
of potato production. The ABC Co. grew potatoes here also. Other grow-
ers were Gar-Mac-Sims, JKP, Ted Waiinwright and Graber-Marlow-Studstill.
There no doubt were others in the over-all area. Some of these were in
for a short duration. Mostly Sebagoes were grown but possibly some reds
were produced also.
There has been, after several years of no production, a revival of
interest in this area. The Far-South Growers Cooperative has planted an
early or winter crop of "reds" near Stuart and followed it with an acre-
age of "whites" in the spring for chipping; in 1975 the firm's early
winter "reds" were grown at Delray in east Palm Beach County. An inter-
esting note is that the ABC Company is back with potatoes at Delray after
many years' absence (there could be some difference from the original
firm) [12].

South Florida

The Everglades Area

Potatoes no doubt were among the early crops tried in the virgin
mucklands known as the Everglades. This black organic muckland area is
located south-southeast of Lake Okeechobee and forms the largest area in
the state for intensive farming. Potatoes have had a minor role in ratio
of potato acreage to total land, but have importance in that, for many
years, an early crop and a late crop were grown.
J. W. Bissell, a Canadian, grew potatoes, harvesting in the spring
of 1914; the yield was reported at 150 bu. per acre and the price listed
ranged from $1.00 to $1.25 per bu. He was probably the second settler
in the 'Glades. The story did not say if he had an acre or a multiple of
acres. About this time five farmers at Okeelanta, among them Lawrence
E. Will, ianaaged to produce and sell 40 hampers of potatoes, which
brought $1.50 and $1.75. Farming was, indeed, difficult in those early
years in the 'Glades [38]. In 1921, William M. Ketchin and Warren Hale
came to the area from Connecticut to farm in the Vinegar Bend vicinity.
They tried four varieties of tobacco (grown under a cheesecloth shade), 10








acres of r: .c. .':. and 50 acres of potatoes. ,A ,_: A the :>. .. were har-r
vested, they were shipped by steamboat to Okeechobee and thence north by
rail. The floods of 1922 and 1924 were too much and the .,t-r;.':.-:e
folded. The FEC RR reached the Everglades area in 1926 and was extended
to Belle Glade-Chosen, reaching that point September 1, 1927.
The Brown Company of Berlin, New Hampshire, bought 72,000 acres of
land 14 miles'down the Hillsborough Canal. Orton B. Brown was the direc-
tor and W. C. "Pop" Lord was resident general manager. M. C. "I iy"
Eggleston was the first field superintendent. In 1924 the Brown Co.
undertook the first large scale farming effort, with the exception of
the U. S. Sugar Corporationin the Everglades. The original objective
was to supply the Brown Company with a steady supply of peanuts i:-i,. oil
from which they could prepare a cooking fat superior to any e.,rj i.
shortening. The "Peanut" Farm started in 1924; the huge farm was named
Shawano Plantation and the village, Shawano. By March 1929, 3,' ., acres
were under cultivation: 200 acres of sugarcane, 1,500 acres of ..e-.:t.
and the rest planted mostly to potatoes and vegetables. The o:i:.,, be-
came involved in a peanut oil lawsuit and that, plus the stock market
crash of 1929, broke the company. The big firm gave the 'Glades farmer
several innovations of great value: it proved the use of crawler tractors
and the crawler-tracted Athey wagon; and the bullet-shaped tube attached
behind a plow frame to pull under the muck surface for effective drain-
age and irrigation, Each "mole" drain was good for several years. Its
chemist, Dr. H. P. Vannah, collaborated with Dr.; R. V. Allison, soil
scientist (see Research, p. 103), in determining the need for "rr,'-
elements" in muckland fertilizers as well as working on the "mole-d:.r..i,"
for perfection.
No doubt many early .serr'lers tried potatoes at one time or another.
Some contradictions y;i',--,r in the statistics available. There were no
potatoes documented in the county prior to 1909-10 and then only 7
acres. There was very little increase until 1915-16 and the WW I years;
in those years there were between 2,500 and 3,000 acres, but they were
r.-rwnii countywide, i!l,:j1l.-Jni what is now Martin C'.imtI. [13]. The 1919
Census of Agriculture (UciBC showed only 218 acres [ ;I, Either everyone
quit growing potatoes when the war was over or some incorrect statistics
were given;-however; 567 acreswere reported to the Commissioner of Agri-
culture for 1919-20.








Just when or whirt years the early settler". planted L..Ca.t.-. cannot be
ascertained, but many of those known growers in the WW II years came to.
the Eve\ rglJde5 and hevre active in farming many years earlier. Such was
the case of Fritz St.tin, whose father, Hans J. Stein, settled on Kreamer
Island about 1916. P. C. Keesee started in produce in the '2u:s and was
quite active as the head of his own produce firm later; at times, es-
pecially in the WW II years, the firm handled a large potato dcri:age.
H,' was joined by E. A. McCabe about 1941. Later McCabe was sales
manager of the Pioneers Growers Cooperative and in this capacity handled
Stein's potatoes, those of Kruse Bros. who started in the '30s,and possibly
others.
Herman W'edg~orth, a scientist with the Agricultural Experiment
Station who had researched celery on the Sliawano Plantation, saw its pos-
sibilities, re:;ign.:d from the staff of the University and began to farm
in 1932. In the fall of 1933 Mr. Wedgworth planted his first potato crop
for January 1934 harvest. It was in virgin soil, grown with 0-8-24
Fertilizer with possibly copper and manganese, for an excellent crop on a
good market. Harvested when the soil was dry, the potatoes were packed
in the field. This profitable crop was a life-saver to the new farmer.
Later Mr. Wedgworth tried a spring crop that was drowned before harvest.
In 1935 the first Wedgworth packinghouse was built and his potatoes were
no longer packed in the field.
In the fall of 1936 an estimated 2,500 acres were planted in the
mucklands for early harvest but some of these were lost. Thus the early
crop might be as much as 75 percent of the total. After Mr. Wedgworth
put in packing facilities he began to handle the crops of others. After
his death in 1938 Mrs. Wedgworth steered her farms and produce business
to eventual success. In the mid-'40s she was handling potato crops
grown by Ben Bolton who started in the '30s (possibly earlier); E. M.
Van Landinrgham (another who started with Shawano), and Sam Flemfinr,
besides the production from her own acreage. Wedgworth Farms continued
with potatoes into the late '40s.
Among the muckland potato growers who pioneered potato production
in the 'Glades was Curtis Thompson, Sr. who, with his school-teacher
wife, settled in Belle Glade in the late '20s; he came about 1927 or just
before the '28 hurricane and she shortly thereafter. Curtis was








prominent in growing and marketing beans after getting control of his
packinghouse and adding two potato chains to his six bean belts for a very
active produce business. At one time he owned what was known as the
"little" lake bottom and the "big" lake bottom farms; J. Wendel Lyons
farmed potatoes for him.
J. H. "Hubie" Chamblee and Walter Schlecter got their start in the
130s; their sons are leading area farmers today. Walter's father,
Emanuel Schlecter, came to the area in the 'teens, settled two miles out
in the sawgrass off today's Main Street (Belle Glade) and may have
grown potatoes prior to the '30s. "Pop" Lord, after leaving the Brown
Co. at Shawano, farmed and handled his own produce, including potatoes.
A. J. Sullivan, Fred Kirchman, Louie Wyman and Clarence Haas were also
growers who started in the '30s but came to the area earlier. During the
period 1929-30 through 1933-34 Palm Beach County averaged about 500
acres of potatoes; the next five years the average shot up to nearly
1,900 acres, with 1,200 acres for the '30s as a whole. Most, if not all,
were grown in the mucklands [12].

World War II handlers

Each war involvement of the U. S. has brought an upsurge in demand
for potatoes and other produce. The handlers already mentioned and
several others, if not already producers, got into potatoes during the
mid-'40s.
Roy Segree's Unity Farms was perhaps the first organized marketing
effort in the Everglades. Frank Friend and Son grew potatoes for Unity
Farms to handle. The Everglades Growers Cooperative (EGC) handled
potatoes for members Sam Chastain and L. L, Stuckey who came to the area
in the 'teens. The American Fruit Growers, Wilson-Thomas and Hufty
Farms were active in the '40s and possibly earlier. Hickerson Produce
handled Jones Bros.' potatoes and those grown by a Mr. Carmichael;
Vandegrift-Williams grew and packed their own; Lake Shore Farmers Coop-
erative (LSFC) handled potatoes, along with other comnidities for their
small-acreage members. Pope-Johnson were active grower-shippers as
were E. H. Borchardt and Harold Rabin in the '40s.
The early 1940 crop in the Everglades was estimated at 2,000 acres.
Digging was expected by December 11, 1939 (during the '40s, 72 percent








of the harvested acreage was planted for winter harvest); the losses
proved heaviest, perccLtage-wise, in this period; losses in the winter
crop averaged 20 percent during the period 1945 through 1949, compared
with 4 percent loss in the spring. In both seasons nearly all were Red
Bliss; then, later, Pontiacs; and, later still, LaSoda or LaRouge. See
Table 23 for the usual labor and material requirements and season of
operations in the organic soils of the Everglades [2, 4].
Palm Beach County farmers planted 10,160 acres of potatoes all
season in 1945-46 and harvested from 9,200 acres; this was the peak year.
The acreage planted from 1949-50 through 1953-54 averaged 1,820 acres, of
which about 12 percent were lost;the next five crop years averaged about
2,200 acres planted and losses averaged only a little over 6 percent.
During the '60s there was a rather sharp drop from the second half of
the '50s. Only in 1964-65 did the planted acreage approach 3,000; all other
crop years in the '60s planted acreage ranged from 1,260 to 2,475.
Losses during the 10-year period averaged about 6 percent [12]. In 1969
the Census of Agriculture reported four farm operator:' with an aggregate
of 1,220 acres (Table 21, p. 64).
In 1975 Frank Brady Farms was the lone potato producer in the 'Glades;
sales were through P['?hokee Produce, Inc. Brady Farms usually grows an
early winter crop and a spring crop. In '75 the spring crop was planted
to white-skinned tubers for chip stock. Sam Senter Farms, Inc. was active
in potatoes in the '60s. Others of record growing potatoes during the
'70s in the Everglades were Lewis Friend, Inc., Florida Lettuce, Inc.,
S. N. Knight, Double D. Ranch, and Valdez and Carpenter. The latter grew
"whites" for chipping Year-by-year growers terminated their potato pro-
duction, many of them "raisin' 'cane" instead.

The Ft. Myers Area

Early potato production centered in the sandy soils of the lona sec-
tion of Lee County. The seepage irrigation system used was such that the
net acreage was considerably less than the gross land used; the few
rows common between each water furrow became obsolete; wider blocks of
many more rows between water furrows became the standard practice. See
Table 24 for usual labor and material requirements and season of opera-
tions in the Ft. Myers area [2, 4].








Taile 23. --1.'lorlidl Irish potic': l'i a l lainir and n'terial retl r-ire nts per acre ind t:"mon of Irperatihon in the! Ev rg1adi's
area f"r the period 194';-l49 and 1199!)-61


(1) Prod: 1i4iJI (2) r'urleod 1i'990-M1
' itrcs Ti il sc:son Ilirs on.r .acro sil season lur. per 'r
over f operations an T'ractor of operi'olnslln M


Prcharveit:
Ilundov.!i or disking
Breaking
Diskin!"
Dit')iing and nimlo drain
Li vliing and dir: goingg
Disin'.-cting see(d
Cuttimw; seed
Trcaling ,seed (stimulant)
Planting and fertilizing
CultivAtirg
Insect and dis:cae control
Hoeiiin., raking, weeding


- 8/15
- 8/15
- 9/30
- 9/15
- 9/15
- /30



-11/30
- 12/15


0.3
1.1
1.2
0.3
0,3


9/10 9/30
9/25- 12/15
10/1 1/16
10/20 12/1


10.5 0.6r
2.1 2.10
2.8 2,6
8.3


Total priharvest labor 27.1 7.3 S29.9 11.

Harvest:
Diggingd 12/15 1/31 1.8 .9 12/26 1/31 1.4 1,3
Picking upd 26.3 27.4
Checkingd
Hauling to packinghoused 8 8.0 7.0
Grading, packing, loading 14.5

Total harvest labor 50.6 .9 35.8 1.3

Total--all operations 77.7 8.2 65.7 12.8
Estimated yield 175 bu. 150 cwt.
Row width: 32"-: 1"; distance ol hills: avcr. 10".

aConmbinol under land preparation.
bperlod 2 includes row preparation.
CPeriod 2 includes supplemental fertilizing.
d'These operations combined or dispensed with through usP of modern mechanical harvesters 16b


B. mltcrial requirements

(1) Period: 1946-49 (2) Period: 1950-81
Item
Kind Usual amount Kind Usual amount

Seed potaluoe Bliss Triumph 1,200 lb. lRed Pontiac 1,500 lb.
Seed disinfccta: t liot formaldehyde 0.6 pt. Formaldehyde dip 0 06 gal.
1:120 C( 1220F. for 3 min. Agr. antibiotic 1 oz.
Seed stimunlant Ethylcle chlorohydrin, 40% 0.8 pt. Captan 0.48 Ib.
Wireworm control Chlorinated hydrocarbon 20 lb,
Fortiliecr 0--8-24 (incl. zn, cu, mn, bo.) 500 lb. 0-12-16 1,100 lb.
Sulfur 800 lb.
Supplemental fertllizcr 20-20-20 0.6 gal,
Spray Nabam (dithano D-14 or liquid Sulfur; organic fungicides;
parzati), chlorinated insecti- chlorinated 'ydro-carbons;
cides, nicotine sulfate 800 gal. organic phosphate 2,000 gal,

Vine hl!ler Sodium arscnite 0. 8 gal
Containers 50-1b. burlap bags 210 50--lb. sacks 300

Source: (1)[41; (2))(2).


Actually lcss than 25 acres were reported to the Commissioner of Agri-

culture prior to 1917-18. The WW I effort at food production pushed the

iC:reC.-i: to 118 that year [14]. Thi C-: .n-ii:. of Agriculture listed 356 acres

in 1924-in Lee County and 12 acres in i-k.nidiy. The 1929 census listed 66

farm operators in the area growing 248 acres, mostly in Lee County (Table

21, p. 62)[33].


A. *Op;; ritloni


---------~------L-~C1I




80

Thldwo 21. --IloiF' I, pti--w-t io'' l, ,io oiowl uttbrf1il -wdreirt,,tift; p'r af-'' t'odr rPrno rit nprir:'tI-.is in Ie lt. ibis
A.r T .. .O I- 1o In r i.,'



n.~~~~~ II~r .InI'', ,~ ,,I
____---_ 212:" L~Ji 1_ ___


Prcharvcst:
Cover crop:
Planting;
Diskiin in cover crop
Ditebini and clearing
DiskLiin under cover crop
Potato crop:
Breaking (disk or bottom plow)
Disking
Breaking (tiller)
Dragging or spring toothharrow
Unloading seed
Treating seed (stimulant)
Cutting seed (machine)
Planting and fertilizing
Boarding off
Fertilizing
Other cultivation
Insect and disease control
Irrigating


3/15 3/31
3/15 3/31
8/1 1/31
8/1 8/31


8/1
8/15
8/15
10/1
9/1
9/20
10/10
10/10
10/20
10/20
11/1
10/25
10/10


9/15
3/95
9/15
10/15
9/30
o1/15
10/31
10/31
11/15
11/20
12/15
12/10
12/31


8/1 1/31




S8/1 11/15





10/1- 11/30

" 11/1 1/31

11/1 2/28
10/15 1/31


!'o" l i I ..l., to I ltor 01.b 9.7 39.r. 10.5


C.., ng 1/20 -3/1 1.6 .8 2/1-3/31 2.1 1.6
IcKi'Cng up (exc. foreman) 17.2 24.2
Loading in field 3.0 "
.Hauling to packinghouse 1.7
Gr ,..ir,; I .1 1;,,,. adiir. '1 .. (I1lter advanced

Total harvest labor 39.3 .8 32.8 1.6

(.ih r I .:.r -1 I.e (.8

Total labor--growing and harvesting 71.2 10.5 69.6 12.9
I zlI.'. I .- yield I'"0 Ic. wt.
i. '*, iI- ,vcr. 36"; distance of hills: aver. 7"-8".

B. Material requirements

(1) Period: 1946-49 (2) Period: 1959-61
Item
Kind Usual amount Kind Usual amount

Cover crop seed Scsbania 30 lb. Sesbania 20 lb.
Potato seed Bliss Triumph, Pontiac 1,620 lb. Bliss, Red P., Sebago 2,000 lb.
Seed stimulant Ammonium tlio-cyanate 2 lb.
Seed treatment Agri. antibiotic 1 oz.
Wireworm control Chlorinated hydro-
carbon;org. phosphate 1 gal.
Soil amendments Dolomite 1,000 lb.
Fertilizer, 1st app. 5-7-5; 4-7-5; 6-8-6; 5-8-8 1,000 lb. 4-8-8; 5-8-10; 5-10-5;
2nd app. 1,000 Ib. 6-10-8; u-l'.-? 2,875 lb.
supplemental Urea 60 lb.
Spray Nabawl (dithane D-14, Organic fungicides;
or liquid parzate), chlorl- chlorinated hydro-
nated insecticides, nicotine carbon; org. phosphate
sulfate 1,125 gal. nsecticides 1,00 gal.

Vine killer Sodium arscnite 0.8 gal.
Containers 50-11. paper; burlap 240 bags 50.lb, paper; burlap 350 1.I g


Source: (1) 11i; (i)21.


5.8 .6




3.1 2.7




11.5 1.2

3.4 2.5

5.2 3.5
7.0







Elmo Ballard was the first grower in the Ft. Myers area, having plant-
ed 10 acres in 1920. He increased to 350 acres and would average 275 bushels
per acre; Emmett Kelly was his foreman for nine years. Leonard Santini
planted his first crop about 1921; Emmett Kelly's father was his partner.
Tom M. Biggar grew his first potatoes in 1922. By 1928, and possibly ear-
lier, this was a partnership--Biggar and Padgett (in the mid-'30s the
partnership changed to Biggar and Biggar); Lyman H. Frank and Charlie Marsh
were well-known growers who started in the '20s. During the '30s Emmett
Kelly (and later others of the Kelly family) began to farm potatoes on his
own, starting on the Biggar Farm. J. H. Kinsey also began in the '30s.
The Cook Bros., Ira and Ora, were best known for their work in developing
a better eggplant, but took time to grow a few potatoes. Darwin R. Smith
grew from seven to 25 acres in the '30s. The Geraci Packing Co. became
an active grower-packer-shipppr during the '30s. John W. Campbell (later
of Goulds) was first listed as farming in Lee Co. in 1937; potatoes were
grown the following season and for several successive years.
During the early '40s Bryant and Walter Pearce were added to the ac-
tive Lee County potato grower list. A Mr. Barrett, Mr. Hawk, and A. H.
Draughon began about this time also. The Ft. Myers potato crop had an
advantage in the market place for the normal harvest began just before
the Everglades early crop was completed and was finishing up before sup-
plies became relatively large in Dade County. For many years red-skinned
varieties were grown almost exclusively. In fact, notes on file with
FCLRS call the 1940 south Florida acreage the Red Bliss crop. The earliest
were dug at Belle Glade in mid-December. The 1940 Ft. Myers crop was
pegged at 850 acres planted; harvest was expected during the early part of
January. Harvest was definitely earlier during the '40s than during the
later years by about two weeks, but yields were much, much lighter [12].
In the Ft. Myers and Everglades areas spring plantings somewhat
depended on the amount of twos, threes and culls left from the winter
crop; these were erratically planted at very little cost to the grower.
Even a much lower yield than that obtained early would still give a profit.
In 1944 the Census of Agriculture reported 10 farm operators in
Lee County with a total of 1,294 acres of potatoes; this was short of
the FCLRS acreage, as it estimated 1,400 for harvest, winter and
spring. In 1954 the Census of Agriculture listed for Collier, Hendry and








Lee Counties a combined total of 16 farm operators harvesting
1,942 acres of potatoes. The FCLRS estimated 1,750 acres, thus falling
short of the census. Census reports are credited to the headquarters
of the grower; both could have been correct [12, 33].
Plantings dropped appreciably in the mid-'60s; Lee County was down
to five farm operators and 655 acres, but in 1969 the acreage had in-
creased to 2,028 [12]. White-skinned varieties for chipping were now
being grown; harvest was much later and some of the production was under
contract.
In the '50s and early '60s Malcolm Biggar, H. B. Foster, Holland
Bros. (Hendry County), Tom and Edd Kelly, Harold Mount, Shuler Farms
(Coller County), and Shultz Bros. were the primary growers left.
Some of these continued to grow "reds" for table stock, carefully wash-
ing, grading, sizing and packaging. Occasionally a glutted fresh market
might push some reds into chip stock, but it was thought necessary to
start cooking them as soon as possible after digging or the chip.would
be reddish or dark-brown in color; thus they would not ship for a long
distance.
Shuler Farms was an affiliate of Sunshine Biscuit Company, which
had taken over Gordon Foods; thus its tubers were utilized for chip stock
by that firm.
A. Duda and Sons obtained large holdings of land in Collier and
Hendry counties in the '60s. Potatoes for chipping were grown by Duda
at LaBelle, starting in 1962 and at Naples in the mid-'60s. This firm
continued with potatoes for several years.
Dewey Bethea, located at Immokalee, intermittently grew potatoes dur-
ing the late '50s through 1967.
It should be noted that braughon, Geraci and Kinsey had dropped out
of potato production by the early '60s. The growers as well as acreage
and varieties were changing.
In the early '70s M. C. Biggar, Dennis Kelly, Tom and Edd Kelly,
Lee Farms, Allen and Harold Mount and Paul Schultz remained active in
Lee County; Duda in Hendry and Harvey Bros. and Johnson Farms in Collier
were still in the deal. By 1975 further reduction in numbers of potato
farmers had occurred; only Biggar, Lee Farms, Harvey, Johnson and Shultz
were left.







Much of the potato production in the Ft. Myers area has moved south
to the vicinity of Naples; thus the transition continues.

The South Dade County Area

Reference to Dade County potatoes prior to April 30, 1909 (when
Palm Beach County was established) might cover any part of a very large
area extending from the Florida keys northward to Jupiter Inlet. Reports
to the Commissioner of Agriculture indicated 16 acres grown somewhere in
this vast area in 1895-96 and 21 acres in 1900-01. In 1909-10 the acre-
age had expanded to 243 acres plus 57 acres in the newly established Palm
Beach County. There was an increase again noted for 1911-12; Dade
County reported 919 acres. The author has no indication of where they
were grown nor by whom. It is recorded the acreage dropped appreciably
in the intervening years of 1912 and 1918 [13].
The primary commercial acreage has been and continues to be grown
in the Miami to Homestead area and may be said to have centered for many
years at Goulds and vicinity.
At Modello, a community named for the Model Land Company (formed to
administer land given the FEC RR by the state), a Mr. Wagner was said to
have grown a small plot of potatoes in a red pot-hole. These may have
been south Dade's first potatoes.
The original "Allapattah Gardens" was the name given the organic
soils area of Hialeah; the marl soils of the "Glades" east of Goulds
were later called "South Allapattah Gardens." John and Charlie Dunn
farmed the north Allapattah area, starting in 1921. They had poor suc-
cess with potatoes there. The Dunn Bros. moved their farm operation to
South Allapattah Gardenxs about 1928. They had one of the first mechani-
cal potato planters, but only planted a few acres.
H. L. Cox and J. M. Holferty are said to have pioneered the Dade
County potato industry, starting during the 1927-28 crop year. Walter
Peterson came to the area from Wisconsin in 1924, started farming in 1927,
but did not plant any potatoes until 1928. His first crop was only
five acres of Red Bliss Triumphs and was grown in the marl soil of the
"East Glade." Seed was hard to get and, of course, was hand-cut and
hand-planted; cultivation was by mule-drawn equipment. Mr. Peterson's
first tractor was second hand and cost $100. By 1932 he had increased his
acreage to about 35.








A publication entitled Irish Potatoes in Florida by John M. Scott
was released in October 1928 in which there appeared the following
statement: "Marl soils in Florida cannot be recommended for Irish po-
tatoes, since this type of soil is neutral or strongly alkaline. Po-
tatoes grown on this soil are very apt to be scabby, although marl
soils are desirable for many other crops" [32].
H. L. Cox owned a fertilizer warehouse in South Allapattah Gardens.
Frank Rue of the Florida East Coast Fertilizer Company and Mr. Cox began
to experiment with potatoes as early as 1925-26. At first yields were
very low, but Mr. Cox and Mr. Holferty began experimenting with manga-
nese inaddition to their regular fertilizer. The results were phenomenal.
Where yields had been about 90 bu. per acre, as much as 200 bu. per acre
could be realized. Mr. Cox farmed under the name H. L. Cox Farm until
his son, Abney, finished school and joined him; then the name was changed
to H. L. Cox and Son. The name is proudly worn today, though the
founder died several years ago; a third generation grandson is following
in the steps of his father and grandfather.
The low yields were brought to the attention of USDA and two
scientists were sent in to test the soils for the elements missing.
They worked in collaboration with W. J. Vick and, most likely, Mr. Cox
and Mr. Holferty. The virgin soils tested a high pH--8.5 to 8.6. It
would take about a unit of manganese (20 lbs.) per acre, mixed with
the regular fertilizer, to bring the pH down to the pertinent level
for successful production of potatoes.
Stable manure was at first considered essential, taking the place
of manganese, to potatoes as well as in the production of tomatoes [29].
At first growers could only get a small amount of this element and mix
it with their regular fertilizer by hand. As it became known that
yields were vastly improved by its use, other farmers began to plant
potatoes in the area.
W. J. Vick came to the saw grass of the East Glades from a produce
center at Marlboro, Ohio and bought 20 acres in 1918. This original
20 is still farmed by sons Wilbur and Willis, who annually return to
Ohio to farm summer vegetables. Willis owns part of the original farm
in Ohio where their ancestors settled when they moved there from
Virginia in 1835. Mr. Vick planted his first potatoes, two or three








acres, in the fall of 1931, advancing to 200 acres by 1934 and eventually
to some 300 acres. Potatoes have been grown continuously, except during
the period 1955-64 when the combination of the use of MH-30 ( a sprout
inhibitor) in northern producing states and the dislike for the addition
of color to Florida potatoes made the economics of potato growing seem
too great a risk. They now grow potatoes for table stock and for chip-
ping.
Phillips and Co. of Virginia grew several hundred acres about 1928-
29 or 1929-30, bringing in crude packing machinery as well as a mechani-
cal planter. This, no doubt, is the same Phillips and Co. that was active
at Hastings and LaCrosse as a contractor, supplier and handler. He stayed
in Dade County only a short time. It is said that Mr. Blake borrowed the
Phillips planter to plant his crop. Later Mr. Blake and Mr. Holferty
became partners and continued with potatoes for many years.
John and Charlie Dunn increased their potato plantings after learn-
ing more about the use of Manganese. Seed for the Dunns and their
neighbors was purchased out of the Dakotas and Minnesota by Ed Coyner
(Coyner and Evans) in Miami. Fertilizer was supplied by the Wilson &
Toomer Fertilizer Co. The Dunn Bros. probably built the first packing-
house in the "East Glades." They continued each season through the '30s,
and then grew about 120 acres (their allotment) during WW II. The Dunn's
could not be said to have gone commercial until the '30s at least. They
planted Red Bliss, as did most others; however, they also planted test
plots for 20 years-for the North Dakota Seed Commission under the super-
vision of Dr. Rodney Hastings, Commissioner. These test plots comprised
about 40 acres each year and consisted of samples of various varieties
grown by farmers desiring seed certification. After John and Charlie
Dunn retired, Charles II took over the farm and continues with these
plots; he also produces white-skinned varieties for processing.
George Coopl-r came to the area from Maine in 1925 and planted his
first potatoes in 1928 (14 bu. of Red Bliss Triumph seed which was less
than an acre). He had no manganese sulphate and so his yield was poor.
Mr. Cooper mentioned Joe Jill as the first planter, but only for one
year. Mr. Cooper grew potatoes for many years, with his interest con-
tinuing until his death in late December 1975.








Harry D. Long was an early planter from North Dakota who farmed
in South Allapattah Gardens. His large stock barn was an early land-
mark. Mr. Long, son Bob and a foreman, "Scotty," were active in pro-
ducing red potatoes for many years.
August Burrichter came to Florida in August 1932 from Germany
via Mexico and the Everglades area where he farmed for a few years.
Mr. Burrichter was a graduate of the University of Berlin and had close
contact with scientists at Cornell. He applied his training in farming
toward a better product for market. His two-story white farmhouse was
a landmark on his farm near the edge of the present Homestead Air Base.
Mr. Burrichter grew potatoes throughout the '30s and for many years
thereafter until his death in 1967. He took great pride in his relation-
ship with his workers, providing homes that were much above the average.
His son, Walter, continues to farm in the area.
The Jaensch brothers, Robert and Willi, came to south Dade County
in 1929, farmed briefly, and then left to recoup finances in order to
locate permanently in the Homestead-Goulds area in 1933. Although
their farming was diversified at first, potatoes were the main crop pro-
duced. They farmed as Jaensch Bros. until Robert's death in 1965, and
then under the name of Willi Jaensch and, more recently, the East
Glades Growers.
Fred C. Peters of the famous Peters Shoe Company family came to the
area and financed a local grower, John Schumaker, in potatoes in South
Allapattah Gardens. The return on this venture was such (double or more)
that the next year (1933-34) Mr. Peters started growing potatoes on his
own. C. D. Bethea came down from Alachua County to grow the crop. In 1941
Mr. Peters and several farmers and investors formed the Far-South Growers
Cooperative Association. Tne directors (original) were F. C. Peters,
H. H. Hector, R. C. Hector, L. W. Ernst and J. M. Vroom. This was a
cooperative in potato production. C. D. Bethea left as Peters' field
superintendent and his work was taken over by Bill Bethea who continued to
produce potatoes for the cooperative until his death in 1966. A. F.
"Skipper" Arthur was the first general manager; he died of a heart-attack
while participating in a convention of the National Potato Council
(NPC) (see Marketing, p. 95 for other branches of the Peters firm).
J. Hollis Steele, the current general manager, has been with the




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