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Types of farming in Texas

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Types of farming in Texas
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Bonnen, C. A. (Clarence Alfred), 1896-
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Texas Agricultural Experiment Station,
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Full Text
964 66&14.1960
Types of Farming
in Texas
TYPE-OF-FARMING AREAS IN TEXAS
1. Northern High Plains 10. Coastal Bend
2. Canadian Breaks 11. West Cross Timbers
3. Southern High Plains 12. Grand Prairie1 1
4. Rolling Plains and Prairies 13. Blackland -' 5. Mountains and Basins 14. East Texas Farming-
6. Upper Rio Grande Valley 15. East Texas Timber
7. Edwards Plateau and Central Basin 16. Post Oak
8. South Texas Plain 17. Coast Prairie
9. Lower Rio Grande Valley
*,' THE AGRICULTURAL AND MECHANICAL COLLEGE OF TEXAS
TEXAS AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION R. 0. Lewis, Director, College Station, Texas




CONTENTS FOREWORD
Foreword ------- ------------------------------------ --------- 2 This publication is a revision of Texas Station
Introduction------------------------------------------------- 3 Bulletin 544, "A Description of the Agriculture and
Factors Influencing Texas Agriculture ------------- 4 Type-of-farming Areas in Texas." Drastic changes
Physical Factors ---------------------------------------- 4 have taken place in Texas agriculture since 1937,
Soils -------------------------------------------------- 4 when Bulletin 544 was published.
Topography-------I---------------------------------- 6Th nubroTeafrm hsdcled4
Climate ---------------------------------------------- 6 Thre snuer of37 texa farm s huao s elied 40a
Biological Factors ------------------------------------- 7 percent since 937, th e fm po uainis lss thanle
Economic and Sociological Factors-------------- 8 alf, there aseraen asizf t f ha e u ni hsoule
Markets----------------------------------------------8 and trdcto has d e n tsubstantalschange enrtheoscal
Transportation ------------------------------------8 ofe prouco and i st k metd seraioo
Labor-------------------------------------------------~ th9aiu rpadlvsoketrrss
Land Tenure--------------------------------------- 9 Some of the more important forces contributing
Number and Size of Farms -------------------- 10 to these changes have been the development of power
Capital----------------------------------------------- 11 and machinery to make possible the mechanization
Land Use in Texas---------------------------------------- 12 of practically every farm operation; the adaptation
Distribution of Cropland------------------...........12 of airplanes for distributing seed, fertilizers, insectiCotton ----------------------------------------------- 12 cides and herbicides; hybrid plants and animals;
Wheat ----------------------------------------------- 13 combine varieties of grain sorghum; artificial drying
Rice -- ----------------------------------------------- 14 of crops; improvements in feed conversion; improveCorn ---------------------------------------------_--15 ments in fertilizers and insecticides, fungicides and
Grain Sorghum------------------------------------ 15 other agricultural chemicals; greater use of electricity
Oats -------------------------------------------------- 16 and refrigeration; many more farm-to-market roads;
Barley ----------------------------------------------- 16 greatly increased employment opportunities off the
Peanuts---------------------------------------------- 16 farm; and the shifting of many processing and marForage Sorghum --------------- -----------------17 keting functions from the farm to urban centers.
Hay -------------------------------------------------- 17
Fruits and Nuts ----------------------------------- 18 This bulletin reports the results of a study of
Vegetables------------------------------------------- 18 the differences in Texas agriculture which arise from
Pasture---------------------------------------------- 19 the efforts of farmers and ranchmen to adapt their
Distribution of Livestock and operations to natural conditions of land and climate
Production Trends--------------------------------- 19 and to economic conditions reflected in costs and
Beef Cattle ----------------------------------------- 19 prices. By studying these differences and relating
Dairy Cattle---------------------------------------- 20 them to the forces operating to produce them, we
Sheep ------------------------------------------------ 21 learn much about the agricultural problems of each
Angora Goats -------------------------------------- 21 area and, consequently, of the total agriculture of
Hogs------------------------------------------------- 22 the State.
Poultry---------------------------------------------- 22 The objectives of the study were to provide:
Horses and Mules -------------------------------- 23 (1) background information for more detailed f armTypes of Farming and Type-of-farming Areas ---25 mage ntrsrc,()liswthn hch eTypes of Farming-------------------------------------~ m5eaniaemnt rm e research )lm wihi which gaen-,
Type-of-farming Areas ----------------------------- 25 er)azais foro oeter rs mayh bexmade afel,
Area 1, Northern High Plains---------------- 28 (3abaifooretnprsswthTxsgicArea 2, Canadian Breaks ---------------- -..30 ture, (4) information needed by agricultural workers
Area 3,' Southern High Plains --------------30 and business firms for planning purposes and (5) help
Area 4, Rolling Plains and Prairies------....31 for teachers in acquainting their students with the
Area 5, Mountains and Basins----------......33 nature and variety of management problems conArea 6, Upper Rio Grande Valley----....---34 fronting farmers and ranchmen.
Area 7, Edwards Plateau and For these purposes, Texas has been divided into
Central Basin-------------------------- 34 17mjraes8ofwih redvedutero
Area 8, South Texas Plain-------------------- 36 17v majtora f areas n ofuwich areadivide furhericto
Area 9, Lower Rio Grande Valley---------- 38 bigiveacoal ofn29eareasiandasub-areas. hel physical
Area 10, Coastal Bend-------------------------- biologmical ande onofamicg facredssehaThe todeiArea 11, West Cross Timbers---------------- 40 temn tyeofarigredsue.Th dsrArea 12, Grand Prairie ------------------------ 41 bution and trends of each of the various alternative
Area 13, Blackland------------------------------ 42 uses of agricultural resources are reviewed, and each
Area 14, East Texas Farming---------------- 44 of the 29 areas and sub-areas is described as to its
Area 15, East Texas Timber -_-------------- 45 resources, the use of land, trends in the use of land,
Area 16, Post Oak------------------------------ 46 types of farming and probable future developments.
Area 17, Coast Prairie-------------------------- 47 Numerous maps, charts and pictures are used to give
Implications for the Future------------------------------ 50 a better understanding of Texas agriculture.




2 +
Figure 39. Type-of-f arming areas in Texas. Texas is divided into 17 areas of which 8 are subdivided to give a total of 29 areas and sub-areas. In some cases, these type-of-farming areas are given the names applied to land resource areas published in L-400. In such cases, the delineations do not necessarily coincide. It
simply means that the land resources described in I.,400 are predominant in the type-of-farming area.
I. Northern High Plains. 8. South Texas Plain.
a. Wheat, sorghum and livestock, a. Vegetables and cattle.
b. Wheat, sorghum, livestock and vegetables. b. Livestock, peanuts and truck crops.
c. Cotton, sorghum and wheat. c. cotton, flax and livestock.
d. Livestock and cotton.
2. Canadian Breaks-cattle ranching. 9. Lower Rio Grande Valley-cotton, vegetables and citrus.
3. Southern High Plains.
a. Farming-cotton and grain sorghum. 10. Coastal Bend-cotton, grain sorghum and vegetables.
b. Ranching-mainly cattle. 11. West Cross Timbers-peanuts, dairy products and livestock.
4. Rolling Plains and Prairies. 12. Grand Prairie.
a. Cotton, grain sorghum, wheat and livestock, a. Small grains, cotton, dairy products and livestock.
b. Small grains and livestock, b. Livestock, small grains and cotton.
5. Mountains and Basins-cotton and ranching. 13 Blackland.
6. Upper Rio Grande Valley-cotton, alfalfa and dairy products, a. Cotton and livestock.
7. E war s P ate u an Ce tra Ba in.b. Poultry, dairy products, cattle and cotton.
a. Large ranches-cattle, sheep and goats. 14. East Texas Farming-livestock, poultry, dairy products and cotton.
b. Small ranches--cattle, sheep and goats. 15. East Texas Timber-timber products, poultry and livestock.
c. Central Basin-cattle. 16. Post Oak-cotton and livestock.
17. Coast Prairie.
a. Rice, cattle and dairy products.
b. Cotton, rice and cattle.
(Prom TAES Bulletin 964, 'Type. of Fararing in Texaa')




Z~jpcs of Aarvuxg &t (evas
C. A. Bonnen, Professor
Department of Agricultural Economics and Sociology
~5EXAS AGRICULTURE INVOLVES the production Other limitations may be removed by improving the
of a great variety of crops and livestock. This drainage, by land leveling, by clearing or by adding
C diversity is related directly to wide differ- fertilizer. Technological developments which increase ences in soils, climate and topography over the State. yields, improve quality or reduce the cost of a product These factors largely determine the broad uses of often lead to readjustments in land use and in producland cropland, woodland and pasture and greatly tion practices. influence the crops grown and the kinds and numbers The most important development which has
of livestock kept. revolutionized Texas agriculture during the past 30
Biological influences, such as genetics, insect pests years is mechanization, which includes the all-purpose and diseases, are linked closely to these purely physical tractor, mechanical harvesting equipment, improved factors and modify their effects. The choice of pro- irrigation pumps and motors, the use of airplanes to duction lines under these environmental limitations distribute seed, fertilizers, insecticides and herbicides, is influenced also by numerous economic factors, in- plus the general availability to farmers of electricity cluding transportation facilities, labor, available capi- and refrigeration. In addition, hybrid plants and tal or credit and relative prices and costs, which animals, combine varieties of grain sorghum, artificial determine the profits of an enterprise or combination drying of crops, better quality commercial fertilizers, of them. improvements in feed utilization, improvement of
The individual producer's aptitudes, personal farm-to-market roads and more opportunity for offpreferences and circumstances determine, within farm employment all played a part.
limits, the choice of production lines on an individual This publication is a revision of Station Bulletin farm. But for an area as a whole, these factors are 544, "A Description of the Agriculture and Typenot so important as the physical and economic factors. of-farming Areas in Texas." Presented herein are
Changes in demand also cause changes in the graphic illustrations of Texas agriculture suppledifferent crops grown and the animals produced. For mented by sufficient discussion to give the reader a example, the substitution of vegetable oils for animal broad understanding of the varied lines of agriculfats has caused substantial modifications in the dairy tural production in the State. The major factors that and hog enterprises, have influenced the development of Texas agriculture
Government programs have played a large part are first presented by graphics with explanatory disin determining crop and livestock patterns during the cussions. This provides the background for a series past 25 years. The expansion of industry in some of charts with a discussion of the present geographic
areas also has changed farming types substantially. distribution and trends in production of the various
Adapting production and production methods to crop and livestock enterprises. Then the State is the natural environment and to economic and social divided into areas within each of which physical factors is a continuous process. Physical limitations resources, farming systems and production practices at any given time may be offset partly or entirely at are highly uniform. A brief description and explanasome future date. For example, lack of rainfall may tion of each area is given with emphasis on the type be overcome through the development of irrigation, or types of farming prevailing in it.
1954 Trends Haive Conlinued
The trends described herein have continued since 1954. According to the 1959 Agricultural
Census, the number of farms in Texas decreased 22.5 percent, or a total of 66,000 of which 15,000 resulted from a change in the census definition of a farm. Farms have become larger, more specialized and more dependent on off-farm sources of income than in 1954. The average size increased from 498 to 630 acres. Farms reporting cattle decreased 25 percent, milk cows 50 percent, hogs 30 percent, chickens 40 percent, turkeys 50 percent and cotton 35 percent. Associated with a 60 percent increase in the average value of farms, the number of owner and tenantoperated farms decreased, while part-owners and managers increased in relative importance.
Forty-three percent of all farms had more off-farm than on-farm income, as compared with 38
percent in 1954.
3




FACTORS INFLUENCING TEXAS
AGRICULTURE
Physical Factors Soils
Soils, topography and climate are the three Soils affect the types of farming mainly through
physical factors that have the greatest effect on agri- their influence on the physical adaptation of crops. cultural production in Texas. The size of the State Because of specific biological characteristics and habits
(168,648,320 acres- 263,514 square miles- and an of growth, some crops are affected particularly by the
approximate span of 800 miles between its east and depth and texture of the soil, by its plant food content,
west and north and south extremities) produces wide by its water holding capacity or by the height of the
variations in these factors. water table. It is a question, however, of relative
A EAST TLXAS TIMBERLANDS
, Boswell, Bowie, Lakelnd
, .o~e. oo, GENERALIZED SOIL MAP OF TEXAS
Nacogdoche, Magnolia
! Soogooh gon SOIL CONSERVATION SERVICE
Caddo, Sogno UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
1111111 Lufkin, Edge, Tabor in Cooperation With
B COAST MANSE
B o r ........... ........ TEXAS AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIO N
l7. i i lo, ..o..oon b 19t5a9
C COAST PRAIRIE ... .T i
Lake Charles, Edna, Bernard
P ieoe Noywood, N e dA eTr
D BLACKLAND PRAIRIES
Crockett, Wilson
H oueton Btek, Houston, eut
S l. ito., Crockett
E EAST GROSS TIM S .....
dee eegan, Tbord IseiaefLrd
F -GRAND PRAIRIE
a.Tarrant, San Sab'a, t n~o
- ES T O tr E R hS tn LJ RIO GRANDE PLAIN
I T SGoli1d, Zapata, 1lteolo
il Windthorst, Stephenville, NioPod
,Il Maverick, Uvalde, ZapataNL enLI d, ioS
H NORTH CENTRAL PRAIRIESXdotcF OLIGPAN
F ur Tin guene ofa Potter, Manker, Bippul
Renfow Webblandit
SDarnall, irkland, Renfre oreas are futh ive soil.series.are.closelysrelated
I -CENTRAL BASIN VroTlmn bln
.::::: Tsh~ig, ono~c::::: Victoria, Orelia .. .... bl...V ..
... Ti.hosi~go, Pontoto saotM Ails Abilene, er non...
B r w s e r F s o t r R o u h S t o n y L a n dK E D A S P L T U
Figure 1. Texas is subdivided naturally into 14 geographic areas on the basis of differences in surface features, related soil types and native vegetation. These 14 areas are further divided into 45 sub-areas in which the soil series are closely related
and adapted to similar use.
4




rathe tan soluot adapatin. lotayco sand. A grain sorghum crop, however, can be planted
willmak soe gowt onanytype of soil, provided and will mature after the end of the windy season. a m p l e s o i l m o i s t u r e i s a v a i l a b l e b u t c e r t a i n c r o p s d oI n p r s o t h L w e R i G a d e V l y a i g better on a particular type of soil and for this reason wane arts ofy then Lower Rino Grane Vallzey anig are grown in preference to others. For example, rice .a rn atit h otzn n
production in Texas is concentrated on the flat, slowly Ijure or destroy citrus trees and affect seriously the permeable soils of the Coast Prairie. Winter grains production of other salt-sensitive crops. and short-season crops are grown rather than cotton A soil may be low in fertility, but if it has
and other long-season crops on the shallow clays and characteristics favorable to the use of commercial clay loams in North Central Texas. On the light fertilizers it may be highly prized for the production
sandy soils of West Texas, grain sorghum is grown of some specialty crop such as peanuts or watermelons.
in preference to wheat or cotton since the latter are The wide range .in types of soil in Texas (Figure
destroyed frequently during the spring by wind-blown 1) has had a marked influence on types of farming,
E...250..500..
..1111111 500.. .....000
I 000.. ... 2000 ..
.......* 200 300..0...
...Z 3000 .. 4000...
~ 00 500 et.7
Ov0r 1000 '
Figure 2. Range in elevation in Texas. For the most Part, the State slopes from the northwest to the southeast dropping
from 'nore than 4,000 feet in the Panhandle to sea level on the Coast. (Adapted from, a map by J. R Hill, U. S. Geologicl Suvey.




16 20 of cropping or increased terracing to minimize water
24 loss and the effects of erosion.
Aside from the question of moisture and erosion 2.4 control, there is the additional problem of utilizing
- _T 1 2 32340 4 48the non-tillable land that results from an uneven or 40 broken topography or from inadequate drainage.
6 ++ TL 48 Large amounts of non-tillable land in a particular
62 1TL #T 4' 48i area force some farms to include livestock production
8 126/6 12 48+ in their systems of land use. This in turn also may
-- \52 affect the use of the tillable land on these farms.
> 56Elevation is associated closely with topography.
I Texas generally slopes to the south and east at the
rate of 5 to 6 feet per mile. All main streams flow
I6 125 in these general directions. The elevation rises from
16 sea level on the coast to more than 4,000 feet in the
44 northwestern part of the Panhandle, and to more
403 than 5,000 feet west of the Pecos River, Figure 2.
3-2 The mechanization of agriculture has increased
28greatly the importance of topography as a factor that affects types of farming. MIechanization also has 20 24greatly increased the use of smooth, open prairies and plains rather than the more rolling, hilly and timFigure 3. Average annual rainfall in Texas, 1931-55, ranged bered portions of the State for crop production.
from more than 50 inches in Southeast Texas near the coast Consequently, cash crop production has become more
to less than 10 inches at El Paso. Adapted from Texas
Agricultural Extension Service-Texas Agricultural Experi- and more concentrated in these open areas, while ment Station Leaflet 232 farm operators in the other areas have turned to the
as wll e pintd ot i thedisusson f te ari- production of livestock and livestock products and to culture of each area. offr mlyet
TopographyClmt
The character of the surface of the land also Climatic factors, particularly rainfall and temaffects the type of farming followed. The character perature, largely determine the range of crops that 9 may he grown successfully in a given area. Rainfall
of the surface may determine, to a considerable extent, somewhat effects the choice of cropping systems, both the amounts of inter-tilled crops grown. Rapid run- in total amount and in its seasonal distrib Iution. The off on sloping land results in the loss of valuable amount of rain which falls during the critical growing moisture and top soil and may force a particular type season is important in determining whether certain 180 crops will be grown in many sections of Texas. Year180 ..-+4- 200to-year variations in rainfall also are important.
+4_+ Average annual rainfall in Texas ranges from
T-'T -T 220more than 50 inches in the southeastern part next 230 to Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico to less than 10
+ inches in the extreme western part, Figure 3. In
+ 00 240 general, the amount of rainfall decreases gradually
21 and the variation from year to y-ear becomes greater
220 -4 250 from the north and east to the south and west. For
47 example, at Longview, where the average annual raini fall is more than 43 inches, the variability is 17 per2LT 60 cent, whereas at Big Spring the rainfall averages about
I i ~ 18 inches and the variability is almost 40 percent.
2380 Rainfall affects crops by its seasonal distribution,
ig 290 by the rate of evaporation and by the amount of
26080320 runoff. The rate of evaporation, especially in the
290 southern and western parts of the State, is so high
that much of the summer rainfall is only slightly 30 effective. The amount of runoff is determined by
the nature of the topography, by the texture of the Figue 4 Avrag legthof he ros-fre prio rages soil and by the vegetative cover. In years of average
from about 180 days in extreme Northwest Texas to more o bv-vrg anal uho h rcptto
than 300 days in the southernmost part of the State (U. S. may come during one or two torrential-type storms.
Weather Bureau). At such times, a large part of the moisture is lost
6




in runoff. Occasionally the rainfall from one storm 4 Ar1
equals the annual average of that locality.
Production limitations because of insufficient 4 p
rainfall or its poor seasonal distribution may be over- T- J
come by irrigation, provided water can be obtained L 4
at reasonable cost. Ar1 +Temperatures affect crop production in many
ways, but mainly through the length of the growing Apr 1 -4 LMar 15
season, Figure 4. The average frost-free period rangesI from more than 300 days in the Lower Rio GrandeI L
Valley to about 180 days in the northwestern part ofMrI the Panhandle. In the former area, a great variety of crops is produced, ranging from citrus fruits and o
winter vegetables to cotton, corn and grain sorghum. In the latter, the choice is limited for the most partMaI to winter wheat and grain sorghum. Very little cotton e
is grown where the frost-free period averages less than Fb1
190 days. The relationship between elevation and length of frost-free periods is shown clearly in Figures F
2 and 4. Figure 5. There is a difference of almost 3 months in the
The average date of the last killing frost in the average date of the last killing frost in the spring between spring at Brownsville in the southernmost tip of the the northwest and the southernmost part of the State (U. S. State is January 30, Figure 5, and the first in the fall Weather Bureau). is December 26, Figure 6. In the northwestern part expense of others. Grain sorghum is a good example. of the Panhandle, the average date of the last killing The development of combine types and the recent frost in the spring is April 15 while the average date inrdcinomyrd aersle nmkn ri
of the first in the fall is October 20. The dates of the sntorgumto thriipae ropute of Teasin ath last and first killing frosts and the length of the grow- sorguthwethew aritiel ofe cantaoupTexave andte ing season vary greatly. For example, there is a Suhet e aite fcnaop aemd
difference of 112 days between the shortest and the that crop important in the Lower Rio Grande Valley longest growing season reported at Brownsville. At and other parts of South Texas in recent years. The
the amestaion thelatst illng fostreprte in use of antibiotics and hormones to improve feed conthe samen stain thweek latethlln fros rveprtged nd version in poultry and livestock plus the growing the springt wash alms 6 weeks laebhnteaefrae and use of artificial insemination of livestock also have average date. This wide variation in the occurrence cue akdcagsi h eainhpo hs
of the first and last killing frosts and in the length enterprises to each other and to cash-crop production. of the growing season is one of the greatest hazards Ot2
to cold-sensitive crops. Often, early spring vegetables are destroyed or their maturity delayed by late frosts. 4 o
Along the northern fringes of the cotton belt, theOc 0o5 quality of cotton may be lowered substantially by I
an early frost, and a prolonged period of below-freezing 4- o 001
temperatures may be disastrous. Such was the case +. + --- Nov 10
in 1951 when an unusually hard freeze in the Lower Nov 1---L. 7 rT!LI
Rio Grande Valley destroyed 85 percent of the citrus +
trees and 98 percent of the citrus crop. Nov 5 T - ov1
Biological Factors --LH
Insect pests, parasites and diseases affect the
character of agriculture through their effects on yields Nov 10 and costs. Insects may completely destroy a crop or Y Dc1
reduce yields below profitable levels during someDeI seasons, if not controlled. The cost of controlling insects, parasites or diseases may discourage the production of a particular crop or class of livestock. Dc1
The development of a new variety or strain of Fiue6Avrgdaeothfrsklinfotinheal
a crp wth ighe yildgreaer isese rsisanc or comes about 9 weeks earlier in the Texas Panhandle than better adaptation to mechanical harvesting may result it does in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (U. S. Weather in a great increase in the acreage of this crop at the Bureau).
7




Economic and Sociological Factors more than half since 1940. In 1930, about 40 percent
Soils, topography and climate establish the phys- of the Texas population lived on farms while the ical limits within which a crop or type of livestock present farm population is about 11 percent of the may be grown. Whether the crop actually is grown total. This trend is referred to sometimes as "the
or the extent to which it is grown depends on a rise of the cities." It has been accompanied by- many
number of factors the effects of which are felt largely changes in the production and marketing of farm through prices and costs. Market demands took prece- products. Production has become more and more dence over home needs, and relative costs and returns specialized while processing and marketing functions became primary factors that influenced the choice of formerly done on the farm have been shifted to the farm enterprises as agriculture changed from a self- towns and cities. This shift is so great that a large sufficient home industry into a highly commercialized part of the economic activity of these population undertaking. centers now is based on products originating on or
Important economic forces that help to explain destined for use on farms and ranches. Added to the kinds of agriculture found in various parts of these functions are many new services that center the State include the size and nearness of markets, around food products which formerly were home transportation facilities, availability of labor and activities, such as fruit and vegetable canning and capital, size of farms and land tenure arrangements. pre-cooked food.
Approximately two-thirds of the Texas population
Markets is located in that part of the State which receives
A rapidly growing population and industrial 30 or more inches of rainfall, and represents less than
growth and a related decline in the farm population one-third of its total area, Figures 7 and 3. In 1950, have resulted in greatly enlarged local markets for the population in this area was 60 persons per square farm products. The total population of Texas was mile, as compared with 15 people per square mile for
estimated by the United States Bureau of the Census the rest of the State. A large portion of our natural to be 9,493,000 on January 1, 1959. This represents resources, such as timber, oil, gas, sulphur, water and an increase of 3,668,000 since 1930. The rate of iron, are in this more densely populated part. Induspopulation growth has been increasing in recent years, tries also develop most rapidly and the principal probably stimulated by World War 11 and postwar markets are located here. It is ,in this portion also
developments. Between 1930 and 1940, the increase that most of our perishable products are produced. was 10 percent and from 1940 to 1950, it was 20 per- See also Figures 28, 29, 32, 36, 37 and 38. In general, cent. The present trend suggests that the total popu- bulky and perishable products of relatively low unit lation increase from 1950 to 1960 will be approxi- value tend to be produced closer to markets than less mately 25 percent. A continuation of the present bulky, perishable products which can be shipped
rate of increase would mean a total population for cheaply long distances without loss in quality. This Texas of approximately 12 million by 1970. tendency has been overcome to a large extent in
While the total population has increased, the recent years through improvements in transportation number of people living on farms has decreased by and methods of food preservation.
Transportation
The development of transportation facilities has
contributed greatly to Texas agricultural progress. In
the early history of Texas, agricultural products
1:I~~~ ~ ~moved to primary markets by crude river craft or
overland by animal power. For example, wheat and
%
~- ~-~' ~cotton grown in North Texas were moved by ox team .... ~ to Jefferson and thence to New Orleans by water.
- a.- The cattle drive was an important link in the
~. chain of transportation development in Texas. Great I,. ~numbers of cattle had accumulated during and immediately following the Civil War.Prcialth
only market for cattle was for their hides and tallow.
In the search for markets, cattle were driven as far
west as California, as far east as Alabama, and as far
north as Montana. While the drive -was important
STAT TOTL -7,7X.14 in the total movement of cattle for only about 30
I DOT EQUALS 2,000 PEOPLE ~ .years, it is credited with saving the State from bankFIGURES EQUAL NUMBER OF THOUSANDS .ruptcy and with stocking the ranges of the Great Plains.
Figure 7. Geographic distribution of population in Texas, Railroad construction started in 1851 and, except 1950 U. S. Census. Two-thirds of the population are in the for the interruption by the Civil War during the early one-third of the State receiving 30 or more inches of rainfall. 1860's, it spread rapidly to serve much of the State.
8




Farming spread out from the main streams to the pensive, more machinery and chemicals will be used
interior with the development of the railroad systems in these operations. An important factor contributand in response to broadening markets. However, ing to the rising cost of seasonal labor is the activity
cattle were being trailed out of Texas across Indian of the United States and Mexican governments on Territory to shipping points in Kansas and to ranches behalf of the Mexican Nationals who cross the Rio on the Northern Great Plains as late as 1890. Grande each year for employment on Texas farms.
Truck transportation accompanied by highway There also is growing concern over the social condiimprovement added flexibility to the transportation tions surrounding all transient workers and their system and reduced the time products are enroute families. Solution of these problems will tend to
to markets. Rapid means of conveyance supplemented decrease the number of transient workers and increase
by refrigeration have broadened markets for perish- wage rates. ables and greatly improved the quality of the products Land Tenure reaching the market. Truck transportation over good
highways has brought about many important changes A noticeable relationship exists between tenure
in livestock marketing and lessened marketing costs groups and types of farming. It is not always clear in some areas. which is cause and which is effect. A number of
All-weather roads are more important to some historical developments have had a significant influtypes of farming than others. They are especially ence on land tenure in Texas. Early land policies
important to products which must be picked up or that featured large grants of land to individuals,
delivered regularly and promptly, such as fluid milk, corporations and institutions resulted in the estabpoultry, eggs and fresh vegetables. lishment of many large ranches and landed estates.
Although many of these tracts' have been broken up
Labor into smaller ranches and farms, some of them remain.
The labor supply is an important factor that Fifty-two percent of Texas farms in 1954 were
affects the nature of farming. The availability of owner-operated, 21 percent partly owner-operated, 26
low-cost labor in South Texas and across the Rio percent tenant-operated and less than I percent were
Grande in Mexico had much to do with the develop- operated by hired managers. Fifty percent of all the
ment of winter vegetable production in that part of land in farms and ranches was owner-operated. Some the State. The relatively high ratio of population to of these owner-operators leased additional land which land and the lack of other types of employment in gave this group control of 72 percent of all the land
the timbered portions of the State tended to limit in farms.
those areas to small-scale, intensive types of cotton,
vegetable and fruit production. The importance of tenantry in Texas has paralThe available supply of farm labor was greatly leled closely the rise and decline of the acreage
reduced by the demands for military manpower with planted to cotton. Both reached a peak around 1930
the outbreak of World War 11 and increased employ- when tenants operated more than 60 percent of all
ment in expanded industrial centers. This demand farms and a third of all farmland. Tenants in 1954
for industrial labor continued during the postwar operated less than 18 percent of the land in farms
period and provided job opportunities for many and ranches. Tenants are most numerous today in
under-employed farm people. the principal cotton-producing areas such as the High
Farm wage rates increased by more than 300 per- and Rolling Plains and the Blackland.
cent during this time, while prices paid for all com- The amount of land operated by managers also
modities used in production, including machinery, reached a peak about 1930 and has declined since. In
increased about 100 percent. The effects on agri- 1954, managers operated less than 11 percent of all
culture have been spectacular. There are now less land in farms and ranches, as compared with 16 perthan half as many people on Texas farms, more part- cent in 1930. time farming and a greater dependence of farmers Agricultural adjustment programs, rapid induson outside sources of income. In 1954, more than trial progress providing off-farm employment, numhalf the farm families in the timbered portion of East erous technological changes, particularly in the field Texas and in the highly industrialized portion of the' of farm machinery, and the related increase in capital Coast Prairie received more than half of their income requirements for farming contributed to these changes from sources other than the sale of farm products. in tenure. Rent payment by a share of the crop is As people left the farms and farm labor became rela- the common method on farms producing cotton, wheat tively high priced and scarce, the remaining farmers and general field crops. Cash rentals are most comshifted land to less intensive uses or substituted mon on grasslands and on lands that feature dairy
machinery and other forms of capital for labor. production or specialty crops such as rice, peanuts and
Machines are now used to a large extent for prac- tomatoes. With the drop in cotton acreage and
tically every farm operation. It is expected that these tenancy generally on the decline, both types of artrends will continue. Large amounts of seasonal labor rangements have decreased. Share leasing has deare used for weed control and cotton harvesting. As clined much more than cash leasing. In 1930, share such labor becomes scarce and relatively more ex- rent was paid on 71 percent of the tenant-operated
9




T~.I5~T T
r.~ ~~~ 214:4-H<* '~
I ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ F+, DO QAS10TRCOSIDTEQASS0,
Fiue8 ratr nfam nTxa,15 U S ess. iue9 Cs adfr ao nTea am, 94(.S
The istibuionof racorsis amos idntial o te ds- Cnsu). espte ubsantal rducionm lborreqireent
triutonofhavete copau (igre14) ratos ndforth podctonofmot ros ndsoe ivstck hre
trukshae amot omletly diplaed hose an mle laorre ais te arestsigl iem f ar exenitre
as th motve frce n TeA amb 0 ce.Teaeaefr ieams obe
land, whl n15 hstp fpyen a ae drn.905,fom22t 9ce.Tenme
on~ ony5 ecn o uhln.o frssalrthn1 ce nresd7 ecn
Nubr n Sz o amssnc 93.Te amsi ti gopar arey at
Chne intenmeTn ieo am ae tm ndrsdnil am htrnei iefo
thisgsae perico, tenan farms e, ncldin cropp.erss) orideree e9 e mahpidflboe. Sinficat inreas, in5 bothS half-hans dechresed romn 30gu1,000 Tr6,0a ad thtnmerofrs and in therduto o otrp adsmunvt ok landn manksage-oeat famsrmpl 3,300ce oe 1,900 Thles laroe ouredn nlrgs sie groupo frm 260 ar-e p numbher motifone-opeae farms. reaie abou theWhleths. grou rersened only 28z percet dofute same, while part-owneris ineoayrmn less tane farmn number, itcrolle 25o48 percent ofe allmfar 3800 o moeta56,0.ladad7 percent of scladofarsmlertall h0acrvestedncrad in 1954.n Thme average farmienase innc all0 teueAlhuh farms hav been gettingr large inasite groups, i the enrupmby2 acrsie pfarowne yims Tas rsntare comarstatl malle wn size 386n ascrmngoeated by 1,700 tecacres and tenant. is mo9csdeasure in tempftermont ofd pros srod
Nam umber ae ymr hn2000drn 0o29acres Arpe4ecres pher farmon
Economic Per- Acres la,0 oaot2300.D rn frln havsed r- pado hs am
cls sam eidtnn farms c din frmpes or c se crvpend o e incnt Tnctase i Coth
haf-ansderese fom30,00to7600 ad henube h arste hn nteamutoarvested
maae-oeae 1f,198 fr .5 3,0 t ,90,14 35.7 6,700,604edi szegou fo 26.8 a,950up. nu be o568 8.8roprc 31,94,89 re1.9e 6,095,775etisgou epeene l 24. 1 er244 237th
3ae 31,406 10.7ower 20,471,s78 14.0 4,637nar um e,34 1tcnrol8.5 651en ofal4frm
4800 40mretan,15 0 370565,5 0.7 3,66,25 1n 1preto l avse rpadi94.1
P8ares 45,530oerte b 15 0 6,00,40 4.1 682,837 2.7 132ure 15trso hea onsopout od
$1,99ooi de themo ero wo r of h Ar ess hand 10 Pdye or ovde thefays Poe r om ousic res asfarm thashevau of r pod cts t sold. etcrpad cetTta rp
fam1aretdhavse




$ 7,H4,29 STTfOTL-I4 0_9 '
TA E A ".: .
Figure 10. Cash paid for machine hire on Texas farms, Figure 12. Cash paid for fuels and oils on Texas farms,
1954 (U. S. Census). Machine hire includes custom opera. 1954 (U. S. Census). Farmers are large users of fuels and
tions which in turn include substantial amounts of labor, oils. Petroleum products are the source of the greater part
In 1954, less than 5 percent of all farms sold products ofpwrueonTxsam.
valued at $25,000 or more, while 76 percent reported residential farms accounted for 38 percent of all farms
sales of less than $5,000. About half of the latter group and operated only 7 percent of the farmland and
were part-time or residential farms and all of them 3.5 percent of the harvested cropland.
sold less than $1,200 worth of farm products in 1954.
The close relationship between physical size and Carpital
the volume of sales is shown in Table 1. The three Capital requirements for farming in Texas rose
groups with sales of $5,000 or more made up only sharply during and after World War II. Rising land
24 percent of the farm number and had control of values, larger farms and increased dependence on
70 percent of the land resources, whereas all other machinery and other forms of capital account largely
farms, including part-time and residential, had at their for the increase.
disposal the remaining 30 percent. Part-time and .~~A ',.
Tr.T TOAT 30850
STATE TOTAL 220,754,419 ..I DOT EQUALS 50,000
Figure 13. Cash paid for commercial fertilizers on Texas Figure 11. Cash paid for feed on Texas farms, 1954 (U. S. farms, 1954 (U. S. Census). Commercial fertilizers were used
Census). The principal types of feed purchased are mixed on more than 4.5 million acres of crops in 1954. Principal
feeds, protein supplements and hay. In total, feeds rank crops fertilized are hay and pasture crops, cotton, corn, rice,
next to labor among farm expenditures, fruits and vegetables.
11




The value of land and buildings per acre more million, as compared with S121 million in 1940,
than trebled during 1940-54, and the value per farm Figures 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13. All indications point increased from approximately $6,000 to more than to a continuation of these trends since 1954. This
$29,000. For commercial farms, the average value of increase in capital requirements has resulted in a land and buildings was more than $42,000 in 1954. higher degree of specialization in the production of
This excludes part-time and residential farms. most agricultural products. Specialization reduces the
Data are not available to show the amount in- number of machines needed and permits the farmer
vested in machinery and other forms of capital, but to make more efficient use of the machinery owned. the number of tractors rose from approximately 99,000 A growing number of farmers have kept down their in 1940 to about 277,000 in 1954, Figure 8. Motor investment in machinery by employing others to pertrucks increased from 57,000 to 190,000 and all types form some operations on a custom basis, Figure 10. of machines increased in size, complexity and unit cost. High capital requirements partly explain the reThe combined annual expenditures for hired cent growth of owner and part-owner operation of
labor, feed, fuel and fertilizer in 1954 was $585 farmland and the shift away from tenantry.
LAND USE IN TEXAS
The 1954 census shows 145,812,733 acres, or 86.5 14. An additional 200,000 acres of pastureland also percent of the total land area of Texas, are in farms were irrigated. and ranches. The remainder is woodland not in Crop production is concentrated largely on the
farms, parks, military land, highways, cities and smoother portions of the plains, the prairies and the
stream beds. larger river bottoms, Figure 15. This concentration
Approximately 25 percent of the farmland, or has grown with increased use of irrigation and with
36,659,302 acres, is classed as cropland, 73 percent as the trend toward large scale, mechanized farm pastureland and less than 1 percent as woodland not operations. pastured. The balance of slightly more than I per- Distribution of Croplcmd
cent is in farmsteads, farm roads and wasteland.
Approximately two-thirds of the land classed as Cotton
cropland was harvested in 1954, about one-fifth was Cotton continues to be the leading cash crop in
used only for pasture, and the balance was neither Texas, despite a greatly reduced acreage since 1930. harvested nor pastured (idle, fallow or crop failure) The value of cotton and cottonseed has exceeded the
Eighteen percent, or about 4.5 million acres of value of all other crops sold during the past several the harvested cropland, was irrigated in 1954, Figure years. It also has exceeded the value of all livestock
STAT TOTAL T4800 CE
127




and livestock products sold. Cotton accounted for-f 4 30 percent of the total acreage of crops harvested in.+ +.
*1954. The greatest concentration of cotton acreage+ is on the High and Rolling Plains, the Blackland, the Coastal Bend and the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Figure 16. After World War II, the acreage and production of cotton increased in the irrigated areas T**
and decreased in the dryland areas. The shift in ~.
production locations has been more pronounced be- .i
cause of the relatively higher per-acre yields of irri- :
gated cotton. For example, the three areas that had
a large part of the irrigated cotton acreage produced LT ~55 percent of the Texas crop in 1954, as compared \" -L 4r2- _LLwith 26 percent in 1944. During this same period the shift in acreage was from 24 percent of the total in 1944 to 33 percent in 1954. Drouth and the lifting of acreage allotments during the war and postwar STATE TOTAL- 7,513,763 ACRES periods also were important factors in these shifts.
I DOT EQUALS 5,000 ACRES
After the Civil War, the cotton acreage rose almost continuously until 1914, leveled off during World War I and then rose sharply to its all-time peak of almost 18 million acres in 1926, Figure 17. Figure 16. Distribution of cotton acreage harvested in Since this period, the trend generally has been down- Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Most of the acreage is concenward. Agricultural adjustment programs, the scarcity trated on the smooth, open prairies and plains and on the of farm labor during the war and prolonged periods btolnso h agrsras
of drouth have been important contributing factors. 1954. Much of this increase occurred on the High The change in this country from a debtor to a creditor Plains where cotton is the principal crop irrigated. position after World War I was the basic cause. Be- Wheat cause of this change, dollar exchange became scarce Wheat ranks next to cotton and grain sorghum
in foreign countries which made it difficult for them in importance in Texas cropping systems. In 1954, to purchase our surplus cotton. The strong com-
petitive position of cotton relative to other field crops is indicated by the extent to which the acreage re- 17 -bounds when acreage allotments are suspended. -Note particularly 1937, the late 1940's and during 1951-53. is 5
From the 4-year period (before acreage control 14 ,programs) 1929-32, to the recent 4-year period of acreage control programs, 1954-57, the average of the
cotton acreage harvested annually in Texas decreased 1256 percent while production dropped only 15 percent./A /
Some 395,000 farms reported the production of3,793,000 bales of cotton in 1929. In 1954, with only ,,--. 0-126,000 farms reporting cotton, the production was--- -3,548,337 bales. Thus less than one-third as many farmers produced almost as much cotton in 1954 as s ---- -* -was produced in 1929. The production per farm
averaged 9.6 bales in 1929 and 28.2 bales in 1954, an extremely dry year. Per-acre yields have doubled since -fill -1929. This resulted from the selection of the best lands for cotton, from using more fertilizer, from\/. irrigating more cotton land and from the shift of 4 -- -4-li.j
cotton production to more productive areas. For 3 I
example, the cotton acreage in 24 Northeast Texas counties in 1958 was less than 5 percent of the 1928 2
acreage, whereas in the Lower Rio Grande Valley- ---it was 143 percent and on the High Plains 135 per-V cent of the 1928 acreage. 1900 0a 10 0 V.ii2 40 45 50 as so
The extent of irrigated land increased from less Figure 17. Trends in the acreage of the major crops grown than a million acres in 1929 to 4,700,000 acres in in Texas, 1900.59 (Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA).




is grown in the northwestern part of the State where the average annual rainfall is below 30 inches and varies sharply from year to year and during a given year. As a consequence, much of the acreage is not harvested some years. The average amount not harvested during 1948-57 was 40 percent of the total Seeded acreage. Production ranged from 14 million
- bushels in 1955 to about 90 million bushels in 1949.
_L LDuring a period of almost 50 years before World
--,--- War I, the wheat acreage harvested in Texas exceeded
/ V /* r a million only three times. During and following
V.Ki.v <_ X- World War I, it more than doubled. The trend in
\.j T- wheat acreage harvested generally was upward from
the middle 1920's until 1950 when acreage allotments Jand drouth greatly reduced it, Figure 17. Many
factors contributed to the increased importance of STATE TOTAL -3,179,778 ACRES L--y wheat. Wheat is a low labor-requirement crop to
which growers turn quickly during wartime periods when prices are high and labor scarce and costly. The introduction of small combines and the improvement in tractors and other machinery after World Figure 18. Distribution of the wheat acreage harvested in War I greatly improved the competitive position of Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Most of the wheat is produced wheat and resulted in its rapid expansion in the highon the High and Rolling Plains and on the upper parts risk areas. The peak of both acreage and production of the Grand Prairie and Blackland. occurred in 1947 when 7,300,000 acres and 124 million
wheat occupied about 13 percent of the harvested bushels of wheat were harvested.
cropland. In addition to providing cash income from Rice
the sale of grain, wheat makes a substantial contri- Almost 28 percent of the 1945-54 rice crop in
bution to livestock production by providing fall and the United States was produced in Texas. Rice prowinter grazing for cattle and sheep. duction is confined almost entirely to the flat Coast
The wheat acreage is concentrated largely on the Prairie lands where slowly permeable subsoils and clay and clay loam soils of the High and Rolling readily available water resources permit economical
Plains, Figure 18. A minor concentration exists on irrigation, Figure 19.
the Grand Prairie and on the northwestern part of Although production is highly specialized, it is
the Blackland. Most of the wheat produced in Texas part of a broad rotation system involving pasture and
cattle. Generally speaking, rice is grown 1 or 2 years,
T-' Tfr -To humF+ +--- + + !
SI -++++++
--+++++ __ ,
,T++ h 4 -- .
A,
STATE TOTAL- 607,639 ACRES ri-v. 5~'r
"_ _-"_ __ / "
Figure 19. Distribution of rice acreage harvested in Texas, 1910 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60 1954 (U. S. Census). Rice production is confined entirely Figure 20. Trends in minor crop acreage grown in Texas, to the Coast Prairie. Rice acreage reached an all-time 1910-59 (Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA, and U. S. high in 1954. Census).
14




then the land is pastured 2 to 4 years before it is returned to rice. During this time, cattle benefit from the carry-over effects of the fertilizers applied to rice. Often one operator grows the rice while Tr- -L L
another does the ranching.Y++ LRice production in Texas is largely a develop-++ ment of the Twentieth Century. The 1890 Census of Agriculture lists 178 acres of rice scattered through -+ + +4
13 East Texas counties ranging from Wood county on the north to Jefferson county on the south. These acreages apparently were experimental and most of the counties listed no longer grow rice. By 1900, the L
rice acreage increased to about 9,000. From 1909 T_7--k KX.
through 1936, rice was harvested from 150,000 to I
250,000 acres, production being limited by the supply ---i-~~.*.
of irrigation water. Since 1935, the area in rice rose almost constantly until it reached an all-time peak STATE TOTAL- .66.82 ACRES of 637,000 acres in 1954, Figure 20. This period of IDOT EQUALS 5,000 ACRES expansion resulted from the increased demand for American-grown rice caused by wartime disturbances in the Orient and to increased supplies of irrigation water from streams and wells. Figure 21. Distribution of corn acreage harvested for grain
In addition, there have been some significant in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Most of the corn is grown
suchas dyingand ulk in that part of the State having more than 30 inches of technological developments scasdynadbuk rainfall.
handling, improvements in fertilization and weed _________________________control methods, improved varieties, the development With the recent introduction of sorghum hybrids
of self-propelled combines which permit harvesting there appears to be little chance that corn may regain in wet fields and the adaptation of airplanes for its former position as the leading feed grain crop in
distribution of seed, fertilizer, insecticides and herbi- Texas. cides. The reinstatement of acreage allotments in Grain Sorghum
1955 reversed the trend, and by 1959 the harvested Sorghum harvested for grain, accounting for 22.5
rice acreage was only 417,000, or about 66 percent percent of the harvested cropland in 1954,, has reof the 1954 acreage. placed corn as the State's principal feed grain crop.
Corn It has become also an important cash crop. Almost
Corn occupied about 7.5 percent of the harvested 89 percent of the 132-million-bushel crop reported in cropland in 1954. Most of the crop is grown on the 1954 was sold from the farms where produced. Blackland, the Coast Prairie and on the sandy lands Grain sorghum production is highly concentrated
to the east of the Blackland, Figure 21. Very little on the High Plains and in the Coastal Bend, Figure corn is grown west of the 30-inch rainfall belt. In 22. It is increasing in importance on the Rolling 1954, almost two-thirds of the corn crop was fed on Plains, the Blackland and in the Lower Rio Grande farms where grown. Valley.
The corn acreage harvested rose steadily with Grain sorghum was introduced to Texas just
the cotton acreage until 1900 when it leveled off at before the turn of the Twentieth Century. The first about 5 million acres, Figure 17. it fluctuated near mention of the crop is found in the 1900 Census of that level until the beginning of World War II when Agriculture where 19,576 acres were reported as harcombine-type sorghum was introduced. Since the vested in 1899. The early history of the crop is closely
war, the corn acreage has dropped steadily despite related to the development and expansion of crop the use of corn hybrids. The acreage harvested in farming in West Texas. In 1919, almost 1.5 million
1957wasthesmalestsine 175,and as nlya tird acres were harvested for grain. Production rose slowly 195 whath somallheste inc e adWaol a tIrd until the early 1940's when combine types that perofTht noracm onmall havse peoeWrl Wymcarical mitted the complete mechanization of the crop were
The ispaceent f aima poer b mehancal introduced, Figure 17. The introduction of hybrids power, the greater drouth resistance of grain sorghum, after 1954 has further improved the competitive posiplus the lower cost and greater ease of harvesting, tion of grain sorghum. have contributed to this trend. Sorghum is harvested Grain sorghum is the principal alternative use
with the same machines used in the harvesting of of diverted cotton acreage and, to some extent, of
small grains, whereas a special machine is required to diverted wheat acreage. Figure 17 shows the inverse harvest corn mechanically. The extra operation of relationship between cotton and grain sorghum acreshelling is necessary when corn is grown as a cash ages from 1949 to 1957. There were no restrictions crop. on cotton acreages in 1949 or during 1951-53. As long
15




Most of the oat crop is grown on the more shallow clay and clay loam soils in North Central Texas, with the greatest concentration on the Grand Prairie and in the northwestern part of the Blackland where it outranks wheat among the close-seeded crops, Figure
-+ I. 23. Oats also are an important crop in the eastern
" parts of the Rolling Plains and the Edwards Plateau.
4... Oats and wheat followed about the same trend
and were harvested from about the same number of
- acres until the mid-1920's when the small combine
and the all-purpose tractor were introduced and the T K great expansion of wheat production on the High
- T --> Plains began. With few exceptions, the oat acreage
harvested for grain has fluctuated between 1 and 2 million since World War I, Figure 17. During this time, the acreage harvested has never been as much as 2 million and has been below I million only five TOTAL- 5 ACRES times, four of which occurred during and after World
ISDTQA LS 5,6009ARE
DOT EQUALS 5,000 ACRES War II. The trend after World War II has been
slightly downward, mainly because of insect damage and drouth.
Figure 22. Distribution of grain sorghum acreage harvested in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). The main sorghum areas are Barley the High and Rollings Plains, Blackland and the Coastal The barley acreage harvested has seldom exceeded Bend. I percent of the total harvested cropland. In 1954,
as cotton and wheat acreages are controlled at present barley was harvested from 129,000 acres. It is grown levels, the acreage of sorghum harvested for grain will in the same general areas as wheat and oats, that is remain high. Further increases could result from the on the clay and clay loam soils of northwestern and higher yield potential of sorghum hybrids. North Central Texas, Figure 24. The acreage fluctuates widely from year to year with moisture conditions Oats and with acreage restrictions on wheat. On the High
Oats were harvested for grain in 1954 from Plains, it is used primarily as a catch crop on land
1,403,682 acres, or from 5 percent of the harvested diverted from wheat or land on which wheat has failed cropland. An additional acreage is seeded alone and because of the lack of fall and winter moisture. Some in mixtures for fall and winter pasture and for hay. wheat producers prefer barley to grain sorghum since Much of the acreage harvested for grain is grazed land on which it is grown may be returned to wheat
during the fall and winter. in the fall. Interest in barley has increased in the
area adapted to small grains, probably because of the introduction of new and better adapted varieties and to restrictions on wheat and cotton acreage, Figure 20. l-JI-_ %-.__ Peanuts
+Peanuts were harvested for nuts from 234,000
acres or slightly less than 1 percent of the harvested
-cropland in 1954. All peanuts grown in Texas are of the Spanish type. Peanut production is restricted 1L_ + .. ..:i L largely to the light sandy soils which receive 25 inches
-- "< ( f of rainfall or more. The more important production
areas are in the West Cross Timbers and on the South
-, -T Texas Plain south and west of San Antonio, Figure 25.
- A In addition to the acreage harvested for nuts, some
-, 'V )50 to 60 thousand acres of peanuts were grown for other purposes. The vines from more than 90 percent
I of the acreage harvested for nuts in 1954 were saved
STATE TOTAL- 1.403682 ACRES for hay. Most peanut growers use hogs to salvage nuts
I DOT EQUALS 5.000 ACRES T left in the field in harvesting operations or when
-yields are too low to be harvested profitably.
Except during World War I, the acreage of peanuts harvested in Texas remained below 100,000 until Figure 23. Distribution of oat acreage harvested in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Oat production is largely concentrated 1927. Since then it has not dropped below that on the Grand Prairie and Blackland. figure. The acreage rose steadily to more than 300,000
16




SA TT ,80iT."'-- T8-I0-9E-S
DOL L T 0 ESE L _2L3L4,Y-4 + -LI---4
Fgr 24 Dsito of bal a
STATE TOTAL-12A9CR
I DOT = 1000 ACRES STATE TOTAL- 2:34,040
-- -tI ,DOT EQUALS 1,000 ACRES
Figure 24. Distribution of barley acreage harvested in
Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). The barley acreage is distributed Figure 25. Distribution of peanut acreage harvested for lightly throughout the wheat growing areas (Figure 18). nuts in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Peanut production is just before World War II. During the period 1942-48, concentrated largely on the light sandy soils.
an average of 786,000 acres were harvested. Since that million. The improvement of pastures through clearperiod, which included the war and the immediate ing, seeding and fertilizing is meeting part of the
postwar period, the harvested acreage has declined forage needs. Hay production has increased and large
to near the prewar level. The average acreage har- amounts of hay are shipped into Texas to meet some
vested during 1954-58 was 290,000, or about 37 per- of the forage needs.
cent of the average acreage of the 1942-48 period. Hay
The return to acreage allotments and drouth have Texas farmers harvested about 1,500,000 acres
been the most important factors in bringing the acre- of hay other than sorghum or annual legumes in 1954. age back to near peace time levels. Hay oted forghum ren egumes cropPeanut growers turned to combine harvesting Hay accounted for 6.2 percent of the harvested cropduring World War II in response to rapidly rising .
labor costs. This served to improve the competitive position of peanuts in relation to the other crops that ..
are adapted to the light sandy soils.
Forage Sorghum
Texas farmers harvested 1,784,000 acres of forage
sorghum in 1954, or 7.2 percent of all harvested crop- -'..:_ '. ... --ui Ay -A4
land. About 11 percent of this acreage was used for silage and the rest for dry forage. Sorghum is the
principal forage crop throughout the western and I.
southern parts of Texas, Figure 26. It is important L
also in the southern part of the Grand Prairie and--. ,, L_"tp,
the Blackland.
The use of sorghum for forage has decreased
since the beginning of World War II. The rising "-.-- >" '
cost of labor, failure to mechanize the handling of
STATE TOTAL- 1.784.459 ACRES
coarse forage, the ease of harvesting sorghum for grain SAETTL .8.5 CE
after the introduction of combine-type varieties and I DOT EQUALS 5,000 ACRES the trend toward specialized production of many farm products have contributed to the decrease in forage sorghum production.
The use of sorghum for forage reached its peak Figure 26. Distribution of forage sorghum acreage harvested in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Forage sorghum is in 1940 at more than 4 million acres, Figure 20. The the principal source of roughage in those areas in which
present acreage seems to have leveled at about 2 grain sorghum is the principal grain crop (Figure 22).
17




portant crop is peanut hay made from the vines as
_-+ the peanuts are harvested.
With the development of the pickup baler and other labor-saving equipment, hay has increased in ,. t .TL Li importance on Texas farms, Figure 20. The acreage
harvested did not exceed a million until 1933, the
- first year of the agricultural adjustment programs.
_+- __-I- Although fluctuating widely with weather conditions,
_iL4H-Fu+'-<+- the acreage harvested has remained well above 1
/ + {- -k-t- *,- million for the past 25 years. The average acreage
' during 1955-58 was 1,857,000.
'\ __L Fruits and Nuts
The acreage of fruits and nuts is largely in citrus, pecans, peaches, plums and pears. Citrus production is located mainly in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, pecans along the streams in Central Texas and peaches on the sandy soils of Northeast Texas and the West IDOT EQUALS 5,000 ACRES Cross Timbers, Figure 28. The 1954 acreage of fruits
and nuts was less than half of the 1949 acreage. The 5-year interim between these dates was a disastrous one for fruit and nut trees. The extremely hard Figure 27. Distribution of hay acreage harvested in Texas, freeze in 1951 and the continuing drouth of the earld 1954 (U. S. Census). Hay is an important crop on the Blackland, Grand Prairie and in the irrigated sections of 1950's greatly reduced the numbers of all types of the west. trees. The number of pecan trees decreased one-third
and citrus trees 60 percent between 1949 and 1954. land. More than one-third of this acreage was grown The full extent of the damage to the citrus industry on the Blackland, Figure 27. Alfalfa made up about is reflected in production. The combined production
one-fifth of the total hay acreage, but accounted for of oranges and grapefruit was only 500,000 boxes in more than two-fifths of the hay production. Most of 1951, as compared with the peak production of the alfalfa crop is produced on bottomland and on 19,ascm re wihtepkpodton f
the lfafa ropis rodced n bttolan an on 28,800,000 boxes in 1945. Recovery has come slowly. irrigated farms in the western part of the State. Other A crop of 6,500,000 boxes is indicated for the 1958-59 important hay crops are small grains, Johnsongrass season. and wild hay. Of the annual legumes, the only im- somr
Some benefits resulted from this great disaster
in the citrus industry. Producers took advantage of the opportunity to replant their orchards with better varieties. It also permitted the shift of orchards to
more favorable locations. Citrus growers are rebuild4ing the industry on a sound physical base.
Vegetables
Y__&t L _i Texas farmers harvested and sold $30 million
worth of vegetables from slightly more than 400,000 acres in 1954. These figures include all vegetables other than Irish and sweet potatoes. Listed in the order of acres grown, the more important vegeII -_ table crops were watermelons, tomatoes, dry onions,
green peas, carrots, cantaloupes, cabbage, lettuce,
-t ~spinach and snap beans. Most of the vegetable
Acreage is in South Texas with the greatest concenSTATE TOTAL- 132,787 ACRES tration in the Lower Rio Grande Valley where pracIO EQUALS 500 ACRES ,tically every type of vegetable is grown, Figure 29.
Other important centers of vegetable production are Hthe Winter Garden area southwest of San Antonio 4,318. ACRES and the Coastal Bend. There is a significant scatterFigure 28. Distribution of fruit and nut acreage in Texas, ing of vegetable production, mainly watermelons, 1954 (U. S. Census). Citrus fruits are limited almost entirely tomatoes, southern peas (blackeye) and peppers over to the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Pecans are grown mainly the sandy-land portions of Northeast Texas. Sweet on the bottomlands of Central and North Central Texas, while peaches and plums are grown mainly on the sandy potato production is concentrated in the same part lands in the northeast quarter of the State. of the State.
18




The acreage of vegetables harvested in TexasI increased fairly steadily until World War 11, then ---4+
rose sharply during the war and decreased moderately since the war's end, Figure 20. However, the amount of land used for vegetables has remained well above the pre-war acreage. It is expected to resume anIT+++ upward trend with the increase in population and the employment of more of the population in more, 'T + T 'T
sedentary occupations.
Pasture
Counting cropland used only for pasture, almost ATL78 percent of all land in farms and ranches in Texas T
is pasture land (113 million acres in 1954) A large amount of grazing is obtained from stubble fields and from winter grains. The relatively large amount of pasture has made Texas the leading state in the
STATE TOTAL- 403,197 ACRES --J
production of cattle, sheep and goats.
Native pastures differ greatly in types of vege- I D0T EQUALS 1,000 ACRES T tation and in carrying capacity. In addition to many kinds of grasses, Texas pastures contain a large HDLOCUT
amount of woody vegetation. The 1954 Agricultural 9,6 CE
Census lists almost 19 million acres of woodland Figure 29. Distribution of vegetable acreage harvested for
sale in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Vegetables for sale are pasture. The Soil Conservation Service estimates that important crops in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Coastal more than half of all native pasture is infested by Bend, parts of the South Texas Plain and in parts of the mesquite. Oak brush, particularly the live-oak and East Texas Timberlands. shin-oak on the Edwards Plateau and Grand Prairie,Ditbuon fLveocad
provides valuable browse for all types of grazing live-DitbuonoLveoc ad
stock, but serves mainly as the basis for the Angora Production Trends
goat enterprise from which more than 95 percent of Livestock plays a large part in land use in Texas.
the mohair in the United States is produced. Mesquite In 1954, almost 80 percent of the land in farms and and other types of noxious brush have spread gradu- ranches was grazed or used for the production of ally and thickened until its eradication and control forage crops. When the acreage devoted to feed grain has become a major problem on many ranches. production is included, livestock directly or indirectly
Carrying capacity of a pasture is related closely utilized more than 85 percent of the land in farms and ranches.
to rainfall. About 75 percent of the native pasture- Lvsokacutdfroetido h au
land is in that part of the State receiving less than Lvsokacutdfroetido h au
30 inches of rainfall. About two-thirds of all crop- of farm and ranch products sold in 1954. Normally land pasture is in the more humid part of the State. they account for about 40 percent of all sales except
Unti recent tere as eenlitle efor toard during wars when livestock sales are about equal to
Unstueilreent theie a hben itteportc toward crop sales. As might be expected from the predomipastre mprvemet dspie th imortnce f gaZ- nance of grass and forage in the available supply of ing in the agriculture of Texas. Past efforts, such feed, grazing types of livestock account for more than as the cross fencing of ranches and the addition of three-fourths of the sale of livestock and livestock watering places, have been aimed at obtaining more~ products. complete utilization of existing forage. Since World Beef Cattle War II, more effort has been directed toward pastureBefctlarthmotiptntndhe os
imprvment. Researinc tby th a s Agruc utu ral widely distributed of all classes of livestock. The Epetriecn Staio indateusthatrution fyimromn sale of cattle and calves normally makes up more than
pastrescan e icreaed ubsantillyby iproing half of the total sale of livestock and livestock prodgrazing practices, by controlling noxious plants, by ucts. Beef production is predominantly a grazing water development, by fertilizing where rainfall war- enterprise in Texas. Although generally distributed, rants and by reseeding with superior varieties of the areas of greatest concentration of beef cattle are native forage plants. the Coast Prairie and adjacent areas, Figure 30.
The growing scarcity and cost of farm labor has In general, the number of cattle other than milk
led to increased interest in the State's grazing re- cows and heifers decreased with the expansion of the sources. Increasing the productivity of these resources cotton and wheat acreage from 1890 to 1930, Figure represents one of the better opportunities for improv- 31. Each peak in the cattle cycle was lower than the ing farms income in Texas. previous one. After 1930, the trend generally was
19




of drouth and a continuation of land use adjustments, although still following price cycles.
Dairy Cattle
The sale of dairy products ranks next to the sale of cattle in making up total livestock and livestock products sales. Dairy products constituted more than t: 7 percent of the value of all farm products and 14
...~ ~. .*..percent of the value of livestock and livestock products .... during 1953-57. The dairy enterprise also contributes
I >~/ *m w~s~~:..:~.substantially to cattle sales in the disposal of culled ~L~vL~ *~:~> ~cows and other surplus animals.
Milk cows are distributed lightly over most farm* r .. ~ ..~.ing areas with heavier concentration of numbers near the large population centers, Figure 32. Three-fourths
___ of the milk cows wer-e in the third of the State's area
S.sI~,' ~in which two-thirds of the human population is conSTAT TOTL- ,870256centrated, as reported in the 1954 census.
I DO EQULS 1000The number of milk cows increased gradually from about a half million in 1880 to a peak of 1,600,000 at the end of World War 11, Figure 31. ByFigure 30. Distribution of cows kept mainly for beef pro- reduced sharply, tohal ofbe thi peak number. bee duction in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Beef cattle are rdcdsapyt afo hspa ubr
distributed generally over the State, with the greatest con- The trend is toward large commercial dairies centration on the Coast Prairie and adjoining areas. that sell their product as whole milk. Between 1914 and 1954, milk sales increased from 168 to 204 million upward, probably as the result of changes in land gallons while butterfat sales decreased from more than
use growing out of attempts to adjust cotton and 20 to less than 3 million pounds. During this same
wheat acreages. This upward trend in numbers has period, the number of farms that reported the sale
been accompanied by a steady improvement in the of milk decreased from 42,000 to 14,000, and those
quality of cattle kept for beef production. Price reporting butterfat sales from 55,000 to 10,000.
cycles and drouth have caused wide fluctuations within Further evidence of this tend is the decrease during the general trend. Changes in land use have resulted 1950-54 from 67 to 55 percent in farms reporting milk in rapid expansion of cattle numbers in East Texas _________________________while the persistent drouth of the 1940's and 1950's 4
depleted the range and reduced numbers of beef-
cattle in the western part of the State. Cattle numbers probably will continue to rise with the growth of population, recovery of western ranges from the effects
T T
4 1 DO QAL-,0
3 _t i
Figure 32. Distribution of cow~s kept primarily for milk production in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Milk cows are Z.4h distributed lightly over most farming areas, but the greater
numbr ae cncetraed earthelarge population centers 8900 0S 10 i5 20 25 30 35 40 48 50 58 AO About three-fourths of the milk cow~s are in the third of the
Figure 31. Trends in the number of livestock on f arms on State in which two-thirds of the human population are January 1, 1900-59 (Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA). concentrated (Figure 7).
20




cows and the decrease from 9,593 to 8,351 in the number of farms on which the sale of dairy products --+44
made up 50 percent or more of the value of products++ +
sold. These specialized dairy farms reported 8 more cows per farm in 1954 than in 1950. Factors that contributed to this trend in the number of cows have ++
been the decrease in farm population and in the _' -LT
number of farms, the trend toward specialization in + .'h 1T ~i
all lines of agricultural production, increased capital requirements and the scarcity and cost of labor.
The trend toward fewer and larger dairies is Y*~.'.A ~ ~'
expected to continue as the number of farms and farm people decrease and as bulk handling of milk and artificial insemination are more generally prac-M ticed in the dairy industry.
Sheep
STATE TOTAL- 5.733,563
The sale of sheep and wool normally makes up 8 to 10 percent of the value of sales of livestock and I DOT EQUALS 5.000 livestock products.
Sheep are concentrated largely on the Edwards
Plataubutals arefoud i sustanialnumers Figure 33. Distribution of sheep in Texas, 1954 (U. S. on the southern part of the Grand Prairie and the Census). Sheep are concentrated mainly on the Edwards
Rolling Plains and in parts of the Trans-Pecos area, Plateau, the Grand Prairie and in the Trans-Pecos. Figure 33. The sale of lambs and wool is an im- snete edlreyo h evso od ce
portant source of income in all of these areas. Most sainte. edlreyo h evso od ee
of the land on which sheep graze is high and dry, taon shallow and stony, has a broken topography and a The Angora goat in Texas is the source of 95
vegetative cover of grass, palatable weeds and brush. percent of all mohair produced in the United States. Sheep commonly are combined with cattle and Angora There is some demand for goat meat which originates goats for the most effective utilization of these grazing largely with the Spanish-American population. The resources. The proportion of each in the combination market centers in San Antonio. varies with the vegetation from ranch to ranch and Goats were first counted in the 1900 Census of
from year to year with changes in price relationships. Agriculture. Texas was credited with 627,000 goats Relatively few sheep or goats are found in the Central at that time. judging from the number of fleeces Basin which centers in Llano county and extends into seven other counties. The predominantly sandy soils, scarcity of browse and prevalence of needlegrass, speargrass and grass burs in the vegetative cover provide a less favorable environment for sheep and goats than for cattle.
Sheep numbers stayed between 2 and 2.5 million+ +
from 1900 to World War 1, Figure 31. After World-T r. 47 War 1, the number of sheep rose rapidly from lessL than 2.5 to more than 10 million by 1943. A long prod of drouth beginning in 1943 and sharp breaksT.-L in the price of wool and lambs in 1951-52 resulted in an even more rapid drop in numbers. By 1957, X~.~the number of sheep on Texas farms and ranches fell
below 5 million for the first time since 1928. A ** 4/\
substantial recovery in sheep numbers is expected Y
with the recovery from drouth and as a result of STATE TOTAL- 2,197,098 range improvement programs. IDTEUL ,0
Angora Goats
Most of the Angora goat population is in the southern and eastern parts of the Edwards Plateau and in the brush-covered portions of the Grand Figure 34. Distribution of Angora goats in Texas, 1954
Prairie and West Cross Timbers, Figure 34. Goats (U. S. Census). Goats are concentrated largely in the more
rough, broken and brush-covered portion of the Edwards utilize and help control vegetation that otherwise Plateau and Grand Prairie and to a lesser extent in the
would be wasted or become a nuisance on the range, wooded sections of the West Cross Timbers.
21




4 ~peak in numbers occurred during the early 19-40's and was followed by a drop to slightly more than 2 million during the extremely dry early 1950's. Since then,
-I;- the number of goats has steadily increased. The place
of goats in the livestock systems in those parts of the ++ II State where browse is available seems assured because
~ of their feeding habits.
-+-v- j# -~ ~There also were more than a quarter million
-9--9 ~ ~other (slick) goats in Texas in 1954. They are used
>$<2~~$ for milk and meat and for brush control ar
FL -1most numerous in the oak-covered portions of the
I / Hogs rank slightly below sheep as a source of
cash income on Texas farms and ranches. Hog sales STATE TOTAL- 906,324 -L*during 1953-57 accounted for 2 to 3 percent of the
I DO EQULS ,000i 1 ~j-total marketing of farm commodities in Texas. Most I DO EQULS 5000of the hog population is in the humid part of the State where the average annual rainfall is 30 inches or more and where corn is the principal feed crop, Figure 35. Distribution of hogs in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Figure 35. An area of minor importance which has Census). The main part of Ehe hog population is distributed great potential, however, is the High Plains, particulightly over the same areas in which corn production is larly the irrigated portions where much sorghum grain concentrated (Figure 21). is produced each year.
reported, probably not more than half of this number The number of hogs on Texas farms on January
were Angora. By 1924, more than 2 million goats 1 of each year stayed well above 2 million from 1890
were being clipped. The number of Angora goats until 1923, Figure 31. Since then the trend generally
in Texas has fluctuated between 2 million and 4 has been downward, except during World War 11
million in response to changes in weather conditions when the number rose to more than 3 million on and prices. Drouth seems to have been the most January 1, 1944, for the only time on record. By
important factor influencing the trend in goat num- 1958, the number of hogs on farms dropped below bers. The number reached a peak in 1931 and then 1 million.
decreased during the dry middle 1930's. Another Like most other livestock enterprises, pork production changed greatly during the past 15 to 20 years. With agriculture in general, this enterprise has become more commercial and specialized. Sixty percent of all farms in 1940 reported hogs, while less than 37 percent reported them in 1954. With less than 40 percent as many hogs on farms in 1954, + almost 70 percent as many pigs were produced as in
Lp 1940. The number of pigs saved per farm in 1958
f'-iwas double the number in 1940. Hogs have been ~3i~-. .kept primarily for home use, to utilize mast and other I *~-~ >~. Natural foods found in woodlands and to salvage
field-waste in peanut-producing areas. Thev will be T used to a more limited extent in the future for these
purposes and the trend to fewer farms -with more
1.,.~ "., .hogs per farm will continue.
Poultry
STATE TOTAL- 74.643.378 DOZEN 1---yThe sale of poultry and poultry products in
I DO EQALS 00,00 DZENTexas averaged $141 million during 1953-57, or
T, slightly more than the receipts from the sale of dairproducts during the same period. Eggs made up 45 percent of poultry sales; the sale of chickens, mostly Figure 36. Distribution of eggs sold in Texas, 1954 (U. S. broilers, 42 percent; and turkeys, 12 percent. Egg Census). While almost three-fourths of all f anms kept some production is more generally distributed over the laying hens, less than half of them sold eggs in 1954. Coin. mnercial egg production centers largely in and around the State than are other forms of poultry production, Blackland. Figure 36. Although there is a distinct trend toward
22




large specialized units, many farms still maintain small flocks to supply eggs for home use. Almost three-+ fourths of all farms reported chickens in 1954, but + -4
less than half of them sold eggs. About 6 percent T' -T,
of the farms reporting accounted for 37 percent of the total egg sales. As is the case with most farm t + + +enterprises, the trend is toward fewer and larger flocks +
and increased production per hen. T7----TT-'L-''
Broilers presently constitute about 95 percent of
the value of chickens sold. The production of broilers 4
is concentrated largely in three widely separated areas, ---- ~
Gonzales county, McLennan county and a large area Kr t L~4 T < <'
centering in Nacogdoches and Shelby counties in
Central East Texas near the Louisiana state line, Figure 37. Broiler production is a highly specialized enterprise which was started during the depression II\I
years in the early 1930's and currently markets more STATE TOTAL -59.686,515-I than 100 million birds per year. The enterprise is I DOT EQALS 200,000 almost completely integrated with the feed mixing and distributing business which, in conjunction with some outstanding developments in poultry feeding and breeding, account for its phenomenal growth. Figure 37. Distribution of chickens sold by farmers in
Turky podutio isconentate inCentral Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). The commercial production
Turky prducion s cocenrate inof chickens centers in Gonzales and McLennan counties, and Texas around the Blackland area, Figure 38. The in the main area around Shelby county.
production trend generally is similar to that in chicken production-fewer farms, larger flocks and The number of tractors on Texas farms increased
more intensive methods. Before World War 11, most from 9,000 in 1920 to 277,000 in 1954. Motorized
turkeys were produced under range conditions and equipment also has taken over transportation on
usually were incidental to other farm enterprises. In farms. Motor trucks increased from 5,400 in 1920 1940, 72,000 farms reported an average of less than to 190,000 in 1954. Automobiles increased from 50 birds raised per farm, whereas in 1954, 25,000 105,000 in 1920 to 251,000 in 1954.
farms produced an average of 112 birds. Since the It is expected that the number of horses and
war, there has been a pronounced shift from light mules will continue to decrease until it reaches a level
to heavy breeds and from range methods of manage- necessary to maintain the number needed for ranch
ment to confined and intensified methods. There work, recreation and rodeos.
also are indications of a gradual shift of production to the eastern and northern parts of the State. There-f4 are indications that turkey production, like broiler production, is nearing complete vertical integration with feed companies and hatcheries.
Horses and Mules
Horses and mules are concentrated in the eastern
part of the State where small farms and low farm +
incomes prevail and on the large ranches in the western and southern parts.
Horse and mule numbers increased steadily dur- F1h-.. ~..
ing the early development of farming in Texas, Figure b-i-31. They reached a peak of 2,300,000 in 1920, held., up well until 1926 when a steep downward trend began which has continued to the present time. The number of horses and mules on Texas farms by STATE TOTAL. 2. 05,988
January 1, 1959, had dropped to an estimated 232,000. 1DTEUL ,0
It is not a mere coincidence that 1926 also was the I OTEUAS5,0 year that all-purpose tractors became available to Texas farmers. The tractor, motor truck and automobie, ithther geatr spedfleibiityand Figure 38. Distribution of turkey production in Texas, durability, have made animal power obsolete on 1954 (U. S. Census). Turkey production is concentrated in
commercial farms. Central Texas, centering around the Blackland.
23




2 -I .2
i
Figure 39. Type-of-farming areas in Texas. Texas is divided into 17 areas of which 8 are subdivided to
give a total of 29 areas and sub-areas. In some cases, these type-of-fanning areas are given the names applied to land resource areas published in L-400. In such eases, the delineations do not necessarily coincide. It
siniply means that the land resources described in L-400 are predominant in the type-of-farming area.
1. Northern High Plains. 8. South Texas Plain.
a. Wheat, sorghum and livestock, a. Vegetables and cattle.
b. Wheat, sorghum, livestock and vegetables. b. Livestock, peanuts and truck crops.
c. Cotton, sorghum and wheat, r. Cotton, flax and livestock.
d. Livestock and cotton.
2. Canadian Breaks-cattle ranching. 9. Lower Rio Grande Valley--cotton, vegetables and citrus.
3. Southern High Piains
a. Farming-cotton and grain sorghunm.10 CosaBedctnga srhu an gebl.
h. Ranching-mainly cattle. 11. West Cross Timbers-peanuts, dairy products and livestock.
4. Rolling Plains and Prairies. 12. Grand Prairie.
a. Cotton, grain sorghum, wheat and livestock, a. Small grains, cotton, dairy products and livestock.
b. Small grains and livestock. b. Livestock, small grains and cotton.
5. Mountains asnd Basins-cotton and ranching. 13. Blackland.
6. Upper Rio Grande Valley-cotton, alfalfa and dairy products, a. Cotton and livestock.
h. Poultry, dairy products, cattle and cotton.
7. Edwards Plateau and Central Basin.
a. arg rache-catl, seepandgoas.14. East Texas Farming-livestock, poultry, dairy products and c'otton. h. Small ranches-cattle, sheep and goats. 15. East Texas Timber-timber products, poultry and livestock.
c. Central Basin-cattle. 16. Post Oak-cotton and livestock.
17. Coast Prairie.
a. Rice, cattle and dairy products.
h. Cotton, rice and cattle.
24




TYPES OF FARMING AND TYPE-OF-FARMING
AREAS
The preceding discussion has been concerned with Commercial farms representing less than 62 perthe various forces that operate to shape the agriculture cent of the number of farms controlled 93 percent of Texas, with the geographic distribution of crops of all land in farms and 96 percent of all cropland
and livestock and with significant current trends. harvested in 1954.
The remainder of this bulletin will be concerned The various types of farms differed greatly in
with the manner in which farm and ranch operators their use of land. Cotton farms accounted for only
have combined crop and livestock enterprises to form 15 percent of the land in farms, but reported 51 perthe types of farming that clearly characterize various cent of all harvested cropland. Cash grain farms areas of the State. also were big users of cropland, reporting almost 20
percent of the harvested cropland and less than 7 perTypes of Farming cent of the land in farms. Livestock farms reported
Farms were classed as to type in the 1949 and almost 64 percent of the land in farms but only 12
1954 Census of Agriculture reports. The classifica- percent of the harvested cropland. These three types
tion was based on the relationship of sales from alone accounted for 86 percent of the land in farms
particular sources to the total value of all products and almost 83 percent of the harvested cropland.
sold from the farm. To be classified as a certain
type, sales of a product or group of products had Type-of-farming Areas
to represent 50 percent or more of the total value Based on the foregoing information, the State
of products sold. Only commercial farms were classed has been divided into 17 major areas within each of
as to type. Other farms or non-commercial farms which agricultural resources are highly similar and
include a few abnormal ones mainly institutional, certain types of farming predominate. Eight of the
large numbers of residential farms-those reporting areas are subdivided into 20 sub-areas in recognition
sales of less than $250-and part-time farms or those of certain variations within the major areas.
with sales of farm products of $250 to $1,199 where A delineation of these areas is shown in Figure
the operator worked 100 or more days off the farm 39. A great many counties lie within two or more
during the census year or where the non-farm income areas. Only county data are available for describing
of the operator and members of his family was greater the agriculture of these areas. In assembling data by
than the value of products sold. These non-com- areas, a county had to be included arbitrarily in the
mercial farms represented 38 percent of the total area in which the principal type of farming most
number of farms in 1954. closely resembled the dominant type within the
Nearly 27 percent of all commercial farms were county. Consequently, the descriptions cannot be
classed as cotton farms, Table 2. Livestock farms, as clear cut as they would be if the data were more
other than dairy and poultry, were next at 16.4 per- closely related to the land resources which charactercent. Other types in order were: general, 5.7 percent; ize the various areas. For example, many of the cash grain, 4.9 percent; poultry, 3.0 percent; dairy, 2.9 counties included in area 13a lie partly in adjoining percent; other field crops, vegetable and fruit and areas, Figure 39. Thus the description of the area is
nut farms together made up only 2.1 percent of all affected by the adjoining areas. Something of the
farms. effect of including parts of these adjoining areas in
TABLE 2. DISTRIBUTION OF THE NUMBER OF FARMS, LAND IN FARMS, CROPLAND HARVESTED AND SIZE OF FARM BY TYPE OF FARM, U. S. CENSUS, 1954
Number Acres Acres per farm
Type of Per- Acres land Per- cropland Perof farm farms cent in farms cent harvested cent Total Crops
harvested
Cash grain 14,414 4.9 9,853,913 6.7 4,981,422 19.9 684 346
Cotton 78,424 26.8 21,729,964 14.9 12,735,127 50.9 277 162
Other field crops 3,427 1.2 737,742 .5 270,308 1.1 215 79
Vegetable 2,126 .7 521,556 .4 152,657 .6 245 72
Fruit and nut 689 .2 106,172 .1 42,526 .2 154 62
Dairy 8,378 2.9 2,442,991 1.7 478,947 1.9 292 57
Poultry 8,940 3.0 1,257,895 .9 208,993 .8 141 23
Livestock 48,048 16.4 93,393,059 64.0 3,102,554 12.4 1,944 65
General 16,622 5.7 5,675,702 3.9 2,072,889 8.3 341 125
All commercial 181,068 61.8 135,718,894 93.0 24,045,423 96.1 750 133
Miscellaneous 112,084 38.2 10,364,547 7.0 971,659 3.9 92 9
25




the statistics for area 13a may be illustrated by corn- in Figure 41. Only those types are shown that repreparing the percentage of commercial farms that are sent 3 percent or more of the total number of comclassed as cotton farms in four counties entirely within mercial farms. Any type that makes up less than the area with the percentage of such farms in the 3 percent of commercial farms is included in all other.
area as a whole and in the adjoining areas. Seventy- Two or more types of farming are found in every area
two percent of the commercial farms in Collin, Delta, and in a few areas almost every type of farm is
Ellis and Rockwall counties were classed as cotton represented. Some of this variation within areas is
farms, as compared with 58 percent for the entire the effect of counties lying in more than one area,
area 13a and 5 percent, 30 percent and 40 percent, some is caused by the influence of large population
respectively, for areas 12b, 14 and 16. The counties centers on local production and some to differences
included in each area are shown in Figure 40. This in resources on the individual farms or in the personal
is a type-of-farming map with area boundaries follow- circumstances, aptitudes and preferences of farm
ing county lines, operators.
The relative numerical importance of the various Differences between areas in land use are shown
types of farming in each area and sub-area is shown in Figure 42 and in livestock production in Figure
KARTLEY MOORE MT" ROET
26
Q9 ..... G
DEA ,RIN !A RADL OA AK
Figure 40. Type-of-farming areas in Texas following county lines.
26




AREA PERCENT OF COMMERCIAL FARMS AREA PERCENT OF LAN IN FARMS
I 0 0 f/ f/ f/ fO f/f0 //0 20 so 40 I0 70 0A0/
3. ./ ffff ff7/f f//.// ff 7/ f//// \ .....
4b f//f//f/f//... .
31.. ..... .5..7.. 1
61 7 y I ..4 . .
7: :.VT'b ~ ............7
, ::' i : :.' 4b .' k\ : '"':':. ....."....: Y. ::. "':..::/'. :.:;: -:." : i:': 'Y=:::: .' :,::7.. '.. .. .... ........ . :
Rd0d .IhIS
/7/04. 10/f/ffff
t :wt_%-..* .14..
LA~~~~~~~ ...... . .... . ... ... . .
IS ...:::..::.-..:.I:C.U.:I..II IWI/'O' ? IS IZ:: .:':.::' .::!:'':..I.4.T ":.": 7:" x .:::..$:I:::.I' .:.:" ";;-. ':'.
00.0 71:7 .7 1I$ 1177 ...1..:.:.
COTTON ::14 VEGETABLE m POULTRY COTTON N\\\\\ SMALL GRAIN CROPLAND PASTURES
"///y CASE GRAIN 5 FRUITS AND NUTS 1:i::;11 LIVESTOCK 0000000CORN 50000&EAY AND FORAGE OUM LE SR FALLOW
-- OTHER FIELD CROPS j DAIRY GENERAL "V///G11 RAIN SORGHUM E---' ALL OTHER CROPS 14.'I'.:4 MAINLY PASTURE
2 ALL OTHEE Figure 42. Relative importance of the various land uses
Figure 41. Relative importance of the various types of in each area and sub-area (adapted from 1954 U. S. Census).
farming in each area and sub-area (adapted from 1954 U. S. Census).
TABLE 3. PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE SALE OF FARM PRODUCTS IN TEXAS IN 1954, FOR THE STATE
AND FOR EACH TYPE-OF-FARMING AREA, COMPUTED FROM THE U. S. CENSUS, 1954
Vegetables, Livestock
Type-of- Field fruits and nuts, other than Dairy Poultry Forest
farming crops and horticulture dairy and products and poultry products
area specialties poultry products
la 49.0 49.6 .9 .5
lb 66.7 1.5 27.8 2.4 1.5
Ic 91.5 .2 7.2 .8 .3
2 35.1 .7 61.9 1.7 1.2
3a 95.4 .2 3.3 .5 .6
3b 47.7 1.6 46.9 1.5 2.3
4a 73.8 .2 22.5 2.0 1.5
4b 41.0 1.0 49.3 5.0 3.6
5 72.1 .3 27.1 .3 .2
6 66.1 .9 13.4 18.6 1.0
7a 11.2 2.4 82.2 1.6 2.6
7b 8.2 1.9 71.8 6.1 11.9
7c 2.9 .3 92.2 .8 3.8
8a 28.3 27.5 41.8 1.3 1.1
8b 22.3 8.7 39.7 22.5 6.8
8c 44.8 1.4 33.5 12.6 7.7
8d 19.4 14.5 57.2 7.6 1.3
9 78.4 15.7 3.6 1.7 .6
10 91.6 1.3 5.7 .5 .9
11 16.2 3.3 47.0 24.0 9.5
12a 30.8 .7 28.1 29.4 8.0
12b 15.7 .9 65.8 4.6 12.8 .2
13a 62.9 2.4 20.0 7.7 6.9 .1
13b 24.2 1.9 25.7 11.2 36.8 .2
14 24.5 9.9 24.7 16.5 23.2 1.2
15 20.3 1.6 25.6 15.5 32.9 4.1
16 46.6 2.5 30.9 8.0 11.7 .3
17a 69.0 4.7 11.0 12.6 2.4 .3
17b 79.0 .8 15.0 2.0 3.2
State 63.0 3.1 23.3 5.6 4.9 .1
27




..EA .. B AN.O.A SOso..D EGoS SoO in the relative value of the products sold, Table 3.
AREA COWS COWS SHEEP HOG GOATS I00 HEAD I00 GALLON 100 DOZEN so oo -5 -5 Eo ,o oo o o Differences in sources of income were considered carelb |fully in placing each county in its respective area or sub-area. The distribution of the total sales value of SB farm products is shown in Figure 44. A concentra35
40 tion of sales is shown in the irrigated portions of the
4b High Plains and in the Lower Rio Grande Valley
B I and the Coastal Bend. These three areas accounted
t
Tb for more than a third of all sales in 1954.
7.
B s Area 1, Northern High Plains
The Northern High Plains comprise a large part B or all of each of the 18 most northern counties on
io
the High Plains. It includes also small parts of all 12b counties making up area 2 which divides area I into
two parts.
4 The soils are primarily dark brown and reddish
,W brown clays and clay loams. An exception is Dallam
IT.
1, and Hartley counties where lighter colored sandy soils
predominate. The almost flat surface of the High n Plains is pitted by many playa lakes which are dry
Figure 43. Relative numbers of livestock on farms and the except during rainy seasons. Much of the natural quantities of livestock products sold per 1,000 acres of land drainage of the areais into these lakes. A few canyons in farms in each area and sub-area (adapted from 1954 U. S. Census), that reach into the area and help form the headwaters of the Brazos, Red and Canadian rivers provide 43. These figures show the great difference that the rest of the drainage. The elevation of the area exists between areas in enterprise combinations, is 3,000 to 4,500 feet and slopes gently to the southThese combinations will be treated in more detail in east. discussions of the individual areas. Figure 41 further The climate is subhumid. The average annual
emphasizes the importance of the plains and prairie rainfall ranges from 18 inches in the west to about areas in crop production. Figure 43 shows that some 22 inches in the east. The rainfall varies greatly livestock are distributed generally over the State, from year to year. Over a period of 60 years at whereas others, such as sheep and goats, tend to be Amarillo, it ranged from 11 inches in 1910 to 39 highly concentrated in a few areas. inches in 1923.
A common denominator for these physical differ- The area has the shortest frost-free period of
ences among the various type-of-farming areas is found any part of the State, ranging from an average of 180 days in the northwest to 200 days in the southeast. There has been a difference of more than 80 days between the shortest and longest frost-free period.
A low and erratic rainfall coupled with a short growing season and long distance from large markets limit the alternative uses of the land and cause high .... ..risk in the area, especially for drvland agriculture.
j i; .I. n recent years, irrigation from wells has been
"-'/ .'!-..'.-''. practiced in parts of the area to offset the low and
'- :- variable rainfall. Almost 1.75 million acres of irrigated land were reported in the area in the 1954 .7 "' Census. More than 80 percent was in that part
, - -- .. .. designated in Figure 39 as sub-area lc.
Sub-area la, lying north of the Canadian River
_.'.1: ..., Breaks, has large scale, highly specialized grain and
beef cattle production. In addition to the regular STATE TOTAL-$1,642,069,324 herds of cattle, many sheep and cattle are moved into
sub-areas la and lb to graze on wheat fields during DOT $1OO00 "- "the winters when growing conditions permit. The
farms average about 2,000 acres in size, with 42 percent cultivated. Less than 4 percent of the cropland Figure 44. Distribution of the value of farm products sold is irrigated. The value of products sold was divided in Texas, 1954 (U. S. Census). Sales tend to be concentrated about evenly between field crops and livestock. Harin the intensively cropped areas. vested crops were divided between grain and forage
28




sorghum anid small grains, mainly wheat. Practically no cotton is grown because of the short growing season.
Ninty-two percent of all farms in this sub-area in 1954 were classed as commercial. Types of farming mainly were cash grains, 60 percent, and livestock, 35 percent. Minor types include general, 3 percent, and dairy, 1.5 percent.
Sub-area lb is similar to sub-area I a in soils, ini the percentage of the landi Cultivated andl in the principal crops grown. It differs ini that vegetables (mainly potatoes, carrots, onions and lettuce) are fairly important andlia small acreage of cotton is grown. Approximately 17 percent of the cropland is irrigated. Livestock accounted for about one-third Fgr 5 hagansrhmadfrg rp con
of te vlue f poduts sld nd cop ale twothids. for more than 95 percent of the harvested cropland in Farms averaged 1,212 acres and 86 percent were classed sub-areas la and lb. Courtesy, State Highway Department. as commercial.
About 71 percent of the commercial farms were that the supply of water available for irrigation classed as cash grain and 16i percent as livestock farms. eventually will be exhausted. The water-holding Other types included general, 4.5 percent; dairy, 3.8 materials vary greatly in thickness, density and in percent; and cotton, 3.6 percent. distance from the surface. This means that some
Sub-area lc is much more intensively farmed than farms will be without irrigation water much sooner the rest of the area. With almost the same amount than others. It also means that because of the great
of land in farms as in sub-area I b, the value of farm depth to water, the cost of developing water resources products sold in 1954 was 31/2 to 4 times the value of in parts of the area may become prohibitive. The the products sold in lb. Similarly, with 1,290,000 latter problem is associated with a short growing seaacres less farmland than sub-area la, the value of son that results in the lack of a high income crop in
farm products sold was more than five times the sub-areas la and lb and explains much of the differvalue of the products sold in ] a. ence that exists between these parts of the area.
The iffrene my b expaind b a omehatWithout irrigation, there would be little cotton Thner groifence may be eplane ftad by o ehat produced and no commercial vegetable production clnge, growingaseasn byt 70 percent f the anden in area 1. Wheat, sorghum and cattle again would
sub-areas, and by the greater extent of irrigation (62.5 dmnt h giutr nsbac c
percent of the cropland) in this sub-area. The de- Because of the large amounts of grain produced,
velopment of irrigation from wells has permitted the area 1 has a high potential for livestock production. extension of cotton production northward 30 to 40 If this potential were realized, the development probmiles, greatly increased production per acre and re- ably would be in large scale, highly specialized com(lucedlmercial feedlots. More than 90 percent of the sorghum
dcdthe risk resulting from low, variable rainfall, grain is now sold from the farms on which it is proThe average farm size in 1954 was 530 acres, or duced. The stability of feed production in this area less than half the average size in sub-area lb. Crop dpnslreyo riain
sales made up 92 percent of the total value of all (ee(slreyo riain
products sold. Sorghum grain, small grain and cotton made up 94 percent of the harvested cropland. Individually these crops Occupied about 46, 25 and 23 percent, respectively, of the harvested cropland. The remainder was largely in forage and hay crops. Alfalfa makes up a large part of the hay acreage.
Almost 94 percent of the farms were classed as commercial. Fifty-six percent of the commercial farms were cotton farms, 32 percent cash grain farms, 6.5 percent general farms and 5 percent livestock farms. Dairy and poultry farms together accounted for less than 1 percent of the commercial farms.
Future developments in area I seem to center around the question of water for irrigation. The area has a large underground reservoir from which high quality irrigation water is obtained. Unfortunately, Figure 46. Grain sorghum accounts for about half of the
the rate of recharge of the reservoir is hardly more harvested cropland, and cotton and wheat about one-fourth
than I percent of the rate of withdrawal. This means each in sub-area Ic.
29




of the short growing season, low annual rainfall and limited crop alternatives, fans in the High Plains portions of these five counties probably will continue
- ..... to follow a cash grain type of farming.
Area 3, Southern High Plains This area includes all or large parts of IS counties in the southern parts of the High Plains. The soils range from clay loams to fine sands but are predominantly sandy. The average annual rainfall varies from about 20 inches in the northeastern part to about 15 inches in the southern and western parts. The rainfall varies greatly from year to year. Over a period of 50 years at Lubbock, the smallest amount. less than 9 inches, came in 1917. while more than 40 Figure 47. Cattle ranching is the only important enterprise
on the broken lands along the Canadian River (area 2). inches were recorded in 1941. These wide fluctuCourtesy, Soil Conservation Service. ations around a low average rainfall make dr' land
farming a risky business.
Area 2, Canadian Breaks The length of the growing season also varies
The rough, broken lands along the Canadian widely. The average frost-free period ranges from
River occupy a large part of the five counties com- less than 200 days in the north to more than 220
prising this area. The breaks also make up small day in the south. A difference of about 90 days has
parts of seven other counties. A small portion of occurred between the shortest and longest frost-free
each of five counties is on the High Plains where the period.
type of farming is similar to that in area 1. With ground water available, irrigation from
Cattle ranching is the only important enterprise wells has been developed to counteract these erratic
in the breaks. The High Plains portion of these five climatic forces. In 1954, 27 percent of the cropland.
counties are devoted almost entirely to cash grain or 1,169,000 acres, were irrigated.
production. Small grains and sorghum together ac- Topography of the area is like that of area 1counted for 95 percent of the harvested crops. Live- flat, sloping gently to the southeast and pitted by
stock sales, primarily beef cattle, made up almost two- numerous depressions or playa lakes. All physical thirds and crop sales one-third of the total value of characteristics of the area are conducive to large scale,
the farm products sold in the five counties in 1954. extensive types of farming. The area is divided into
Three-fourths of the farms were classed as com- two sub-areas based on the relative importance of
mercial. Livestock and cash grain farms were about farming and ranching.
equal in numbers and together made up 84 percent The agriculture of sub-area 3a is predominantly
of all types of commercial farms. Minor types included farming. Crop sales in 1954 made up more than dairy, 6 percent; general, 5 percent; cotton, 2 percent; 95 percent of the total value of farn products sold. and poultry, 2 percent. Almost 60 percent of the farmland was cultivated
Except for a small amount of dairy and poultry and the average farm size was 573 acres.
production around the cities, large scale ranching In contrast with area 1, the sandy soils and the
should continue to be the only use for these rough, longer growing season favor cotton production over
broken lands of the Canadian River basin. Because wheat and other small grains. Some of the lighter
sandy soils are subject to severe erosion, making it difficult to establish and maintain stands of wheat or cotton. Where cultivated, these soils are limited mostly to crops such as grain sorghum and Sudangrass.
Cotton occupied 45 percent of the harvested cropland and grain sorghum, 47 percent, in 1954. Minor crops included forage sorghum. 4.2 percent. and small grains, mostly wheat, 2.2 percent. Thirty percent of the harvested cropland was irrigated.
Thirty percent of the cotton produced in Texas during 1954-58 came from sub-area 3a. During these same years, areas 1 and 3 together produced almost 43 percent of all cotton grown in the State.
The sale of livestock and livestock products acFigure 48. Cotton and grain sorghum account for more counted for less than 5 percent of the value of all
than 95 percent of the harvested cropland in sub-area 3a. products sold. Dairy and poultry sales together made Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service. up about 25 percent of the value of livestock sales,
30




or slightly more than 1 percent of the value of all products sold.
About 93 percent of all farms were classed as commercial and 90 percent of the commercial farms were cotton farms. Other types were cash grain, 2.8 percent; livestock, 3.3 percent; general, 2.3 percent; and dairy and poultry, each 0.7 percent.
Sub-area 3b is primarily a ranching area. Less than 2 percent of the land in farms is cultivated and less than 10 percent of the cultivated land is irrigated. Farms average about 500 acres and ranches about 25,000 acres. The farming practiced is similar to that of sub-area 3a.
Fifty percent of the 1954 harvested cropland was in cotton, 25 percent in grain sorghum and 23 percent in forage crops, mainly sorghum. Normally the value
of lvesockandlivstok prducs acout fr aout Figure 49. Stripping is the common method of harvesting two-thirds and crops one-third of all products sold. cotton on the High Plains after frost has desiccated the
There are less than 400 commercial farms and plants.
ranches in sub-area 3b. Fifty-five percent of these were classed as cotton farms. Livestock farms or 22 inches in the west. As on the High Plains, the
ranches accounted for 36 percent, the remainder in- rainfall is variable from year to year and within a
cluded poultry and dairy farms serving the needs of given year, making it difficult for farmers to follow Midland and Odessa. systematic rotation of crops. Cotton and sorghum
The Southern High Plains have about the same may be planted in the spring if moisture conditions
water problems as area 1-a much faster rate of water are favorable. If rains are delayed until midsummer, use than of well recharge, declining well yields and a late sorghum crop may be the only alternative. The increasing cost of water. These problems are some- next opportunity to plant may come with late summer
what more acute in area 3 because of a thinner layer and fall rains when small grains are the only alternaof water-bearing material and of generally lower well tive. The situation is complicated since fall-seeded yields. However, the production of cotton and grain crops do not follow good crops of cotton or grain
sorghums probably will continue as the principal use sorghum successfully. Except in the case of crop-failof the land whether dry farming or irrigation is ure, land planted to these crops cannot be returned to
practiced. fall-seeded crops until it has been left idle or fallowed
Poultry and dairy production likely will increase for a year. Good quality water for irrigation is not
withthegroth i poulaion.Thelare quntiies available except in very limited portions of the area. of sorghum grain and cottonseed by-products give the 1954. n2pren fte rpad a rigtdi
area a high potential for livestock production. More 194 than 90 percent of the grain is now sold from the Area 4 has been divided into two parts. Subfarms on which it is produced. As in area 1, the area 4a, the most western and dryer part of area 4
potential for livestock production is most likely to mainly follows cash-crop types of farming. Although be realized through large commercial feedlots. Area 4, Rolling Plains and Prairies
Wide differences are the rule rather than the exception in the soils and topography of area 4. The area lies mainly on the Rolling Plains and North Central Prairies, with soils ranging from deep fertile dark clays and clay loams to loose sands, sandy loams and shallow drouthy clays and clay loams. The area is cut sharply by many rivers and their tributaries. Portions of the divides between these streams are flat to gently rolling and usually are cultivated. Most streams have formed deep valleys with narrow strips of bottomland. Most of the land between these area; is rolling and broken and is used primarily for grazing. Some of the largest ranches in the State are found in this area.
The climate is sub-humid. The average annual Figure 50. Less than 2 percent of the land in sub-area 3b
rainfall ranges from about 28 inches in the east to is devoted to crops. Courtesy, State Highway Department.
31




farms also constituted a majority of the commercial farms in all but one of the 22 counties.
In sub-area 4b, ranching or stock farming is the principal farm enterprise. The sale of livestock and livestock products made up 58 percent. and crop sales 42 percent, of the value of all farm products sold. Cattle sales alone exceeded crop sales. More than 80 percent of the land in farms is pastured.
Small grains, principally wheat, made up 62 percent; cotton, 18 percent: sorghumn grain, less than
-1 percent: and sorghtmt forage and ha. I percent. of the harvested cropland. Cotton production is
mainly on the bottomlands of the Pease and Brazos rivers and the deep, smooth and more productive sandy loam soils. Wheat for the most part is grown Figure 51. A typical scene in one of the better farming on the more dense and shallow claxs and clay loams sections of the Rolling Plains. Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service. which are too drouthv for the production of crops
that mature during the hot and dry summer.
only about one-third of the land in farms is cultivated, As in 4a, beef cattle are by far the most important
the sale of crops, primarily cotton, sorghum and wheat, type of livestock. However, in 1954. there were 50 made up almost 75 percent of the total value of farm percent more cattle per 1,000 acres of farmland in
products sold in the drouth year of 1954. Cattle sales 4b than in 4a. This higher rate of stocking is a accounted for most of the remainder, result of the higher rainfall on more pasture and
Cotton occupied 46.5 percent of the harvested forage crops, and of the added grazing provided b%
cropland; grain sorghum, 23.5 percent: small grains, the preponderance of winter g-ains in the cropping
19 percent; and forage sorghum and hay, about 10 system. Sheep are of minor importance except in
percent. Beef production is the only important live- the two southernmost counties, Brown and Coleman.
stock enterprise. Dairy and poultry production are minor enterprises.
Dairy and poultry production are limited to the but less so than in 4a.
needs of the small urban population. Sheep are Only 69 percent of the farms were classed as
fairly important in two or three counties in the commercial. The commercial farms broken down as
extreme southern part of the area, which includes to type were 40 percent livestock. 25 percent cash
remnants of the Edwards Plateau, Figure 33. grain, 15 percent cotton. 12 percent general. 5 percent
dairy and 3 percent poultrN. Livestock and cash grain Eighty-four percent of the farms were classed as farms together constitute most of the commercial
commercial. Cotton farms accounted for 71 percent; farms in all but one of the 16 counties making up
livestock farms, 14 percent; general farms, 6 percent; sub-area 4b. cash grain, 5 percent; and dairy and poultry farms Vith so much of the land adapted to grazing
together, less than 3 percent of all commercial farms. only and with a low and variable rainfall coupled
The number of cotton farms exceeded the num- with a very limited supply of water for irrigation.
ber of every other type of commercial farm in each it is expected that extensive types of farming will
of the 22 counties making up sub-area 4a. Cotton continue to dominate area 4.
Figure 52. More than two-thirds of the land in farms in
sub-area 4a and three-fourths in sub-area 4b is in native Figure 53. Beef cattle are the principal users of the range pasture and is grazed mostly by cattle. Courtesy Soil Con- in a large part of area 5. Courtesy, Soil Conservation
servation Service. Service.
32




Figure 54. A ranch headquarters in the Davis Mountains section of the Trans-Pecos (area 5). Courtesy, Soil Con- Figure 55. Typical range in the western part of the Tiansservation Service. Pecos. Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service.
Area 5, Mountains and Basins over the southern half of the area. Having the
In addition to Loving and Ward B n thinnest population of any area in the State, less than
ae adcludes ti o the lovi and lying soutian t 2 persons per square mile, dairy and poultry producarea includes most of the land lying south and west to r tamnmm
of the Pecos River. Area 5 has a wider range in tion are at a minimum.
elevation than any other part of the State. In "The Despite the fact that crops were harvested from
Soils of Texas," Carter refers to it as the region of only 1 percent of the land in farms, crop sales
"mountains and basins," but it now is more commonly amounted to more than 72 percent of the value of
called the Trans-Pecos. Numerous Mountain r all farm products sold. This is partly the result of
traverse the area with some peaks rising to more than high yields of high quality cotton. During 1954-58,
8,000 feet. Between these ranges are flat plains or the average yield was 966 pounds of lint per acre.
basins which vary from 2,500 to 5,000 feet in elevation. Eighty-four percent of the farms and ranches were
Parts of these basins where irrigation water is avail- classed as commercial. These in turn were classed able are highly productive. There is no dryland 47 percent cotton farms, 46 percent livestock farms
farming in the area. Most irrigation water is now or ranches and 3 percent general. No other type
obtained from wells. It formerly came from large accounted for as much as 2 percent of the number
springs and from the Macmillan Reservoir in New of commercial farms.
Mexico. As in most arid or semi-arid areas, future developThe average annual rainfall ranges from less meant in the area will depend largely on irrigation
than 10 inches in the western part of the area to more water. Vith the limited Supply of water, the main than 15 inches in the Davis Mountains. use of land in the area will continue to be an extenMore than 97 percent of the land in farms is sive type of grazing.
grazed. Because of the low carrying capacity of the pasture land, the ranches are very large. The average .
size in 1954 was around 25,000 acres. Less than 2 "
percent of the land in farms is cultivated and more than a third of the cropland was idle in 1954. This cultivated land is in relatively small, widely scattered communities. Much of the idle cropland results from a loss of water supply or from the effects of low I
quality water. Cotton is practically the only cash crop grown. It occupied about 69 percent of the harvested cropland in 1954. Vhen acreage restrictions are in effect on Upland cotton, some of the diverted acreage is planted to American-Egyptian cotton. Most other crops supplement the livestock enterprises. Hay, mainly alfalfa, made up 14 percent of the harvested cropland. Other crops of some im- J
portance are grain and forage sorghum and small
grains. In addition to harvested crops, 8 to 10 per- Figure 56. Deep-plowing land to improie permeability.
cent of the cropland is used for annual pasture crops. When irrigated, land of this type averages almost 2 whales
Cattle and sheep are the principal types of live- of cotton per acre (area 5). Courtesy, State Highway
stock. There are a few Angora goats lightly scattered Department.
33




crops. No other crop used as much as 1 percent of the harvested cropland.
As in area 5, a substantial acreage of AmericanEgyptian cotton is grown when acreage restrictions are in effect on Upland cotton. Cotton averages
about 1.5 bales per acre. Yields. staple length and grade are among the best in the State. Alfalfa
yields in this area are also the highest in the State. averaging 3 to 4 tons per acre.
A total population of about 200.000 in El Paso county makes dairying the most important livestock enterprise. The sale of dairy products in 1954
accounted for about 19 percent of the value of all farm products sold. Livestock feeding and slaughtering also have become important enterprises in the Figure 57. Cotton and alfalfa account for 95 percent of area. These livestock enterprises, in addition to the harvested cropland in the Upper Rio Grande Valley outlying ranches, provide the market for the large (area 6). Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service. quantities of alfalfa hay grown in the area.
Area 6, Upper Rio Grande Valley The overwhelming importance of cotton in the
This area comprises a narrow strip of alluvial agriculture of the area is indicated by the fact that
soils extending about 75 miles along the Rio Grande 92 percent of all commercial farms received 50 perabove and below El Paso. The climate is arid and cent or more of their income from cotton. Other
all crops are irrigated. The average annual rainfall types of farms were livestock, 4.6 percent: dair%-. 1.8
is less than 10 inches. The principal source of water percent; and vegetable, 1 percent. of all commercial
is the Elephant Butte Reservoir in New Mexico. farms. Part-time, residential and abnormal farms
Although the average elevation of the area is 3,000 made up 28 percent of the total number of farms
to 4,000 feet, the average frost-free period is about in the area in 1954.
240 days. Because of its isolation, this area seems destined
The great distance to large central markets has to continue cotton production to the limit permitted
greatly influenced the character of farming in this under adjustment programs. A growing population
area. Because of high transportation costs, only suggests that there will be a need for more dairving
products of high value per unit or those that can be and other livestock enterprises. This in turn will
disposed of locally are grown. serve to expand the local market for alfalfa hay.
Crop sales made up 67 percent of the value of Area 7, Edwards Plateau and Central Basin
all farm products sold in 1954, while livestock and Area 7 comprises more than 24 million acres
livestock products accounted for 33 percent. Cotton spread over 30 counties and includes most of the
occupied 64 percent and alfalfa 31 percent of the Edwards Plateau and the Central Basin. The physharvested cropland. Barley and oats accounted for ical characteristics of the area are such that most
1.5 percent and vegetables 1 percent of the harvested of it can be used only for grazing. These include
a rough, broken topography, shallow stony clay loam soil and a low annual rainfall ranging from 30 inches in the east to 15 inches in the west. A wide range of vegetation consisting of grasses. forbs and live oak and shin oak brush permits a diversified system of grazing involving cattle, sheep and Angora groats. The combination of these three types of livestock varies with the range and with changing price relationships. On the rougher. more broken and brushcovered range, the number of goats is large compared with the number of cattle and sheep. On the smooth open grasslands, cattle and sheep are keen competitors for the range with relative prices playing an A important part in determining the combination at a particular time. On the intermediate tpes of 0-. Y.Z. range, all three types of livestock are found in important numbers, with sheep usually predominant Figure 58. The southern part of the Edwards Plateau is in the combination. broken badly and brush covered. Angora goats are the dominant type of livestock. Courtesy, State Highway Because of differences in physical resources the
Department. area is divided into three sub-areas.
34




In the more western and drier part, designated
as sub-area 7a, the ranches are large, averaging 10
to 12 sections. Aside from protein supplements, they
depend mainly on the range for feed. Only 3 percent of the land in farms and ranches is cultivated
and crops were harvested from only half of the
40 OW
cultivated land in 1954. Most of the farming is All
(lone on the portions of the plains areas which spill P
over into some of the counties making up sub-area
7a. The cropping systems closely resemble those of
the Rolling Plains. Cotton made up 39 percent;
grain sorghum, 25 percent; small grains, 9 percent; Figure 60. The vegetation in the northwestern part of the
and hay and forage crops, 25 percent of the har- Edwards Plateau is mainly grass, and cattle and sheep arc
practically the only types of livestock. Courtesy, Soil Convested cropland. More than 30 percent of the crop- servation Service.
land was used for pasture only.
Eighty percent of the farms were classed as Only two-thirds of the farms or ranches in this
commercial. Of these, 75 percent were livestock part of the area were classed as commercial and
farms or ranches, 16 percent cotton farms and 3 per- almost three-fourths of these were livestock farms.
cent poultry farms. As further evidence of the im- Poultry farms at 8 percent ranked next in number,
portance of livestock in the area, the sale of live- followed in order of importance by general farms,
stock and livestock products accounted for 86 percent cash grain, cotton and dairy farms. The sale of
of the value of all agricultural products sold. At livestock and livestock products formed more than
least 95 percent of the value of livestock and live- 88 percent of the value of the agricultural products
stock products sold was from range livestock, cattle, sold. Cotton, grains, pecans and peanuts comprised sheep and goats. most of the remainder.
Sub-area 7b receives more rainfall, and small The land resources of this part of area 7 are
ranches and livestock farms dominate the agricul- used increasingly for residential and recreation purture. The average size ranch or stock farm is little poses. Many people from Austin, Houston and San
more than 2 sections. The native range is supple- Antonio maintain summer residences while others
melted by cropland pasture and by the production operate dude ranches and various types of recreaof feed crops, including a substantial proportion of tional facilities. There are relatively dense deer and
small grains which, in addition to grain, provide wild turkey populations in the area which attract
green grazing during the late winter and early spring. sportsmen from a large portion of East Texas. The
Almost 14 percent of the land in farms is culti- leasing of hunting rights is an important source of
vated, but crops were harvested from only 40 percent income on most of the ranches of the area.
of the cultivated land in 1954. Thirty-five percent Sub-area 7c is made up largely of the Central
Basin. In elevation, it ranges from 500 to 1,000
was used for pasture only, while 25 percent was idle feet below the surrounding Edwards Plateau. Origior in crops that failed. Cash crops, such as cotton nally a part of the Plateau, the Central Basin was
and peanuts, used less than 5 percent of the culti- formed by erosion of the overlying limestone. The
vated land, whereas feed crops and annual pastures soils are predominantly sandy, although remnants
together used more than 70 percent. of the Edwards limestone give the area some of the
characteristics of the Edwards Plateau. The vegetation on the sandy soils includes much needlegrass,
Figure 59. There is a good balance between grass and
browse in the central part of the Edwards Plateau. Cattle, Figure 61. Vegetation in the Central Basin (sub-area 7c) sheep and goats are found on most ranches. Courtesy, Soil is utilized almost exclusively by cattle. Courtesy, Soil ConConservation Service. servation Service.
35




speargrass and grass burs, which make an unfavor- part of the Rio Grande Plain. It is moderately
able environment for sheep and goats. Very little dissected, gentle rolling and brush covered. The
browse is available. Sheep and goats are kept to soils range from dark clays and lay loarn to sandy
utilize some of the vegetation on the remnants of oarns and sands. The average annual rainfall ranges
the Plateau. from 20 to 30 inches, but its effectiveness is lowered
Livestock dominate the agriculture more corn- by year-to-year extremes in its amount and distribupletely than in any other part of the area. The sale tion and by a high rate of evaporation. In the drier
of livestock and livestock products in 1954 made up western and southern parts of the area, some of these
96 percent of the value of all products sold. Cattle limitations are overcome with irrigation. Differand calves sold accounted for more than half of all ences in soils and rainfall have resulted in sufficient
products sold. differences in types of farming to justify dividing
Ranches on the more typical Basin lands aver- the area into four sub-areas.
age two to three times the size of ranches on the Sub-area 8a, sometimes called the 'Winter Garden.
adjoining Plateau. Like the adjoining area, the centers in three of the driest and most western
lease of hunting rights is an important source of counties. The soils are mainly clay loami and
income to local ranchmen. sandy oarns. Cattle ranching and irrigation farming
Less than 4 percent of the land in farms and characterize the agriculture of this sub-area. Irrigaranches is cultivated and less than half of the culti- tion water is obtained from wells and from the
vated land produced harvested crops in 1954. More Nueces River. Less than 9 percent of the land in
than a third of the cultivated land was used for farms is cultivated and crops were harvested from
pasture only. Peanuts occupied 35 percent of the only 40 percent of the cultivated land in 1954. Cropharvested cropland and cotton 12 percent. Hay and land pasture, some of it irrigated, accounted for 45
other forage crops accounted for another 40 percent. percent of the cultivated area. More than 90 perAlmost 81 percent of the farms and ranches in cent of the land in farms and ranches is pastured.
sub-area 7c were classed as commercial farms, of In 1954, almost one-fourth of the harvested cropwhich 89 percent were livestock, 4 percent dairy, land was in cotton. Onions, spinach, carrots and
4 percent general and 3 percent cotton and peanut tomatoes made up 34 percent and feed crops acfarms. counted for the remainder, mainly corn and grin
Because of the nature of its land resources, area sorghum (13 percent) and hay and other forage (27
7 probably will be used continuously for grazing. As percent) .
nearby urban populations build up, the area will be Crop sales accounted for 56 percent of the value
used increasingly for recreation and related activi- of farm products sold. Almost half of it came from
ties. The amount of rainfall and its distribution the sale of vegetables, fruits and nuts and horticulwill continue to cause fluctuations in the rates of tural specialties.
stocking the range. Within the limits set by differ- Livestock and livestock products account for 44
ences in the vegetative cover, price relationships percent of the value of all products sold. Cattle
among range livestock and livestock products will are the only important type of livestock. The sale
determine the combinations of cattle, sheep and of cattle and calves make' up more than 85 percent
goats utilizing the range. of the value of all livestock and livestock products
Area 8, South Texas Plain sold.
The South Texas Plain comprises 21 of the Seventy percent of the farms in this sub-area
southernmost counties in the State, including a large were classed as commercial farms. These were classed as livestock farms or ranches, 45.6 percent; vegetable,
17.9 percent; cotton, 13.6 percent; general, 9.2 percent; dairy, 5.5 percent; poultry, 5.3 percent; and
fruit and nut farms, 2.7 percent.
Trends in sub-area 8a have been toward more
crop production and more cattle. There w7as almost
four times as much cropland, more than twice as
much harvested crops and more than three times as
many beef cows in this sub-area in 1954 as there were
in 1930.
The cropping systems also changed substantially.
Vegetables accounted for 60 percent of the harvested
crops in 1930 and only 34 percent in 1954. Spinach
and onions made up 86 percent of the vegetable
acreage in 1930 and only 47 percent in 1954. Other
vegetables which have increased in importance are
Figure 62. Onions are one of the principal vegetable crops lettuce, tomatoes and carrots. Irrigated cotton has in the Winter Garden, sub-area 8a. become an important cash crop since World War 11.
36




Another significant change has been the irrigation of annual pastures and increased production of forage crops. Both of these developments are reflected in the increase in beef production.
Sub-area 8b includes all or parts of seven counties. The soils are mostly sandy, but range from dark clays to light sands. Slightly more than 30 percent of the land in farms is classed as cropland, but less than half of it was harvested in 1954. More than a third of the cropland was used for pasture only. In contrast with sub-area 8a in which 55 percent of the cropland was irrigated, only 4 percent Figure 63. A typical landscape in sub-area 8c where cotton,
was irrigated in 8b. The agriculture of this sub- corn, grain and forage sorghum and flax are the principal
area is affected somewhat by its nearness to markets crops. Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service.
in San Antonio. There are relatively more dairy As might be expected, with more than threeand poultry farms than in the rest of the area. Less fourths of the farmland used for pasture only, livethan 60 percent of the farms were classed as com- stock loom large in farming systems. The sale of
mercial. Almost 60 percent of the commercial farms livestock and livestock products accounted for more
were livestock farms or general farms. The rest of than half of the value of farm products sold in 1954.
the farms were widely distributed among other types: Cattle sales alone accounted for almost 30 percent
poultry, 9.7 percent; peanuts and flax, 8.9 percent; and dairy and poultry sales made up more than 20
dairy, 7.8 percent; cotton, 6.5 percent; cash grain, percent.
3.9 percent; vegetables, 3.3 percent; and fruits and Almost 73 percent of the farms in this sub-area
nuts, I percent. in 1954 were classed as commercial, being livestock,
A wide range of truck crops are grown. Pea- 31 percent; cotton, 30 percent; general, 16 percent;
nuts, watermelons and peas are the principal crops poultry, 7 percent; cash grain, 6 percent; dairy, 4
on the light sandy soils. Cotton, flax and row feed percent; and other field crops, mainly flax, 4 percent.
dominate the cropping systems on the heavier soils. No other type represented as much as I percent of
Cash crops, mainly peanuts, cotton, vegetables the commercial farms.
and flax, account for only 34 percent of the acreage Sub-area 8c is located strategically between the
of harvested crops. Feed crops, about equally di- San Antonio and Corpus Christi markets. A substanvided between grain and forage, account for the tial part of the milk and poultry products consumed
remainder. in these two cities is produced in this sub-area. As
Livestock and livestock products made up al- these communities continue to grow, expanded promost 70 percent of the value of farm products sold duction of these products may be expected. Otherin 1954. Cattle alone constituted almost half and wise, in view of climatic conditions and limited
dairy products a third of the value of the livestock water resources, only extensive types of farming will
and livestock products sold. be practiced, with emphasis on beef cattle and on
The trend appears to be away from cash crops such crops as cotton, corn, grain sorghum and flax.
and toward more livestock production. As the urban population centering around San Antonio increases, this trend is expected to continue.
Sub-area 8c is primarily a dryland area. Less than I percent of the cropland is irrigated. The
soils are predominantly dark clays and clay loams with small areas of sandy soils intermixed. The
annual rainfall averages 25 to 30 inches and is variable. More than three-fourths of the farmland and about one-fourth of the cropland are pastured.
Slightly more than one-fourth of the farmland is classed as cropland. Sixty-eight percent of the 1954 cropland was harvested. Harvested crops included cotton, 22 percent; corn, 20 percent; grain sorghum, 20 percent; forage sorghum, 14 percent; and flaxseed, 12 percent. Other crops of some importance were hay, 4 percent, and vegetables, mainly watermelons and onions, 2 percent. Sixty-two per- Figure 64. Native pastures dominate land use in area 8,
cent of the State's 1954 flax acreage was reported ranging from two-thirds of the land in farms in sub-area 8b
in sub-area 8c. to 95 percent in 8d. Courtesy, State Highway Department.
37




Sub-area 8d represents more than half of area 8. area, where the surface is gently rolling, it gradually
Very extensive systems of production prevail except flattens to the south and east.
for a few favored communities where irrigation is The climate is semi-tropical with an average
practiced. frost-free period of more than 300 davs. The annual
Some of the largest ranches in the State are in rainfall averages approximately 25 inches. but varies
sub-area 8d. More than 95 percent of the land in greatly from year to year and from season to season
farms is usedl for pasture only. within each year. The rainfall and its effectiveness
Less than 5 percent of the land in farms and decline from east to west. A substantial part of the ranches is cultivated and only slightly more than cropland in the northwest part of Hidalgo county
half of the cropland was in harvested crops in 1954. and in the eastern parts of Willacv and Cameron
About 8 percent of the cropland is irrigated. Eighty counties is dry-farmed.
percent of the irrigated land is in the three counties About 55 percent of the farmland in the area
bordering the Rio Grande. Most of the dryland is classed as cropland. Crops were harvested from
farming is done in the eastern part of 8d where about 80 percent of the cropland in 1954. A large
rainfall is somewhat greater than in the rest of this part of the pastureland is concentrated on the light sub-area. sandy soils in northern Hidalgo county and on the
Although most of the land is grazed, the sale of marshy and semi-marshy lands in eastern Cameron
crops made up more than one-third of the value of and \Villacv counties. More than half of the cropproducts sold in 1954. Cotton and vegetables were land and two-thirds of the harvested acreage were
the principal crops sold. Cattle sales made up more irrigated in 1954. The acreage irrigated wa-s below
than half of all livestock sales and the sale of dlairy normal because of a shortage of irrigation water products accounted for most of the remainder, brought on by the drouth of the early 1950's.
Only 61 percent of the farms in 8d in 1954 were The long growing season and the availability of
classed as commercial. Of these, 41 percent were water for irrigation permit the production of a
cotton; 40 percent livestock; 7 percent dairy; and wide range of crops. Cotton and grain sorghum are
5 percent vegetable farms. No other type repre- the principal crops on dryland, while cotton, vegesented as much as 3 percent of the commercial farms. tables and citrus fruits occupy most of the cropland
The average farm size in 1954 was almost two on irrigated farms. Cotton is decidedly the main
and one-half times the average size in 1930. Other cropland product and accounted for 54 percent of
trends include a drop in cotton acreage and an in- teacreage of harvested crops in 1954. The only
crease in vegetable production, feed crops and live- other crops of major importance are vegetables, 18
stock. Because of its limited supply of irrigation percent; grain sorghum, 17 percent; and citrus fruits.
water and the low and erratic rainfall, ranching and Double use of some croplands is permitted by the
other extensive types of farming will continue to long frost-free period and the large number of shortdominate the agriculture of the South Texas Plain. sea son vegetables grown.
Area9, LwerRio rane ValeyBefore and during World War 11, citrus was the
Area9, LwerRio rane Valeyprincipal cash crop. Hard freezes in 1949 and in
The lower Rio Grande Valley comprises the 1951 destroyed 85 percent of the citrus orchards.
three southernmost counties in Texas-Cameron, Hardly more than half of this citrus acreage has
Hidalgo and Willacy. The soils range from light been replanted and much of it is not of bearing age
sands in the north to very dense clays along the at this time. Because of the loss of nursery stock,
Rio Grande. These soils are highly productive when the shortage of irrigation water for several years
properly managed. From the northwest part of the following 1951, rising development costs and' the
- need for a ready source of income, the recovery of the citrus industry has been slow. Cotton seems
Figure 65. Most of the citrus groves in the Lower Rio
Grande Valley had to be replanted after the destructive Figure 66. Citrus, vegetables and cotton are the principal freeze of January 1951. Courtesy, State Highway Depart- products in the Lowser Rio Grande Valley. Courtesy. Soil
ment. Conservaaion Service.
38




to have filled this need during 1951-53 when nearly
three-fourths of the cropland was planted to this
crop. With the return of acreage allotments in
1954, the search for profitable alternatives was renewed. The production of vegetables had saturated
the market at about 150,000 acres. The seriousness
of the situation is indicated by the big increase in
grain sorghum, a low-income crop. The 1954 acreage of grain sorghum at 142,000 was seven times the 7;
1949 acreage. The present acreage is about double
the 1954 acreage.
Despite the great loss in citrus production, crop
sales accounted for more than 94 percent of the
value of all sales in 1954. Cattle sales, 3.6 percent,
were next in importance. Dairy and poultry sales
together accounted for only slightly more than 2
percent of all sales. Figure 67. Flat land and mile-long rows encourage large
Almost 81 percent of the farms in area 9 were scale cotton and grain sorghum production in the Coastal
classed as commercial. These commercial farms con- Bend (area 10). These two crops account for more than
trolled 98 percent of the land resources. Commercial 90 percent of the harvested cropland.
farms were 85 percent cotton, 4 percent vegetable on the Nueces watershed usually mean cutting off
and 3.5 percent fruit and nut farms. In 1949, prior water to the district. Small streams and reservoirs
to the disastrous freeze, more than 14 percent of the supply a very limited amount of water. Some ground
farms were fruit farms. Minor types included general water is used for irrigation, but much of it is confarms, 2.3 percent; livestock farms, 2 percent; and sidered too poor in quality for continuous use.
dairy farms, 1.7 percent. No other type represented The area has an average frost-free period of
more than I percent of the commercial farms. about 300 days, but there is a range of more than
Future developments in the area seem to depend 100 days between the longest and shortest.
on the availability of a dependable supply of good Physical characteristics of the area are especially
quality irrigation water. This must come, for the
time being at least, from conservation of the flood favorable to the use of large-scale, multi-row equipwaters of the Rio Grande. Much depends on the ment. Its flat surface, large farms, large fields and
recovery of citrus production. If the Lower Valley mile-long rows make efficient operation possible. It
regains its former position in citrus production, some was in this area that the all-purpose tractor was of the pressure on the vegetable market would be tested and first distributed. Before acreage control
released. It also would take up some of the slack programs were initiated in 1933, the Coastal Bend
caused by decreasing cotton acreage allotments. In was a highly specialized cotton-producing area with
an area with an average growing season of more more than 80 percent of the cropland in cotton. By
than 300 days, there always is the possibility that 1954, cotton occupied only 36 percent of the hara new crop may be introduced. The avocado is vested cropland while sorghum grain accounted for
receiving the most attention at this time. It has 55 percent. Flax made up 3.5 percent, hay and
good market possibilities and about the same cold forage 4 percent and winter vegetables 3 percent,
resistance and development costs as citrus. The principally onions and cabbage. The vegetable acreLower Valley is probably the one remaining area age, which has been reduced greatly in recent years,
in the United States with a good potential for usually is double-cropped with either cotton or grain
avocado production. sorghum. Since 1954, the cotton acreage has been
Area 10, Coastal Bend further reduced and the grain sorghum acreage increased.
The Coastal Bend comprises all of four counties The Coastal Bend is primarily a cash crop area.
and parts of three others. The soils are predomi- The sale of crops made up 93 percent of the value
nantly dark colored clays and clay loams and are of all products sold in 1954 and field crops, almost
highly productive. The annual rainfall, which averages about 30 inches, is sufficient most years for entirely cotton and grain sorghum, accounted for
high yields of cotton and grain sorghum. about 99 percent of all crop sales.
Less than 3 percent of the crops harvested in Cattle are the only type of livestock of major
1954 came from irrigated land. The Robstown water importance. Cattle sales accounted for almost threedistrict, which involves about 4,500 acres subject to fourths of the value of livestock and livestock prodirrigation, has water available at the discretion of ucts sold. Most of the poultry and dairy products
the city of Corpus Christi which has prior rights consumed in the area are brought in from adjointo Nueces River water. Extended periods of drouth ing areas.
39




andi industrial consumption. Tbhis area. however. would present a favorable situation if an economical process of converting salt water could be developed.
AMA**Area 11, West Cross Timbers The West Cross Timbers includes large parts of eight counties and small parts of several others. The soils range from sands to sandy oarns and are low in natural fertility and highly erosive. Minor extensions of the Grand Prairie are found in most of the counties included in this area. Much of the small grains and cotton reported from these counties is Figure 68. Much of the land in the West Cross Timbers grown on prairie land.
is eroded badly and is used only for grazing. Courtesy, The surface ranges from gently rolling to very Soil Conservation Service.
__________________________________________ rolling with large amounts of rough. s.tony, lands in
Although cotton represented only 36 percent of some parts of the area. The native vegetation conthe harvested cropland and grain sorghum 55 per- sists mainly of bunch grasses. oak trees and brush. cent, more than 78 percent of the commercial farms Area 11 lies at the western limits of the humid
were classed as cotton and only 8 percent as cash region with an average annual rainfall of about 30 grain farms. Minor types included livestock, 5.6 inches. The frost-free period averaged about 223 percent; general, 4 percent; and poultry farms, 2.3 days. percent. Almost 85 percent of the land in these eight
Trends in the area are toward fewer and larger counties is in farms, but only slightly more than farms, less cotton and vegetables and more grain one-fourth of the farmland is classed as cropland.
sorghum and beef cattle. The average farm size More than a third of the cropland was used for has more than doubled since 1930. The 1954 cotton pasture only in 1954. Altogether about 80 percent acreage was about half that of 1930, while grain of all land in farms is grazed.
sorghum increased from less than 8,000 to 332,000 Area 11 is primarily a livestock area. More
acres. than 80 percent of the value of the 1954 farm products
Farmrs f ara 1 proabl wil cotinu to sold was accounted for by livestock and livestock plant as much cotton as permitted, with grain prodIucts. Cattle sales alone account for almost 40
sorghum still the principal user of cropland. percent; dairy products, 24 percent: poultry and
The reahas lage otenialforwintr vge- poultry products, 10 percent; and hogs, 5 percent of
te reauchasnalarig poetaWorl W inte 11 ege- the value of product sales. The Fort Worth and table poton. Du00aring wosrldeared, a pnte Dallas markets draw large quantities of milk and eggs
of mre han70,00 cre wasreahed bu inthe from the area. Hogs are kept primarily to salvage face of slackening demand and drouth, it declined mast in the woodlands and waste in peanut fields. to about one-fourth of this amount by 1954. Should Peanuts are the only important cash crop grown
th eadwratadwne osuepermit,pid2
thedean wrrat ndwitermostreon the more typical sand% soils. They occupid2
the acreage planted to vegetables again would in- percent of the harvested croplandl in 1954. The crease substantially. Realization of this potential balance of the sandycrpadiusdmnlfo would be furthered by the development of an ade- crzn n aretdfrapeandos usedpinl ystfor
quate and reliable supply of good quality water for grng and hraresiste foragee rops. croppting sysems
onigtin thes prari soils inul these eigh coutie clsl
rrliatieo.c This ingturns woul mke mate are resemble those on the adjoining Grand Prairie. They
reliblesouce f vgetblesforthemaret.The are based mainly on small grains. grain sorghumn and chance for such a development seems remote in view cotton. of the rapidly growing need of water for domestic Less than 60 percent of the farms in this area
were classed as commercial in 1954. The commercial farms were 48 percent livestock. 14 percent dairy. 13 percent peanut, 12 percent general and 7 percent S poultry farms. Minor types were cotton farms, 3 percent, and cash grain, 2 percent. .Afew vegetable, mostly watermelons, and fruit farms: mostly peaches and pecans, also are found in this area.
Before World War 1, area 11 was an important cotton producing area. Cotton was the principal source of income. Today practically no cotton is grown on the typical Cross Timbers soils. More than Figure 69. Peanuts are the principal cash crop in area 11. 13,000 acres were reported in the eight counties in They are grown mostly on the light sandy soils. Courtesy, 1958 as compared with more than 300,000 acres in Soil Conservation Service. 1929 and more than 500,000 acres in 1924. No saris40




factory substitute cash crop has been found, although many different crops have been tried. During and immediately after World War 11, the demand for peanuts encouraged greatly expanded production of this crop, but the acreage has since declined to prewar levels. Farmers remaining on the land have turned to livestock production and to off-farm employment. There were more than three times as many beef cows in the area in 1954 as in 1929, and five to six times as much milk was sold. Almost 57 percent of the farm operators did off-farm work in 1954. Forty-five percent had outside income which exceeded their farm income and 38 percent worked 100 or more days off the farm. Indications point to a continuation of these production patterns, with Figure 70. Native pasture, small grains and forage crops
livestock production increasing slowly and cash crop occupy 90 percent of the land in farms and serve as a basis
production decreasing. for important beef and dairy enterprises in sub-area 12a.
Area 12, Grand Prairie Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service.
The Grand Prairie lies directly west of the Black- The cropping system described and the large
land and comprises a large part of 10 counties and amount of native pasture adequately complement the
small parts of 12 other counties. It is divided into livestock systems of the area. Dairying is by far the
two parts by the Brazos River. The soils are primarily most important livestock enterprise. The value of clays and clay loams which range from highly produc- dairy products made up more than 29 percent of the
tive bottomlands and gently rolling prairie to shallow, value of all farm products sold and 45 percent of stony soils on steep slopes. A large part of the latter the value of all livestock and livestock products sold. is covered with live oak and shin oak brush. Cattle sales alone accounted for 34 percent of the
The average annual rainfall is 30 to 35 inches livestock and livestock product sales. Since more than
and the average length of the growing season is 225 one-third of all cows on farms and ranches in subdays in the north and 240 days in the south part of area 12a are dairy cows, a substantial part of cattle
the area. sales may be credited to the dairy enterprise.
Sub-area 12a sometimes called the Fort Worth Less than 53 percent of the farms in 12a were
Prairie, lies to t e north, and has mainly open and classed as commercial in 1954. These commercial
gently rolling to rolling land. farms were well distributed as to type of farming.
Large markets provided by the metropolitan areas Twenty-six percent were livestock farms, 19 percent
of Fort Worth and Dallas have encouraged the pro- dairy, 16 percent general, 14 percent cotton, 13 perduction of livestock products. The sale of livestock cent cash grain, 8 percent poultry, 3 percent other
and its products make up about two-thirds, and the field crops, mainly peanut farms located in the East
sale of crops one-third, of the total value of farm Cross Timbers portion of these counties, and I perproducts sold. cent vegetable farms.
Forty-two percent of the land in farms is classed as cropland. Crops were harvested from about 73
percent of the cropland while another 20 percent was used for pasture only. Fifteen percent of the 1954 harvested cropland was in cotton. Cotton is grown mainly on bottomland and on the deeper and more productive prairie soils, but more intensively on the small acreages of Blackland which spills over the eastern boundaries of four counties.
The rest of the harvested cropland is devoted to the production of grain and forage crops. Corn and grain sorghum together occupy less than 10 percent of the harvested cropland. About 44 percent was in small grains of which more than two-thirds was in oats. The small grains are especially adapted to the more shallow and drouthy soils since they usually mature in the spring before the hot, dry summer. They also provide winter grazing for livestock. Hay Figure 71. Beef cattle, sheep and Angora goats utilize the
rough, stony, brush-covered lands on the stock f arms and and sorghum forage accounted for 26 percent of the small ranches in sub-area 12b. Courtesy, State Highway
harvested crops. Department.
41




Trends in the agriculture of sub-area 12a reflect Classification of the commercial farms as to type
the growth of the urban population. Cropland has confirms the importance of livestock production in
decreased 23 percent and row crops 61 percent since the agriculture of the area. Livestock farms other 1929, while close-seeded crops, including cropland than dairy and poultry account for 67.5 percent;
pasture, increased almost 60 percent. There were general farms, 12.5 percent; poultry, 6.7 percent; and
almost five times as many beef cows, while milk sales dairy, 2.8 percent of all commercial farms. All other were three times such sales in 1929. Other types of types, mainly cotton and cash grain, made up only livestock either decreased in importance or, as in the 10.5 percent of commercial farms. case of poultry, barely maintained 1929 levels of The trend in the agriculture of sub-area 12b has
production. been toward more extensive types of farming. CropReady access to the large markets provided by land decreased 24 percent and harvested cropland
rapidly growing Dallas and Fort Worth indicates that 47.5 percent during 1929-54, while the amount of sub-area 12a will make further shifts from cotton land grazed increased more than 12 percent. The
and cash grain production to more livestock with cotton acreage decreased 84 percent, corn, 67 percent,
special emphasis on dairy and poultry production. and small grains, 23 percent. Only grain sorghum
Sub-area 12b lies between the Brazos and Colo- and forage crops increased during this period. The
rado Rivers and comprises the main portions of six acreage in these crops is about double the 1929
counties and parts of six others. It represents the acreage. more rolling, broken, stony and brush-covered por- The trends in livestock reflect the decline of 38
tion of the Grand Prairie. It is sometimes referred percent in the numbers of farms since 1930. Milk to as the Lampasas Cut Plain. cows decreased 61 percent and hogs 33 percent. The
Livestock production dominates the agriculture tendency has been to increase the beef cattle, sheep in sub-area 12b even more than it does in 12a. The and Angora goats, while poultry, although more
sale of I livestock and livestock products made up specialized, has held closely to the 1929 levels of
almost 85 percent of the total value of agricultural production. products sold in 1954. However, the greater distance The trend toward larger farms and more extenfrom large city markets has resulted in much less sive systems of production is expected continue in intensive production systems. Although 12b has sub-area 12b. There will be less cash crop producalmost 50 percent more land in farms and ranches tion while the production of forage crops and range
than 12a, the total value of agricultural products types of livestock may be expanded further. sold was only 60 percent of the value of such products Area 13, Blackland sold in 12a. The value of crop sales was only 30 The Blackland area comprises all or parts of
percent and the value of livestock and livestock prod- 25 counties. Several have entirely Blackland soil, but ucts sales was 80 percent of the value of such sales most of them also have portions of shallow stony in 12a. As compared with 12a, it had the same value soils characteristic of the Grand Prairie on the west for poultry products, one-tenth the value for its dairy and light sandy soils typical of adjoining areas on products and about 50 percent more for other live- the east. The type of farming tends to conform to stock and livestock products, mainly cattle, sheep, these different soils. goats, wool and mohair. Since the county is the smallest unit for which
Because of the type of grazing available in sub- agricultural statistics are available, the overall descriparea 12b, sheep and goats make up a large part of tion of the area is modified by these differences. For
the livestock population. example, farms on the Grand Prairie are larger, have
About 85 percent of the land area is in farms much less land in cultivation, produce more small
and ranches of which only 23 percent is classed as grains, much less cotton and much more livestock
cropland. Crops were harvested from less than two- than farms on the Blackland. On the sandy soils
thirds of the cropland in 1954. About one-fourth to the east of the Blackland, farms are smaller, more
of the cropland was used for pasture only. The of the land is grazed, there is more production of
same crops are grown as in sub-area 12a, but in specialty crops, such as watermelons, tomatoes and
different proportions. peanuts, and much less cotton.
Small grains, mainly oats, made up 47 percent; On the true Blackland, there are soil differences
cotton, 12 percent; corn, 11 percent; grain sorghum, which also affect the land use. The area is cut by 8 percent; and forage and hay crops, 18, percent of many streams. On the more sloping land, rapid drainthe harvested cropland. age has removed much of the top soil, making the
Further evidence of the smaller influence of the land more subject to drouth. Much of this land is large city markets, including off-farm job opportuni- used for the production of winter grains or for crops ties, in this part of the area is found in the greater to be grazed. In 1954, more than a million acres of proportion of the farms classed as commercial. Where- cropland in area 13 were being used for some type as only slightly more than half the farms in 12a were of pasture. The smoother, deeper soils on the divides classed as commercial, almost three-fourths of the between streams and the, well-drained terraces and
farms in 12b were so classed. bottoms along streams are heavily cropped to cotton
42




and row feed crops, such as corn and grain sorghum.
In cases where individuals could control sufficient
land, farm adjustments on this type of land have been
toward large-scale cash-crop production.
The gray lands which lie along the east side of
the Blackland generally are less rolling, less subject
to erosion and not as well drained as other Blackland
soils. These lands are being shifted rapidly to grazing, ........ --to feed crops and to livestock production.
Area 13 is naturally divided into two main parts.
The sub-area 13a, the larger part, comprises all or
parts of 21 counties of which 82 percent, or 9,392,000
acres, is in farms. About 57 percent of the farmland
is in cultivation. Only 73 percent of the cropland
was harvested in 1954. More than two-thirds of the
remainder was in annual pasture or in the process Figure 72. An air view of a typical Blackland landscape.
of development for use as permanent pasture. Since Note the numerous streams and drainage ways. Erosion
1930, there has been less than 2 percent reduction in accelerated by row crop farming is a major problem in the the amount of land in farms while the amount of area. Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service.
cropland declined about 21 percent. During this vegetable oils also have influenced the decrease in
same period, the cropland harvested was reduced the number of milk cows.
38 percent. Despite declines in crop production, crop sales
Cotton is still the principal user of cropland and accounted for 65 percent and all livestock and the main cash-crop in sub-area 13a. In 1954, cotton livestock products sales only 35 percent of the value occupied almost 29 percent of the cropland, corn, of farm products sold in area 13a in 1954. However,
13 percent; small grains (mostly wheat and oats, 11 this represents a substantial shift since cotton and percent; hay and forage sorghum, 12 percent; and cottonseed alone made up 95 percent of the value of
grain sorghum, 6 percent. Since the introduction of farm products sold in that area in 1930. hybrids, grain sorghum has increased to an acreage Fifty-eight percent of all commercial farms in
about equal to that of corn. 1954 were classed as cotton farms, 16 percent liveThe trend in crop production has been away stock, 10 percent general, 5 percent cash grain and
from the row crops and toward the production of 6 percent dairy and poultry farms combined.
close-seeded crops, such as small grains, hay and graz- Sub-area 13b comprises parts of four counties. ing crops. The combined cotton, corn and grain A substantial part of each county is sandy, oak-covered
sorghum acreage in 1954 was less than half the acreage
of these crops harvested in 1930. A further substantial land. About 89 percent of the land area is in farms, reduction in the cotton acreage has occurred since but only 27 percent of the farmland is in cultivation.
1954. Less than 20 percent of the cropland was in Most of the oak-covered land in these counties is in
cotton in 1958. If the land taken out of cultivation Pasture. and presumed to be in pasture is included, about Cotton is the only important cash crop. It occu3.7 million acres, or more than half of the cropland pied a fourth of the harvested cropland in 1954, but in 1930, has been shifted to close-seeded crops such had been reduced to less than 15 percent by 1958. as small grains and hay or to pasture crops. Forage crops (sorghum and hay) made up another
These shifts in land use form the basis for a fourth of the harvested crops while corn and sorghum
strong trend toward beef cattle production. The grain were harvested from the major part of the
number of cows kept mainly for beef has increased remainder.
to almost I I times the number in 1930. Milk cows, Sub-area 13b is located strategically between two
however, have decreased to about 61 percent of the large markets, Houston and San Antonio. With most
1930 number. Hogs have decreased only slightly. Egg of their land in pasture and feed crops, farmers have sales have decreased in about the same proportion naturally turned to intensive systems of livestock proas milk cow numbers, while chicken sales have in- duction. The sale of livestock and livestock products
creased to four times the 1930 number. Half the made up more than two-thirds of the value of all
chicken sales occurred in McLennan county, an im- farm products sold in 1954. Poultry and eggs alone
portant broiler area. accounted for a third of all sales while dairy products
The decline in milk cow numbers and in egg and cattle sales made up most of the remaining third.
sales seems to be related closely to the decrease of The oldest broiler area in Texas centers in
51 percent in the number of farms since 1930 and Gonzales county. Emphasis in the other three counto the trend toward more specialization in dairy and ties is on egg and dairy production. The sub-area egg production. A substantial increase in the produc- as a whole has the densest cattle population of any tion per cow and the loss of the butter market to part of the State.
43




in cultivation and persistently encroaches on the cultivated area. The surface of this area is undulating to rolling. Its typically sandy soils are low in fertility, but respond well to fertilizers. It developed as a small farm area with small irregular shaped fields on which small, simple machines were used.
Because of its physical characteristics, mechanization and other technological developments have been adopted more slowly than in other areas. However, a number of significant trends are taking place. Many people have left the farm and many others have found part-time employment in response to better employment opportunities that began with the opening of the East Texas oil fields in 1930 and continued with Figure 73. By increasing the size of their farms and by wartime activities and postwar industrial development. shifting cropland to improved pastures, area 14 farmers The reduction in the number of farm families and have been able to develop beef production as a major in surplus farm labor has contributed to substantial enterprise. Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service. changes in the agriculture of the area. There is a
Despite the emphasis on livestock production, trend toward larger farms, a shift of cropland into
there are more cotton farms than any other type. pasture and the use of the additional pasture in beef
Cotton farms comprised 39 percent of all commercial production and commercial dairying. Operators of
farms in 1954. Other important types were general small farms have turned strongly to broiler producfarms, 22 percent; livestock, 19 percent; poultry, 13 tion. Rural electrification and farm-to-market roads percent; and dairy farms, 5 percent. No other type have contributed to increased opportunities in dairy
represented as much as I percent of the commercial and poultry production. Industrial development and
farms. In both sub-areas 13a and 13b, commercial high-level employment within the area and in the
farms represented 69 percent of all farms in 1954. areas around Dallas, Houston and Beaumont have
provided a strong market for these products. Trends in sub-area 13b have been away from The number of farms in the area decreased 52
cash crop production and toward more grazing and percent during 1930-54. Of the farms remaining in
forage crops and more livestock. The 1954 cotton 1954, 63 percent were classed as part-time or resiacreage was only one-fourth of the 1929 acreage and the acreage of hay and coarse forage was almost double dental, while 55 percent received more than half of the 1929 acreage. During the same period, all types their income from other than farm sources.
of livestock increased substantially. These trends are The commercial farms were classed as follows:
expected to continue in response to the growing cotton farms, 30 percent; livestock, 28 percent; general,
markets in Houston and San Antonio. I I percent; poultry, I I percent; dairy, 9 percent; other
field crops (mostly peanuts and sweet potatoes) 5 Area 14, East Texas Farming percent; and vegetable, 4 percent.
The East Texas farming area comprises 24 coun- Despite the loss in number of farms and the drop
ties and includes about half of the region known as in farm population, the overall population of the 24
the East Texas Timberlands. Pine timber inter- counties increased during 1930-50. Six counties in
spersed with hardwoods cover much of the land not which the larger towns are located gained 91,000,
while the other 18 counties declined 65,000 in population (luring this period. Oil production and processing and the accompanying industrial developments have served to hold people in the area.
Sixty-five percent of the land area of these 24 counties is now in farms. A large part of the land not in farms is forestland. Approximately one-third of the farmland is classed as cropland. Only 37 percent of the cropland was harvested in 1954. This represents a decrease of more than 72 percent in harvested crops since 1930. Slightly more than half of the cropland was used for pasture. More than twothirds of the land in crops in 1930 has been shifted in about equal amounts to temporary and permanent pasture.
Even more drastic changes are taking place in Figure 74. Dallas and Houston provide ready markets for crop production. Harvested cropland decreased from the growing commercial dairy enterprise in area 14. 3,287,000 acres in 1929 to 911,000 in 1954. Practically
44




all of this decrease was in cotton and corn acreage. The decrease in the combined acreage of these two crops exceeded the decrease in the acreage of harvested crops. The difference was made up by increases in small grains, hay and forage crops and in vegetable k"1
production. The continuance of these trends is indicatedi by further decreases in the cotton acreage since 1954. In 1958, only 101,000 acres of' cotton were harvested in the 25 counties. This is less than 5 percent of the 1929 acreage, as compared with I11 percent in 1954. More than half of the 1958 cotton acreage was in four counties, Red River, Hopkins, Van Zandt and Houston, which have some Blackland or bottomland soils on which cotton is grown.
Some of the land in this area is being returned
to pine trees. Approximately 60,000 acres were con- Figure 75. Another adjustment taking place in the agritracted under the conservation reserve during 1956-59. culture of area 14 is the planting of old fields to pine The Texas Forest Service distributed almost 90 million forests. Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service. pine seedlings for planting during 1949-58 which is sufficient to plant 100,000 acres. Many of these seed- are typical of this area seemed destined mainly for lings have not survived, but the magnitude of the use as pasture or forest and perhaps as both in some
plantings indicate the amount of interest in reforest- cases. ation. Area 15, East Texas Timber
Livestock production expanded as crop produc- The East Texas Timber area, comprising 12
tion declined. Beef cow numbers increased more than counties, lies entirely within the pine-covered portion 12 times (luring 1930-54. Commercial dairying and of Southeast Texas. The soils are sandy except for poultry production also increased. Both of these small isolated prairies and the river bottoms where
enterprises have become highly specialized. The heavier soils predominate. Most of the cotton prodecrease in farm numbers has been accompanied by diuced in the area is grown on these prairies and in a loss in the number of milk cows and chickens kept the river bottoms. The humid climate is favorable
for home use. Whole milk has replaced butter and to rapid growth of the timber which covers 75 to 80 butterfat as the principal product sold. The trend percent of the land area.
in poultry production has been toward market egg This is a minor area from the standpoint of
production in some cases and to broiler production agiutr.I 194ab ton-hdofteld
in others. The leading broiler area in Texas centers ariculture In 1954s, abourcet one-third ofs the landin Nacogdoches and Shelby counties. Most of the arawsifrm,8pecnofhch asnwod
broilers are produced under contract with feed deal- land or permanent pasture. More than half of the ers. There has been some contracting of turkey pro- land classed as cropland was used for pasture. Most duction in this area in recent years. Hogs, a minor of the land not in farms is held in large tracts by enterprise in the area, have tended to decline in lumber interests. These lands have provided free
numbers with very little tendency toward specializa- range for the production of cattle and hogs. Lumber tion. Increased interest in livestock production has and oil production and related activities provide the led to a decided increase in the quality and productivity of all types of livestock in the area.
The sale of livestock and livestock products in 1954 made up 65 percent and crop sales only 35 percent of the value of all farm products sold. Crop sales probably will decrease in importance in farm income. Crop production may be limited to specialty crops, such as watermelons, tomatoes, peppers and roses, and to feed crops (mostly forages) grown in support of livestock production. Increasing indus- 'trialization may draw more people from farms orprovide outside employment for farmers and members of their families. Cotton production may (isap pear completely as the few remaining gins deteriorate from lack of business and are abandoned. The less favorably located land may be planted to trees or be per- Figure 76. Timber production and processing are major
mitted to return to forest naturally. The lands that activities in area 15. Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service.
45




while the acreage of these large farms increased 68
percent during 1945-54.
A considerable acreage in this area (most of it
not in farmland) is being reforested. The Texas
Forest Service alone distributed approximately 90
million pine seedlings for planting during 1949-58, a
number sufficient to plant 100,000 acres. Private
interests in this area have added many more millions
-,e of seedlings to the reforestation effort. Less than
4,000 acres were contracted under the conservation
reserve program during 1956-59.
Accompanying these changes, beef cow numbers
in 1954 increased to almost three times the number
on farms in 1930. Milk cows decreased about in proportion to the decrease in the number of farms.
Figure 77. Newsprint in the raw state. Pulpwood ready Specialized commercial dairies increased in number for delivery to the rapidly growing paper industry in area and size, however, as in other parts of the State. 15. Note the chain saw to the right of the driver. Courtesy, The most drastic changes have been in hog and Soil Conservation Service. poultry production. The number of hogs on farms
main sources of income to the people of the area' decreased almost 60 percent during 1930-54. The
Agriculture mainly serves to hold a supply of labor decline is attributed to the loss of interest in the
in the area for use in these activities. Almost three- range-type hog and to the small production of confourths of all farms were classed as part-time or resi- centrated feeds in the area. dential in 1954. The interest in agriculture tends to Poultry increased substantially both for egg proincrease or decrease with changing employment oppor- duction and for meat production. Here again the tunities. trend is toward specialization. In 1954, more than
Slightly more than 40 percent of the commercial 60 percent of the eggs sold came from farms on which
farms in this area were classed as cotton farms, 27 poultry made up 50 percent or more of the total sale
percent as livestock, 17 percent as poultry, 7 percent of farm products. The average flock size on these as dairy and 7 percent as general farms. farms suggests the probability that a large number
Present farming resembles that of the East Texas of the egg producers are part-time farmers.
farming area. Cotton, corn and forage crops, mostly Nearly 23 times as many chickens were sold from
hay, dominate the cropping systems. There is little the farms of this area in 1954 as in 1930. The northern
production of specialty crops. The area also grows and eastern counties contribute substantially to the
a small, widely distributed acreage of peanuts and production of the East Texas broiler area which
vegetables. The trend in crop production has been centers in area 14. The production of broilers is
sharply downward. The total cropland has decreased concentrated on 3 to 4 percent of the area's farms.
only 20 percent since 1930, but harvested cropland has The sale of livestock and livestock products made
decreased 66 percent. Most of the unharvested crop- up almost 75 percent of the value of all farm products
land is being converted to pasture. The decrease in sold in 1954. The sale of broilers accounted for 30
the combined cotton and corn acreage exceeded the percent; dairy products, 15 percent; and other livedecrease in harvested crops. The difference was made stock, mainly cattle and hogs, 27 percent of the value up by increases in the forage crops, mainly hay. The of products sold. continuance of these trends is indicated by the fact This area seems destined for lower crop producthat the cotton acreage has been reduced by more tion, particularly cotton, less livestock on free range,
than 50 percent since 1954. more land in forests and moderate increases in poultry
Cattle and hog production has come mainly from production and commercial dairying.
the free range supplied by the forests of the area. Area 16, Post Oak
Under these conditions, there has been little incentive This area consists of nine counties and lies within
to improve individual herds, and a low quality prod- the oak-covered portion of the East Texas Timberuct has resulted. There has been increased interest lands. Scattered through the area are minor Blackin herd improvement during recent years and a trend land prairies with fairly productive soils. Several
away from the free range to confinement on indi- rivers, including the Trinity, Brazos and Colorado,
vidual ranches. There has been an increase of almost cross or border the area, and the better drained bottom60 percent in farmland, a decrease of 24 percent in lands along these streams are very productive. The
farm numbers and a decrease of 66 percent in har- more typical soils are sandy and of two main groups;
vested crops since 1930. Most of this change has taken one of deep sand with porous subsoils and the other place since World War 11. For example, the number of shallow sandy loams with dense, slowly permeable
of farms of 1,000 acres and more increased 74 percent subsoils. These sandy soils are low in natural fer46




utility and those with dense subsoils are subject to
rapid and extreme changes in soil-moisture relationships.
In addition to the loss of more than half of the
number of farms since 1930, this area also has declined
in total population. Brazos county, in which the
AgeM College of Texas is located, gained over 16 '000
people (luring 1930-50. Population losses in the other
eight counties, however, totaled 48,000 (luring the
same period. :41
Only 55 percent of the farms in the area were
classed as commercial in 1954. Forty percent of these
were cotton farms, 35 percent livestock, 12 percent
general, 6 percent poultry and 3 percent dairy farms.
Most of the cotton produced in the area is grown on
the bottomlands and prairies. Some watermelons, Figure 78. More than 80 percent of the land in farms in
peas, tomatoes and peanuts are grown on the deep area 16 is grazed, mainly by beef cattle.
sands, but most of this land and practically all land
with dense subsoils is grazed. other parts of Texas, commercial dairying has inEighty percent of all land in area 16 in 1954 was creased as milk cow numbers declined with the farm in farms, but only 28 percent was classed as cropland. population. Forty-eight percent of the cropland was harvested in Hogs are a minor enterprise in the area and the
1954. More than 60 percent of the land in farms number in 1954 was not significantly different from
other than cropland is classed as woodland, most of the number in 1930. A high percentage of the hogs which is used for pasture. Despite the fact that census are kept to utilize the acorns and other natural food enumerators found about 25 percent more farmland in this area's woodlands.
in 1954 than in 1930, there was 20 percent less crop- Poultry, like dairying, reflects the trend toward
land in 1954. Harvested cropland decreased 55 per- specialization. The trend is toward broilers and cent during the same period. turkeys in the northern part of the area and toward
Although the acreage of cotton harvested was egg production in the southern part.
less than 23 percent of the 1930 acreage, it made up In 1954, the return from farm products was about
almost 40 percent of the harvested crop acreage in evenly divided between crop sales and the sales of
1954. The acreage of corn and grain sorghum to- livestock and livestock products. Cattle and hogs
gether equaled the cotton acreage. These three crops (mainly cattle) account for 60 percent of livestock accounted for more than three-fourths of all harvested and livestock products sold. crops. Aside from a small acreage of vegetables and The trends reported appear to continue. For
peanuts, most of the remaining harvested crops were example, the cotton acreage in the area decreased hay and forage crops. another 50 percent during 1954-58. An increasing
The trend in land use has been to shift crop- proportion of the cotton acreage is being concentrated
land from row cro s to pasture and to close-seeded in the river bottoms and irrigated. The minor
p prairies are slowly moving toward a grazing economy.
forage and hay crops. Eighty-two percent of the crop- It seems inevitable that all upland, both sandy and land was in row crops in 1930, as compared with less prairie, eventually will be devoted to pasture and than 35 percent in 1954. If we assume that the land forage crops. An exception may be the continued no longer classed as cropland was returned to pasture use of limited acreages of deep sands for the producand add the cropland which was used only for pasture tion of specialty crops. The bottomlands will conin 1954, we find that 687,000 acres, or 56 percent of tinue to produce cotton to the extent permitted. With the land that was in crops in 1930, have been returned continuing restrictions on cotton production, the use to pasture. We believe that this acreage would be of these lands also will trend toward some system of
much larger had the census of 1930 been more com- livestock production.
plete. During the same period, forage sorghum and
hay rose from 30,000 to 91,000 acres. In addition to Area 17, Coast Prairie shifting land from cash crops to pasture, grazing re- The Coast Prairie comprises a strip of low lying,
sources are being increased substantially by clearing, practically flat land bordering the Gulf of Mexico seeding, fertilizing and other forms of pasture im- and extending northeastward from the Guadalupe provemcnt. River to the Louisiana line. Wide differences in soil
The changes in land use are reflected in the type, rainfall, conditions of drainage and in industrial
changes in livestock production. The number of beef development have resulted in mixed types of farming. cows in 1954 was more than six times the number in The soils that have agricultural significance are
1930. Milk cows decreased in numbers, but not in roughly classed into three groups: dark clays and clay
proportion to the decrease in farm numbers. As in loams, light colored sandy soils and the alluvial soils
47




Sub-area 17a includes seven counties in the high rainfall (45 to 50 inches) portion of the area from Galveston, Harris and Waller counties east. Only 62 percent of this portion of the area is in farms. There is a large acreage of marshy lands which serve mainly as a wildlife refuge and provide scant grazing for livestock.
Forty-three percent of the farmland is classed as cropland, but only 41 percent of the cropland was
4&
harvested in 1954. Most of the unharvested cropland ;44
is associated with rice production and is grazed when not in rice. This is what is generally known as the rice-pasture rotation. The acreage of cropland not harvested in 1954 was more than twice the acreage of rice harvested. This rice-pasture rotation accounts Figure 79. Seed, fertilizer, insecticide and herbicide are for more than 82 percent of the available cropland. distributed commonly by planes in the production of rice Cotton and corn together used less than 5 percent of on the Coast Prairie. Courtesy, Soil Conservation Service. the cropland, while hay and sorghum forage used 6.4 laid down by the Brazos, Colorado, Trinity and other percent. No other crops used as much as I percent
streams which flow through the area. The average of the cropland.
annual rainfall ranges from 35 inches in the west to Despite the emphasis on pastures, the sale of crops
more than 50 inches in the east. Until systematic (mostly rice) accounted for almost 74 percent and
drainage is provided, large portions of the area can livestock and livestock products 26 percent of the total
be used only for grazing. value of farm products sold in 1954. The sale of
Irrigation is practiced extensively in this area, dairy products made up almost half, and cattle sales
but it has been limited mainly to rice production. more than a third of the total value of livestock and
The drouth years of the early 1950's and the placing livestock products sold.
of restrictions on rice acreage in 1955 were followed Only 35 percent of the farms in 17a were classed
by a lively interest in the irrigation of cotton and as commercial. These were: cash grain (rice), 26
other crops. The principal source of irrigation water percent; livestock, 26 percent; dairy, 13 percent; cotis the streams that cross the area. However, about ton, 12 percent; poultry, 8.5 percent; general, 5 per25 percent of the irrigated acreage is watered from cent; and vegetable farms, 5 percent.
wells. Water conservation and the regulation of flow Despite the restrictions on crop production duron the main streams through the construction of dams ing the past 25 years, both the acreage of cropland
have added substantially to the amount of irrigation and of cropland harvested have been expanded in
water available. 17a. This is the result of rapid expansion in rice
Industrial growth and the accompanying popula- production during and after World War 11. The
tion increase provide a large and rapidly expanding record of rice production is one of almost continuous
market for farm products. expansion during the war and postwar period, resultFor more complete description, the area is divided ing mainly from the disruption of production and into two parts. distribution of rice in the Far East. This expansion
of rice production ended with the return of allotinents in 1955. The rice acreage in 1958 was only 60 percent of the peak acreage reached in 1954.
Since 1930, the trend in land use in this area has been toward more rice, pasture and forage crops and greatly reduced cotton and corn production. There also has been an intensification of production methods
-more fertilizers and insecticides, and other forms of capital. In addition to restrictions on cotton acreage, rapidly growing industries have competed for labor. The main part of industrial development on the Coast Prairie has been in this part of the area. Its population has more than doubled since 1930. There has not been, however, a corresponding increase in the production of truck crops and other perishables
Figure 80. Rice is the principal cash crop on the Coast which usually accompany a rapid population growth.
Prairie. Self-propelled combines and two-wheeled auger Accompanying these changes in land use, beef
carts permit harvesting in wet fields. Rice farmers com- cattle have doubled their numbers and commercial monly pool their equipment to speed up the harvest. dairying has expanded. There has been little change
48




in poultry production, while egg and pork production
have decreased. The demand for these products and
for a large part of the milk consumed is met by shipments from other areas.
There has been a slight decrease in the number
of farms since 1930. Almost two-thirds of the farms
reported in 1954 were part-time or residential farms.
More than half of all farms received more than half
of their income from off-farm sources.%:;
In view of its natural features and the influence
of rapidly expanding industry, the rice-pasture rotation probably will continue to dominate the agriculture of this part of the Coast Prairie.
Sub-area 17b includes all or parts of nine coun- Figure 81. Row crop production centering around cotton
ties. It differs from sub-area 17a in that the average constitutes the major use of the better drained dark clay
annul rinfal i les (3 to45 iche) ,the raiage and bottomland soils in sub-area l7b. Coast Prairie farmers annul rinfll i les (5 to45 nchs), he raiage have had more experience with mechanical cotton pickers is somewhat better and agriculture plays a much more than any other group in Texas.
important role in the economy of the area. As in
sub-area 1 7a, agriculture has expanded since 1930. The value of farm products sold in 1 7b in 1954
Almost 86 percent of the land is in farms, with was almost twice that of 17a. Crop sales made up about one-third of the farmland in cultivation. About almost 80 percent of the sale value of all farm prod62 percent of the cropland is harvested. ucts. The sale of livestock other than poultry and
Althughmor tha haf o th Texs rce rop dairy products (mostly cattle) was about three-fourths was produced in 17b, rice occupied only one-third of ofteoalvuefallisocanlvsokprd the harvested cropland. Most of the cotton produced ucts sold. on the Coast Prairie is grown in 17b. It accounted The extent to which agriculture dominates the
for 17 percent of the cropland, as compared With 20 economy of 17b is reflected in the very slow populapercent in rice. Corn, grain sorghum, hay and other tion increase since 1930. The nine counties had
forage crops make up most of the balance of the har- gained only 46,000 people by 1950. About half of vested cropland. The rice-pasture rotation uses more this increase was in Brazoria county and reflects its than half of the cropland. There is some shifting of nearness to the Galves ton- Harris county industrial rice land to row crops and vice-versa. The production complex. In contrast with 17a, almost 71 percent of of cotton and other row crops tends to be concentrated the farms in 1954 in 17b were classed as commercial. on the dark clays and clay loams and on bottomlands. About 59 percent of these commercial Earms were Rice is grown on any of the typical upland soils where cotton farms; 20 percent, livestock; 9 p rcent, cash irrigation water is available, grain or rice; 6 percent, general; and 4 percent,
The trend in land use has been from permanent poultry farms.
pasture to cropland and from row crops to the rice- This part of area 17 has long been considered
pasture rotation. The cotton acreage decreased about to have the greatest potential of any pait of Texas 47 percent and the corn acreage 25 percent during for rice, cotton and beef production. Tremendous
1930-54. An increase in the grain sorghum acreage amounts of any one or all of these commozlities could
more than made up for the decrease in corn acreage. be produced if the need arose. Proper drainage and
The rice acreage expanded to almost six times that irrigation would greatly enhance the arta's producof 1930, while hay and forage increased about 50 per- tivity. Further rapid industrial growth piobably will cent. A further decrease in the cotton acreage of develop because of its great mineral an i water reabout one-third has occurred since 1954. The rice sources and its favorable location with respect to
acreage is down about 40 percent, but the grain sor- transportation. Competition for labor will remain ghum acreage (probably in response to the introduc- keen. This will tend to favor the rice-past ire rotation tion of hybrids, and to restrictions on rice and cotton to the extent the demand for rice will permit. If we production) has increased to about four times the assume mechanical harvesting of cotton, the same
1954 acreage and is now the leading feed grain crop reasoning would apply to cotton. Therefore, it is in the area. concluded that agricultural developments in 17b will
Beef cattle have more than doubled in number. depend largely on what happens to the lemand for
Poultry and hog production have held their own, rice and cotton. Rice, cotton and cattle %ill continue
while the decrease in milk cows has been proportion- to be the main products of the area, while the producately greater than the decrease in number of farms. tion of milk, poultry, eggs and truck cro )s will conCommercial dairying has increased, judging from the tinue to be limited by industry's competition for sale of whole milk, labor.
49




IMPLICATIONS FOR THE FUTURE
It is certain that the agriculture of Texas will This concentration of people and economic and
continue to change. The forces that caused so much social functions in urban centers made possible mass
change, during and since World 11, are still operative. marketing through super-markets. This, in turn, A large amount of adjustment is still to be made. leads to the standardization of products in line with
Research and social and economic change throughout the qualities demanded by the consumer.
the world constantly releases new forces which will As in the past, success and even survival in farmresult in further adjustments in Texas agriculture. ing will depend to a large extent on the ability of
As these changes occur, rural and urban economic farm operators to keep themselves informed of market and social activities become more closely integrated. change and to adjust their operations accordingly. Increasing population, industrial growth providing Adjustments will not be easy because of the rapid
competition for farm labor, highway development, rate of change in the forces affecting agriculture and
rural electrification, consolidation of schools and to the difficulties involved in transferring labor and churches and improvements in communication already capital from one farm enterprise to another or from
have tended to minimize or erase cultural differences agricultural to non-agricultural uses. and bring rural and urban interests closer together.
These trends will result in a somewhat smaller These continuing adjustments will change the
farm population, more specialization, fewer and larger relative importance of the various types of farming commercial farms, more part-time farming and rural within Texas and within the type-of-farming areas.
residents, more off-farm employment for farm opera- Because of wide differences in physical characteristics, tors and members of their families and more inte- the delineations of the areas should remain relatively
gration of production and marketing functions. constant.
50




State-wide Research
The Texas Agricultural Experiment Station
is the public agricultural research agency
FIELDo' .....I of the State of Texas, and is one of the
CO0 PE-TI,.NG STTIONS
parts of the A&M College of Texas.
Location of field research units of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and cooperating
agencies
IN THE MAIN STATION, with headquarters at College Station, are 16 subjectmatter departments, 2 service departments, 3 regulatory services and the administrative staff. Located out in the major agricultural areas of Texas are 21 substations and 9 field laboratories. In addition, there are 14 cooperating O RG ANIZATIO N stations owned by other agencies. Cooperating agencies include the Texas
Forest Service, Game and Fish Commission of Texas, Texas Prison System, U. S. Department of Agriculture, University of Texas, Texas Technological College, Texas College of Arts and Industries and the King Ranch. Some experiments are conducted on farms and ranches and in rural homes.
THE TEXAS STATION is conducting about 400 active research projects, grouped in 25 programs, which include all phases of agriculture in Texas. Among these are:
Conservation and improvement of soil Beef cattle Conservation and use of water Dairy cattle
Grasses and legumes Sheep and goats
Grain crops Swine
O PERATIO N Cotton and other fiber crops Chickens and turkeys
Vegetable crops Animal diseases and parasites
Citrus and other subtropical fruits Fish and game Fruits and nuts Farm and ranch engineering
Oil seed crops Farm and ranch business
Ornamental plants Marketing agricultural products
Brush and weeds Rural home economics
Insects Rural agricultural economics
Plant diseases
Two additional programs are maintenance and upkeep, and central services.
results are carried to Texas farmers, AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH seeks the WHATS, the
Research rWHYS, the WHENS, the WHERES and the HOWS of hundreds of problems which confront operators of ranchmen and homemakers by county agents farms and ranches, and the many industries depending on or serving agriculture. Workers of the Main and specialists of the Texas Agricultural Ex- Station and the field units of the Texas Agricultural
Experiment Station seek diligently to find solutions to tension Service these problems.
Jodayls Ieearch As tomorrow i progress