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Marion County, Florida : Its Agriculture and Horticulture (956)
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Title: Marion County, Florida : Its Agriculture and Horticulture (956)
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Source Institution: University of Florida
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Full Text

Marion County




Information that will be helpful to
those who contemplate locating
S in this wonderful section.

Value of Agricultural Crops
of Marion County

Vegetables .--.....-----$3,000,000
Citrus Fruits ..-------. 2,000,000
Livestock ...-.....----- 1,600,000
Grain and Forage--.... 1,100,000
Peanuts .-........-----....... 600,000
Sweet Potatoes -...---... 450,000
Poultry and Eggs ..... 150,000
Sugar Cane .----......-. 150,000
Dairy Products ....-.... 75,000
Deciduous Fruits ...... 12,000

Issued by

Marion County Chamber of

Ocala, Florida

,) O oc)0omomoin)-in(O inC~O ()~ooinoomo(1



Introduction-------------------------------------------------- 3
Introduction .............................. ..... ......-...-..... -3
Beans, Snap ...................... .....------ 9
Building Costs ................................................--------............23
Cabbage ...-.... ......................... ................. .. 0
CtlBe------------~----------------- ------1
Cattle, Beef .............................. ..................... ...........19
Citrus Fruits ------.......----.....-..........-- ....------ 4
Corn ........................ .... .... ........................... 13
Corn, Sugar ......................... ...................................11
Cotton ................................................................... .....15
Cucum bers ..--................. .... ............................. 10
Dairying -............................-- .........-....- 19
Egg Plant ------....------------......... ---- -----...12
Field Crops -.............................--- ...........-- .12
Fruits, other than Citrus ---...---....--......................... 5
Gardens, Home ......-........ ............- ...............12
H ays -----......... ........... ... ................................................. 17
H ogs ................................... ......................................... 21
Labor ........................................................................... 23
Land Prices .--..............-- ----........................... 23
Lettuce .......................... ............ ........... 10
Livestock ........................ .......-- .. ............. ......18
Living, Cost of --.................. .....................---23
Machinery and Tools, Farm...................--.....---- .----24
M markets ...... ............... ......... .......................... 22
O-tk- 11

as u .............................................................................. 15
Pastures ......-- ........... --.........................15
Peanuts ......-......---............................13
Peppers -.........----- -----------.----..-----11
Potatoes, Sweet- ...................---...-...-.......-- --..-- 14
Poultry ........-.......... .. --.......... ......... .....20
Rainfall ................................... .. ..............23
Soils ....................................... ..........................-- 21
Squash .- ........ ... .. ................. .................11
Sugar Cane ...................--....................-- 14
Temperatures, Seasonal ..............................................----------23
Tomatoes ----.-----...-----__-.-----.- ---------- 7
Watermelons -..........---------...--- .... .--------...... 8
Water Supply ...-............--- ..,........ ....23


In this booklet an effort is made to present
authoritative information concerning the more im-
portant agricultural and horticultural crops of Mar-
ion County, Florida. The booklet has been prepared
from data gathered by Mr. K. C. Moore, former
County Agent, who entered private business a few
months ago, and by Mr. C. R. Hiatt, present Coun-
ty Agent, who comes well recommended. Numer-
ous farmers have been consulted who have made
a success of each particular crop, therefore making
the data doubly authoritative. The facts presented
are necessarily of a more or less general character,
but it is believed they will prove helpful.
Success in Florida, as elsewhere, is attained as
the result of hard work and a thorough knowledge
of crops and conditions, but here life has many com-
pensating attractions. It is advisable to have suffi-
cient capital to purchase the farm or grove, to
equip it, and to carry one through the period of
learning local conditions, although many have
started in Florida in a small way and attained con-
spicuous success. The best way to find out what
any country is like is to visit it.
The County Agent will gladly help in every way
possible anyone locating or intending to locate in
the county. The county has a Home Demonstration
Agent who will be glad to help. The farmers and
growers of Marion County are always glad to help.
The Marion County Chamber of Commerce will
be of any assistance it can. The County Agent will
gladly recommend and send to anyone interested the
best bulletins of the U. S. Department of Agricul-
ture and Florida Experiment Station on the vari-
ous crops.
A detailed description of Marion County is given
in a beautiful illustrated booklet of forty-eight
pages, which can be had for the asking.
Those who contemplate locating in the county
and engaging in some form of agriculture will
find it most profitable to consult with the County
Agricultural Agent and the Home Demonstration
Agent, who have an office in the county courthouse
in Ocala and respond to calls from all parts of the
county. The work of the County Agent covers such
problems as the selection of a farm or grove, equip-
ment, adaptation of crops, cultivation, fertilizing,
control of pests, care of livestock, assisting with
farmers' organizations, boys' club work, assistance
in taking up problems with the U. S. Department
of Agriculture and the Florida Experiment Station.
The work of the Home Demonstration Agent in-
cludes home planning and equipping, women's and
girls' clubs, canning and preserving, cooking, prepa-
ration of menus, food values, household economics,
home beautification, sewing, millinery, and assist-
ance in taking up problems with the federal and
state departments and bureaus.


The citrus fruit industry is one of the most
important in Marion County. Oranges, grapefruit,
lemons, limes, Satsumas and tangerines are grown
here. Many of the finest groves in Florida are lo-
cated in Marion County. Marion County has ad-
vantages over other sections for the growing of
citrus fruits. A high quality of fruit both in flavor
and color is produced here, packing fifty to seventy-
five per cent first grade and better, a large propor-
tion being fancy fruit. Marion County fruit is ready
for market early. The Parson Brown orange is
ready for shipping several weeks earlier than or-
anges of other sections. In 1922 these oranges
passed the maturity test required by the pure food
law on August 28th. The farther north any fruit
can be grown the earlier it.will ripen and the finer
eating quality it will have. The Pineapple orange
is ready for the market November to February.
The grapefruit and tangerine are also ready early.
The two most successful oranges grown in Flor-
ida were developed in Marion County, the "Pine-
apple," which originated near Sparr and was de-
veloped at Citra, and the "Parson Brown," which
originated in Sumter County but was developed on
the shores of Lake Weir in Marion County. This
county is nearer the market and therefore enjoys
lower freight rates on fruit. Because of heavier
soil here, less commercial fertilizer is required.
There are fewer diseases and insects in this section.
Spraying is necessary, however. Trees are hardier.
In the future, high quality in citrus fruits will mean
more and more as the production increases, and
Marion County is confident of finding markets for
the majority of its fruits. This is the original home
of the sour orange. The first budded groves in
Florida were budded on sour orange roots of trees
found growing wild in this county. Sour orange
stock is the most important stock used for citrus
culture. Marion County nursery stock for this rea-
son is much in demand.
It is a fact highly significant and noteworthy
that the orange grove properties in Marion County,
so many of which are now changing hands, are be-
ing bought by growers who are thoroughly famil-
iar with the citrus fruit industry in Florida, by buy-
ers that handle the fruit out of this section, and by
persons who have been residents of this section for
many years.
The citrus groves of this county, like those of
all other sections of Florida and California, are
subject to damage during certain years from cold
weather. These severe freezes are very infrequent.
The freezes that have affected the citrus industry in
Florida have done no more damage in this county
than in others. Because of the possibility of dam-
age from cold, it is advisable here, as elsewhere, to
plant groves on the higher lands and with water
protection where possible.
The following figures will give a general idea of
the cost of producing oranges in this county. Land
$50 to $200 an acre, with higher prices for the more
favorable locations. Clearing $10 to $75 an acre,
the hammock lands costing the most to clear. Fenc-
ing $20 to $25 an acre, varying with the kind of
fence and market price of materials. Trees 50c to
$2.00 each. Cost of planting about 15c per tree.
Cultivating and fertilizing $30 to $75 an acre, the
latter figure being about the cost when the grove

has reached its seventh year. On the heavier soils
groves have been brought into bearing in this coun-
ty without the use of commercial fertilizer. The
use of fertilizer is advisable, however. In mature
groves it costs from 50c to 80e a box to produce
fruit. About 70 trees to the acre are usually
planted. The yield per tree will run from about
a half box to a box the fourth year to three to four
boxes the seventh year. Mature trees will yield
as high as 15 boxes each. The average approxi-
mate return for the fruit is about $1.50 per box on
the trees. Picking, hauling and packing costs 75c
to $1.00 per box. Extra fancy fruit from this county
has sold as high as $14.25 a box at auction in New
York. During the 1922-23 season, Marion County
shipped more than 560,000 boxes of citrus fruits.
The fruit brought an average of $3.50 a box, f. o. b.
shipping points, or something like $1,960,000. This
did not include express shipments nor sales on the
local markets.
Citrus fruit is marketed through the Florida
Citrus Exchange, a cooperative organization, and
through independent packing houses and marketing
The country home in Marion County is not com-
plete without such fruits as figs, muscadine grapes,
strawberries, black-berries, blue-berries, pecans,
peaches, Japanese persimmons, loquats, guavas and
bananas, as well as the citrus, oranges, grapefruit,
tangerines, lemons, and limes; all of which are
grown in Marion County to the greatest perfection
of quality and appearance. Pears, plums and bunch
grapes are also grown both in home orchards and
commercially, though they have not proven alto-
gether satisfactory, largely because the growers
have not understood the art of producing them
FIGS. No one can appreciate figs who has not
eaten them fresh. Because of their delicate struc-
ture and the difficulty of shipping them into mar-
ket, figs have been grown mostly for home con-
sumption and preserving. They are one of our most
delicious fruits and all varieties can be grown here.
There are a few orchards of small extent, but figs
are usually planted near the house in the home gar-
den or yard. They are susceptible to nematode at-
tacks and heavy mulching with little or no cultiva-
tion is advisable. With a careful selection of varie-
ties figs can be had here from June to November.
BUNCH GRAPES. There has been quite a lot
of interest in the State for some time in developing
commercial vineyards for shipping grapes to the
large markets. The limited quantities that have
been produced heretofore have sold well not only
within the State, but have brought extremely satis-
factory prices in northern markets. In a recent
bulletin issued by the Florida Experiment Station,
the soil types described as being desirable are "well
drained sandy loam, rich in humus and nitrogen,
and with a more or less compact subsoil." It is
conceded that there are larger acreages of this kind
of soils in Marion County than in any other county
in the State. In many of the original growth ham-
mock lands are to be found wild grapes growing in
great luxuriance. The Carmen variety has been
considered the favorite for Florida. It has made
most satisfactory growth and given best returns in
sections south of Marion County, and there are
more acres of this variety planted here than of all

others. But it seems that the Ellen Scott, Ives,
Niagara, R. W. Munson, and Csaba, are well adapted
to our climate and soils and bid fair to become fa-
vorites. The industry has so recently been under
scientific care and observation that there has not
at this writing been worked out any positive proof
of what is best to standardize upon as our most
valuable sort.
MUSCADINE GRAPES are natives of the South.
The variety called Scuppernong, which is a white
or bronze color, is the favorite, though the Black
Thomas, James, etc., are highly prized and grown
especially for market, as they grow more berries
in the bunches, that are always small. The berries
of these grapes are large and have a rather tough
skin, but they are juicy and of a wonderfully pleas-
ing flavor. These grapes are usually grown on ar-
bors, though they do well on trellis.
STRAWBERRIES are grown both for shipment
to market and for home use. There are soils that
seem exactly adapted to strawberry growing,
though most of the high sandy soils are unfit for
this fruit. Berries of a remarkable appearance and
eating quality are produced, and they come early-
January, February and March.
wild in all sections of the county. A few men have
planted and cultivated sorts of these berries with
best of results. These are larger and of better
flavor. When put on the markets they always
bring satisfactory prices. Wild blackberries sell for
20c a quart in the local markets, while the culti-
vated varieties and blue-berries bring a much high-
er price. There are now no growers that ship these
berries from this county, but they offer possibilities
of good returns. They yield very heavily.
* PECANS. There are several pecan orchards in
this county. Some of them have yielded remark-
able profits while others have not done so well.
They require cultivation, fertilizing and spraying
just as other orchards and groves do, and very few
of the growers seem to realize this. One seedling
tree near Santos has become very well known and
has been accepted as the parent of a variety called
"Liddon" by the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
PEACHES. There are several varieties of
peaches being grown in Marion County. The
"Jewel" and "Honey" are favorites. Peaches do very
well on soils that are not infected with nematodes.
On such soils it is better to have peaches grown on
wild plum stock. The earliness of peaches grown
in Florida permits getting fancy prices for them.
There are some quite large commercial peach or-
chards in the southeastern sections of the county,
and almost every farmstead has a few trees.
JAPANESE PERSIMMONS are grown to per-
fection both for home use and for shipping. One
of our successful farmers has several varieties
budded in the native wild persimmon trees that
grow abundantly in his wood lot and pasture fields
and along the fence rows.
LOQUATS. The loquat tree is usually used as
an ornamental, being planted in the gardens near
the house. It is very showy and has blossoms of
wonderful spicy fragrance. The fruits are used
for canning as well as eaten fresh.
GUAVAS are found in almost every farm gar-
den. They are very vigorous growers and yield
abundantly over a long ripening season. The fruit
is used both for desserts and for canning and mak-
ing jellies and marmalades called pastes. They are

not often grown on a large scale, though there is
an extensive grove at Weirsdale, from which fruit
is shipped to many large markets. The demand is
limited for guavas as fresh fruit. There are sev-
eral varieties.
BANANAS. Though there are now no commer-
cial banana plantings in Marion County, there are
a few plants to be found wherever the soil condi-
tions warrant their being planted. Some raise all
the bananas that they want and a few bunches for
sale. The Cavendish and Lady Finger varieties
are most prized.
Marion County is one of the most important
tomato growing sections in the United States. The
quality of the tomato produced in this section is
high. It carries exceptionally well. It is generally
conceded that the best quality of tomatoes shipped
out of Florida are from this county. The highland
soils of this county are not subject to flooding.
Marion has an advantage in freight rates by rea-
son of a shorter haul. The crop of this section is
shipped after the East Coast and Manatee tomato
sections are about through shipping and before
Mississippi and Texas are ready.
The "Florida Special" and the "Early Detroit"
are the most popular varieties grown in this sec-
tion. A number of growers plant the "Globe" and
consider it the best. It seems that the "Detroits"
are growing more in popularity each season, and
they are perhaps the leading variety. The seed is
planted in the field from February 1st to 10th.
The crop is marketed about May 15th. It is planted
on hammock lands and heavy pine lands. New
land is better than old. The fertilizer used is usu-
ally 5-7-5. About one thousand pounds to the acre
is used in three applications, the first ten days be-
fore planting, second about thinning-out time, and
the last about the time the fruit sets. Constant
cultivation is necessary, especially in dry weather.
The crop should be sprayed with Bordeaux and
some arsenical poison, such as arsenate of lead, ten
days from blooming and every ten days thereafter.
If thrips seriously attack the blooms, nicotine sul-
phate should be used as a spray to destroy them.
Some of the best growers report that regular
spraying with Bordeaux mixture acts as a stimulus
to the plant, and the increased yield pays all ex-
pense of spraying-this aside from any disease
The yield averages 75 to 200 crates per acre. It
costs about $75 an acre to produce the crop, includ-
ing labor. About 60c per crate is figured for har-
vesting, packing and marketing. On an average
it costs about $1 to put a crate of tomatoes on the
market. Prices obtained will average one to four
dollars on open market. As high as $4.50 a crate
is obtained. The Marion County tomato packs 120
to 144 fancy, 180 and 108 choice, with 144 the best
A considerable part of the tomato crop of the
county is grown under contract each year. The
contract price will run about $1 to $1.25 per field
crate, with about $10 an acre in advance. In this
case the cost of marketing and packing is usually
borne by the buyer. When tomatoes are produced
on the share crop plan, one man furnishes land and
stock and the other fertilizer and seed. The cost
of picking and packing is fifty-fifty and the pro-
ceeds are split fifty-fifty.

One of the county's successful tomato growers
in 1921 received around $15,000 for tomatoes off
forty acres of his own and off twenty acres share-
cropped; in 1919 $15,000 from forty-five acres; in
1918 over $6,000 from twenty acres; in 1917 over
$7,000 from twenty acres, and he had been getting
good returns in years prior to that. Marion County
shipped more than 1,000 cars of tomatoes in 1923,
the returns being $2 to $4.50 per crate f. o. b. ship-
ping point, or something like $1,275,000. In 1923
there were 28 packing houses operating on toma-
toes. Though the season was adverse the crop was
the largest in the history of the industry in this
county. The selling facilities were also the best.
In two communities there are growers' cooperative
organizations for marketing and this plan is so
successful that it is attracting wide attention.
About 7,000 acres in tomatoes were planted in the
county in 1923 and this acreage is expected to in-
crease greatly.
Tomatoes are grown in practically every section
of the county.
Thousands of acres of land in Marion County
now unused are well adapted to raising early water-
melons. The kinds of soil preferred are high pine
lands and high hammocks that have been cut over
and "lain out" idle for a few years. It is not con-
sidered safe to plant melons in fields that have
grown them within seven or eight years.
Commercial fertilizers are necessary for profit-
able watermelon growing. It is used at the rate
of 600 to 1,000 pounds per acre, and is put into
the soil in two or three applications. The average
formula is 5-8-5.
The variety most used for shipping is the Tom
Watson, though in recent years the Irish Grey is
rapidly gaining favor with the consumers and con-
sequently also with the growers of Marion County.
The good prices obtaining for several seasons has
caused growers to ship their entire output and the
quality of seed has deteriorated in the Watson
melon. This is mentioned by way of warning
planters to be sure of planting good seed only.
Melons are planted as soon as the growers can
take the risk of frost. Some are planted as early
as the middle of January, though the middle of
February is a safer date. Every week following
more seed are put in the same hills until three or
four plantings are made. This is done to get the
quickest possible stand in case the first are frosted.
Shipping begins May 20th to June 10th. The aver-
age yield has been about one car to two and a half
acres, though yields of a car per acre have been
made. Melons are highly dependent on weather
conditions as to their growth and size.
The cultivation of melons is not expensive but
should be rapid. It is necessary to spray the vines
to prevent injury and loss from anthracnose and
aphids or plant lice. Vines are thinned to one per
hill and the small melons are pruned off, leaving
only one or two melons per vine. The season of
1923 was the worst from the grower's standpoint
that we have ever had on account of the continued
rain for weeks before the shipping season, thus
making ideal conditions for the development of lice
and anthracnose and downy mildew. And yet some
few growers who were prepared to do it demon-
strated that these pests can be controlled by proper
methods and attention to the work.

The average cost of producing watermelons is
about $50 per acre, and prices vary with the size
of melons and earliness. The prices average about
$150 a car, with some cars of early and extra fine
melons selling for $600 to $800.
Watermelons are grown in practically every sec-
tion of the county.
Snap (or as they are in some sections called,
string) beans have come to be a regularly counted
upon truck crop in Marion County.
They are grown on any of the good trucking
soils. Soils must be fertile, of loamy character and
retentive of moisture during the growing season.
Water-logged soils will not do.
On all soils a good grade of trucking fertilizer,
analyzing about 4-8-5, is used, at the rate of 400
to 600 pounds per acre. Where beans have not
been previously grown a bacterial inoculation will
be found profitable.
A grower at Anthony reports that on high
hammock land with clay sub-soil he has produced
seventy hampers and upwards per acre. The "Giant
Stringless" variety was planted March 12th. He
used 400 pounds per acre of 5-7-5 fertilizer. The
beans were harvested April 26th to May 12th. The
total cost was $52 for the first two acres and they
gave a net profit of 70c per hamper, with 70
hampers per acre. This is a low average. A
grower at McIntosh produced 200 hampers per acre.
The following letter from a grower at Citra
gives perhaps the best data that can be had on
"In this immediate section beans are grown on
various soils, but we find they do best on damp
loam, not clay. Fertilizers for best results on loam
soil, I find, analyze something like 5-8-4. The fer-
tilizer should be well mixed with the soil, broad-
cast on beds and harrowed in so plants will get
food as needed.
"The time we plant for spring crop varies from
February 15th to March 1st, and for fall Septem-
ber 10th to October 10th, sometimes later but no
earlier. We expect to begin picking April 15th to
"On our best land we get 75 to 200 hampers.
Seasons and conditions of market have something
to do with the number of hampers. If good we
pick more.
"It costs no more in the fall to produce a given
number of beans than in the spring-more grass
and weeds to contend with. Fall beans follow corn.
For instance, my land is now (October, 1921) grow-
ing its second crop of beans, having made a crop
of corn between the spring and fall beans. By De-
cember 15th I expect to have a crop of cabbage
growing on this land. All stalks, vines, grass,
weeds, etc., are turned back into the soil.
"The average cost of growing is about 50c per
hamper and the gathering and hamper another 50c,
which will make about $1.00 per hamper cost f.o.b.
"The average price would judge to be around
$2.50 f.o.b. New York. You understand that this is
my personal view-not official.
"The varieties grown at this point are Pearl and
Davis, both wax. Very few green beans are grown
"Green varieties grown around this section are
'Giant Stringless,' 'Green Pod,' 'Early Speckled

Valentine' and 'Early Refugee.' It will require
about three pecks of seed per acre."
Beans are grown in practically every section of
the county.
Cabbage stands high among the truck crops of
the county. Two crops are planted in the fall, an
early and a late. Rich hammock soils, well sup-
plied with moisture, are best for this crop. The
Charleston Wakefield and Long Island Wakefield
varieties are planted !s an early crop and are
ready to ship December to January. Late varieties
planted are Henderson, Succession, and Flat Dutch,
and are ready to ship February to April. The aver-
age yield is about 200 hampers to the acre. Yields
of 300 hampers are known. It costs about 50c a
hamper to produce. The average prices obtained
are $1.00 per hamper. As high as $3.50 has been
obtained. The crop is usually sold f. o. b. shipping
point. Cabbage is grown in the fall and winter
when little else is being. planted. The seed is usu-
ally planted in beds and the plants reset. The
methods of cultivation are about what are used
elsewhere. Being a winter crop, the cultivation is
not so intensive. The sections of the county special-
izing in this crop are those around Boardman, Mc-
Intosh, Orange Lake, Fairfield, Flemington, Irvine,
Lowell, Summerfield, and Belleview.
Lettuce is one of Marion County's most impor-
tant truck crops. The seed are planted in the fall
from September to December and the harvesting
extends from late December to April.
The Big Boston is practically the only variety
used. Some growers have at times used California
Iceberg. White Cos is also grown to a limited ex-
Three hundred crates per acre is the average
yield and nine hundred crates are the record. The
average price per crate f. o. b. is $1.00. Much bet-
ter prices are obtained. It costs about $100 an acre
to make lettuce. A top price of $10 a crate is re-
The best lettuce soils are moist dark sandy
loams, The best growers try to provide stable
manure for this crop and in addition use a large
quantity of high grade commercial fertilizer.
Where the manure is not available cotton seed meal
is used. The grade of the commercial fertilizer is
something like 5-8-6. One thousand to two thou-
sand pounds per acre are used.
Lettuce is grown in 18-inch rows with plants
twelve inches in the drill. Some growers plant
twelve by twelve inches. The cultivation as with
other truck should be almost continuous. The sec-
tions of the county specializing in lettuce are McIn-
tosh, Orange Lake, Boardman, Flemington, An-
thony, Fairfield, and Citra.
Cucumbers are planted both in the spring and
the fall. The acreage planted is increasing as it
has been found to be a profitable crop and adapted
to growth in many sections of the county.
The best cucumber soils are moist loams that do
not get too wet. If available, stable manure should
be used for cucumbers and also 1,000 to 1,500
pounds 5-8-6 fertilizers per acre.
The White Spine varieties are favorite. The
seed are planted in February and March for the

spring crop and September 10th to 20th for fall
crop, in hills five to six feet apart each way.
Many growers drill the seed in and thin them to
stand fifteen to thirty inches in the drill.
The cost of producing and marketing an acre
of cucumbers is about $75 to $80. They yield as
high an average as 300 crates or hampers per acre,
though as high as 700 hampers have been grown.
The average price is around $1.25 per crate. Much
higher prices are obtained. A crop can usually be
sold on contract, or it can be sold to buyers where
the local acreage is large enough to attract them.
Cucumbers require spraying for best returns.
The sections of the county that specialize in cucum-
bers are those around Fairfield, Blitchton, Fleming-
ton, Lowell, McIntosh, Orange Lake, Martin, Red-
dick, Martel, Romeo, Irvine, and just south of Ocala.
Yellow crook neck squash are raised in several
trucking sections of Marion. The market is limited
and the acreage is never large. They are raised in
both spring and fall and shipped mostly to south-
ern cities, though some go by boat from Jackson-
ville to New York.
It is a quick crop and requires 300 to 600 pounds
per acre of a readily soluble and available truck
fertilizer rich in nitrates. They are usually planted
about February 15th.
The yield is 150 to 300 boxes or hampers per
acre. It is very dependent on good seasonable con-
ditions. The average net returns are about $1.00
per hamper.
This is a promising crop. It is planted here
about February 15th and is ready for market about
eight weeks after planting. The favorite varieties
are Stowell Evergreen, Snow Flake, and Adam's
Early. The planting is in four to five foot rows and
thinned to about 12 to 15 inches. Fertilizer used
is about 3-6-3, 200 pounds applied before planting
and 200 pounds about time of tasselling. The yield
is around 100 crates per acre. The net return will
average $1.00 per crate.
Special care is needed in getting the corn cooled
as soon as possible after putting it into the car.
Some of the shippers are working this problem
out by putting one to three tons of broken ice over
the crates after they are stripped into the car. The
establishment of pre-cooling plants is being consid-
There are not many acres devoted to peppers in
Marion County, though soil conditions would war-
rant their more extensive planting. There are
some very successful pepper growers and the crop
has the advantage of a very long bearing season,
and being not very perishable, peppers are profit-
Okra is quite widely grown in small acreage.
The markets for this crop are mostly southern
cities and consequently the demand is not very
heavy, especially after the home and truck gar-
dens around these cities come into bearing. Still
there are thousands of crates of okra shipped out
of Marion each year.

This crop corresponds to peppers in acreage and
importance. A few truckers have done well with
eggplant as a fall crop. But this has not been a
widely planted crop.
Some kind of fresh vegetable can be had every
day of the year in Marion County. There are
farmers and others who have large lots in the
towns and city who have something from their own
gardens all the time. Mid-summer is the only time
that they have difficulty in obtaining home garden
products, but with care and by following the ad-
vice of those who know how, these difficulties can
be overcome. The commercial truckers do not at-
tempt anything at this season because it has not
been found generally profitable, but a home garden
is a different proposition.
Animal manures are the most desirable sources
of fertility for the home garden, though some fer-
tilizing materials, carrying more potash and more
phosphate, are necessary to obtain the most eco-
nomical returns from investment in the project.
These can be had from local fertilizer dealers. If
animal manures cannot be had, green manures of
grasses, weeds and legumes do fairly well, and
there are for sale fertilizers that contain such ma-
terials as cotton seed meal, goat manure and sheep
manure that are very good.
At all times of the year one must be prepared to
combat insect and disease pests, though these are
not more destructive here than elsewhere, and it
must be borne in mind that there is no mystery
about using spraying outfits and materials.
A well planned and well kept home garden will
furnish much of the food for any family and will
reduce by so much the cost of living. Poor peo-
ple can enjoy vegetables as well as those in better
financial circumstances. In the south both sweet
and Irish potatoes form a large part of the diet,
thus furnishing carbohydrates and in some degree
taking the part of bread, while several kinds of
beans and peas furnish proteins and fats. There
are some kinds of vegetables used in Florida that
are seldom, if ever, seen in northern markets, for
example, the chayote, dasheen, and yam.
Marion County has for a long time enjoyed the
undisputed reputation of being the best. general
farming county in Florida. The things said in the
following pages, which have been carefully consid-
ered and conservatively stated, prove the truthful-
ness of this reputation. Any crop that can be
grown elsewhere in Florida can be grown here
with the possible exception of a few tropical fruits
that are produced in the extreme south.
The list of farm crops is a long one, but it is
often the case that farmers attempt to produce
things here that they are accustomed to "back
home", such as wheat and alfalfa, and make a fail-
ure because these things are not adapted to condi-
tions. Or they will try to grow. a crop on a type
of soil that is utterly unfit for it. Settlers from
other states should invariably consult successful
farmers here who have been farming long enough
in the section to give reliable advice. People have
been coming to Florida for nearly a hundred years
and every year someone thinks he is going to grow

something that he grew back home in the way that
he grew it there as if it had not been attempted
here before, or as if others did not know as much
about it as he. And every year there have been
sad disillusionments to these experimenters (see
U. S. D. A. Farmers Bulletin No..1289).
No one should allow himself to be persuaded
that he can make good doing general farming on a
small acreage.
This standard grain crop is grown throughout
the county on all types of soil. On the muck lands
an average yield of 100 bushels per acre is actually
harvested in normal seasons. Lawton Martin, corn
club boy of Moss Bluff, for four successive years,
made over 100 bushels of corn per acre on this
type of soil. This kind of land can be leased in al-
most any size tracts.
In 1918 the average yield of the club boys over
the county on all types of soils was 48 3/10 bushels
at an average cost of 32c per bushel.
On the better types of soil, other than muck
land, with considerable humus content, commercial
fertilizers can be used profitably. Soils that natu-
rally will not yield over twenty bushels of corn per
acre should not be considered corn soils and will
not pay a profit on fertilizers other than manure.
In 1921 a grower produced a little over 200
bushels of corn on eight acres of high hammock
land with clay sub-soil without the use of any kind
of fertilizer. This corn was planted April 1st and
matured September 1st to 15th. The cost of produc-
tion was $13.50 an acre. This field would have no
doubt warranted the use. of commercial fertilizer.
Furthermore, the season of 1921 was the driest
known in many years and the yield was badly cut.
In 1920 a grower near McIntosh produced an aver-
age yield of 52 bushels an acre on a field of 40
acres. The same man has done better than this
on small acreages.
The general practice in growing corn is to plant
in wide rows, six to eight feet apart, and to
grow peanuts, peas or velvet beans in the middles,
and sometimes in the drill with the corn. This
practice is a good one, especially when the field is
to be pastured. It will be readily appreciated that
rows as wide as six feet cannot contain as many
plants per acre as those close together.
On most farms corn can be grown at a much
less cost per bushel than the market price. It is
extremely risky to plant seed from northern states.
A few scientifically trained farmers are doing
good seed selection work and improved native
grown seed can be had.
The corn weevil does great damage to stored
corn throughout the winter months, but this can
be eliminated by fumigating the corn in tight cribs,
the extra cost of which will be repaid by one sea-
son's saving.
Peanuts rank next to corn in importance as a
field crop. Most of them are pastured off as a part
of the hog fattening system. However, many car
loads are shipped out of the county each year.
Peanuts are frequently planted to follow oats
or some truck crop. Pine lands with clay sub-soil
are considered the best soil types for peanuts,
though with proper fertilization they will produce

well on most soil types that are used as farms.
Acid phosphate and land plaster are to be chiefly
relied upon as commercial fertilizers. Two to four
hundred pounds per acre of acid phosphate, ap-
plied before planting, will aid materially in improv-
ing the crop. On most soils the use of 400 to 600
pounds of land plaster or gypsum per acre will pay.
The land plaster is scattered over the rows of vines
at about the time they begin to bloom. This will
make the nuts fill well, thus preventing so many
"pops". The Florida Experiment Station recom-
mends 100 to 200 pounds of Kainit, and 200 to 300
pounds of Acid Phosphate per acre.
Yields of more than 75 bushels per acre have
been made in Marion County. One grower in 1921
averaged 50 bushels per acre harvested from 24
acres. In 1922 the same grower got $2.00 per bush-
el for a larger crop. Besides the nuts, he baled in
1921 about ten tons of good peanut vine hay. An-
other farmer planted ten acres May 10th, following
a good crop of oats. October 15th he harvested 250
bushels of peanuts and five tons of hay. Forty
head of hogs and pigs were then turned into the
field and it carried them thirty days on the pea-
nuts left in the ground.
Peanuts are frequently planted in the corn fields
between the wide rows of corn. The best of the
corn is sometimes gathered, and the hogs are then
turned into the fields to do the harvesting of pea-
nuts and off-grade corn.
The Florida Runner is the variety most used as
pasturage, because of the fact that the nuts keep
well in the soil till late winter, and the variety is
a heavy yielder. Some small Spanish are planted
for a quick maturing crop for early summer and
fall grazing by hogs.
A few farmers have tried the Virginia Bunch
peanut, but the marketing conditions for this va-
riety are not satisfactory.
Sweet potatoes are grown by almost every farm-
er in Marion County. The Porto Rico variety is
the general favorite, though there are several well-
known kinds that are preferred by individuals.
Porto Ricos will yield from 100 to 400 bushels per
acre and sell at 75c to $1.50 per bushel.
Some few farmers have been growing the Big
Stem Jersey potato for shipping to northern mar-
kets in June and early July, when the prices are ex-
ceptionally attractive. The yields are not uniform-
ly satisfactory, but it is hoped that with more ex-
perience this objection will be overcome. A net re-
turn of $250.00 per acre has been realized.
The practice of selecting seed sweet potatoes in
the fields has been emphasized for the past two sea-
sons by the Agricultural Agent, and some remark-
able results obtained. One farmer selected some
seed potatoes in 1921. The yield from these in 1922
was slightly over three times as much as from seed
saved in the usual way; the fertilization and culti-
vation and soil for both parts of the field were the
Sugar cane is grown for manufacturing into
table syrup on the farm and supplying the home
needs primarily. However, there are a number of
farmers who make this their money crop, and do
very well, as they make a most desirable product
that brings return orders each succeeding season.

Yields of from 300 to 600 gallons per acre are
made. The price varies from 40c to $1.00 per
Sugar cane is a long season crop, being planted
in January or February and being harvested from
November to January. The roots are not killed by
cold weather in this climate, and by renewed culti-
vation and fertilization a second, third and fourth
crop may be grown without replanting, on some
soils. This crop is usually highly fertilized, either
by cowpen manure or commercial fertilizers.
In years before the Cotton Boll Weevil came
into this section the cotton crop was one of the
staples. Yields of a bale of ginned cotton per acre
were not at all unusual, and that on large acreages.
This can be done now if proper precautions are
taken to control the weevils.
Long staple, or Sea Island, cottons made up the
bulk of the plantings. One farmer told the writer
that in 1917 his entire cotton crop netted him
$100.00 per acre. He did not state what kind or
variety he grew.
Very little attention has been given to the im-
provement of pastures in most parts of the South.
Marion County has been no exception to this rule.
In the past the open ranges have been the pastures,
and most of this land is fairly well covered with
wire grass, several paspalums, some little Japan
clover, and a large number of other varieties.
There have been a few remarkable pastures
seeded and developed in other sections of Florida,
and some of these on lands not naturally as well
adapted to grasses as some in Marion County. The
most successful of these are sodded with Dallis
grass (paspalum dilatum) and Bahia grass.
A few seedings of small amounts of Dallis grass,
Molasses grass, Bahia grass and Jaragua grass
were made in the spring of 1922. The Dallis, Mo-
lasses and Bahia were fairly successful. The mo-
lasses is an annual plant. One cattleman drilled
three rows of molasses grass across a home pas-
ture lot in April. His "family cow" grazed in this
lot till the molasses grass outgrew her cropping
and made seed. The owner then put 20 beef cattle
in the lot to graze it down and carry the seed back
into his large pasture, which they did in a few
days. But in spite of all this the grass afterward
outgrew the family cow and seeded again in Octo-
ber and at this time it had a growth of three feet.
The lady of the house stated that her cow grazed
on this grass practically all the time as she liked
it. The rows were about 100 yards long each and
four feet apart. A dairyman in spring of 1922
seeded three rows of Bahia in a small lot that his
cows and large flock of hens had constant access
to. It made practically no show until the next win-
ter months, but in a warm spell of. January showed
up so green as to attract attention. It has since
held its own and spread in spite of the closest pas-
Dallis is coming up as volunteer in many places,
and is proving its ability to compete with Bermuda,
St. Augustine and nut grass. Some few pastures
of Dallis are being tried out. The Florida Experi-
ment Station highly recommends Bahia and Dallis
for this section. At the Experiment Staion Bahia
has done remarkably well on some of the poorer

and drier soils. It is deep rooted and drouth resis-
tant. It also stands cold weather well.
Bermuda grass and a few varieties of paspa-
lums, called blanket grass and carpet grass, are
very valuable pasture grasses for Marion County.
They are serving not only the dairy men and cat-
tle men, but the poultry men as well.
SORGHUMS. Almost any variety of sweet and
non-saccharine sorghum will yield well on the good
lands in Marion County. The yield will depend
upon the quality of soil and moisture conditions.
These crops should be planted at such a time as
that they will begin maturing the seed after the
rainy season of July and August, else the seed
heads will mould. They make excellent dry forage
if well cured in shocks. They are very frequently
planted in combination with field peas and in the
thick growth that results a finer quality of stem is
made. Sorghums are also used for silage, a com-
bination of the red head sweet sorghum and kaffir
making an excellent quality of feed. Yields of 25
tons of silage per acre are not unusual. Sweet
sorghums are also used for the manufacture of
table syrups with a peculiarly pleasing flavor or
"tang." The matured heads of all varieties make
excellent poultry feed. The hens get some pleas-
ant exercise in picking out the grains. Mature
sorghum and kaffir corn are used by some farmers
as soiling crops. In a few cases work stock is fed
solely the cut sorghum and kaffir during late
summer and fall.
CAT TAIL MILLET. This crop is not usually
planted for hay, but is cut as a green soiling crop
before it begins to head out to make seed. How-
ever, a good quality and a very large tonnage per
acre of hay can be produced here. It is an annual
and will, if periodically cut as it grows, keep send-
ing up leafage and shoots during the whole season
provided the moisture is sufficient, and it is on a
fertile soil, or fertility is supplied. It is palatable
and nutritious. Dairy cattle especially like the green
cut millet, and produce a richly colored milk on it.
One dairyman near Ocala planted it in September
for late fall green forage.
binations and proportions make fair cuttings with-
out any seeding following such crops as melons,
cantaloupes, tomatoes, beans, etc. The yields de-
pend upon the moisture. In these fields peas are
sometimes seeded at the last cultivation of the
crops, and they add materially to the yield and
quality. About three pecks of seed per acre are
sown. In these mixtures may be found crab grass,
sand spur grass, beggarweed, crow foot and Natal.
PEANUT VINE HAY may be said to be a by-
product of the peanut crop. It is, however, a very
substantial part of Marion's hay crop. When well
cured, the hay is of most excellent quality and feed-
ing value, and it is very palatable. The yield is
frequently as high as 1,200 pounds per acre, this
in addition to the peanuts.
Though CRAB GRASS is a pest in cultivated
fields, it makes a good palatable quality of light
hay. It is generally found in connection with pea
hay as it voluntarily comes up among the peas.
Crab grass is never planted, though always seen
in fields after it has once gotten in.
NATAL GRASS is another widely distributed
grass that makes good hay if cut at the right time
and properly cured and stored. It will grow on

almost any type of soil. Since its introduction into
Florida, about 25 years ago, it has spread widely
over the state and is considered a pest by some
farmers, though its eradication in a cultivated field
may easily be accomplished.
Yields of one to two tons to the acre have been
cut in Marion County, the higher figure represent-
ing three cuttings per acre, the same season. It
matures from seeding in about 85 days.
NAPIER AND MERKER grasses are very simi-
lar in appearance and habits of growth. They are
propagated from cuttings or from divisions of the
clump of roots and shoots that are continually
multiplying, these being planted in rows and
checked about five feet each way. The original cut-
ting sends up a shoot and soon begins to tiller out
and make large clumps. If not cut the stems will
grow on good soil to a height of 12 to 15 feet.
For feeding purposes these grasses are cut be-
fore they begin to "joint" and generally fed green.
At this stage of their growth they are about 3 to
4 feet tall. However, the leafage can be cured into
good forage at that stage or even somewhat later.
The roots remain alive for years in Marion County
and continuous cuttings can be had, except during
two or three winter months. These fields need fer-
tilizing to keep up the yields. Napier grass is used
for silage by some growers and makes a fair grade.
Yields of green cut Napier grass of 150 tons per
acre in a single season are reported.
Napier grass is one of the richest and one of
the most palatable grasses in protein known. The
following figures show the comparison between this
grass and some of our common forage crops: Green
forages, per cent protein; Corh contains 1.9%, Sor-
ghum 1.5%, Japanese cane .55%, Para Grass 1.7%,
Napier grass, 3.58%. Cured hays; Timothy con-
tains 6.2% protein, Alfalfa 14.9%, Crab grass 8.0%,
Natal grass 7.4%, Rhodes grass 7.3%, Napier grass
11.32%. Every farm should have a fair acreage of
Napier grass.
A very large number of hay plants, and the
ease with which they can be grown, makes every
farmer independent so far as forage is concerned.
The list includes the legumes: cow peas, velvet
beans, soy beans, mung beans, peanut vines, beg-
garweed and Lespedeza; the grasses: Napier, Mer-
ker, Natal, Dallis, Rhodes and Para, any sorghum,
any millet, Kaffir, milo, feterita, teosinte and crab
They are grown alone and in various combina-
tions. While most of the plants of the above list
are pastured off, a practice that is profitable both
because of labor saved and because of the year
around seasons in which livestock can be kept out-
doors, some of all these crops is harvested.
COW PEAS are a standard annual legume.
They are sowed alone or in corn fields at last culti-
vation, or drilled in rows and cultivated. They can
be planted from March to September. Where not
grown on the land previously their seed should be
inoculated with field pea bacteria. The Brabham,
Iron and Victory varieties are the only varieties
that are not attacked by nematode worms which
cause root knot. Other varieties of peas harbor the
nematodes and increase the infestation and danger
of root knot to the subsequent crops. A good yield
of cow pea hay is a ton per acre. Two tons have
been reported in Marion County. The cost of pro-

duction is low. Raising seed of Brabham, Iron or
Victory varieties is profitable as they always com-
mand a premium in price at planting time. These
varieties will give a fair yield of hay after the peas
are picked, though many growers cut the hay with
seed peas at about the time they begin to turn yel-
low for ripening. Peas improve the soil in texture
and by adding nitrogen.
VELVET BEANS are rarely cut for hay, though
some of the dwarf varieties are so handled. How-
ever, they are very widely grown and used as pasture
crop in fall and winter. The mature beans picked
make a very good feed for all livestock. They are es-
pecially valuable in the dairy cow ration. Velvet
beans are extremely valuable as a soil improving
crop as they add great quantities of humus and
nitrogen to soils on which they are grown.
SOY BEANS are not widely grown, though the
yields are good when inoculated seed are used and
the amount of nitrogen left in the soil by the roots
is larger than that from cow peas. The hay is
richer in food value and more palatable than pea
hay or velvet beans to all kinds of livestock. The
heavier types of soil, especially where limestone is
present, are best suited to soy beans. One thing
against the soy bean is that it is subject to root
knot disease and leaves a larger infection in the
soil; that is provided root knot already existed in
the soil.
BEGGARWEED is a wild hay legume in the
sense that it reseeds itself and grows without re-
planting. However, large quantities of seed are
sown for the purpose of getting the land seeded.
There is no danger of beggarweed becoming a pest.
The feeding value of'this hay well cured is said to
be very nearly equal to that of alfalfa hay.
Livestock men who raise animals on limestone
soils claim that their horses, mules, cattle, etc.,
have more stamina, more mettle, and make better
growth than the same livestock raised on other
kinds of soil formations. Marion County has large
areas of limestone soils, and most of the under-
ground waters that are used for drinking water for
both man and beast.are highly impregnated with
lime. And there have been produced in Marion
County some as fine and as strong horses and mules
as any one could desire; also some of as typical beef
cattle of all breeds as were ever butchered; also
hogs that have been shown in most of the Eastern
States Fairs, winning their share of the ribbons
(one Marion County raised Poland China sow in
1919 was Grand Champion at the Chicago Inter-
national); also dairy cattle, sheep and poultry that
are growth, healthy, and of true type.
This is one of Florida's greatest livestock coun-
ties and there are vwst areas of good grass lands
splendidly adapted to livestock raising that can. be
had at very low prices. There has never been any
effort made, so far as the writer can find out, to
improve the natural pastures by planting and care
of well adapted "tame" grasses.
Like all other soils, those of Marion County re-
spond remarkably to applications of animal man-
ures. There is too little care taken of this most
valuable by-product of livestock industry. Some of
the truckers realize the great value of manure,
and save all they can in the best way, and some
of them make fine composts with manure, leaves,

rubbish and chemical fertilizers, such as phosphate
and potash.
With every advantage of year-round pasturage
and out-door living, of an almost endless number of
food and forage crops, of limestone soils, of healthy
cows, of few insect pests, highest dairy products
markets in the United States at our doors, and
with a central creamery, Marion is bound to be-
come the leading dairy county in Florida.
Elsewhere, under the heading of Forage Crops,
will be found a fuller setting forth of the numer-
ous and varied kinds of cattle feeds that grow in
Marion. The long growing season and enormous
yields of these make for cheaper milk.
The equable climate reduces costs of barn con-
struction to a minimum, and the open air life makes
for healthy cows and easily raised calves. Further-
more, there are no oppressive hot days in summer,
and nights are always pleasantly cool. We have
no record of heat stroke among dairy cows. These
things contribute to an even milk flow and -longer
milking .period.
Among our dairy cows we have had very little
tuberculosis and no contagious abortion.
Any fluid milk market report will show whole
milk prices for Florida cities to be well above the
next highest prices elsewhere. In 1920 the city of
Tampa imported and used 1,500,000 pounds of but-
ter; the city of Miami used 1,950,000 pounds of but-
ter. The scores of other smaller cities and towns
import creamery butter, and almost every provi-
sions store in the state sells canned milk from
other states. The average price of creamery but-
ter is 50c per pound.
A creamery has been established at Ocala and
is prepared to handle sweet whole milk, sweet
cream and sour cream.
The prevailing blood in the dairy cattle, at
present, is Jersey, with Holstein and Guernsey
about even seconds. Most of the cows are grades.
One of the good dairy farms on which about
35 cows are at present being milked has reported
a monthly labor cost of $100, feed cost of $225 and
all other costs $150. In spring, fall and winter
months the sales run as high as $1,250 per month,
while in summer they have been as low as $300,
when most cows are dry or in small flow of milk.
This too, was before the days of the creamery.
This farm has Bermuda grass, carpet grass and
other native grasses in the pastures. They also
plant pastures of cow peas, sorghums, velvet beans,
etc., which put the harvesting up to the cows. Vel-
vet bean meal and corn and cob meal are made of
the farms products. Shorts, bran and cotton seed
meal are the only feeds bought.
The interest in dairying is growing in the coun-
ty. A number of men who raise some kind of truck
crop each season also keep a few dairy cows, and
these bring in enough steady income to meet the
monthly bill of the family, thus leaving the money
made on crops as "velvet".
As is brought out elsewhere in this booklet,
Marion County's soils are well adapted to the pro-
duction of an abundance of the best of pasture
grasses. The native grasses have heretofore an-
swered so well the purposes of the beef cattle man
that no efforts have been made to develop anything

better. But with the Texas Fever Cattle Ticks
eradicated, and the lifting of Florida's shipping
quarantine, there will come more of the better blood
and more plantings of adapted grasses. (The 1923
session of the Florida Legislature adopted a State-
wide tick eradication measure, and it is estimated
that the State will be free of ticks in less than five
There are a number of pure bred herds of beef
cattle in the county, the Aberdeen Angus breed
predominating, with Short Horn and Hereford in
order of naming. These cattle have been exhibited
nearly every year at the State Fair in Jackson-
ville and the South Florida Fair in Tampa; and
they have always brought home the majority of the
ribbons of desired color.
A cattle man of the Fort McCoy section shipped
four cars of native fattened steers to Jacksonville
a year or so ago, and went to see them sold. The
same day a car of Herefords were sold by another
cattle man. The one car of Herefords brought
more than all four cars of native Florida stock.
Whereupon the Fort McCoy man took the next
train to the Hereford breeder's farm and bought
two of his best young bulls to head his herd.
With plantings of Bahia, Dallis, Natal and Na-
pier grasses and the ticks out of the way, it is the
prediction of the writer that the beef cattle indus-
try will ultimately bring more money into the
county than perhaps any other single crop.
Dr. N. W. Sanborn, poultry specialist of the
Florida Agricultural College, and nationally known
as an authority on such matters, makes the state-
ment that the best kept poultry plant in the United
Sates is located in Marion County. During the
year 1920 the one thousand hens on the farm laid
an average of 161 eggs apiece. These eggs were
shipped by express to Miami. The lowest price re-
ceived was 35c per dozen, the highest 95c per
dozen, the average was over 50c.
This poultry farm is located on one of the
smaller lakes of the county near a shipping point.
There are hundreds of just as good locations. The
yards are sodded with Bermuda grass and the
houses are built on skids, and can be easily moved
about on the grass, which supplies green feed most
of the year.,
In this county the sandy soils, rolling hills,
abundant water, mild summer and winter climate
and cheap lands furnish ideal conditions for poultry
raising. Almost every farm in the county has a
fairly large sized flock of hens. There are also
some geese and ducks, and many droves of tur-
keys. Many of the recent new citizens have come
to this section for the purpose of engaging in
the poultry business.
The prices of eggs are always higher in Flor-
ida than in other states. This is especially true
during the winter months. And our climate does
not interfere with high egg yields during these
high price months. A freight train conductor a
few months ago telling of the eggs brought into
and through the state for the Cuban markets,
said that on his previous two trips his trains had
in them seven solid cars of eggs.
For tourist hotels and the club trade a great
number of broilers, roasters, hens and capons are
needed. Good eating fowls are never cheap. Lime
and grit are abundant. Disease and vermin are no

worse than in more northern states. Poultry rais-
ing offers fine prospects in Marion County.
Steps have been taken to organize a Poultry
Association for the County, it being the conviction
of the larger poultrymen as well as of those who
keep only a few hens that they can better promote
the interests of this line by united effort.
Conditions make Marion County an ideal hog
country. General farming is so widely followed
that cheap hog feeds and pastures are matters of
common knowledge and practice. No shelters what-
ever are needed if the pastures contain trees. The
system of letting the hogs harvest the crops is
universally practiced. There are no frosts or
freezes severe enough to injure corn, peanuts, po-
tatoes, etc., before the hogs eat them off, and very
rarely are types of soil found that are injured by
hogs rooting or trampling them while wet.
A few years ago pure bred hogs on Marion
County farms were rare. Today the conditions are
reversed and it is hard to find a farmer raising
hogs as a money crop who does not use at least a
pure bred male. Poland Chinas, Duroc Jerseys,
Hampshires and Berkshires predominate in the
order named. The Boys' Pig Club members helped
to make this change to pure bred stock.
Marion County is one of the greatest Poland
China hog counties in the South. Hogs of this
breed have captured grand championships at the
Southeastern Fair, Atlanta; the Tri-State Fair,
Savannah, Ga.; Georgia State Fair, Macon, Ga., and
the Florida State Fair, Jacksonville. In 1919 a Po-
land China sow bred and raised in this county won
a grand championship at the International Live
Stock Show in Chicago.
In 1922 and again in 1923 a herd of Poland
Chinas from this county was shown in state fairs
in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Vir-
ginia, Kentucky, Georgia and Florida, in each place
winning their share of the ribbons.
The record sale price for a hog in Marion Coun-
| ty and in the State was paid for a Poland China
boar bred and raised near Micanopy. The amount
paid for this boar was $15,000.00.
It is easily possible to raise two litters of pigs
a year from each sow. Like other things in sub-
tropical countries they grow fast and large. The
question of pasturage which has been mentioned
is worked out in many ways by different growers.
Regular rotation systems of planting and hogging
off are used here as elsewhere; and added to this
there are frequently surplus lots of off grade truck
products from the fields of truck that supplement
the pastures. Acorns, hickory nuts and pine mast
abound in wooded sections.
There are packing houses in Jacksonville and
Tampa, Fla., and in Moultrie, Ga., that furnish a
market. For the farmer who wishes home-cured
meat there are cold storage facilities at Ocala,
Belleview, Citra and McIntosh.
A Pig Club boy who has been in this club work
for three years showed several pens of Duroc Jer-
seys at the last county fair, winning over sixty
dollars in premiums.
Florida has a wide range of soils. In Marion
County the soil types range from light sand to the
richest muck. An unusually high percentage of

good lands are found in this county. There is
comparatively little waste land. Important agri-
culturally is the fact that the Middle Florida Ham-
mock Belt and the Hardrock Phosphate and Lime-
stone Belt cover a considerable portion of Marion
County. The lands most suitable for agriculture
are described as "pine lands", "mixed lands", and
"hammock lands", the last named being considered
the best. Usually the heavier the timber growth
the better the soil. No invariable guide can be
given in regard to the soils, however. Some of the
lightest types respond wonderfully to soil building.
Certain crops will give better results on one type
of soil than on another. Thousands of acres of
rich muck lands along the Ocklawaha River have
been drained and put under cultivation. In the in-
formation given in this booklet in regard to the
particular crops, mention is made of the soils on
which the best results are obtained. For one who
is entirely unfamiliar with Florida it is wise to
consider the soils here without regard to previous
knowledge, for the reason, among others, that some
Florida soils that appear unproductive give sur-
prisingly good results. The best procedure is to
consult those who know, the County Agent, the
Experiment Station at Gainesville, the local farm-
ers and growers. A careful study of the litera-
ture issued by the Experiment Station on the vari-
ous crops will be helpful.

Marion County has good markets, and particu-
larly for its money crops. The citrus fruits are
for the most part marketed by the state-wide co-
operative organization, the Florida Citrus Ex-
change, and the commercial organization, Ameri-
can Fruit Growers, Inc. A number of independent
shippers also handle fruit from this county. The
tomato crop is handled by buyers from the leading
centers of the country, including the largest to-
mato buyers in the country, by the Florida Citrus
Exchange and local cooperative organizations.
Some of the buyers make their headquarters here
the year around. The other important truck crops
are handled in much the same way. Ocala is head-
quarters for most of the buyers. This is the
watermelon buying center of Florida. Cattle and
hogs not butchered locally are marketed in Jack-
sonville and Tampa and other nearby markets.
Dairy products are shipped to various points in
the state, in particular to the resort centers. There
is a creamery in Ocala. Poultry and eggs are mar-
keted in much the same centers as the dairy prod-
ucts. Eggs are shipped to Cuba.
The State Marketing Bureau, Jacksonville, mar-
kets large quantities of the farm products of the
State. Large quantities of peanuts, peas and vel-
vet beans are marketed through seed houses. The
commission and produce houses of the state and
many of the local merchants in the county handle
produce. A large proportion of the sweet potato
crop is marketed through them. Most of the
grain crops of the county are consumed on the
farms or are marketed through the livestock. The
industrial and agricultural agents of the railroads
help with the marketing of farm products.
Florida has one of the best marketing bureaus
of the country. The Commissioner is a man of rare
ability and great experience. They are prepared
to assist in the marketing of all farm products, and

if given good products to handle will get satisfac-
tory results. As is the case in most other sections,
farmers are prone to try selling their best prod-
ucts themselves, and to turning over cull stuff to
the marketing bureau. This is patently unfair to
the marketing bureau.
There is an abundance of pure water in Marion
County. Deep driven wells are the principal
source of supply. This is the source for most of
the farms and groves. The cost of. drilling wells
is moderate, ordinarily $45 to $100, including cas-
ing. Tanks and motor driven pumps are used ex-
tensively. A few windmills are used in the county,
and have been satisfactory.
Comfortable and attractive houses can be built
for $3,500 to $5,000. Small bungalows can be built
for $1,500 to $2,000. Expensive and tight barns
are not needed except that air-tight cribs for corn,
etc., are necessary. A barn and shed suitable for
a 40 to 80 acre farm can be built for $250 to $500.
Garages can be built for less. Fences can be built
for $225 to $300 a mile. The cost of implements
and tools here is in line with costs elsewhere, fac-
tory costs plus freight.
Good lands in Marion County can be bought for
$50 to $200 an acre, according to location, soils, im-
provements and other factors. Lands particularly
well located or especially suited for citrus fruits
and vegetables bring higher prices. Bearing orange
groves bring $1,250 an acre and up. Raw lands
can be bought for $25 to $200 an acre. The cost
of clearing varies from $10 to $75 an acre, ac-
cording to the timber and undergrowth.
Ordinary labor here, as elsewhere in the South,
is mostly Negro. Wages vary from $1.25 to $2.50
a day. The gathering of citrus fruits and most of
the truck crops is paid for at so much per field box
or hamper. On many of the smaller places the
work is done by the farmer or his family. The
number of white employees on the farms and in
the groves is increasing, particularly since the in-
troduction of the tractor and other modern ma-
"Florida's wonderful climate makes for a low
cost of living, as compared with the costs in states
with a climate less mild. Clothing and fuel re-
quirements in Florida are much less. Articles of
food that cannot be produced on the farm, and
other household articles compare favorably in cost
with similar articles elsewhere. Here it is possible
to have a garden the year around and every place
can have its chickens, hogs and milk cow.
The average seasonal temperature in Marion
County is as follows: Winter 58.2; Spring 70;
Summer 80; Autumn 71.1 degrees. On few days
during the winter does the temperature fall below

32 degrees, and only rarely does the temperature
fall below 25. As the sun comes out the coldest
days warm up. The constant breezes from the
Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico in Spring, Summer
and Autumn, and the frequent showers, make a
summer climate that is pleasant andc comfortable.
Heat prostrations do not occur. Light covering is
needed every night. Average number of days of
sunshine: Winter, 84 in 90; Spring, 87 in 92; Sum-
mer, 78 in 92; Autumn, 84 in 91. On most days on
which rain falls the sun shines most of the day.
Average rainfall in inches: Winter 8.21; Spring
12.53; Summer 22.21; Autumn 7.23.
Almost any farm machinery that is adapted to
light soils in other sections of the country is
adapted to use here. Though there are some heavy
clay soils in Marion County, they are very few and
are not of large extent. Very heavy tractors are
not in use. Reapers and' binders are of little use
unless the farmer is going in for oats, which is of
doubtful profitableness on most soils.
The growth of weeds is very heavy and very
large in summer. In order to get this mass of
stuff incorporated into the soil, well made disk har-
rows and riding plows are advisable. The disk
harrow and acme harrows are in general use. Fer-
tilizer distributors and planters are needed. Corn
harvesters that bind the corn into bundles are not
advisable on account of the conditions of planting
and of weather during the time of harvesting.
Soil rollers or packers are not in general use,
though for some crops they will undoubtedly pay,
especially those types that pulverize. Heavy hay-
ing machinery is needed. All small tools and im-
plements are necessary. New settlers should
bring such things as will be useful if the freight
is not excessive.

1. Average altitude above sea level, 120 feet.
2. 433 miles of modern hard surfaced highways
now provided for and under construction.
3. Our present road program well advanced totals
4. Assessed valuation, $10,238,621.
5. State tax rate, 10/2 mills.
6. County tax rate, 481/2 mills.
7. Area, 1,054,080 acres.
8. 105 miles from the Atlantic to the Gulf Coasts
is the distance of an air-line through Marion
9. Five newspapers. Nine banks.
10. Population, 27,087-State census April 1, 1925.
11. Yearly average temperature, 69.7 degrees.
12. Average yearly rainfall, 50.18 inches.
13. 333 days of sunshine out of 365.
14. The Lehigh Portland Cement Company an-
nounces a $3,000,000 plant.
15. A 1,200 acre dairy farm now under way.


Marion County Chamber of Commerce
Ocala, Florida


"I'~Aefn gdom
ofthe Sun"

.I ul ~ .. .Inon

. -- t .

.nVisit SILVER SPR -.. a Wd

Visit SILVER SPRINGS---a World WAonder

-.... t o { I .. k.."

Missent to. - --'

)OFTh,, );\.
o PM
\ 1927
L,, ..


Marion County Chamber of Commerce
Ocala, Florida

Dear Sir:

Your letter asking about Marion County "The IKingdom of the
Sun", has just boon received. This is a form acknow-
lcd.gment only because of the large number of inquiries we
are receiving daily.

Your attention is directed to our 24-page descriptive
booklet dealing with agriculture and horticulture, copy
of which is inclosed. Should you desire a copy of our
48-page illustrated booklet, it is yours for the asking.

Suppose your interest is in the direction of:

Dairy farming
Poultry farming
General crops

Truck growing
Orange groves

Grapes Livestock
Peanuts Corn
Sugar Cane Sweet Potatoes

Or suppose you want to consider:

An ideal home site
Business oppo rtunitics
Schools and churches

Equable climate
Hard surfaced highways

Then ve urge you to got the facts relating to the advantages
Hiarion County has to offer. In this investigation ow are
at your service. Be sure to call at the Chambcr of Comnerce
on arrival. In the meantime in what way may we aid you ?

Yours very truly,


Horace L. Smith

MAkIN\C O $' W00),000 ,oHad S.uirfaced High,, y ,,, 1d Mumicipal ,,
FLOIQD a nImprovemente Program, Newly Complpleted SILV ER

" Ae vpn ( and Under Construction SPRI NGS
of the Sun .. SPR I NC

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