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Mississippi State Capitol

Mississippi's Welcome

In its civic and religious life, Mississippi holds out a broad, cordial and tolerant
welcome to those from all parts of the world who may come in a spirit of righteous
and patriotic citizenship seeking a place in which to cast their lot.

Perhaps in no state in the Union is found a more thorough and cordial relation-
ship existing between the people of the towns and cities and those of the country
districts than in Mississippi.

This feeling of common fellowship makes for healthy and stable public
thought, of oneness of purpose for the common good, and is free from those
elements of differences, discord and unrest with which some communities are
unfortunately afflicted.

Insofar as the general outlook and settlement and investment privileges are
concerned, Mississippi presents the attractive prospect of being a land of "Fron-
tier Opportunity" — where twenty millions of acres are yet to be had at moderate
prices — the pre-eminently great opportunity, where the man of moderate means
may yield to the deep-souled and home-building impulse of the real American,
with every assurance of success and happiness.

And it is not amiss just here to say that there is only one direction that land
values in Mississippi can take, and that is — UPWARD.

Here are unbounded opportunities for the settlement of the gallant soldiers of
the Republic, now returning from the stress and storm of war, as well as others
who may be seeking a new land where they may spend their days amidst happi-
ness and plenty — as the great privilege is given under an over-ruling Providence.

Being richly favored with all that may bless and prosper human kind, this
State keenly realizes that its greatest present and future need is more good,
thrifty people to come and share its unlimited bounties and help in the building
here of a prosperous and splendid civilization.

Mississippi sends greetings to those of other climes — the great North, East
and West, as well as here in the genial Southern land — and stands with out-
stretched hands to extend them a cordial invitation and bid them a generous
welcome, where all may strike hands with united hearts and energies, pledged to
the common purpose of bringing her marvelous natural resources into life and
adding them to the Nation's great storehouse of wealth.



To make a division of Mississippi according to the different types of soil would
be next to impossible in a booklet of this kind, but we may properly divide the
State into five general sections or divisions which are quite distinct. Each section
will be briefly described so that the homeseeker may get an intelligent idea of the
soil, crops, water, climate and general agricultural conditions throughout the


In the northeastern portion of the State the country is generally rolling or
hilly, and originally was heavily timbered. The general surface of the land lies
between 400 and 600 feet above sea level. There are many fertile valleys and
stretches of rolling, undulating country that are now in a splendid state of culti-

Japanese Cane in Northeast Mississippi Produces 200 to 300 Gallons
Japanese Honey Cane Syrup per Acre

vation. The soil in the valleys and bottoms is very productive and is composed
of the finest sediment. The uplands are mostly gray loams or clays, valuable for
pasturage and the staple crops. Here may. also be found valuable deposits of
gravel and clays.

Between the hills of Northeast Mississippi and the Prairie Belt is a large body
of flat, sandy loam land, that is not only valuable for general farming, but is
especially valuable for corn production. From this section more than two and
one-half million bushels of corn are being marketed annually. This section is well
qualified for the raising of live stock of all kinds, owing to the abundance of nutri-
tious grasses grown there, among them Lespedeza and clovers. Vegetables, fruits
and garden truck of all kinds may be grown very successfully. The general con-
ditions in this section of the State make it ideal for rural life.

Two Hundred Head Aberdeen Angus Cattle


In the northeast portion of Mississippi, adjoining the Northeast Highlands,
is a stretch of country known as the Black Soil Prairie Belt. Its greatest length is
about 100 miles and its width is from 10 to 26 miles. It is one of the most affluent
and prosperous sections of the State, which is directly traceable to the fertility of
this soil, the basis of all wealth, when combined with climate and moisture. The
prevailing soil is deep, dark loam, rich in carbonate of lime. Outcropping at
places are lighter soils, clay and sandy loams. The black soils yield abundant
crops of corn and cotton, oats, alfalfa, cow peas, velvet beans, Lespedeza and all
other clovers. With these crops, the dairy and live-stock industries are closely
allied. Several creameries have already been established in this section, thus
providing a ready market for the dairy farmer's milk and cream.

Green Fields All the Year Mean a Good Herd of Dairy Cattle


Baling Alfalfa

Fertile Soil

A bulletin of the U. S. Department of Agriculture states: "As an illustration
of its extraordinary productivity and durability, it may be cited that most of this
land will produce today a bale or more cotton to the acre, after 50 to 75 years of
continuous cultivation to cotton and corn without any fertilizer."

Alfalfa Land

This same bulletin further states: "The wonderful adaptability of the soils of
the Black Belt to alfalfa is bringing about an agricultural readjustment of alfalfa;
is naturally deep, fertile and of good texture; is unusually well drained naturally
and contains the proper amount of lime."


This section is most healthful, having an elevation of 300 to 500 feet above
sea level, with excellent drainage conditions. The temperature is uniform and
pleasant. Rainfall is abundant and well distributed throughout the year.

The Black Prairie Lands of Mississippi Are the Ideal Lands of the United States
for Growing Alfalfa


The Yazoo-Mississippi Delta, located in the western part of Mississippi, is an
alluvial empire in itself, consisting of 6,648 square miles, or 4,250,000 acres of
the most fertile lands in the United States. About 2,200,000 acres of this valley
is in cultivation and for generations has been noted for its continued production
of the famous long-staple cotton of commerce. This valley extends from Memphis,
Tenn., to Vicksburg, Miss., a distance of about 170 miles and its greatest
breadth is about 65 miles. Many streams, rivers and bayous provide natural
drainage for the Delta lands, but planters and farmers whose lands need artificial
drainage, will, in the opinion of some of our best engineers, encounter no unusual
obstacles. The entire Delta has a natural drainage from east to west, and from
the north to the south.

On a Delta Plantation


These alluvial soils have been termed the "geological cream" of the United
States, composed of the fertile top-soils brought down by the "Father of Waters"
and its tributaries from the extreme northern part of the United States to the
Gulf of Mexico; so that in the composition of the soil we find all of the highly
productive agricultural states of the North joined hands in building this
mighty empire. In these alluvial soils are mingled the loams and silt, the nitrogen
and humus, the potash and phosphates, which, combined, make an almost perfect
soil. The most famous alluvial lands are called "gumbo," "buckshot," silty loams
and sandy clays. The sandy and loamy soils were deposited along the course of
the streams and the clayey soils in the interior. The coarser loam soils contain
5 per cent clay and 15 per cent silt. The finer grained soils contain from 12
to 18 per cent clay and 30 to 65 per cent silt. The larger portion of the remaining
composition is a very fine sand. The soil varies in depth from 12 inches to 3 feet
on the loam soils to 100 feet on the alluvial soils. The "gumbo" soil is a dark,
waxy clay and is one of the most product ive when properly handled. These soils
grow splendid crops of alfalfa and other legumes. They range in depth from one
to six feet.


The climatic conditions in the Delta are ideal lor the growing of cotton, which
is the principal money crop and which in the past has yielded large returns to

the planter. This plant requires a long season of warm weather. However, the
temperature is not oppressive, and sunstrokes, which are so common in the
Northern states, seldom occur in the South. The average temperature for the year
1917 at Greenville, Miss., was 63 degrees. Winter temperature seldom goes below
freezing and will range somewhere between 36 and 60 degrees. In summer the
temperature rarely goes above 96 degrees. The annual rainfall is about 56 inches.


The excellent health conditions that prevail in the Yazoo Delta country are
largely due to the pure drinking water obtained from flowing artesian wells, of
which there are about 5,000. Nearly every large plantation, village, hamlet and
city gets its water supply from this source, which was not true in the pioneer days
in the South any more than it was in the North, where the water was drawn from
shallow wells and cisterns. Wherever proper drainage and sanitary conditions
prevail, the health of the people compares favorably to that of any other section
of the United States. Coming from a depth of several hundred feet, the water is
not subject to contamination, and is therefore of the highest quality and purity.


Cotton. For more than a century the Delta has gone unchallenged as the
Champion producer of long-staple cotton. This staple was king and reigned
supreme, and on good land, under proper cultivation, yields from one to two bales
per acre. A bale consists of about 500 pounds and at war prices is worth about
$200, and under pre-war times was worth from 18 to 25 cents per pound. Con-
ditions have changed in the Delta since the advent of the boll weevil, which a
few years ago threatened the entire cotton belt with ruin, just as the chinch bug
did the wheat farmers of the North some years ago. Under these conditions the
cotton planter was forced to revise his farming methods, which he did by diversi-
fying his crops. The one-crop system no longer prevails, but with profitable
results crops of corn, alfalfa, oats, soy beans, cow peas and velvet beans are
marketed annually.

Mississippi for Cotton


Seventy-Five Bushels of Corn per Acre on Delta Lands Are Not Uncommon

Corn. Even on these alluvial soils where crop rotation is practiced and
legumes are grown, the mechanical texture of the soil is noticeably improved in
increased crop production. One planter in 1917 planted 2,200 acres to corn, soy
beans, cow peas and other food crops. Of this acreage, 1,500 was planted to corn
and under the best methods of tillage produced 100 bushels per acre. One
measured acre yielded 118 bushels. We would say this was an exceptional yield on
so large an acreage, although much larger yields are recorded on a smaller acreage
under intensified methods of cultivation. Seventy-five bushels per acre on Delta
lands are not uncommon and the average is very little below that figure. The
seed from which these yields are made is of the prolific varieties, producing two
or more good ears per stalk.

Soy Beans. This crop is growing more and more in favor with the farmers
of the South, as it is highly profitable as a forage crop and a soil restorer. As a
feed for cattle, with corn ensilage, it provides a nearly balanced ration and by some
stock men is considered superior to alfalfa. Yields vary, depending upon the fer-
tility of the soil and the care and attention given to cultivation. One planter last
year on a field of 600 acres had an average yield of 40 bushels per acre. Under
normal conditions, we would say the average yield per acre for the State would be
about 25 bushels. The price was $3.00 per bushel for 1918.

Velvet Beans and Cow Peas. Both of these legumes are considered very
valuable from the viewpoint of their feed value, especially in the raising of live
stock. In 1918, Mississippi harvested 525,000 bushels of velvet beans and $1,760,-
000 worth of cow peas. 1 his, however, does not represent the full production or
value of either crop, as large proportions of both crops are left in the fields to be
harvested by the hogs and cattle. Like red clover, sweet clover, and other
legumes, the velvet bean and cow peas are nitrogen gatherers and leave the soil
in a higher slate of fertility, thereby increasing its productive powers, and larger
\ ields of field crops the follow ins; year are the result.

Hay. According to the figures furnished by the United States 1 department of
Agriculture, Bureau of Crop Estimates, the total value of the hay crop in Missis-
sippi for 1918 was $8,589,000. One of the most valuable hays is Lespedeza, or
Japanese clover. When combined with Bermuda, white and crimson clover, one
acre will easily maintain a full-grown steer as long as rainfall is sufficient. On a
well-balanced soil Lespedeza will yield from one to three tons per acre. It is one
of the most easily cured hay crops in the State, often requiring less than 21 hours

Lespedeza Grows Luxuriantly

to effect a cure. It is very palatable and readily relished by all kinds of live stock.
There is always a keen market at remunerative prices for this crop when properly

Alfalfa has been grown very successfully in the Yazoo Delta for several years
past on plantations that were well drained, as this plant will not survive on lands
that are water-soaked and flooded. Nearly all of these lands grow alfalfa success-
fully, as the soil is highly impregnated with lime. However, the soils on some of
the farms will have to be inoculated to successfully grow this legume. Properly
handled alfalfa yields from five to six cuttings per season and an average of one

Alfalfa Yields Five to Six Cuttings per Season


Record-Breaking Yields of Oats Are Made in Mississippi

ton per acre each cutting. It is cut once every forty days from May to November.
Alfalfa in the hands of a skilled farmer will yield an income equal to cotton.

Oats is another of the staple crops grown in the State and in the production
ofwhich the Delta has broken the record, as the following figures from the Experi-
ment Station at Stoneville would indicate:

Bushels Bushels

per Acre per Acre

Black Tartarian 42.2 Hastings One Hundred Bushel . 118.2

Swedish Select 82.8 Bancroft 119.0

Sensation 91.0 Red Rust Proof 135. 6

Appier 118.0

With a fertile soil, abundant rainfall, a healthful climate, excellent drinking
water, good drainage, there slumbers in the lap of this great alluvial valley,
awaiting the touch of the trained and experienced homeseeker, an OPPOR-
TUNITY, which, if seized, will lead to FORTUNE.


These lands may be described as "logged-off" or "stump land" from which
the merchantable timber has been removed. The year 1908 witnessed some
recognition of the agricultural worth of Southern cut-over lands. This first stir
of interest was as the "little leaven in the whole lump," but gradually and exten-
sively the assimilation of these denuded lands for other than lumber purposes
proceeded. Native farmers, here and there, followed closely upon the heels of the
axe and saw in the logging camps and opened settlements in response to the local
demand for farm products. Some of the more progressive lumbermen, realizing
the possibilities of their cut-over lands, established thereon demonstration farms,
community settlements and colonization projects.

In the meantime State and National agricultural experts went into this great
stump empire and commenced to work out the potentialities of the cut-over
regions. As the United States furnished 80 per cent of the world's naval stores,
science pointed out the profitable utilization of the rich resinous content in the
tree wreckage left in the wake of the sawmill. Wood pulp paper mills, pine tar

This Cut Is Representative of the Lay of the Cut-Over Lands of Mississippi.

Also Repre

product plants, sprang up and began to manufacture stumps, tree trunks and
limbs into paper, turpentine, pine oil, flotation oils, pitch, rosin and charcoal,
thus establishing a market for waste wood in the logging fields measurably suffi-
cient to reimburse the farmer for the cost of clearing.

The railroads realizing that when the great asset of lumber is gone, they will
need some people to carry and freight to haul, have industriously influenced
agriculture to follow close on the retiring steps of the timber interests. So, through
one agency or another, the merits of cut-over lands have developed until those
skilled in agricultural pursuits now regard the opportunities for trucking, dairy-
ing, stock farming and ranching offered by these cut-over regions as the one
distinct find in recent times.


The lands are neither in the high hills nor low plains, nor swamps, but level,
open, undulating and gently rolling. Altitude from 100 to 600 feet, or even higher.



The soil is dark, sometimes gray or light chocolate in color. The top soil is of
the nature of a sandy loam, warm, buoyant and responsive; The subsoil is a
heavy, sandy clay which holds the moisture for the growing crops. Experts say
the subsoil possesses rare qualities for plant food. It has been demonstrated that
the Boil is susceptible of the highest development by proper culture.


The drainage as a whole is natural. The gently rolling lands shed the rainfall
readily and naturally. The few lower and more level places may be ditched, and
it is this reclaimed land which is among the richest in the State.


The whole country is blessed with water courses. These streams afford pure,
cool and sweet water for both man and beast. Pure pump water is found at 25
to GO feet and artesian water at from 300 to 1,000 feet, the artesian wells flowing
with a force and pressure surprisingly strong. The rainfall is, as a rule, ample and
well distributed.

Standing Trees, Stumpage and Discarded Tree Trunks Generally Found on These Lands


Indian corn, kaffir corn, milo maize, German millet, Egyptian millet, oats,
Lespedeza or Japanese clover, sorghum cane for forage, Sudan grass, Natal grass
are the principal grain and hay crops. Lespedeza produces a most luxuriant hay
crop and analyzes favorably with alfalfa as a nutritious hay feed. Carpet grass and
Bermuda grass are native to the soil and are means through which we build
permanent pasture. The lands are also noted for sugar cane. The South is growing
diversified crops, but a few acres of cotton makes a ready cash crop. Sugar cam-
yields per acre 200 to 500 gallons of the famous sugar cane syrup and sells for
fifty cents to one dollar per gallon. Two or three neighbors join in buying a
grinding mill and evaporator which may be obtained at minimum cost. The soil
makes a very good yield of Irish potatoes and especially sweet potatoes. Peanuts
do well, the tops being utilized for hay and the nuts find ready sale in the market.
All the fruits do well, with perhaps the exception of apples. The soil is noted for
its yields of watermelons and cantaloupes. The country is noted for perhaps the
greatest strawberry production section, of equal acreage, in the country'. Pecan



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Sugar Cane Yields 200 to 500 Gallons of Syrup per Acre, Making a Good Cash Yearly Crop

trees grow wild in the woods and the famous paper-shell pecans do equally well.
These grafted pecan trees may be planted and farming carried on between the
rows. Every vegetable known will grow in this soil. The production of the cou ntry
is away behind the consumption of the commercial and industrial centers. This
cheap, intensive soil, with a near-by market for all garden produce is just the
opportunity the trucker is looking for.



Dairy farms on cut-over lands furnish all the natural essentials of successful
dairying as described in Bulletin No. 155, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and
quoted as follows:

"The first and most important natural advantage of the South for profitable
dairying is its climate, which makes it possible to have good grazing on fresh
pastures from nine to twelve months of every year. The least expensive feed for
the maintenance of any animal is that which is gathered by grazing. It is impos-
sible to secure a full flow of milk from a cow which does not have fresh and
succulent food from fresh pastures, soiling crops, root crops, or the silo, and the
best of these is fresh pastures. Natural pastures of Bermuda grass, Lespedeza
grass and other plants are abundant and good through the summer. Cow peas
and sorghum will carry the cows through the fall in constantly improving con-
dition, and by December, with oats, vetches and crimson clover, afford rich


t-Over Lands

grazing, which lasts until the natural grasses begin their spring growth. In no
other part of the country is it possible to secure good grazing through so great a
part of the year at so little cost. The mild winters make it unnecessary to provide
expensive buldings for protection from cold. The increase in the amount of
food needed simply to sustain animal heat in the region where the temperature
ranges from 20 degrees to 30 degrees F. lower, as it does in most of the prominent
dairy sections of the country, is no small item in the cost of maintenance, and
in those sections there is always a marked decrease in the flow of milk whenever
additional feed is needed for warmth. The more mild the winter the less will
be the total amounts both of forage and grain needed for the support of the
animal. In nearly every part of the South there is a good home market for
all dairy products, and the demand will be beyond the supply for many j
to come. There are few counties in this section which do not consume double
the amount of butter they produce, and in which really good butter will not
br ng a satisfactory price in the local market. A local market is always the
best market for any farm product."


Twenty-Thousand -Dollar Hereford Bull on a Mississippi Stock Farm

Railroads or lumber companies in many instances have furnished dairymen
the free service of approved pedigreed bulls. Many communities have organized
bull associations, the associations purchasing or replacing bulls of high-bred
standards for community use.


During the years 1917 and 1918 the United States and State Agricultural
Departments, in order to save hundreds of thousands of cattle from death by
reason of drouth in the West and Southwest and meet urgent war needs, influenced
the transfer of many great herds from the Southwest into the grass of the cut-over
lands in Mississippi. The experiment in the main proved highly successful and
thus the stamp of approval was placed upon cut-over lands as the coming range
country for cattle. The better business method with cattle is to acquire native
stock and cross breed to pedigreed animals until you have built up to half and
three-quarter standards. Adopting this plan, it works out that you acquire a
herd at a low initial cost and economically build up to high-priced animals which
become big profit producers. It is highly significant that there are now stock


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Herds of Hereford Cattle Become Big Profit Producers

Mississippi Is Raising Champion Hogs

farms on the cut-over lands of Mississippi on which there are prize-winning bulls,
one breeder having paid $20,000 for a pure-bred Hereford bull.


Hogs are a necessary live-stock accompaniment to cattle. They are as free
from the ordinary diseases as those anywhere. Having mild seasons, little loss of
pigs and abundant forage and feed crops for hogs, you need but look to the actual
increased production of swine in Mississippi to be convinced of the possibility of
hog raising as a business venture, which is evidenced by two sales of pedigreed

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Online LibraryUnited States. Railroad AdministrationMississippi → online text (page 1 of 4)