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Cotton Cultivation in the United States

counties, county, cent, lying, south, carolina and cultivated

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COTTON CULTIVATION IN THE UNITED STATES. From the time its seeds are planted until it reaches the consumer in its variously manufactured forms cotton em ploys more human beings than any other prod uct or industry. This is not surprising when we consider that 2,500,000 farmers and laborers produce the crops of the United States, about 1,500,000 the crops of other countries, and that about 1,750,000 wage earners throughout the world are employed in its manufacture, to say nothing of the many thousands who manipu late the crop from the time it leaves the pro ducer until it reaches the mill and the consumer.

Cotton The cotton producing region of the United States embraces nearly all of the territory lying south of the 37th degree of lati tude, and covers 25 degrees of longitude and 10 degrees of latitude. A line drawn from Nor folk County, Va., to Presidio County, Tex.— more than 1,300 miles—would indicate the eastern and western limits of the cotton area, and a line from Osage County, Okla., to the mouth of the Rio Grande in Texas— about 500 miles— the northern and southern limits. Cotton is cultivated in only eight counties in the extreme southeastern cor ner of Virginia, while in North Carolina its cultivation extends from the coast to the mountain ranges of the western part of the State. In South Carolina it is cultivated in every county, as i the same may be said of Alabama, and of Georgia— except as to four mountain counties on the northern border. In all Mississippi only two counties on the Gulf Coast may be excepted. The cotton growing section of Florida extends from its western boundary almost to the Atlantic Ocean, and as far south as Sumter County, and in Tennessee it embraces all of the territory lying west of the Tennessee River, and includes a half-dozen counties in the southern central section and three counties in the extreme southeast corner of the State. In Missouri 8 or 10 counties in the extreme southeast and lying along the Arkansas State line cultivate cotton to a limited extent, and all of the counties in Arkansas ex cept the four mountain counties in the ex treme northwest. All of the Louisiana parishes

grow cotton except one in the southwest, and eight in the southeast section bordering the Gulf and lying adjacent to the mouth of the Mis sissippi. Of the 250 counties in Texas all cul tivate cotton except 38 located in the Pan Handle and the extreme west, and in Oklahoma all except nine lying along the Kansas border. Outside of what is known as the great cotton belt cotton is cultivated to a limited extent in Fulton County, Ky.; Eddy County, N. Mex.; Yuma, and Manicopa counties, Ariz.; Imperial, and Riverside counties, Cal.

Geographical Geographically the cotton States may be divided as follows: Atlantic States —consisting of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida; Middle Gulf States — Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri; Southwestern States —Texas and Oklahoma. Of the total area devoted to cotton the Atlantic States cultivate about 27 per cent, the Middle Gulf States about 33 per cent and the South western States 40 per cent. The largest area ever devoted to cotton was 37,406,000 acres planted in 1914.

Limits of But this by no means represents the limit of the tillable area that might be put in cotton. Of the total cultivated area in the 10 principal cotton States only an average of 44.5 per cent is planted in cotton, about 41 per cent in corn, about 12.5 per cent in wheat, oats and hay, and the remainder in miscellaneous crops. Texas could double its present cotton area without encroaching upon other crops, and likewise Oklahoma could The average maximum and minimum temperatures for the northern, middle and southern sections are as follows: greatly increase its cotton area. Besides there are large areas in southern California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Kansas and Ken tucky suitable for cotton culture. In addition to this there are in nine of the principal cotton States (not including Florida and Tennessee) nearly 31,000,000 acres in swamp and overflow lands, about 17000,000 acres of which, if re claimed, would be suitable for cotton growing.

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