Greene County Arkansas
Centennial Edition Section 2
Paragould Daily Press, Monday, August 29, 1983 Section 2, Centennial Edition -5
The Land ~ Saving the Soil
"Farm Crop Production 1880-1980"
Top Photo: The Land:
Middle Left: Saving the Soil:
The Greene County landscape has changed markedly over the past 100 years and so has our use of the land.
We have drained the swamps, rechanneled rivers and creeks, cleared forests and opened new fields for cultivation.
Because of other changes that have affected agriculture, those efforts do not show up when one compares the number of farms. There were more farms counted in 1880 (1,181) than a century later (990). But in the number of impro-ved acres, ah, there's the differ-ence: 30,596 acres in 1880, 370,560 in 1980. More than a ten-fold increase.
The 1880 figures come from a United States agricultural census reported by the 1889 Goodspeed's history of Greene County. The recent figures are from the 1980 U.S. agricultural census provided by the county extension office.
The crops grown on those acres have changed significantly too. The folks who worked to drain the low-lands would probably laugh (or cry) to hear that we flood them back now to irrigate the county's biggest crop, rice.
Corn grew tall in 1880 -- 347,926 bushels; now it's a lowly 34,000. County farmers produced 10,475 bushels of wheat in 1880, 1,185,000 bushels in 1980. Cotton went from 3,711 bales to 7,150 bales. Oats, hay, potatoes and to-bacco were considered important enough to make the 1880 list, but have long since been replaced by soybeans and milo.
Growing with Greene
In 1900, Alvin Samuel (1883-1963) came to
live in Paragould, working alongside his aunt and uncle at the
mercantile. With the successful realization of the business, the company
purchased the existing cotton gin on the south half of Second Street and
Transcribed from the 1983 Centennial Edition by : PR Massey
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