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THE OLD AND THE NEW IN CORN CULTURE


THE OLD AND THE NEW
IN CORN CULTURE

Page

 
1

Corn The Great American Cereal
Corn and the Early Colonies

2 Corn and the Indian
3a Photos - Corn & Tools
3b Photos - Indians in corn fields
4a Photos - Corn Drying & Hopi field
4b Photos - Mortar and Pestles
5 Kinds of Corn Grown by the Indians.
6 Primitive Seed-testing Methods.
The Nettle Seed Tester
7 Primitive Corn-Planting Methods
8 Indian Cornfields
Primitive Tools
9 Plants as Indicators of the Season
10 Seed Selection and Storing
11

Indian Corn Foods

12

Primitive and Modern Methods of Culture
13 Corn and the Westward Movement
14 Corn and the Packing Industry
15 The Silo and the Corn Crop
16 Variations of the Corn Plant
17 Corn and the Struggle for Democracy

 

 

From the Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture 1918
page 1

By H. Howard Biggar,
Office of Corn Investigations, Bureau of Plant Industry.

CORN THE GREAT AMERICAN CEREAL.

CORN, the greatest of American cereals, is distinctively an American product. All evidence points to the fact that it was unknown in Europe until after the discovery of America. Its culture at an early period in this country is shown by the accounts of early explorers. Columbus, in writing to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1498, mentions cornfields in America 18 miles in length. Cartier, in the account of his explorations, states that the village of Hochelega, which later (in 1535) became Montreal, was situated in the midst of large cornfields. De Soto found large fields in Florida in 1675, and five years later La Salle noted large supplies in what is now the State of Illinois. That it was grown rather extensively is also indicated by the fact that in 1685 1,200,000 acres of corn belonging to the Seneca Indians were destroyed by the English in New York. In 1696 Frontenac, who invaded the Onondaga country in New York State, spent three days in destroying growing fields.

CORN AND THE EARLY COLONIES.

   The value of corn to the early colonists of the United States can hardly be overestimated. The Indians, through many years of experience, had learned the kinds of corn best suited to withstand varying conditions, and also some successful methods of corn culture. These facts were communicated to the colonists, who soon began growing corn. Corn was preferred to other cereal crops because it was easily cultivated, brought large returns in proportion to the amount of seed planted, and was an ideal feed for the production of hogs and cattle. Every man of John Smith's colony was given an acre of land and instructed to plant corn on it. Corn soon became a medium of exchange among the colonists. Taxes, rents, and debts were paid in corn, and it was even bartered for marriage licenses. It is certain that on many occasions starvation would have overtaken the colonists had it not been for supplies of maize.

      

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