Posted by Lmack on November 15, 2012 at 17:27:00 from (18.104.22.168):
This guy gets it almost like I remember it. I also grew up on a South Georgia Tobacco farm. Funny we had 15 acres of Tobacco 100 acres of Corn, 5 acres of Peanuts with both hogs and 50 head of breed beef cows and we called ourselves Tobacco farmers. We did not handle the pesticides by hand except for the Arsenic which we mixed with sand to drop into the buds to kill bud worms (cabbage looper). We also used mechanical pull behind trans-planters and the plowing and fertilizing was done with a Super A. Early on dad would spend days preparing the row beds with a separate trip for each type of application. The rows were 44 inches drill to drill and at the last I had him agree to bed the rows in one pass laying out rows, applying cut worm pesticide, 800 pounds per acre of fertilizer (3-9-9) or (4-12-12), and bedding up the rows which we did with our 200. Middle busters were mounted on the front and the liquid chemical pesticide for cut worms went in there. We used a Pittsburgh frame to apply the fertilizer using revolving bottom Cole hoppers and side hillers to mound the beds. And yes the standard Pittsburgh frame will only widen to 42" using regular spacing. We would tilt the outer wheel plows out and get about 88 inches for wheel plow spacing. We needed the wheel plows since we were tracing back down the adjacent row to space the next two rows. The story is kind of long but it describes things much as I remember in the late 1950s. Mechanical harvesters on which all the workers rode in the field soon replaced the mule drawn sleds and the task of stringing was replaced with "Bulk" curing barns by the 1980s with no sticks which continues to this day. I can't even find cotton string anymore and it works well for stinging beans. The old barns described are almost all gone. They were destictive in shape being 16 x 16 and about 20 feet tall or 20 x 16 or 20 x 20. It was a killer to fill a 20 x 20 barn in a day.
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