Encyclopedia of American Industries, Non Manufacturing by Lynn M. Pearce

By Lynn M. Pearce

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During that same time, the average farm size has grown from less than 150 acres to 450 acres. Much of this consolidation was due to technology, as improvements in seeds, fertilizer, and machinery allowed fewer people to farm more acreage. During the 1970s easy credit prompted many farmers to purchase expensive machinery and more land. The value of farmland tripled and, in some cases, quadrupled. In the early 1980s, however, the value of farmland in the Corn Belt dropped 52 percent, according to Hugh Ulrich in Losing Ground.

Wheat farmers employ various systems of crop rotation depending on field soil moisture. Most often, farmers alternate a year of wheat with a year of fallow to conserve soil moisture, and HRW wheat is sown in late autumn and harvested in the spring. Wheat production is highly mechanized in the region. A farm worker can typically sow 100 acres or combine-harvest 50 acres in a workday. When milled, HRW wheat produces strong baking and high-quality bread-making flours. The main region for Hard Red Spring wheat is the northern Great Plains region, where winters are too harsh for HRW wheat production.

Gov. —. ’’ 21 June 2002. gov. —. S. ’’ Agricultural Outlook, August 1998. ag. —. S. ’’ Agricultural Outlook, August 1999. ag. —. Wheat Outlook/WHS-1202, 12 December 2002. gov. —. Wheat Yearbook/WHS-2002, March 2002. gov. Frey, David E. ’’ 17 November 1999. org. Rippel, Barbara. ’’ Consumers’ Research Magazine. June 2002. United States Department of Agriculture. ’’ 26 March 1999. gov. SIC 0112 RICE This industry consists of establishments primarily engaged in the production of rice, or whose sales of rice account for 50 percent or more of the total value of sales for their agricultural production.

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