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Photo of the Week: Jan. 27

"Old worn-out soils": Soil erosion was a high-priority agricultural issue that Extension addressed early on. Here, an agent and farmer inspect a seriously eroded field in the late 1920s.

“Old worn-out soils”: Soil erosion was a high-priority agricultural issue that Extension addressed early on. Here, an agent and farmer inspect a seriously eroded field in the late 1920s.

From its start, North Carolina Cooperative Extension has recognized that agriculture depends on a strong natural resource base. Indeed, J.F. Eagles, the very first N.C. farmer to undertake a demonstration under the supervision of a county Extension agent, realized this in 1907, when he worked with our first county agent, James A. Butler of Iredell County.

Eagles agreed to grow 2.5 acres of corn and 2 acres of cotton according to U.S. Department of Agriculture soil fertility recommendations. These recommendations proved important for the long-term profitability of his Statesville farm.

“I don’t think I ever would have succeeded had it not been for the use of limestone and clover,” he said. “The best medicine for old, worn-out soils is good plowing, liberal applications of limestone, and phosphoric acide and red clover.”

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, erosion was a major agricultural concern, and today’s Extension soil management efforts continue to emphasize ways to protect against the erosion that occurs with stormwater runoff. While the benefits of related recommendations help today’s farmers stay profitable, they also help everyone in the state by helping to protect and improve water quality.

Written By

Photo of Dee Shore, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDee ShoreMedia Specialist (919) 513-3117 dee_shore@ncsu.eduCALS Communications - NC State University
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