Agriculture And Cattle Raising (1934)

Corn was the best feed crop in Liberty County in 1934, and that did not mean strictly a good food for cattle and dairy cows alone. Cornbread comprised the main dish on many Liberty County meal tables during the depression years.


Approximately 20,000 acres of corn were planted in Liberty County in 1934, and the best farmers made 25 bushels per acre without undue care of the fields. Most of the fields were inter-cropped with peanuts, soybeans, and velvet beans for fattening hogs.


By 1934 tobacco had replaced cotton as the main money crop in Liberty County.


Since tobacco was one of the nation’s cash crops, it suf­fered considerably from price drops experienced during the years of depression after 1929. The New Deal agricultural programs, therefore, included it as one of the crops that needed to be controlled to fit the market.


In 1934 the U.S. Congress passed the Kerr-Smith Tobacco Control Act, which provided that if two-thirds of the growers voting agreed, marketing quotas would be applied. They agreed.


How much tobacco a farmer could raise depended on the amount of land he had under cultivation. This restricted the growth of tobacco in Liberty County, but profits were assured through government price supports and payments.


Some persons in Liberty County picked deer tongue leaves and sold them to middlemen who traveled about the rural areas in trucks buying the leaves for sale to tobacco companies for use in manufacturing cigarettes. Deer tongue is a small plant which grows wild in Liberty County. Its leaves are from six to ten inches long, and resemble tobacco leaves. They are dried in the sun before sale, and have a pun­gent odor.


The pecan industry secured a foothold in America in 1934.


In Liberty County that year, between 5,000 and 8,000 pecan trees yielded an average of 75 pounds of nuts per tree. There was a ready market for the nuts. Farmers in many parts of liberty County started planting more pecan trees.