Farmers are always trying to improve their crop yields and
harvest more bushels per acre. In the 1920s, York County farmers
battled plant diseases, temperature extremes, too much
rain, then not enough rain, insects and other pests. Unlike
farmers could not choose from the wide range of corn, wheat,
or oat varieties bred to resist disease, drought or bugs.
But, farmers found other ways to try to get more bushels
per acre. During harvest, they hand-selected the best ears
corn or the best heads of wheat or oats and saved them to
use as seeds for next year's crop. Farmers also
rotated crops, changing the crop they planted in a field
each year to save and replace soil nutrients.
Written by Claudia Reinhardt.