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 today, 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 of 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.