Working in the cotton fields of the South Plains, 1910-1990
Saffell, Cameron Lee
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The rapid developnent of mechanized farm technologies in the twentieth century profoundly inpacted the South Plains of Texas. Manufacturers, Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researchers, and farmers regularly had the opportunity to consider new methods or machines for performing the traditional tasks of preparing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting cotton. The work begins with a review of horse-drawn implements used on the South Plains in 1910. The introduction of the row-crop tractor to the area in the 1930s brought many changes. This section concludes with develcpnents in preparation, planting, and cultivation up to 1990. The second section describes the evolution of mechanized harvesting from the crude homemade sleds of the 1920s to modem four-row, selfpropelled cotton strijpers. The introduction of the cotton module system to replace tenporary trailer storage for harvested cotton ccnpleted the mechanization of cotton farming on the South Plains.