The U.S. Wheat Farmer Gets a Good Price for a
"The U.S. Wheat Farmer Gets a Good Price for a Bumper Crop." Life 3, no. 5: 2 August 1937, 15.
This span of mules is pulling a hayrack full of wheat bundles across
the stubble of Jacob Meyers' farm near Lenexa, Kan. A few days before,
these bundles were fields of shimmering grass, a blanket of gold against
the ground. A few minutes after this picture was taken in late June,
they were being fed into a threshing machine and ripped apart into
chaff and grain.
All over the vast wheatlands of the U.S.--in a great swathe east
and west of the Mississippi and in the foothills of the far Northwest--this
ritual of harvest has been going on since mid-June and will continue
till mid-September. At this moment the hayracks are rolling and
the threshers clanking in the Dakotas. For three months the steam
of gold that flows from such bundles will not stop. In a hundred
thousand freight cars, in boats and trucks, it will cascade across
the country--$1,000,000,000 worth of edible wealth. Not in ten years
have U.S. farmers reaped such a crop at such a price--nearly 900,000,000
bushels at more than a dollar a bushel. Years of drought, blight
and low markets are forgotten in Nature's 1937 burst of bounty.
With the competing wheat basins of Canada, Europe and Asia thinned
by drought, with the world's grain reserve diminished by two lean
harvests, and with acreage yields of 14 bushels, the U.S. farmer
will once more jingle money in his pocket.
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