Monday, September 1, 2014

Harvest, A Hundred Years Ago

Soon it will be harvest time in Nebraska, so today we are sharing this postcard photograph taken in 1914 in the rural Dorchester area.  

We are unable to identify the individuals in the photo.  

The back of the postcard simply reads "Farm, Dorchester, Nebr."  

While corn is still corn, much in Nebraska has changed since 1914.  

Back then, the Cornhusker State had 1.2 million residents.  Today we stand at 1.9 million.

In 1914, most farms held between 80 and 120 acres -- and as the photo shows, you harvested your corn by hand. Today, 5,000-acre operations are common. 

A hundred years ago, the average Nebraska farm's value was around $16,000, including land, buildings, livestock and equipment.  Today, we can't count high enough to estimate one farm's modern equipment, muchless what the land is worth.

And in 1914, more than 60% of Nebraska farms were not making any payments to a lender, since most in those days believed in carrying no form of debt, if possible. Today, local bankers rely on farmers to keep borrowing, whether corn is $8 or $3.

To our area farmers, we salute you as harvest time nears.

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