More 1930's vs now
1930's aerial photo
2005 aerial photo
As I've asked before - what's missing in the 1930's image that is present in 2005? Trees!!! In addition, the concept and use of waterways, contour planting, and terraces. All things that were foreign in the 1930's.
Grampa and Dad started renting this land in 1952 (their house was the farmstead in the extreme upper left corner across the road). Then, the area in the south-east part of the farm, now occupied by trees, was open, and they pastured cows on it. It steadily grew up into white oak and hickory, with some walnuts in the lower areas.
In fact, that SE 40 acres is no longer part of the farm - Dad recently sold it to a person wanting recreation land, i.e. deer and turkey hunting. Dad sold it for 3.5 times what he bought it for from the original owners in 1992.
While the original farmstead is no longer there (we pushed the house in when a cow fell through the floorboards into the cellar), the soil is better protected today than when it was farmed "organically" in the 1930's. More wildlife exists today than in the 1930's - whitetail deer, pheasants, quail, rabbits, hawks - even while using those "evil" pesticides that are supposed to be polluting our drinking water.
In fact, pesticides such as glyphosate (Roundup) allow us to directly plant into the soil, not requiring any tillage that would cause erosion. Furthermore, GMO seed like Roundup Ready corn and soybeans means we can have high yielding crops without tillage, something our 1930's counterparts didn't have.
I'm looking forward to seeing Wayne County on this website soon. It might help me confirm while I'm seeing poor yields in certain parts of my rented farms where I suspect Mr 1930's Farmer plowed up and down the hill, losing the topsoil into the ditch.