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The Fruits of Their LaborAtlantic Coast Farmworkers and the Making of Migrant Poverty, 1870-1945$
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Cindy Hahamovitch

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780807846391

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899922_hahamovitch

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The Sunshine State Meets the Garden State: Farm Labor during the Long Depression

The Sunshine State Meets the Garden State: Farm Labor during the Long Depression

(p.113) 5 The Sunshine State Meets the Garden State: Farm Labor during the Long Depression
The Fruits of Their Labor

Cindy Hahamovitch

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter illustrates how farmers hastened to cash in on a flush economy. They had planted every acre that they owned or rented and borrowed to buy more land to put into production. The war boom also encouraged farmers to invest in machinery, motor vehicles, and fertilizers—anything that would make their farms more productive and get their produce to market more quickly. All this cost money, of course, but as long as farm prices held at three and four times their prewar level, credit ran like water from a new irrigation system. Farm prices, however, were bound to come down, and the fall began in late 1918. The federal government staved off an immediate price collapse after the armistice by buying farm surplus and sending it to Europe to feed war refugees, but the relief effort wound down quickly as European farmers traded their rifles for plows.

Keywords:   farmers, flush economy, war boom, farm prices

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