Delta Solutions Big and Small

in Boll Weevil Blues

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780226292878
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226292854 | DOI:
Delta Solutions Big and Small

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This chapter reports the solutions of the Yazoo-Mississippi Delta to the boll weevil. The Delta and Pine Land Company (DPLC)'s fight against the boll weevil was linked to both its legacy and its success. DPLC's success in taking advantage of the boll weevil embodied a telling irony. Boll weevils destroyed most of the company's cotton in 1914. During the early years, boll weevils influenced just about every decision DPLC made. DPLC had come upon a way to take advantage of farmers' fear that the boll weevil would end cotton farming across the South. Its success of selling seed resulted in other anti-boll weevil strategies. The boll weevil blues that emerged from the early twentieth-century Delta spoke to the power of the boll weevil myth. By the mid-1930s, DPLC sold more quick-maturing weevil-beating cottonseed than any other firm in the world.

Keywords: cotton; boll weevil; Yazoo-Mississippi Delta; DPLC; farming; South; cottonseed

Chapter.  12868 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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