Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
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The successful eradication of the boll weevil and the construction of new cotton gins has led to a resurgence of cotton planting. For example, Halifax County, which planted 16,400 acres in 1985, raised 59,900 in 1995.
North Carolina claimed to be the first place in America to grow cotton, the crop that later transformed the South. According to colonial records the first cotton planting was at the mouth of Town Creek which emptied into the Cape Fear River in Brunswick County. British colonists from Barbados planted the Barbadosian or black-seeded cotton in 1665.
After an absence of almost ten years due to destruction by the boll weevil in the 1970s, cotton has returned to eastern North Carolina. Cotton was an important trade commodity for New Bern, and continues to be equally as important to our welfare thanks to the efforts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
North Carolina’s planted cotton acreage is at the highest level since 1937. While the rise in production is credited in part to improved marketing and promotion, the cotton textile industry is migrating overseas. Wes Morgan, owner of Rolling Hills Gin in Stanly County, discusses his business, and the history and future of the state’s cotton industry.
King Cotton may make a comeback in the Chowan County area, with the help of a cooperative insect control program organized by the county’s farmers. Cotton crops declined due to lack of manpower to harvest it and low profits, but Chowan’s soil is more suitable to cotton than to some of the other crops in the county.