Date: February 5, 1931
Location: Northampton, MA
Summary: Coolidge writes on agriculture, and praises the recent efforts of the Farm Board concerning the agricultural sector.
(Original document available here)
The problem of agriculture in recent years has seemed so much the disposition of surplus production that very little public thought has been given to soil exhaustion. Yet authentic reports tell us that each year about five and three-fourths millions more pounds of plant food are taken from the soil than are returned to it. That means a serious depletion of capital.
The immediate effect is the increase of acreage to maintain production. That increases the unit cost. When the harvest comes it is found the expense of raising the crop is so large that the profit is diminished.
A one-crop system is mostly responsible for this condition. With diversification and animal husbandry the problem can be partly solved But investigation has also shown that a wise use of fertilizers increases the yield, reduces the cost of cultivation per unit and so increases the profit.
The farm ought to be primarily a self sustaining home with its own food supply. In trying to make it so by diversification, by needful fertilization and a wiser financing the Farm Board is proposing a sound fundamental remedy for that part of agriculture entitled to public encouragement and support.
Citation: Calvin Coolidge Says: Dispatches Written by Former-President Coolidge and Syndicated to Newspapers in 1930-1931 (Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation)
The Coolidge Foundation gratefully acknowledges the volunteer efforts of John Sullivan III who prepared this document for digital publication.