Contributed by klstacy_home
Description: Champion Fourteen-Year-Old Corn GrowerDate: June 18 1914
Newspaper published in: Norwich, CT
Page/Column: Page 8, Column 1
CHAMPION FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD CORN GROWER
W. B. MERCER
To Walker Lee Dunson, a fourteen-year-old country lad, belongs the international record of corn production. Walker is the champion boy corn grower of Alabama, having produced 232.7 bushels on one acre at the cost of 19.9 cents per bushel.
The following letter from the lad tells how he raised this splendid crop:
I am just fourteen years old and was born in Tallapoosa county, Ala., on the 4th- day of December, 1899. I have lived on the farm all my life, and I have only had school advantages to the extent of attending the common school only during the idle seasons from the farm work, and for this reason my education is limited.
In preparing my land for the corn I first cut the stalks with a stalk cutter and turned the land on the 1st of March with a two horse plow from ten to twelve inches deep. I then double cut the land with a disk harrow, and on the 7th of April I laid off the rows three feet apart and bedded the land with a one horse turner and planted the corn in the water, furrow using 200 pounds of 10.4 guano. The corn came up to be a perfect stand.
Keeping the Cultivator Going.
The first plowing I used a cultivator deep enough to loose the soil. The second plowing I used a single stock, with scooter and scrape, and applied 600 pounds of 10.4 guano. The third cultivation I used a harrow and applied 800 pounds of 10.4 guano. I then thinned out the corn to a stand of about eight inches in the drill. The fourth cultivation I again used the harrow and applied 800 pounds of 10.4 guano, also giving it a good hoeing. The fifth cultivation I harrowed again and applied 200 pounds of 10.4 guano, a top dressing. The sixth plowing I harrowed and applied 100 pounds of nitrate of soda. The seventh plowing I used a Planet Junior cultivator very lightly.
The cost of this one acre of corn will be found as follows:
Preparing the land . . . $1.80
Plowing the corn . . . . 1.00
Hoeing the corn . . . . 1.00
Work of horses . . . . . 2.40
Gathering the corn . . . 8.00
Rent of land . . . . . . 5.00
Fertilizers . . . . . . 26.70
Seed corn . . . . . . . 0.50
Total cost of labor
and fertilizing . . . 46.40
232 5-7 bushels of corn
at 90 cents a bushel 209.44
Profit to balance . . $163.04
Of course all this meant lots of extra work, but then if I hadn't been working on my corn I should have been doing something else.