Diversity in East Central Indiana:
An Historical Perspective
Department of Landscape Architecture
Ball State University
crop and value-added ventures may offer the agricultural community potential
for increased profits while diversifying farm operations and diminishing
dependence on federal crop programs. However, discovering which alternative
crops and ventures are appropriate and viable remains a difficult question.
Historically, the east central Indiana landscape supported a wide range
of crops which served not only the local communities but an export market
This project documents the historical production of the crops and marketable farm items identified in historic records from 1860 to 1940. The project does not assume that historic crops are automatically viable options for today's farm operations. However, patterns of production and allocations of crop and product mix may provide insight into potential reconfiguration of production on today's farms as diversification and value-added processing are increasingly considered.
|The project stated a primary purpose to uncover, assemble and disseminate historic information that offered a ‘picture' of an earlier period of east central Indiana agriculture characterized by greater diversity in farm production and marketing mechanisms than exists today. The historic depiction of diverse cropping, farm management and market dynamics provides contemporary east central Indiana family farms and other interested farming operations a baseline array of alternative crops that have been, in a sense, proven as once viable and profitable for that agricultural region.|
Indiana and east central Indiana:
Agricultural Historical Context
Diverse Agricultural Products
Summary and Conclusions
project concluded that historic information offers guidance for and understanding
of the mechanisms necessary for successful and profitable contemporary
diverse agricultural ventures and value-added opportunities. Some principles
1. A fundamental appreciation that agricultural
market opportunities often appear suddenly, then change and/or disappear
rapidly and that diverse cropping and production allowed farms to be economically
At the height of farm diversity in the early 1900's, over forty different crops and products were reported in significant quantities within the east central Indiana study area.
Author | Last Modification: June, 1998 | Technical comments to the Webmaster
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