The flue-cured tobacco-producing areas of eastern North Carolina have been in turmoil since the 1960s, as farmers have tried to reduce their dependence on tobacco by diversifying their operations. Large landholdings, level land suited to machinery, and local entrepreneurs have facilitated innovation and the development of the necessary infrastructure. Soybeans have been a cash crop of expediency, but cotton has become increasingly important since boll weevils were eradicated. Experience with contract feeding of livestock and vertically integrated poultry production preceded the large-scale development of confined feeding of hogs. Even in the midst of the turmoil, however, areas of small farms in the Old Belt on the Piedmont remain heavily dependent on tobacco.
- Farm size
- North Carolina