State Highway Marker

State Highway Marker

Thursday, April 21, 2016

"High-Priced Labor and Low-Priced Potatoes"

A WAIL FROM NEW KENT
High-Priced Labor and Low-Priced Potatoes Bring Trouble- Government Asked to Regulate.
There comes a cry from New Kent County. Some of the farmers down that way who sell all of their produce on the Richmond market seem to be in hard lines. Charles E. Palmatier, a truck, and general farmer, living in that county sixteen miles from Richmond was in the city the other day, and. speaking for himself and neighbors to a Times-Dispatch man:
"We New Kent farmers have been trying to answer the call to duty by making bigger crops than ever before. We did make good crops of potatoes and truck, such as salad, etc., and to do so we had to pay higher prices for labor than ever before. Because of the scarcity and high price of labor we cannot raise potatoes for less than $1 per bushel, and this week I could not get over 60 cents per bushel for them on Cary Street. It was at similar sacrifice figures I had to sell salads and other truck. At such ruinous figures we will just have to quit farming in New Kent this year- will, anyhow"
"If the government demands of us to stay on the farm and make bigger crops it should come to our relief, and not let do business at such a loss. The government has fixed prices on wheat and corn and some other products as well as upon many articles of commerce. Why not go the whole thing and fix prices on all of the extra stuff it demands that the farmers shall grow in abundance? Why should it leave off so important an item as potatoes? Seems to me it might guarantee us as much as $1.25 per bushel. That would give us a little profit, and we would be satisfied."
Mr. Palmatier also expressed the opinion that such back-lot gardening in the city has much hurt the truckers very much.

-Richmond Times-Dispatch, 08 April 1918



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