Department of Horticulture
From numerous letters received during the year by the writer, and from trips to many parts of the state, it appears that that interest in fruit culture is greatly increasing. This is encouraging in view of the fact that a large majority of farmers in this state look upon fruit culture as a very unprofitable and uncertain, if not impossible, undertaking. But from a careful study of the evidence the writer must insist upon the fact that South Dakota can easily raise, for home use and some to sell, an abundance of apples, plums and most small fruits. Enough is already definitely known to warrant making out a list of varieties safe for extended planting in most parts of the state suited to general farming, and also in those sections where irrigation is practiced. This list, although small at present, will probably be greatly extended in the near future. The large fruit crop the past year, 1896, has greatly encouraged fruit growers and many are doubtless planning to extend their plantations the coming spring. The great danger is that varieties of doubtful hardiness will be planted and that too little attention will be paid to the experience of South Dakota planters and of those in the states nearest us on the east. It will be wise for South Dakota to profit by the experience of Minnesota and northern Iowa planters and not start in where they began thirty years ago. And yet that is what some planters in this state are doing at the present time, especially those who have come from eastern or southern states more favorable to fruit culture. In order to save needless losses in this line it has been thought best to make this bulletin something of a guide for planters, giving brief hints on best methods and varieties, and to include a few letters from leading fruit growers of the state. It is the intention to continue this work and make a full horticultural survey of the state.
fruit, apples, crab apples, plums, cherries
U. S. Experiment Station of South Dakota, South Dakota Agricultural College
Hansen, N.E., "Fruit Culture" (1897). Research Bulletins of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (1887-2011). 50.