Thursday, April 30, 2015

Ed Schrader, Wheat and the Agriculture during WWII

In an undated Evansville Courier there was an article about the type of wheat varieties grown in Lawrence County.  Edwin F Schrader, Bridgeport, chairman of the South Eastern Illinois Wheat Improvement Association pointed out that producers in the area had the obligation of producing wheat for millers, of suitable test weight and texture to satisfy the consuming public’s demand for a satisfactory cake and biscuit flour.  The association working with University of Illinois and Purdue University teaches local farmers the proper selection of soft wheat varieties for the production of flour, and where to find adequate sources of certified seed. In addition they teach the cleaning and treating of wheat seed, soil building, cultural and management practices, rotations, seeding to avoid Hessian Fly, control of weeds including garlic, cockle and cheat, combine and harvesting only when moisture is below 14 percent and proper storage to prevent loss and damage by insects. Varieties of soft wheat recommended included in the bearded class, Newcaster and Fulcaster for upland soils, Goens and Prairie for bottom lands, and in the beardless class, Fultz selections and Fairfield.  The introduction of Pawnel, a hard red winter wheat from the southwest was strongly discouraged.

In addition, the Milwaukee Journal on May 6, 1945 also published an article about Edwin F Schrader.

“It would be hard to pick a “typical American farmer” from the 6,000,000 who are now planting crops.  But one of the candidates could surely be chunky, good natured, busy Edwin F. Schrader of Lawrenceville, Ill. 

Ed is the same solid citizen in war years that he was in peacetime, but he’s much busier.  In addition to managing his 377 acre farm with the help of his wife and one hired man, he has been elected for the eleventh time by his farmer friends to be  County Chairman for the Agricultural Adjustment Agency.

The Schrader farm is about 12 miles southeast of Lawrenceville, and there Ed rotates crops of corn, oats, wheat and soybeans, using red or sweet clover as a cover crop.  Last year he specialized in 39 acres of hybrid seed corn.  He has about 30 head of stock cattle, milks 10-12 cows and raises 150 to 160 hogs.  His wife takes care of about 1,000 baby chicks and manages a hen house with a capacity of 250 laying birds.


At his office in town, Ed explains to farmers how the United States Department of Agriculture can help them in carrying out numerous conservation and improvement practices.  His other duties include making recommendations on allocation of needed farm materials and equipment, working out farm goals on special crops, dealing with transportation problems and forwarding information on farm deferments to selective service boards. He’s even responsible for arranging sales of surplus war commodities suitable for farms in his area.”