Wisconsin History Day By Day


Related Web Sites:
Wheat once 'king' of regions crops

The History of the Upper Midwest

Necessity, not design, brought dairying here


Read More About It

"The Rise and Decline of the Wheat Growing Industry in Wisconsin" by John G. Thompson


Vocabulary:

decline
principle
product
exhaustion
chinch bug


Interesting Fact:

In 1870, Dane County had 239,232 acres devoted to wheat production. By 1890, the acreage had dropped to 24,990.


Study Questions:

  • What farming practices became more popular with Wisconsin farmers beginning in the 1870's?
  • How does soil become exhausted?
  • What were other reasons (besides soil exhaustion, the chinch bug and bad weather) why farmers moved away from wheat?


    Search these newspaper databases for additional stories about wheat farming:

  • Newspapers on BadgerLink
  • Wisconsin Historical Society


    U.S. historical events that occurred on October 13:

    1792: The cornerstone of the White House is laid.



  • October 13

    Historical Highlight:
    1871: Wheat farming began to decline as the state's principle farm product due to bad weather, soil exhaustion and the chinch bug. By 1900, most farming would move to other crops.


    Wisconsin History Day By Day homepage
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