“In 1898 the United States produced less than half the amount of rice we consume. Rice, in addition to its subtropical character, is a crop growing chiefly on wet lands, where it has hitherto been impossible to use harvesting machinery. It must, therefore, be laboriously cut by hand with a sickle. In 1884, enterprising settlers in Louisiana began the development of a new system of rice culture. As now perfected, the dry prairie lands are flooded by a system of pumps, canal, and levees, and when the rice is about to mature the water is drained off, leaving the land dry enough for the use of reaping machines. Under this system the industry has undergone a rapid development.”
—Scientific American, February 1900
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