by Cheryl Rinehart • Photography by Bill Morace and Lynette & Buddy Tanner
This time of year, a drive down Highway 84 west into Louisiana, will pique your interest as the fields on both sides of the road flourish with the excitement of harvest time. The farmers have been harvesting corn, soybean, sorghum, wheat, hemp, and field peas all summer; but the crop that is just now beginning to attract attention is cotton. When the cotton crops are at their peak, the fields become covered in “southern snow,” one of the most beautiful agricultural experiences in the area. Throughout the different areas of Mississippi and Louisiana, fertile soil offers different bounties through the year; but down in this area, cotton takes center stage during September and October.
Over twelve years ago, photographer Bill Morace, now deceased, set out during the peak of the cotton harvest, traveling the winding back roads and turn rows of cotton fields, to capture some beautiful images of this magnificent and historic crop. I came across the photographs and want to share them with our readers. I visited with Lynette and Buddy Tanner of Frogmore Plantation and Gin outside of Ferriday, Louisiana, regarding harvest season. “It normally begins mid-September and lasts through the end of October, depending on weather,” Lynette explained.
Farming in these parts is a family affair; and the Tanners’ son, John, just moved home with his wife Robin and five children to join the farming operation next year. What an exciting adventure to observe the process and jump right in to continue farming the 1,800 acres and running the gin for area farmers, as well.
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