Agricultural Change Among Great Plains Russian Germans

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Russian German farmers who concentrated on the Great Plains in the late nineteenth century brought with them agricultural experience in a subhumid environment. Their diversified operations and use of small grains contrasted sharply with the humid-land agricultural system, emphasizing corn and livestock, dominant among settlers from the Midwest. The need to adopt strategies appropriate to the climate of the Great Plains conflicted with the pressures of acculturation. The immigrants quickly accepted some of the components of the Midwestern system in order to compete in the marketplace, but they also retained a number of elements from their Russian experience. In their continued use of certain adaptive practices, particularly a highly diversified cropping system, the Russian Germans remained unique among immigrant groups and distinctive among Great Plains farmers. © 1983, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Annals of the Association of American Geographers