“Diversified” is the word that describes agriculture in Henry County, Tennessee. There are farms in the county that produce almost any agriculture product. Corn, soybeans, wheat and tobacco are the major crops but commercial fruits and vegetables are produced on a few farms. Dairy, beef and swine operations comprise the bulk of animal industries but poultry and horse farms are here as well. Forestry is another important part of our farm economy.
Forty-eight percent of the county’s landmass is considered farmland. The county is roughly equally divided into a western watershed, which eventually drains into the Mississippi River, and an eastern watershed, which drains into the Tennessee River. Topography of the western part of the county is nearly level, undulating or rolling while that of the eastern part is hillier. Excellent agricultural soils can be found in all parts of the county, however they are more abundant on the western side.
Henry County farmers are proud of the distinction of having a higher percentage of crops using no-till planting techniques than any other in the state. No-till is the rule instead of the exception in this county. A tradition of good land stewardship runs deep here.
Agriculture here is well served by agri-business. Four equipment dealers and two bulk seed and fertilizer dealers are located here. Several other out-of-county equipment and ag supply businesses serve the area as well. Grain can be marketed at three different local locations and at several within short hauling distances. There is a local stockyard and another in a neighboring county.
The county’s population is very “farm friendly” with a high percentage having at least some farm background. There is an active Farm Bureau organization, a thriving county fair, active programs in 4-H and FFA, a county livestock association, a county Dairy Herd Improvement Association and a supportive Chamber of Commerce which hosts an annual Farmer Appreciation Banquet.
Spring planting starts here with corn being planted in April. Single-crop soybeans are planted and tobacco transplanted in May. June brings wheat threshing with double-crop soybeans planted immediately into the wheat stubble. In August, dairymen chop corn silage and tobacco is cut. Corn shelling usually fills September and October. After corn shelling, soybeans are harvested with everyone expecting and hoping to be finished by Thanksgiving.
Detailed statistics for agriculture in Henry County can be found by going to www.nass.usda.gov/tn. Click on ag census, then click on TENNESSEE county highlights (tables and graphs) and also on Tennessee county profiles (parts 1 & 2) If you would like to speak to someone about the agriculture resources of the county you are invited to call the Henry County Agricultural Extension Office at 731-642-2941.