Segulia, John 1984-07-10

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John Segulia, longtime cotton grower, discusses the history of agriculture in the El Paso Valley.

General Interview Information

Interviewee Name: John Segulia

Additional Parties Recorded: None

Date: July 10, 1984

Location: Tornillo, Texas

Interviewer: Richard Mason

Length: 1 hour 35 minutes


Tape 1, Side 1: John Segulia, Born: Austria-Hungary, Immigration (1921), Move to Tornillo, Texas, Reasons for move, Clearing brush, Draining alkalai in El Paso Valley, Segulia farm, Location, Neighbors, Crops raised, Alfalfa, Cotton, Yield, W. T. Young, Grading ability, Post War farming, Establishment of Acala cotton, Spread throughout Western U. S., Descendant strains, Del Cerro cotton, Development, Acala cotton, Reception in El Paso Valley, Area cotton gins, Location, Disappearance of small gins, Mechanization (c. 1934), Advent of rubber tires, International Farm-all, Purchase arrangements, Rise of John Deere machinery, Pickers, Bracero labor, El Paso Valley Cotton Association, Evolution of farming in El Paso Valley, Change wrought by mechanization, Renting and tenant farming, Land prices (1980s), Farming gravitating toward Hudspeth County, Water law.

Tape 1, Side 2: Pima cotton, Introduction into El Paso Valley, Irrigation, Elfrida, Arizona, Location, Ground water, Climate, Segulia’s acquisition of farm land, El Paso Valley, Elfrida, Arizona, Reasons for purchase, Wells, Dell City, Texas, Sale, Water availability, Compared to Arizona farm, Loss of Arizona farm, Cross-country farming, Dell City farm, Partnership, Raising castor beans, Chemical Usage, Herbicide use, Insecticide use, Harm to beneficials, Insect problems, Crop dusting, Importing beneficials, DDT, Results, Introduction, Present use in El Paso Valley (1984), Switch from cotton to vegetables, Reasons, Competition with California, Vegetables raised, Marketing problems, Pecans, Greenhouse operations, Delinting plants, Methods.

Tape 2, Side 1: Cooperative cotton oil mill; Tornillo, Texas, Founding (1930s), Success, Sale, Territory serviced, Marketing of oil and meal, Closing of area oil mill, Government involvement in agriculture, Necessity, Benefits, El Paso textile mill, Southwestern Irrigated Growers’ mill, Cotton seed as cattle feed, Rural-urban competition for water, Drought (1950s), Use of ground water, Butane powered wells, Butane, Area dealers, Benefits, Cotton varieties grown in valley (1984), Long staple, Stripper, Pima, Climate change in valley, Rainfall, Seasonality, Farming in Dell City, Rain, Irrigation, Planting, Natural fertilizer, Farming in Tornillo, Planting, Broadcast cotton, Minimum tillage, Qualities of modern-day farmer, Imitation, Irrigation.

Tape 2, Side 2: Future of farming in El Paso Valley, Soil erosion, Conservation techniques, Drainage ditches, Resistance to subdivision, Father: Vance Segulia.

Range Dates: 1910-1984

Bulk Dates: 1930-1984

Access Information

Original Recording Format: audio cassette

Recording Format Notes: digitized, CD copies available in Reading Room

Transcript: available here:

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