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Blacklands of Eastern North Carolina Rich in Farming Heritage

Arguably, the Blacklands of North Carolina is some of the richest, most productive farmland in the state. Joe Landino farmed in the Blacklands for more than 40 years, retiring in 2006, and was there from nearly the beginning, and says that getting the area what it is today was challenging:

“Drainage was one of the main problems, there was too much water. That was one of the first things that had to be done in improving the productivity of this area. That benefited not just the agriculture, but the forest land as well. Its controversial because a lot of the environmental groups think we need to flood the soils to be the most productive but that is ridiculous.”

In addition to some of the richest, organic soils in the state, some of the largest farms in the state are in the Blacklands according to Landino:

“Farms down here have 5-10,000 acres is not that uncommon. In fact, if you don’t have a few thousand acres, you cant afford to buy the equipment you need to buy.”

Another big advantage is that the majority of the Blacklands are flat. And that, along with adequate moisture and rich soils has attracted farmers to the area far and wide says Landino:

“It definitely is an advantage that we have. A lot of people would like to come down here and farm. A lot of the farmers here have come from a lot of different places, from the Piedmont to Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin.”

But, setting up operations in the Blacklands isn’t as easy as moving equipment and a homestead, Landino explains that many an accomplished producer has had to re-learn farming:

“If they didn’t re-learn then they packed up and left. There have been examples of both.”


We’ll hear more from Joe Landino tomorrow on Inside Agriculture. is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.