Black Belt, term applied to several areas of Mississippi and Alabama, the heart of the Old South, which are characterized by black soil and excellent cotton-growing conditions. The Black Belt area was historically important as the nation's main cotton producer in the mid-1800s. Soil depletion, erosion, the boll weevil, and economic conditions combined to eliminate cotton from the region. Livestock, peanuts, and soybeans have become the area's chief crops.
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Publication information: Article title: Black Belt. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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