THE PERVASIVE REACH OF GLOBAL COMMODITY CHAINS
e there parts of Southern Appalachia isolated from the reach of the market economy? Were counties with no major rivers or turnpikes excluded from global commodity chains? Farms in those counties without access to major rivers or turnpikes may have produced somewhat lower levels of agricultural exports (see Table 8.1). Still, these were not subsistent zones that generated only the survival needs of their residents. Instead, the notion that the terrain of Southern Appalachia isolated farming communities from distant markets has been grossly overstated.
Because waterways and bottomlands were essential in the cultivation and export of wheat, farms in counties without access averaged less than half the export grain that was raised on farms in counties linked to major transportation networks. In the production of other agricultural commodities, however, the availability of transport was of much less significance. Farms in counties without access averaged 43.4 fewer bushels of corn or 76 fewer pounds of tobacco than their counterparts in counties with good turnpike and river connections. However, the average production of export hogs and cattle in counties lacking access varied little from that of counties having direct trade connections. Surprisingly, Appalachian farmers did not predicate their production of cotton upon the availability of transport. Farms in counties without access to major rivers or turnpikes actually averaged nearly twice as many pounds of cotton as farms in those areas with good transportation linkages. Despite their lack of rivers and turnpikes, farmers of western North Carolina, a few mountainous East Tennessee counties, Alabama's mountainous Jackson County, and several rugged northern Georgiacounties generated sizeable amounts of cotton and tobacco. In short, Appalachian farms pro-