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luor the inhabitants.
And 68 acres of improved land to each ox, or one yoke of oxen to every two farms.
The cows are 54 per cent of the cattle in the group, whilst they are only 9 per cent of general average, they are 4 per cent above the general average.
Horses are 9 per cent. of general average, and mules 15 per cent., and of horses and mules, 1 to each 31 acres of improved land, or a span to each farm. But as a large percentage of horses and mules are kept in the cities and villages, it will not be proper to average them as a span to each farm; a fair average will not exceed one to each farm.
The swine are fifteen per cent. of the general average, but the proportion under six months is largely in excess of the general average, which is only 50 per cent. But here it is 64 per cent., or an excess of 14 per cent., which is readily accounted for by their mode of farming and facilities for marketing.
The sheep are 11 per cent. of the general aggregate, and there is 1 to 41 acres of land, and as there is 47,054 more sheep than fleeces, there must bave been about that number of lambs, which is 13 per cent., or 5 per cent. below the general average. The general average is one sheep to four acres of improved land, so that they fall below that by half an acre.
The cattle killed are only 10 per cent. of general average, one to every 15 of the inhabitants.
Of the animal products, the value of the poultry and eggs sold amount to 19 per cent. of the general average. But of the milk sold, 40 per cent. of the general aggregate is from this group. The butter is only 8 per cent., and the cheese but 3 per cent, while the wool is 11 per cent.,' averaging 3 3-10ths pounds per sheep, the general average being 3 5-10ths pounds per fleece.
THE AGRICULTURE. The system of agriculture is modified by their proximity to an inexhaustible market, and unusual facilities for reaching it, as well as by the increasing demands of their local markets.
Along the line of railroads as far up as Columbia county, and for a short distance into that county, the principal feature of farming is furnishing milk fresh to the city of New York. Almost every farm throughout the counties of Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess, situated along the line of either the Hudson river or the Harlem railroads, or within from three to five miles of either road, is, to its full capacity, a milk dairy farm, and the principal product sold from the farm is in the shape of milk. Higher up, and farther inland, the surplus of the farm is either in rye, grain and straw; and where the ground is too rough for cultivation, pasturage and hay, forage and bedding for the New York stables, is a leading object with a large majority of farmers.
The whole system is defective, because it constantly takes from the soil its vegetable product, and returns nothing in its place. Of the productive power of the soil, when properly consumed, abundant evidence exists in those farms where the dairy is made the leading branch. The production of the soil is not surpassed in any other portion of the State. Hay and straw are baled and sent to the city of New York by rail and river transporta
In the uppehole groh Phat onland, being
tion. Rye straw is in large demand at the various paper mills, and it not unfrequently happens that the crop of straw brings a larger price per acre than the grain. In the upper counties, flax and potatoes are largely exported, and throughout the whole group, comparatively little stock of ani. mals is kept, as is shown by the fact that only one head of cattle, or its equivalent, is kept to 7 acres of its improved land, being almost double the land to an animal in the general average of the State.
It has already been shown that no system of agriculture can be pernianently profitable when of the aggregate annual products of the farm, the annual animal does not equal or exceed the annual vegetable product.
The prevailing system is one of ultimate exhaustion, because the annual vegetable product is largely in excess of the animal, and will continue to be so until the whole system is changed; por would the change be productive of less profit to the farmer, but after a short interval, would materially increase his income, by giving him as much hay and straw to sell as he now has, and a yet larger income from his animal produce.
This should be one of the richest and most productive of the several groups.
The average price of its farm lands, and of the stock and implements, shows that it stands second only to the 1st group.
The average size of its farms is owing to the fact of so much of its mountain lands being enclosed; of the tendency to an urban and suburban occupation of its lands.
The great facilities for marketing the surplus, either farm or manufactory, and of intercommunication, are all that could be desired for the highest development of all its resources.
It has one mile of available railroad or river transit for every six square miles of its whole area, or 12 per cent of the whole facilities for the whole State, while its area is only 8 per cent of the aggregate surface of the State.
Group II. Agricultural Statistics from State Census of 1855.
Columbia ...................................... .. .....
Bushels Acres Bushels Acres Bushels | Acres
Bushels Acres Bushels harvested. planted. harvested.
Acres Pounds Bushels of Barrels of Acres Value of