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Therefore 69 acres out of every 100 is in grass either as pasture or meadow. Spring wheat, acres......
This is 17 per cent of the improved land in straw crops.
Which is 28 per cent of the improved land, and leaves only the small fraction of 3 per cent of the improved land unaccounted for, and may be included in orchards.
VEGETABLE PRODUCTS AND THEIR VALUE. Hay tons ...,
658,109 $6,581,090 Grass seed bush.
21,176 42,352 Bpring wheat bush.
121,466 182,191 Winter do
137,267 205,901 Oats do
4,465,093 1,239,527 Rye do
1,066,047 852,838 Barley do
147,354 117,883 Buckwheat do
838,394 419,197 Corn do
2,007,582 1,606,065 Peas do
112,316 89,853 Beans do
Total bushels of grain
Total roots ..
Flax seed Lint, Ibs... Hops, lbs.. Apples, bush Cider, bbls.. Straw...
12,369 1,406,428 3,886,620 2,025,800
18,554 140,643 388,662 202,580
Total annual value of vegetable products....
The aggregate grain products are equal to 14 bushels per acre upon the land cultivated with grain crops.
The arerage aggregate value of the annual vegetable products of the groups upon the improved land, exclusive of pasturage, is $9.65 per acre.
ANIMALS, AND VALUE OF THEIR PRODUCTS.
57,245 Meat cattle, over 1 year, exclusive of working oxen and cows 95,906 Working oxen .......
208,905 Cattle killed for beef..
38,537 Horses, whole number.
90,372 Mules, do
474 Sheep, do
388,339 Sheep shorn do
267,612 Whole number reduced to cattle, at 7 sheep for 1 bead....
Whole number of cattle or their equivalent....
The aggregate of improved land to cattle is one animal to 45 acres of land.
Of cows, there is one to 12 acres. The proportion of cows to the aggregate of State is 19 per cent.
The proportion of cows to the cattle of the group, or their equivalent, is 39 per cent. But the proportion of cows tò neat cattle is 53 per cent. Swine under 6 months old...
116,391 Swine over 6 months..
Total number of swine.......
ANIMAL PRODUCTS AND THEIR VALUE.
20,179,693 200. Cheese, Ibs
3,527,482 10c. Milk sold, gallons.
5,553,581 8c. Poultry, value sold
} Ezgs sold..
Total value of animal products, exclusive of cattle killed and sold $5,648, 264
Total value of animals and animal products....
A portion of the lay and straw of this group are exported. But as the surface of the country in the interior, from the Hudson river, is mountainons, and there are but few routes whereby such bulky articles can be brought to market profitably, it is perhaps but fair to assume that there are not to exceed 100,000 tons of hay exported, and about $100,000 worth of straw sold for export.
Owing to the market facilities furnished by the canals and river, it may be safely assumed that the oats, rye and barley are made a surplus or marketing crop. Corn and peas are generally consumed on the farm; beans only being sold. A portion of the potato crop is sold, perhaps not to exceed one-fourth, for the article is too bulky and cheap to bear long transportation. The same may be said with regard to apples aud cider; not
over one-third of this product reaching a market. But flax seed and lint, hops and grass seed, are all marketed. The value of surplus of vegetable products annually, would be about as follows, viz.: Hay, tons 100,000, at $10...
100,000 Grass scod.
245,505 Apples and cider.
83,352 Flax seed and liat.
388,662 Total value of annual surplus of vegetable products.....
$4,261,100 Surplus animal products......
5,648,264 Total valuo of annual surplus products of the farm ....... $9,909,364
This sum is equal to $4 per acre of the improved land, and would make the annual average income of the farms upon the improved land, equal to $320, or not far from seven per cent. upon the capital invested.
The indications of thrift, over the largest portion of this gronp, are such that the improving condition of the inhabitants cannot be mistaken.
Away from the great thoroughfares that border it, the accumulations of wealth must be made by slow degrees and by industry and a rigid economy. Nor will the interior ever be other than a grazing and dairy region.
As a dairy region, especially for butter, it has no rival in this State, at least. The pure water and air, and the sweet herbage of the mountain pastures of this region, enable the skillful dairy woman to send from these hills and valleys, butter which has no rival, and deservedly commands the highest price wherever known.
AGRICULTURE. The soil and climate over the largest portion of this group, admit of bat little variety in its agriculture. Pasturage and the dairy must ever remain the occupation of its rural population. Their industry may be varied to some extent, but their true wealth will be most increased by increasing their annual animal surplus. The soil has the mineral elements of a perpetual fertility, for the rocks of nearly all parts of this group contain either lime or potash in appreciable quantities. Thus it will always be in the power of the farmer to increase his store by a judicious managemeut of his soil. He cannot amend the climate, which owing to the elevation of the great proportion of the land, will partake more or less of Alpine rigors, yet he can, by adopting a system of farming suited to its peculiarities, mitigate its rigors.
The attempt to raise grain to any extent beyond the absolute necessities of the farm, except in favored localities, is poor economy. Grass, in pasture or meadow, should be the great object of every farmer, and all his energies should be directed to this end, and he must regard this as thic sheetanchor of his success. He should regard a good turf as more important than his wife's best carpet, and be quite as careful of its preservation. The plow should be used as sparingly as possible, and manure husbanded with the greatest care, and applied with a liberal hand. The time has
come when the farmer may add to his surplus crops, flax and the sugar beet. One prepares the way for the other, and both come well within the means of the dairy farmer. Neither impoverish the soil, and both add to the manurial resources of the farm, for only one ton in five of flax need to be carried from the farin, and the balance forms the choicest kind of bedding for stalled animals. And one ton out of five of the gross products of the beet is excellent forage for cows.
Thus, by growing less grain, the farmer will be able to increase his gains, to increase his manurial resources, to keep more animals, and to make more manure, which after all is his best crop. He will reach that point of all good farming which is indicated by the increase of his herd, without increasing his acres.
The more manure the more cattle, the more cattle the more manure.
The cultivation of hops is carried on largely in this group, Otsego county being the great central hop growing county of the State. Fifty-seven per cent. of all the land in hop gardens in this state is in this group; and fiftyfour per cent. of all the hops grown are also grown here.
Mr. Caird,* in speaking of the great hop district in Sussex, England, where from 10,000 to 12,000 acres are annually cultivated in hops, thus speaks of the uncertain returns from hop farming: “ This plant requires the richest soil of the farm, and receives pearly all the manure produced, robbing the corn and root crops of the share which rightfully belongs to them, The farmer's attention is concentrated on his hop garden, and the rest of his farm receives very little of his regard, and hardly any of his capital. ration of the duty gives the business a gambling character. A favorable season with a large yield of hops is disastrous to the farmer, as the market value of the article falls, while the duty swells in proportion to the bulky character of the crop. When the crop is a short one the fariner prospers, as the price of the hops rises and the total amount of duty falls. There is thus a constant succession of chances, extraordinary prices being sometimes realized, which tempt men to futher adventure, and withdraw them from that steady, persevering industry without wliich agriculture cannot be profitably carried on. The uncertainty of prices and crops, and the peculiar bearing of the duty, are such that very few of the bop farmers are enriched by it, many are ruined, and still more are kept on the verge of bankruptcy. It is very probable, therefore, that if the cultivation of hops were to cease, it would in the end be no loss to the Sussex farmer, as his richest land would then be released for the growth of crops of a less bazardous kind, and the rest of his farm receive a fair share of manure and cultivation."
The condition of the farms throughout this group, as well as in others, where hops were made the leading feature, fully confirms the remarks of Mr. Caird, and the opinion of some of the best financial men of Otsego county, as well as some of its wisest and most skillful farmers, confirms
*Cuird's English Agrioulture, 1850–61.
the belief that the abandonment of hop culture in that county, at least, would add largely to the permanent prosperity of the bulk of farmers engaged in it. That as a subordinate branch of farming, it may be made as profitable as other branches, is perhaps true to a certain extent; but that any crop which returns nothing to the land in manure, but yet requires large quantities to ensure a profitable cultivation, will in the long run be found to add to the permanent prosperity of the farmer, is exceedingly doubtful.
In my opinion, the increased culture of this plant ought not to be encouraged.