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Therefore 69 acres out of every 100 is in grass either as pasture or meadow. Spring wheat, acres.....
13,400 Winter wheat, do
21,887 do ....
283,460 do ..
................ 106,368 Barley,
........ 10,603 Total in white straw crops, acres...
This is 17 per cent of the improved land in straw crops.
do in fodder do
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.
21,176 42,352 Spring wheat bush........
121,466 182,191 Winterdo
147,354 117,883 Buckwheat
8:38,394 419,197 Corn
2,007,582 1,606,065 Peas
112,316 89.853 Beans
...... 15,892 31,784
Flax sced ....................
.......... 12,369 Lint, lbs....................
..................... 1,406,428 Hops, lbs ..........
18,554 140,643 388,662 202,580
Total annual value of vegetable products .................... $13,356,988
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 eattle, 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
388,339 Sheep shorn do
267,612 Whole number reduced to cattle, at 7 sheep for 1 head.....
65,491 Whole number of cattle or their equivalent ..........
The aggregate of improved land to cattle is one animal to 45 acres of
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 to neat cattle is 53 per cent. Swine under 6 months old ..........................
..................... 116,391 Swine over 6 months.........
....... 91,446 Total number of swine..........
ANIMAL PRODUCTS AND THEIR VALUE.
......... 20,179,693 200. Cheese, lbs ................................. 3,527,482 10c. Milk sold, gallons.....
......... 5,553,581 8c. Poultry, value sold .......
177,257 Eggs sold ......... ......................... 270,116
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 hay 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 potat) crop is sold, perhaps not to exceed one-fourth, for the article is too bulky and cheap to bear long trans-. portation. The same may be said with regard to apples and 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 sced....
245,505 Apples and cider........
83,352 Flax seed and liat......
159,197 Hops .......
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 be must regard this as tlic sheetanchor of bis 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 manorial resources of the farm, for only one ton in five of fax 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 general prosperity of this district, therefore, is by the increase of its grass products.
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 nearly 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. The operation 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 farmer 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 which 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 hazardous 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 Nr. 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
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.