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racter of its strata, marks the characteristics of its agricultural capacity. Along the indentations in its dividing ridge of hills, the calcareous nature of the drift has imparted to the soil the elements for growing winter wheat profitably. But these locations are small in extent and generally require thorough under-drainage before the soil can be made available.
The condition of its surface, however, is that which makes it admirably calculated for a great dairy district, and as such, it is mainly employed. There is probably not in the northern States of the Union, so large a continuous tract of country that presents in the aggregate so much prime dairying lands as this, and there is none that can rival it in the quality and quantity of its dairy products. It is the great central dairying, region of the Union.
Of its area which is now unimproved, viz.: 6,670 square miles or over 4,000,000 of acres, there is not over 1,000,000 of acres that is not capable, when cleared of its present forests, of being converted into profitable pasture or meadow. The time is rapidly approaching when every tree that ought to be cut down will have disappeared, and the whole region will become one vast dairy region, and literally its thousand hills will be covered with cattle.
The dairy is the true wealth of this district, and to that the farmers should bend all their energies. The hilly nature of the land renders its cultivation difficult, and points out the true method whereby the land shall be made profitable. Grass is here pre-eminently the best crop for the farmer, and it should be his constant study to make two blades of grass grow where only one grows now.
To this end, grain should be grown only as an exceptional crop, secondary to the increased productiveness of meadow and pasture. The farmers of this region are favored beyond those of the 3d and 4th groups, by having a more genial soil and climate, and greater command of manurial resources, and a wider field for its useful application. There are few farms where roots may not be grown profitably, fewer where flax cannot be grown to advantage; and with flax seed and roots, the mamure may be enriched indefinitely; and in no portion of the State will its application produce so marked results; for here is a soil already moderately fertile, and the farmer has only to conserve those latent qualities by adding to them constantly, to possess a soil of great fertility, and capable of producing rich rewards for his care. In this district, more than in any other, a systematic course of under-draining must be established; for there is little land that does not require it, and is not of sufficient value to warrant the expense. On tens of thousands of acres, a judicious use of the plow in making open drains, will render valuable the land now waste in swamps or stagnant pools. The tops of nearly all the ridges or hills are elevated plateaux, often of some hundreds of acres, so level that the water is only slowly discharged by evaporation or soaking into the adjoining soil, and rendering wet and productive of only wild grass and rushes; yet a small outlay of time and labor, by making ditches to the slope of the hills would render these very waste and worse than waste places, the most fertile of the district. But when open ditches cannot be made to accomplish the object, the usual mode of tile or pipe-draining must be (Ag. Teans.)
adopted, and open ditches should be tolerated only where, from the nature of the land, they are the best.
By a system of pipe or underdraining judiciously executed, the product of the soil in this whole district may be nearly or quite doubled.
Let us see what would then be the condition of the country in the produce of animals. It now produces 38,396, 343 pounds of butter, and 20,728,651 pounds of cheese, and 932,781 gallons of milk. The cows are 448,623.
Allowing three and a half gallons of milk to a pound of butter, or one gallon to a pound of cheese, and the aggregate of milk produced averages only 332 gallons per cow, not half the quantity that a well kept cow is capable of producing. The soil, with proper management, can be made to produce the necessary food for doubling this product. Forty-two per cent. of all the cows in the State are in this group, and 42 per cent. of the butter, and 61 per cent. of the cheese is also produced here. These facts indicate the tendency of the agriculture of the district, and further examinations will show, by the increased production of the cheese and butter, that the farmers are steadily pursuing the course indicated by their locality.
The city and village population will rapidly increase in this group, but the rural will only remain stationary for a few years, and then decrease.
TABLE A.--Agricultural Statistics.
1,275,419 1,180,752 A.-Continued.
51,505 101,912 1,175,440 140,231 1,417,626 495,306 10,178,935
Bushels Acres Bushels
Bushels Acres Bushels Aeres Bushels