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" What influence has the Rebellion of 1861 had upon the Agriculture of Ohio ?" No such radical changes were necessary for the advancement of agriculture in Ohio, as were imperatively demanded in France. Here almost every farmer owns the soil he cultivates; here are no feudal liens of any kind upon his lands or his crops; the only thing with which he is burdened is taxation, but even this burden, grievous and onerous as it is regarded by many, does not amount to one half of what the tithes alone amounted to in France, not to mention the taxes, gratuities, champerties, and other feudal exactions, which annually swept away more than one half of the farmer's product.
The influence of the rebellion has been beneficial to the Agriculture of Ohio, rather than otherwise, for the following reasons :
First, It has taught the farmers economy in labor.
Second, It has rendered an improved system of culture absolutely necessary.
Third, It has demonstrated the true relation which labor holds to capital.
I. The following table, carefully compiled from official returns, fully demonstrates that, the area cultivated during the three years of war-1861, 1862 and 1863—has not sensibly diminished; that the aggregate area cultivated during these years will compare very favorably, indeed, with the aggregate of any consecutive three years preceding the rebellion:
Crop of 1863-per cent. of acres which may be used as human food.......... 63.760
o for domestic animals..... 33.963 i 166
" for commercial plants.... 2.276
This result could not have been obtained if the farmers had not economized labor, because at least from one-third to one-fourth of the ordinary
farm laborers were transferred to the battle-fields, and in many instances the farmers themselves; and the entire amount of farm labor was performed by those who remained at home. By economy of labor it is not intended to convey the idea that the labor was not performed, but it is intended to convey the idea that the labor was more judiciously applied than is usually done, and that it was directed in such a manner as to secure the best and most profitable results. Economy is one tbing, but parsimony is quite another. That man is economical in the expenditure of money, which, notwithstanding it may appear to be very liberal, yet is applied in the most judicious manner-in such a manner as to secure the best possible results; but that man, on the contrary, is parsimonious who will not expend any money which, if judiciously applied, would inure to his benefit. The farmers of Ohio during the rebellion have economized labor, and singular as it may appear, this same economy of labor has brought with it a better system of culture; that is, the culture of both soil and plants has been more thorough than heretofore. Much of this thoroughness is un. doubtedly attributable to the fact that machinery and improved implements have been employed to a much greater extent during the years of rebellion than ever before. During the profound peace which preceded the rebellion, farmers were not content that a machine would answer the purpose for which it was intended, or that it would perform the labor better than could be done in the usual manual form; they insisted that there must be a positive gain in a pecuniary sense, or in other words, that the machine must perform the labor cheaper than men could be hired to do it with their hands, before they would purchase it. It does not appear to have occurred to them, as a general thing, that the amount of time gained, and the superior manner, especially so far as uniformity is concerned, in which a machine operates, were positive gains. A field which has been cultivated in a uniform manner, is always more productive than the same field irregularly cultivated. A field plowed at a uniform depth of 8 inches is much more productive than the same field plowed, a portion 4 inches deep, and another portion 12; and this is a fair iilustration of the superiority of machine labor over the usual unskilled manual labor.
Without drills, corn-planters, reapers and mowers, horse-rakes, hay elevators, and threshing machines, it would have been impossible to have seeded and gathered the crops of 1863 with the implements in use forty or fifty years ago, by the same laborers that really performed the labor in 1863. Supplying the place of bone and muscle with iron, steel, steam and horse power, is an encouraging indication of great improvement and consequent progress in our system of agriculture. And the future promises more aid in the way of machinery than the past has as yet accomplished.
A much greater area of land could be cultivated by the present agricultural force, if some implement or machine were invented by which a greater number of acres could be plowed, or prepared as a seed-bed, in the limited time allotted for that purpose. Convinced not only of the necessity but the practicability of such a machine, Mr. CICERO COMSTOCK, a native of Franklin county, O., but now of Milwaukie, invented a machine which, up to the present time, has given the most perfect satisfaction. The following letter, written by an intelligent gentleman, conveys a clear idea of the structure and operation of this machine. The letter was addressed to the Chicago Tribune:
CHAMPAIGN, III., June 19, 1864.. The readers of the Tribune will bear in mind that within the past two years I have made, mention of attempts to cultivate the soil by spading instead of plowing. It is with no small amount of pleasure that I can announce the full accomplishment of the fact, on a scale that has put it beyond a doubt.
During the latter part of April and the month of May, five hundred and ten acres have been successfully spaded to the depth of eight inches, and the whole of it planted to corn.
Last week I spent two days on the farm of M. L. Sullivant, in this county, for the purpose of examining this new mode of preparing the soil, and will proceed to give a somewhat detailed account of it:
The machine is called Comstock's Rotary Spader, is made of metal, and cost about two hundred dollars. There are four of them at work, each in some respect different from the others.
In the first place, the machine consists of a cylindrical cast iron frame, in the ends of which are cai slats, in which the forks to which the tines are attached work. These in passing around the drum have their direction changed by a stationary eccentric, which brings them in position to enter the ground at the front, and so soon as they have passed the centre, to fold back on the machine. They can also be folded up in passing around the head of the land, or in passing to and from the field. The tines enter the ground in a natural projection, like the spade in the hands of a man, and leaving the ground lift the soil in the same way, giving it a sudden shake by which it is broken up and left in a fine condition. The lifting and shaking of the earth bebind the machine keeps it in a constant flutter, like the water after a stern-wheel steamer.
LARGE FOUR-HORSE SPADER,
This spader is three feet long, with a cylinder of two feet diameter, has twelve forks with six tines each. The cut is six and a quarter inches, that is, the spading tines enter the ground that distance apart. This distance is uniform in all the machines. This macbine had been run twenty-six and three-fourth days, and in that time spaded one hundred and sixty acres, being an average of six acres a day.
SMALL FOUR-HORSE SPADER. This spader is twenty-one inches in diameter, has ten forks, with five tines each. Being less in diameter, the motion is about one-fifth quicker than the large spader, and having less tines, It requires apparently less power. In every respect this is the best machine, and the one for general use.
This machine has worked twenty-six and one-fourth days, the most of the time on the same lands with the other ; it is driven by a boy, and has spaded one hundred and sixty acres. Here are three hundred and twenty acres-just a half section-spaded to the depth of eight inches by the use of eight horses and two men, in less than twenty-seven working days.
The teams attached to these machines travel at the rate of two and three-eighthe miles an hour, which will give for ten hours' work something over the six acres, but there is always a loss of time in turning and other stoppages, and the only safe way to get at the amount of work done, is stated above, by taking the actual performance of several days.
To plow an acre with the furrow slice a foot wide, requires eight and one fifth miles of travel, besides turning at the ends of the lands, and is just about what a good team will average in half a day; in fact, unless the lands are half a mile long, they will seldom accomplish this amount, and often plow only three-fourths of an acre, or an average of one and a half acres per day. As a general thing, the average plowing may be set down at ten acres a week to each team. It will be seen that the spade traveled sixteen and a half miles a day, besides passing around at the ends, and going to and from the field. The horses have stood the work equally well with the plow teams, of which there are twenty spans at work in the same field. The driver rides, and would as soon take care of four horses and work this machine, as to have the care of two horses and follow at the tail of the plow. The horses are driven abreast, the off one walking on the spaded ground. In this way they are easily managed, and any person who can manage a single team and plow, can drive the four horses on the spader.
A team hauling a load on a solid road, will travel more miles in a day, but in plowing, we must take into consideration numerous stoppages that take, in the aggregate, no little amount of time. The teams that work the two spaders are no more than a fair average of farm teams, either as to size or speed, and the result may be taken as a fair average of what may be expected of the performance of the spades. I have seen various figures and estimates in this connection, some of which make the work an acre to the hour; doubtless this can be done for a single hour, but I prefer the actual showing of a month's work, as above.
THE SAVING OP LABOR.
It will be seen that one man and four horses spade as much in a day as three men and six borses turn over in the same time with a plow, making the saving of one team and two men, leaving the account to stand thus :
.... $3 00
One day of team and man.........
$4 50 Spading six acres a day, at the cost of seventy-five cents an acre ; three days team and man plowing.....
... $9 00
Plowing six acres at a cost of $1 50 per acre, thus saving by the use of the spader one-half of the cost of preparing the land for planting, without taking into account the extra cost of the spader over that of three plows, but this can be offset against the cost of sharpening the plows, which expense is not required on the spader, as the tines are self sharpening. The three dollars a day are intended to cover the use of machine and other repairs in either case.”
The spader pulverizes the soil to the depth of eight inches, while the average of spring plowing for corn is not to exceed four inches. I am not disposed in this connection to speculate on the difference in value of the two modes of preparing the soil, but prefer to leave it to the actual fact of the crop, as seventy-five acres have been plowed and spaded in alternate strips of one hundred and thirty feet wide, an amount sufficient for a pretty thorough trial, the after treatment of the wbole to be the same. The saving of labor as above stated cannot be controverted, and there can not in my mind be a reasonable doubt that the crop will show still more astonishing figures in favor of the new mode.
OX TEAM SPADERS. Two other spaders are used, drawn by three yoke of oxen each. These are with trucks, and the drivers walk. One of these is three feet wide and seventeen inches in diameter, having eight forks with six tines each. The speed on oxen being slow, not exceeding one and a half miles an hour, the motion of the machine must be regulated by a less diameter. In fourteen days this team spaded fifty-six acres, or four a day. Neither yoke of these cattle could handle a single plow and do good work.
The other spader was made three feet and eight inches wide, intended for the width of a corn row, to which was to be attached a corn-planter. This had not been done, though the idea is not abandoned. This spader has also eight forks, but no increase of tines, the six tines being placed farther apart. This machine was also drawn by three yoke of oxen, and was apparently drawn as easy as the other of less width, the resistance appearing to be in the number of tines used, and not in the water of the machine.
The horse machinev hat trucks in front, and weigh, trucks included, about nine hundred pounds each, while the ox spaders are without trucks, and weigh six hundred pounds.
With these latter the work is not as well done, from the fact that the speed of oxen is not as regular as that of horses.
The wide machine had worked six days, spading thirty acres, or five acres a day. A trial is to be made with the horse machine, using six tines on a machine three feet and eight inches wide. Should the result prove the same as in the ox machine, it will add an acre a day to its capacity.
The two ox spaders for twelve days were worked in a gang with the six yoke of oxen, and spaded ninety-six acres, or eight acres a day; but they are found to work better separate, and it is not probable, unless very short-banded, that they will be again worked together.
The aggregate amount of spading done to June 1st is five hundred and two acres, at an average cost of seventy-five cents an acre, making a saving of seventy-five dollars on each hundred &cres over the use of the plow, a result highly flattering to all interested. This must be looked upon as a vast stride in the field of progress, and will at no distant day have the effect to cheapen the great farm staples, for it is not so much in the saving of labor as in the increased arop that will be produced by the superior work accomplished.
By the use of the spader the soil is loosened up to the depth of eight inches, without throwing to the bottom of the furrow the free potash that has become disintegrated by long exposure to the atmosphere, and which, upon being again buried to that depth, would become fixed, and no longer available to the young plants, which must await the slow process of areation to prepare a new supply,
The farm on which the above experiments are being made, contains twenty-two thousand acres of prairie land, about sixteen thousand of which are under fence, requiring over sixty miles, all of which are posts and boards of a substantial character. The great body of the land is in meadow and pasturing, some fifteen hundred being under the plow. Twelve hundred of this is in corn, one hundred to spring wheat, two hundred to oats, ten to sorgbo, and some ten in garden.
This farm is carried on with hired labor, none of it being rented, and in point of economy presents many valuable lessons to the smaller farmer.
When this rotary spader is as generally introduced as the reaping machine—and it will not require many years thus to introduce it—fully onehalf of the time spent in pulverizing the soil or preparing the seed bed will be saved; and with the reaping machine to harvest seven to eight acres per day, will not the horizon look much brighter, so far as the man. ual part of agriculture is concerned ?