Imágenes de páginas

Area (acres) Value of crops Value per acro Medicinal and aromatic plants ..


$143,618 $16.72 Miscellaneous plants .



132.79 Total in field crops . 280,728,713 2,624,983,399

9.16 Totalin vegetables and fruits

8,989,620 252,006,611 28.03 The total area in field and garden crops was approximately 290 million acres, while the total area of improved land was given at 415 million acres. This probably means that 125 million acres were in pasture. The area devoted to hay and pasture was therefore substantially the same as that given to the cereals. About one acre in thirty of the cultivated area was devoted to fruits and vegetables, while their value was about one-tenth that of the field crops.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Acreage of cereals, Census, 1900. 7. Cereals.—Any grass grown for its edible grain is called a cereal. The term is applied both to the plant as a whole and to the grain itself. According to this definition, buckwheat is not a cereal. It is, however, generally so classed because the seed is used in the same manner as the true cereals.

1 Refers to broom com and hops.

The six great cereals of the world are wheat, rye, barley, maize, oats and rice. In addition to these the seed of the millet, or non-saccharine sorghum, is used largely by the peoples of southern Asia.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The relative Increase in population and production of cereals during 50 years.

In all ages and in all countries the cereais have occupied the bulk of the cultivated area and have formed the principal ingredient in the dietary of the people, as well as forming an important part of the food of domestic animals. Rye is the leading cereal of northern Europe and barley of southern Europe, while rice is the leading cereal of Asia. In the United States the three just mentioned occupy a minor place, while maize, wheat and oats occupy by far the largest part of the cultivated area. The following table shows the proportion of the area of each cereal to all the cereals raised in the United States in 1899:

1 Twelfth Census. VOL. VI, p. 14

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

8. Grasses.—The area devoted to pasture, hay and forage crops in the United States is greater than that devoted to any other single crop, and the product is of greater value than any other. This, however, includes some of the legumes which are used for pasture, hay or forage.

There are about 3500 known species of true grasses, divided into about 300 genera. In the United States there are now known to be about 1380 species (1275 native and 105 intro duced), divided among 165 genera (140 native and 25 introduced). W. J. Beal has described 809 native species and 103 exotic species.?

Lamson-Scribner gives the number of the best known and most valuable grasses for different purposes as follows: thirtyeight hay grasses, thirty-five pasture grasses, fourteen lawn grasses, twenty-four grasses for wet lands, twenty grasses for embankments, nineteen grasses for holding shifting sands. In a number of instances the same grass occurs in two or more different classes.

The principal cultivated grasses for hay are timothy and red top, the latter being especially adapted to wet lands, while Kentucky blue grass in the northern and Bermuda grass in the southern portions of the United States are the principal ones used for pastures and lawns.

9. Legumes for Hay and Pasture.—There are in the leguminous or pea family about 310 genera and about 5000 species.

i Grasses of North America Vol. II, 1896.

There are about 250 species in the genus Trifolium and about fifty species in the genus Medicago: the two genera to which most of the plants used for hay and pasture belong. The census for 1900 reports the total yield of alfalfa hay in the United States as slightly larger than that of clover hay from about one-half the area. The clover species commonly used for hay are common red clover, mammoth red clover, alsike clover and crimson clover, of which the first occupies much the largest area. The vetch is grown somewhat, principally in the Pacific Coast States. The cowpea has become an important forage crop in the Southern States.

All the legumes above mentioned are grown more or less for pasturage. In addition, white or Dutch clover in the North and Japan clover in the South are distinctively pasture crops.

10. Legumes for Seeds.—The principal legumes raised for their seeds are field beans, field peas, cowpeas and peanuts. The soy bean is also attracting some attention as a seed crop as well as a forage crop. New York and Michigan are the leading states for the production of field beans; Michigan and Wisconsin for field peas; Georgia and South Carolina for cowpeas, and Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama for peanuts.

II. Forage Crops.-In its best signification the word "forage” means any kind of food for animals, whether hay, straw, grain, roots, etc. Often, however, it is used to apply to the whole plant or portions of plants other than the seeds, and thus to those foods containing a large proportion of cellulose or crude fiber.

In a more limited and technical sense a forage crop is an annual crop in which the whole plant is used for food. Thus maize is a cereal crop when the ears are husked and fed separately, while it is a forage crop when the whole plant is fed together either dried or ensilaged. Most of the plants used for forage are either grasses or legumes. Among the grasses the principal forage crops are maize, sorghum or Kafir corn, mille: oats, barley: among the legumes are cowpeas and soy beans. The rape plant is used somewhat as a forage crop.

12. Tubers.—The only tuber of importance cultivated in the United States is the potato. Although the area devoted to the crop in this country is small compared to the total area under cultivation, yet the large yield of food per acre, the ease with which it is prepared for use, and the intensive character of the cultivation required, all conspire to make it an important crop. It is a relatively still more important crop in Europe, where the agriculture is more intensive.

The Jerusalem artichoke and chufa are also grown in a minor way for their tubers.

13. Roots.—Generally speaking, the climatic conditions do not favor the production of root crops in the United States. In. Great Britain especially, turnips, ruta-bagas and the various forms of the beet are grown largely for stock food. These crops are quite as important there as maize is in the United States. Canada also raises root crops somewhat abundantly. The sweet potato is raised extensively in the southern part of the United States and is an important article of diet in that section. Chicory and cassava are minor crops.

14. Sugar Plants.—The principal sugar plants are the sugar cane and the sugar beet. At the present time the latter furnishes more of the sugar of the world than the former. In the United States the most sugar is produced from the cane. The area over which sugar cane can be raised is not believed to be large, while the area over which beets can be successfully grown for the production of sugar is believed to be much more considerable. It seems probable, therefore, that the production of sugar from the beet will continue to increase until much the larger part of the sugar will come from this plant. Sorghum is, also, grown for the production of syrup, and hard maple forests are maintained both for the production of sugar and syrup.

« AnteriorContinuar »