« AnteriorContinuar »
Growing wheat is often pastured in the fall or spring. At times this can be done without injury. On the Pacific coast as much as 10 per cent of the wheat is sometimes cut green for the purpose of making wheat hay. This practice is often followed in Oregon. After the wheat is threshed the straw is often used as fodder in the United States, and also in other countries.
Other Uses of Wheat Straw.—In the time of Fitzherbert wheat straw was used in England to thatch houses. In the Old World some varieties of wheat are grown solely for making hats and other articles of plaited straw. It is also used for various other purposes, such as packing merchandise and making mattresses and door-mats. Another great use is in paper mills, where it is at times bought at $3 to $4 per ton. Efforts have been made in this manner to save some of the straw that is going to waste at the rate of millions of tons per year in North Dakota. The problem of using wheat straw economically is no nearer solution than it was 20 years ago. In the Northwest and on the Pacific coast it is often worse than useless, because it must be burned to get it out of the way.
The Per Capita Consumption of Wheat is not an index to the bread consumption of countries where rye bread is used. Including the amount required for seed, the estimated per capita consumption in the United States for 1902 to 1904 inclusive was 6.23 bushels. The following estimate of the per capita consumption of wheat in certain countries was presented to the British Royal Commission on Supply of Food and Raw Material in Time of War, by Mr. W. S. Patterson of the Liverpool Corn Trade Association.
PER CAPITA CONSUMPTION OF WHEAT
United Kingdom 5.6
United States 4.7
Balkan Provinces 4.3
II. In Exporting Countries
The United States Wheat Production.—With the development of any agricultural community, farming becomes more diversified. This tendency is already manifesting itself in the great wheat regions of the North Central States, not only in the diversification of crops on the smaller farms, but in the rotation of crops beginning to be practiced on the larger farms. There is also a tendency for even the largest farms to become divided into smaller holdings, and this will further increase the growing of diversified crops. All this diversification will tend to decrease the wheat acreage in the best wheat lands of the West. With the development of our whole country, land values are certain to rise. This is a factor of the greatest importance, for it will make certain lands too valuable for the production of wheat, while it will sufficiently raise the price of other lands now lying idle so that their cultivation will become profitable. Some wheat will be grown on many eastern and southern farms which are not cultivated at present. With the development of drought resistant varieties of wheat, the wheat acreage in the semi-arid regions of western United States will be increased.
It is probable that all of these developments will result in a reverse in the historic westward movement of the center of wheat production, and that this center may begin to retrace its course and proceed eastward, for it is probable that the decrease of western acreage by diversified farming, and the increase of eastern and southern acreage resulting from the raising of wheat on lands formerly abandoned, will more than counterbalance the increased acreage in the semi-arid regions. On the whole, it has been concluded by some students of agricultural statistics that the limit of wheat production in the United States has approximately been reached. With the future growth in population, and especially with the further development of mining and other non-agricultural industries, the home consumption of wheat in the West will be greatly increased. This will have a tendency to diminish wheat exports from western United States, and may even divert to the West some of the grain from the Central States which is now exported by way of Gulf and Atlantic ports. With the increase of population and local consumption, the internal and export movement of wheat will greatly decrease, and American wheat will be a factor of declining importance in the international grain trade.
ACREAGE, PRODUCTION, VALUE, AND DISTRIBUTION OF WHEAT OF THE
1 Yearbook U. S. Dept. Agr., 1906.
VISIBLE SUPPLY OF WHEAT IN THE UNITED STATES AND CANADA, FIRST OF EACH MONTH, FOR TEN YEARS'
(In round thousands)
QUANTITY AND PERCENTAGE OF DOMESTIC WHEAT, INCLUDING FLOUR, EXPORTED FROM LEADING PORTS FOR EARS ENDING JUNE