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a ton and a half of sulphuric acid were used. Only two living worms and one moth were found, after the operation. It will perhaps require years for the mill again to become so infested as to need another treatment. There is no weevil-proof wheat, but the small, hard-grained varieties are little troubled by insects. Advantageous practices for prevention are prompt threshing, inspecting, quarantining and disinfecting grain and everything connected with it; scrupulous cleanliness; construction of warehouses and mills to exclude insects; use of improved machinery in mills; and storage in large bulk in a cool, dry, well-ventilated repository.” General Needs and Results.-With a better and increasing knowledge of farm management, of cultural system, and of the natural destroyers of wheat, it should require less than a generation of time to double the yield of wheat per acre. Thirty per cent is certainly a very reasonable figure to represent the average annual loss to wheat from attacks by natural agencies of destruction. One of the greatest immediate needs is to impress the wheat grower with the fact of this loss, for it is often little realized, especially when it results from invisible or unperceived instrumentalities of disease that secretly tread their way through field and plant over great areas of the wheat regions. To minimize the effects of this great host of natural destroyers of wheat is a task that is profitable, certain of reward, and most imperative in its demands for attention. Since wheat is raised the world around in temperate zone climates, there is little danger of a world famine in wheat on account of their combined effects, for there is always a great probability that large areas will meet with normal conditions. An unusual coincidence of abnormal conditions over wide regions in different parts of the world may, however, raise the price of wheat and greatly change the magnitude and direction of the commercial streams of wheat over the entire world. Such a coincidence occurred in 1897, when the world’s wheat crop was greatly reduced by drought in India and Australia, by wholesale destruction from insect pests in Argentina, by a wet harvest in France, and by inundation of the wheat fields of Austria-Hungary. 1 Chittenden, Some Insects Injurious to Stored Grain.
Insurance.—While scientific and artificial means may lessen losses in many directions, the positive conditions in nature which make possible the operation of natural destroyers of wheat are quite beyond the sphere of man's dominion. In some cases the loss occasioned can be reduced to a small constant factor by means of insurance. This is especially true of loss by storm or fire. Hailstorms occur somewhere every season, but are generally of very limited area, frequently extending over but a few square miles of territory. Consequently a small premium affords protection. Available data concerning wheat insurance are not at all complete or satisfactory. The insurance of wheat in the field is embraced in the more general subject of the insurance of crops against destruction by hail and wind. Companies insuring crops frequently also insure other forms of property. In Scotland, hail insurance existed at least as early as 1780. The first known insurance against hailstorms in Germany is believed to have been in 1797, when the Mecklenburg Hail Insurance Association of Germany was founded. This company was still in existence in 1878. For the first 50 years of its career there was an average rate of 3.8 per cent of the amount insured. In 1812 another company was formed in Germany, having rates from 2.5 to 5 per cent. In 1888 there were 20 mutual and 5 stock hail insurance companies in Germany.
An attempt at hail insurance in France was first made in 1801, by M. Barrau, a philanthropic and enterprising man who was ahead of his time. He lost his fortune in the attempt, for it was thought to be an interference with the dealings of Providence; the government bureaus opposed the plan; and in 1809 the council of state suppressed the society. Permanent hail insurance in France dates from 1823. The average premium received during the subsequent 50 years was 1.05 per cent, while the average loss was 0.81 per cent. The first hail insurance in Austria was written in 1824, and in England in 1842, the latter including 34 acres of wheat at $58.40 per acre. The whole risk was $4304.66, and paid a premium of 1.6 per cent, and also a stamp tax of $5.41. In the United States the first hail insurance was by the Mutual Hail Insurance Company at Milwaukee, Wis., in 1850. It insured on the cash plan with premium notes. In 1878 it was doing business in 5 states.
At least as early as 1880 insurance of crops against fire was becoming popular in some sections of the United States. During the eighth decade 38 hail and tornado insurance companies were transacting business. They were located in 12 different states ranging from Florida to Ohio, Colorado, Michigan and Connecticut. There is apparently no hail in California.
There are at present numerous companies maintained in the north central states for the purpose of insuring crops against destruction by hail and wind. This sort of insurance generally seems to be confined to the co-operative, or assessment plan. The rate varies from 3 to 12 per cent, according to locality. In California several companies insure growing grain against fire at a rate of about 1 per cent per annum, but in the north central states no such insurance is written. In a few of these states there have been excessive losses in some years upon the hail loss branch of insurance. Canada also has a system of hail insurance. Extensive hail storms occur in Argentina and in many districts insurance is generally secured by the colonists.
The transportation of wheat has four divisions or aspects: (1) Transportation from the farm to the local market; (2) from the local market to the primary market; (3) from the primary market to the seaboard; and (4) from the seaboard to the foreign market.
Transportation from Farm to Local Market.—On the Pacific coast of the United States all wheat is handled in sacks from the time it is threshed. This is the method of handling wheat in practically all foreign countries. Perhaps the only exceptions to this are in very recent times in certain parts of Russia and in western Germany. In all parts of the United States except the Pacific coast, however, advantage is taken of the flowing quality of wheat by handling it in loose condition as soon as it reaches the elevator, and in some parts, as in the Red river valley, it is never sacked at all, but runs directly from the thresher into the wagon box or grain tank. In transporting wheat from the farm to the local market animal power is well-nigh universally used, whether it is transported on the back of the camel, as in Egypt or India; in the twowheeled ox-cart, as in Argentina; in the two-horse wagon, as in Ohio; in the four-horse grain tank, as in North Dakota; or on the six-horse, double wagon, as on the Pacific coast.
Transportation from Local Market to Primary Market.—The fact that the production, the internal movement, and the exportation of wheat are greater in bulk and value for the United States than for any other country attaches an unusual interest to a study of the internal transportation of American grain. Those great railway centers into which the wheat of the surplus producing states is concentrated after the first stage of its movement from the producer are designated as the primary grain markets. The ten largest centers are Chicago, Minneapolis, Duluth-Superior, St. Louis, Milwaukee, Toledo, Kansas City, Peoria, Cincinnati and Detroit. An average of from 10,000,000 to 90,000,000 bushels of grain has been annually received by each of these cities. With one exception,
all of these primary markets are located at the points where the circumference of an irregular circle intersects the great inland waterways. From each of these centers radiates a fan-shaped net-work of railway lines. In the main, these lines extend to the north, west and south. Sometimes over 25 grain carrying lines come from a single city. Not only do the railroads from any one city compete with each other as carriers of grain, but they also compete with the roads radiating from other cities. The competition is all the more intense because success or failure for certain primary markets in securing the grain often determines whether it goes to the Atlantic or Gulf seaports, and thence to the foreign markets. As a consequence the middle west is well equipped with railway mileage. The net earnings of the railway systems come largely from the grain traffic to the east and south, and from the traffic which this induces in the opposite direction. The movement of wheat from the local markets of the productive areas to the primary centers for subsequent distribution is almost entirely by rail. There is very little water transportation. In 1899, 50,000,000 bushels of wheat, corn and oats were received in St. Louis. The receipts by wagon were almost equal to those by water, which were little more than a million bushels. Chicago is the greatest primary grain center in the world, but on account of the great quantity of flour manufactured at Minneapolis, the latter city stands pre-eminent in wheat. During the last decade, there has been a marked increase in the amount of wheat received at Kansas City and St. Louis; the amount at Minneapolis and Chicago has not varied; and the amount at Duluth has declined. Buffalo is a great point of interior concentration for the purpose of forwarding to Atlantic seaports.
Transportation from Primary Market to Seaboard.—In every country the extensive growing and shipping of wheat is closely dependent upon the existence of adequate transportation facilities. To the lack of these the comparative insignificance of the grain traffic of the United States in the eighteenth century was mainly due. This was before the railroad era; canals were developing but slowly; and highway transportation was too expensive to be practicable for any great distance. During