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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
ACREAGE, Production, VALUE, AND DISTRIBUTION of wheat of THE
UNITED STATES IN 1905, BY STATEs
Crop of 1905 - ---
* Yearbook U. S. Dept. Agr., 1906.
exported by way of Gulf and Atlantic ports.
With the in
crease 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.
VISIBLE SUPPLY OF WHEAT IN THE
FIRST of EACH MonTH, FOR TEN YEARs'
UNITED STATES AND CANADA,
EAST OF ROCKY MOUNTAINS
Month 1896-1897 1905-1906 | 1896-1897 1905-1906 t
Bushels Bushels Bushels Bushels
July............... --------- 61,354 20476 1,927 839 August............ ----------------------------- --- 58,414 | 21,314 1,917 581 September.................................. ! 57,588 21 705 3,512 1,130 October................................. | 63.955 28,894 5.454 3,156 November................. -------------------- | 76,716 53 745 6 883 4 486 December.................................... | 76,433 62. 402 6.5.48 5.866 #. ------------------ - ---------------- --- 73,270 7 1,634 4,189 5 511 ebruary.............................. ...! 68,092 73 151 3,005 5 295 March................................ | 61,664 70.530 1.857 4,898 April............ | 55,946 66,599 1.730 4 Q47 May........................ ------- ------- ------- | 49 684 54,856 1,614 3,917 June......... ... ... | 37,975 40,347 1,221 3,349
Customs 1884-1888 1894. 1898
Bushels | Per cent
| 57.361 000. 47 5
33 315 000 27.6
2 o 334,000 18 5
* Yearbook U. S. Dept. A gr.
A feature of the wheat industry in the United States that merits special mention is the increased production of durum wheats. These wheats are now widely grown in the semi-arid regions where the annual rainfall does not exceed 10 or 12 inches. In the early years they were a product very difficult of profitable sale, but they are now assuming a strong commercial position. The nature of the grain was not generally understood by American millers until it had been on the market for several years. In Russia it is blended with about 25 per cent of red wheat, and the same practice has been followed with some success in the United States. Many mills are now grinding the grain. A large portion of the durum wheat grown in the United States is exported, chiefly to Marseilles and other ports of the Mediterranean sea. About 10,000,000 bushels were exported during the year ending June 30, 1906. About 2,000,000 bushels were produced in 1902, 6,000,000 in 1903, 20,000,000 in 1905, and 50,000,000 bushels in 1906.
Russian Wheat Production.—Viewed solely from the point of view of its natural resources and economic aspects, Russia is the United States of Europe. It has immense undeveloped areas that would form ideal wheat lands, lands very similar to those which constitute the wheat belt of the United States. European Russia may be divided into two regions distinct as to the nature of their soil by a line running from Bessarabia in the southwest to Ufa in the northeast. In the southeast is the chernozium (black soil) region, and in the northwest the non-chernozium region. Clay, sand and rocky soils are all found in the non-black soil region, which lacks fertility and is chiefly devoted to the production of rye. The black soil zone is an arable plain, vast in extent, very fertile in soil, arising through centuries from the decomposition of accumulated Steppe grasses and sheltered by outlying forests. This plain stretches across the empire to the Ural Mountains, extending completely over 15 provinces and partially over 12, and even reappearing in Siberia. It is one of the largest fertile sections of land on the globe. In European Russia, the 18 provinces which lie chiefly in the black soil region produce two-thirds of the wheat and only one-third of the rye. Of the 328,000,000 acres of arable land, 59 per cent, or 193,000,000 acres, is located in the black soil region. Of the 197,000,000 acres of cereal crops, 72 per cent, or 142,000,000 acres, is found in the chernozium area. The black soil is of great uniformity in type and composition, varies in depth from a few inches to about 4 feet, and owes its dark color to its high proportion of organic substances (4 to 16 per cent). The Russian Steppes have fully as great a similarity to the Great Plains of the United States in climate as in soil, although greater extremes prevail. The similarity between Russia and the United States in the natural resources of the wheat growing regions is quite equaled by the dissimilarity in political practice, social theory and economic condition. The Slav does not possess the Anglo-Saxon’s proud institutional heritage. The Russian proletariat have no “Uncle Sam’’ who is rich enough to provide farms for all. There is, indeed, plenty of land, and they do have the Little Father, who is supposed to exercise a paternal care over his people. Sadly lacking in the institutions that are fundamental for progress and prosperity, however, the Russian people have found the Little Father to be far less capable and generous in aiding their material advancement than is essential to its realization. Consequently they have been unable to rise above their ignorance, poverty and misery. A population of exuberant fertility residing in a land of unlimited natural resources, the Russian peasantry have had neither means nor opportunity to attain a higher plane of life. The poor system of land ownership and the antiquated methods of agriculture made Russian wheat a dear wheat in spite of cheap labor and a low standard of living. The future possibilities of Russian wheat production depend upon the social, economic and educational progress of Russia. There are symptoms of improvement in this direction. The extension of peasant land ownership is improving economic conditions. It seems that political and social conditions are at last changing and popular education is growing. In agriculture, better machinery is being introduced, and crops are being rotated. The production of wheat increased 122 per cent in European Russia from 1870 to 1904. From 1881 to 1904 the acreage in wheat gained 57.3 per cent, while that of rye gained only 1.7 per cent, and the ratio between wheat and rye changed from 45:100 to 70:100. The yield of wheat per acre decreases from west to east.