Imágenes de páginas

delicate grades are used by the natives for making a cloth called nipis.

The fiber of maguey is extracted almost entirely by maceration, a slow, disagreeable and wasteful process. From the fact that maguey can be grown in districts entirely unsuited to abaca, and on soils which otherwise would be wholly unproductive, the extension of its cultivation is being urged by the Insular Bureau of Agriculture, and already much interest is being awakened in the subject. Efficient machines have already been invented for extracting the fiber, and with the introduction of these the maguey industry will doubtless become one of great importance and yield large returns to the planter.

The pineapple, introduced into the islands many years ago, is now very widely distributed, being grown chiefly as a fiber plant. The demand for the fruit in the Manila markets is supplied from the neighboring provinces. In southern Luzon, Panay, Negros and Cebu, the raising of pineapples for the fiber product is a minor, but important industry. The fiber is obtained by scraping away the pulp of the leaf with a bit of glass or small iron or sharpened piece of bamboo held in the hand. It is estimated that a ton of leaves will yield, by this method, about sixty pounds of clean fiber, which is comparatively strong and remarkably fine. It is woven by the natives into a cloth of extreme lightness and delicacy, called pina, a termed applied also to the fiber itself. It is used for women's garments and for handkerchiefs, collars, scarfs and other ornamental articles of dress, the pieces often being embroidered very elaborately and handsomely. Jusi, another fine native fabric, is woven from pifia mixed with abaca and silk.

Various other important crops.

Indian corn was introduced into the Philippines by the Spaniards and is now widely grown. It constitutes the staple article of food in Cagayan and Isabela provinces, and is almost equally important as a domestic product in the islands of Cebu and Negros. The total product for the archipelago, as given by the Philippine census, is nearly four million bushels, an exceedingly large quantity considering the indifferent cultivation received. Two and sometimes three crops per year are raised from the same land. The tobacco lands in Cagayan and Isabela are often devoted to corn during the rainy season. The grain is usually eaten from the ears, after partial roasting ; in a few localities the corn is ground into a coarse meal and then boiled in water without salt. Corn is also fed to poultry, and the stover to carabaos. An alcoholic beverage, called pangasi, is made from the grain in the southern islands.

Sweet-potatoes, or camotes, of which there are several varieties, are eaten either boiled or roasted, or are made into preserves or sweetmeats. Next to rice, camotes are the most important food product and are grown everywhere throughout the islands, especially in the mountain districts. They form the chief product of the mountainous island of Sdmar, where the crop is estimated to be about fifty million pounds. When once planted they

require but little attention. The vines spread in all directions, taking root and forming tubers which may be dug as wanted throughout the year, so continuing to grow until the land is wanted for some other crop.

Cacao is largely grown. The islands yielding the largest amount of cacao at the present time are Luzon, Cebu, Bohol, Mindanao and Leyte, but the tree is grown more or less extensively throughout the archipelago, there being few places where one or more trees in yards about dwellings may not be found, supplying the immediate wants of the natives. Comparatively little effort has been made to establish large plantations. Cacao (yielding the manufactured product known as cocoa) of the finest quality is produced in Mindanao, and the systematic cultivation of the tree in the fertile districts of Davao and Surigao would certainly be very profitable. At present, all the product is consumed in the islands in the manufacture of chocolate.

Coffee is grown to some extent in many of the provinces. In 1887 it constituted 8.29 per cent of the value of all exports, and the shipments in 1889 were valued at over $1,800,000. The exports of 1905 amounted to less than $3,000. The ravages of insects and disease have practically destroyed the plantations that formerly yielded such abundant crops and almost princely revenues. Efforts are being made to revive the industry by the establishment of plantations in new districts, especially in the provinces of Benguet and Lepanto Bontoc in Luzon, and in the provinces of Mindanao, with most promising results. [For the beginning of coffee-culture in the Philippines and methods of cultivation, see Census of the Philippines, Vol. IV.]

The blossoms of ylang-ylang or ilang-ilang tree (Cananga odorata) yield an essential oil, Oleum anonte, of great value in perfumery. The collection of the flowers affords a small revenue to a large number of the poor people. The tree is cultivated to some extent, but it also grows wild, and the flowers from the mountain districts are richer in oil than those from the lowlands. The oil is distilled in Manila. The value of the export for the year ending June, 1905, was $100,349. [ For illustration of ylang-ylang, see Fig. 1754, Cyclopedia of American Horticulture.]

Pasture and forage.

There are thousands of acres of open country in northern Luzon covered with wild grasses of fine quality, valuable alike for hay or pasture. Good grazing lands are to be found on most of the islands, sufficient for supporting large herds of horses and cattle. The principal grasses of these meadows and grazing lands belong to the tribe Andropogoneae. Species of panicum and eragrostis also occur more or less abundantly. In cultivated lands Bermuda grass prevails, while near the coast Korean lawn grass predominates. Nowhere is there any attempt made to make hay, the daily needs of the larger cities and towns being supplied with freshly cut grass brought into the markets each morning from outlying fields. Manila is supplied almost entirely with a grass (Homalocenchrus hexandrus) extensively grown in the surrounding country. It is planted in the mud in paddies, the cultivation being practically the same as for lowland rice. Locally this grass is known as "zacate." (Fig. 139.) It is cut with a small sickle-like knife, and tied into small bundles each about the size that can be grasped by the hand. One hundred of these little bundles retail for fifty cents. The zacate lands about Manila are rather extensive, and in average seasons yield their owners large incomes.

Rice straw, unhulled rice or palay, and corn are all used for horse and cattle food, and, to a very limited extent, sorghum also. The Insular Bureau of Agriculture, in 1903, demonstrated the possibility of successfully growing teosinte, varieties of sorghum, cowpeas and velvet-beans as forage crops. These can easily be made available anywhere in the islands, and where grown there need be no further necessity for American or Australian hay, that is now purchased at great expense.

American vegetables.

Since American occupation of the islands, efforts have been made to introduce American vegetables, especially by the Insular Bureau of Agriculture, through distributions of American-grown seed to all the islands and by trials at the experiment stations of the Bureau. The results obtained by the natives have rarely been successful, chiefly through indifference or lack of knowledge of the necessary requirements for success in cultivation. Such vegetables as tomatoes, onions, lettuce, radishes, beans, eggplants, okra, peppers, squashes and cucumbers may be grown anywhere with proper care. Most of them are grown by the natives, but they are inferior both in size and quality. In the mountain regions of Benguet and the highlands of Mindanao, all products of the warmer temperate latitudes thrive and yield abundant crops. Ants are a great pest to the market-gardener, devouring or carrying away small seeds as soon as planted. It is necessary in some cases to start the seeds in boxes placed where the ants cannot reach them, and later transplant to the open ground.

Domestic animals.

The domestic animals are the carabao, or waterbuffalo, neat cattle from India and Australia, horses of the pony size, swine, chickens, ducks, geese, and a few inferior sheep and goats. There are also a few Australian, Chinese and American horses and mules.

The most important animal and the most essential to the Philippine farmer is the carabao. This animal is about the size of the American ox, slow and awkward in its movements, but of great strength; it is very dark gray or nearly black, thinly hairy, with a comparatively small head and large, curved horns. The flesh is not very palatable to the American taste; the hides and horns are of much commercial value, and, besides supplying a large local demand, are exported to China and the British East Indies. The value of this export for the year ending June, 1905, was $184,962. Carabao were in the islands when the Spaniards

took possession, and the native farmer is practically helpless without them. It is very largely due to the great losses sustained by the Filipinos through the death of these useful animals by rinderpest in recent years, that the rice-crop has been so short and other farming interests stagnated. The estimated loss from disease in 1902 was 600,000, or a little over 43 per cent of the total number in the islands. The mortality in some districts reached as high as 70 per cent. Such losses have naturally had a most depressing effect on all farm industries. The carabao is amphibious in its habits to the extent that it must spend a part of each day in the water. A few hours' work in the sun without a bath is often fatal. During the heat of the day they seek shallow water, in which they lie down with only their heads appearing above the surface. It is their habit to dip the head under the water and raise it up suddenly to throw water over the back if this is not covered. There are wild carabao on some of the islands. Such animals are often vicious and dangerous to meet. The average price of good carabao steers is about $50.

Indian cattle are bred in large numbers in some of the provinces and islands, and are used to some extent for draft and work animals, but are chiefly valued for meat. In Dagupan and a few other provincial towns, the small Indian bulls are used not only for draft but also for driving. They make excellent carriage animals, and will cover long distances at an easy trotting gait. The general average price of India cattle is $20 to $25.

The native horse is a small, stockily built, but well-shaped animal. He rarely weighs six hundred pounds, usually much less. When well-kept, the stallions are full of spirit and often very fast, making excellent race-horses for short distances. The best ponies are raised in the province of Batangas, where there were some 15,000 in 1903. The losses from surra and other diseases during 1902 have been placed at 33 per cent of the whole number; in some provinces the losses amounted to over 90 per cent. This was the case in Bohol, Tarlac and Ambos Camarines. The native horses are valued at $20 to $25. Wellmatched spans and the finer carriage and racing animals are much higher-priced than this. There are less than 300 mules in the islands, exclusive of those belonging to the War Department, and less than a thousand American horses. Practically no efforts have been made toward the general improvement of the native horses by selection and breeding.

It is estimated that there are over a million hogs in the islands. They are poor in breed and receive little attention from their owners, being allowed to run at will. They are excellent scavengers but rarely get fat; their general appearance is much like that of the "razorbacks" of the southern United States.

Chickens are found everywhere, few families being so poor as not to be able to have a rooster, of the game variety, and a few hens. Cock-fighting is the universal sport, and the breeding of gamecocks is of more importance to the native than raising poultry for food or for the eggs. The estimates based on the returns of the Philippine census place the total number of chickens at nearly five and one-half millions. From the same returns, made in 1903, there were in round numbers, 78,000 ducks, 9,000 turkeys and 6,000 geese. In the vicinity of Manila the raising of ducks is an important industry. The eggs are hatched in lots of 1,000, by being placed between bags of heated rice-husks. The male ducks are sold in the Manila markets at an average price of forty to fifty cents each.

The outlook for agriculture in the Philippines.

The principal industries of the Philippines are agricultural, and whatever of value the islands may have in the future lies in the development of these industries. By intelligent direction and the introduction of modern machinery and methods in the growing and handling of crops, the islands may be made to yield every tropical product required by civilized peoples, and in quantities sufficient not only to supply the vast demands of the United States for such products, but also to command a share in the other great markets of the world.

The four great staples, hemp, sugar, copra and tobacco, now constitute about 90 per cent of the value of all the insular exports. Hemp, the one peculiarly Philippine product, alone yields over 65 per cent of the total amount, yet there are many thousands of acres of this product annually going to waste, because of lack of suitable means for extracting the fiber, and there are yet many other thousands of acres of most excellent but unoccupied hemp lands awaiting the energy and capital necessary to cover them with the richest product of the islands. Hemp plantations require no great amount of skill or experience in their establishment; the plant has no insect or fungous enemies, and a market for the product is always assured. The most prosperous districts in the islands today are the great hemp-growing regions in southern Luzon and the Visayan islands. What is said here in regard to hemp production applies with almost equal force to copra, a coconut product, which for the year ending June, 1905, held third place among the exports, sugar standing second and hemp first. Like hemp, the coconut is a native product, growing wild throughout the archipelago. Comparatively little effort is made toward its systematic cultivation, and such cultivations as are made are, for the most part, of very limited extent. Coconuts are less restricted than hemp by soil and climatic conditions, and while they do not yield so quick returns, the care involved in the coconut industry is far less laborious and exacting, and the profits are as certain in the one case as in the other. The copra industry is practically in its infancy, at least so far as regards its present extent, and as to the other commercially important product of the nut, the coconut fiber or coir, it remains wholly undeveloped. The possible production of sisal hemp (maguey) in the islands is almost limitless, while the opportunities for establishing extensive coffee plantations are peculiarly

tempting. The world's demand for chocolate is now very great and constantly increasing, and there is probably no other region in the world where cacao orchards are so certain of yielding as abundant harvests of the choicest product. The spices, cinnamon, nutmeg, and the like, are natural products of the islands and require only a little attention to make them yield a goodly revenue. All conditions necessary for the successful propagation of the vanilla plant are found here. Lemons and oranges grow wild on many of the islands; and so do rubber-plants, and plants producing gutta. The field is a broad and inviting one. The islands are tropical, and the products that will always succeed the best on them are those everywhere recognized as belonging to tropical countries. It must also be borne in mind that the agricultural organization and methods must be fully adapted to tropical conditions, for the practices of necessity differ in many particulars from the methods of temperate latitudes.

Those who desire statistical and other information respecting the agriculture of the Philippines, should consult the Census of the Philippine Islands, Washington, published in 1905. The statistics were taken in 1903.

Work of agricultural education organization in the Philippines.

With the object of promoting the interests of agriculture and improving the methods of cultivating the soil, the Insular Bureau of Agriculture has done much by introducing the latest and most improved farming implements and machinery and the conducting of demonstration work at the various experiment stations in Manila and elsewhere. The first specific case of the demonstration of the use of American tools and methods was made by the Bureau at Batangas, in cooperation with the War Department through General J. F. Bell, October 20, 1902. All the presidentes in the province were invited to attend, and there was a large assemblage to witness the work and inspect the appliances and machinery; much satisfaction was expressed at the results.

Similar work has been conducted by some of the provincial supervisors, and in 1903 the Bureau of Education began advancing the work by introducing simple agricultural teaching into the public schools, and, when circumstances would permit, establishing gardens about the schoolhouses where practical work in various lines could be conducted, in harmony with modern educational methods.

The Insular Bureau of Agriculture has accomplished much in the way of diffusing agricultural information through its annual reports, bulletins and other publications. For the most part, these publications have been issued in both English and Spanish, and in one instance in Ilocano.

The publications of the Bureau of Agriculture are issued in two series: The first, under the general title of farmers' bulletins, containing information compiled from various sources relative to agricultural matters, prepared in a popular style, for the purpose of diffusing agricultural information; the second series is more technical.




Advice on the considerations involved in the choosing and organizing of a farm should precede instruction on the methods of growing crops and live-stock. These considerations are of many kinds, but inasmuch as they are introductory they may be assembled in one fascicle. The project must be analyzed: the farm must be chosen, its general plan or scheme determined, the required capital discussed, machinery considered, buildings and fences described, sanitation and water-supplies given attention, and finally the artistic setting of the homestead must be regarded.



I 1 . Jl^^^jBLECTING A FARM requires more care than the choosing of almost any other propK| L • erty, because there are so many considerations that go to make up its value. The \^^^^^ experienced farmer is aware of this fact, and he buys with caution and seldom makes a serious mistake. Therefore, the present chapter of advice is not for him. The city person, however, is very likely to make a mistake; and it is easy to give advice to one who has no exact knowledge of the subject. This chapter is wholly for the novice who wants a farm. Having read all the previous pages, with their bigness and their prophecy, the novice will want to buy at once, and he will ask the Editor to tell him where to settle; the Editor will consider his case forthwith, and then proceed. The first question for the enquirer to determine is whether he really wants a farm. If he thinks that he does, he should ask himself soberly why he does. Perhaps he has read florid accounts of the money that can be made from a farm: he must not be misled; he should determine whether the writer spoke from fact or from fancy, whether he or his associates have land to sell, whether the profits were accidental for one or two years, whether the case is isolated or is typical of a region or an industry. Having analyzed the desire and traced it to its source, the enquirer may require no advice from this chapter.

Perhaps the person loves the country. This is laudable, but it constitutes no reason of itself for buying a farm. The countryman may like the city, but he does not buy a flat for that reason. Mere love of the country, good and essential as far as it goes, will not make a man a farmer. Persons who desire to satisfy merely their longing for the country would better take vacations there or buy a country home.

The reasons for buying a farm are two: the desire to be a farmer; the conviction that a farm may be a good investment. Many other reasons may contribute, but these dominate.

Whether a person will make a farm pay will depend on whether he is a good farmer and has good business instincts. There is no more reason to expect that a person who has no practical knowledge of farming will make a good living on a farm, than to expect that one who has no knowledge of the profession can make a success of engineering. As compared with many other businesses, high-class farming is complex and the factors are not under control. There are persons who make a success of farming without previous experience, but there are many more who make a failure; and those who make a success, learn the business as they proceed and do not jump to fulfilment at a single bound. Mere reading knowledge will not make a good farmer. Usually the novitiate who has been reared in other environments is an eager reader, and he is likely to acquire a miscellaneous lot of facts that will have little relation to each other or to practice until they are jolted down by experience.

In looking for a farm, the enquirer should consider the question primarily from a business point of view. He should know what are the "points" of a good farm. It is well to make a list of the points, to study the place with reference to them, and to score it under each, as one would score a horse or a cow. The points or attributes are of two classes: those that are internal, or part of the farm itself; and those that are external, or have to do with geographical location, neighborhood, and the like. Some of the points may be mentioned:

Internal Lay of the land, or topography,
Size of the farm,
Shape of the farm,
Kind of soil, Condition of soil as regards fertility and

physical properties,
State of cultivation,

Crops now standing, and their condition,

Character of fields and of fences, Buildings and other improvements, Kind of farming to which place is adapted.

External Climate, Healthfulness, Neighborhood,

Distance from town or railway station,
Shipping facilities,
Means of communication,
Labor supply,

Markets in which to buy and sell,
School and church privileges,
Character of the farming in the com-
Rural organizations, Likelihood of increase or decrease in value.

If the enquirer wants a farm for profit, he must take care not to be deceived by the looks of the place or by the attractiveness of the view. If the buildings are unusually good, he should determine whether they were built from the proceeds of the farm, or from other proceeds; if built by the farm, either the land or the management of it is excellent, usually both. Slattern fences and buildings, poorly clothed and poorly fed occupants, raise a suspicion as to the character of the land.

More attention should be given to the soil than to any other single feature of the farm itself. The real character of the soil may be determined by a careful examination of it and by the kind and condition of crops that are growing on it. Usually a heavy, smooth turf, if the place is in the North, thriftylooking trees, sleek and plump stock, indicate good soil. Certain kinds of weeds and other plants indicate the character and condition of the soil: clover, timothy, pig-weeds, most strong annual weeds, suggest a good soil; mullein, daisy, narrow-leaved plantain, wild carrot, indicate either a poor soil or one that has been badly handled.

A careful laboratory analysis of the soil will be useful, particularly when one is in doubt or when one wishes to grow special series of crops. The analysis should be physical as well as chemical: of the two, the examination as to physical characteristics and condition may be the more important. The final proof of the capabilities of a soil, however, is what will grow on it; and this is to be determined by growing the crops rather than by laboratory tests. The laboratory examination will aid in arriving at a judgment, and it often gives most useful suggestions as to practice.

The old and persistent idea that a chemical analysis will tell just what a soil is worth, what will grow on it, and what fertilizer it should receive, is erroneous: this notion is a heritage from the recipe epoch of agricultural enquiry. On this point, a chemist (Professor G. W. Cavanaugh) may be quoted: "An analysis of a soil consists in finding the amounts of nitrogen, phosphoric acid, potash, lime, magnesia and humus that it contains. It may be carried farther and the amounts of other constituents determined. These materials, except the humus, are extracted from the soil by strong acids. The action of these acids is many times stronger than is ever brought to bear by plants on the soil in its normal condition in the field. It is, therefore, impossible at present to draw any certain conclusions from the results of such an analysis that are applicable to field conditions, since the acids used in the laboratory dissolve out much more of the plant-food in the soil than is ever in solution in normal soil water. If, however, an analysis shows only a very small amount of nitrogen, then one can certainly conclude that the soil is deficient in this element and would probably be benefited by its application. A soil deficient in nitrogen is constantly showing its condition in the growth of the plants on it. Short growth of straw and vine, failure to develop a full, dark green color in the foliage, and the growth of sorrel and ox-eye daisy, all tell as accurately as the chemist, with all his skill, that the soil lacks nitrogen. It is the same with the other constituents. It is only when a soil is extremely deficient in certain plant-foods that an analysis of it shows the cause of the trouble. We must remember that the great majority of all soils, good and poor agriculturally, differ only within narrow limits as to their composition. Every soil that yields

« AnteriorContinuar »