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The eastern farmer, on the other hand, is placed in a very different position. Practically all the land has been already occupied for a generation, and therefore the original stock of available plant-food may be much reduced. It is, moreover, often rough and difficult to cultivate. If he wishes to buy a farm, the price he must pay is relatively large. Such conditions render it imperative for him to make the greatest possible use of all by-products, to follow a system that will maintain the fertility of his land, and to turn everything to account in the production of as high a grade of finished commodity as is possible. Even now, the earlier settlers in the West are beginning to realize the necessity of either migrating to the boundary of cultivation or adopting a system of mixed-farming; and we consequently find them taking up stock-raising, dairying and the like, in conjunction with their graingrowing. This transition, inseparable from the agricultural history of all newly developed countries, has already taken place in eastern Canada, and is now beginning to take place in the West.
If, then, we except the virgin soil on the borders of cultivated territory, and certain other special areas such as the volcanic plateaus of the Pacific region, it is difficult to find any farm that is devoted exclusively to grain-growing, and which, therefore, could properly be called a grain-farm. There are some farms, however, in eastern Canada on which grain-growing is the mainstay and chief source of income; and it is with such farms, in so far as they are devoted to grain-growing, that this article must deal. First, however, a few words may be said concerning the grain-farm of the prairies.
The capital with which the western settler begins operations need not be large. For a nominal sum he can get a homestead of 160 acres, and may, if he wishes, live in a "dugout" or a sod house until he can afford better. To begin with, a team of horses, a breaker plow and a set of harrows will be indispensable. A stable and some grain for the horses, a cultivator, a common plow, a seed-drill and a wagon will be scarcely less necessary. For the harvest, a self-binder, usually requiring three horses, can be either rented or bought. If the grain is to be stored at all after threshing, some sort of a granary will be necessary. If it
is to be hauled directly to the elevator, no granary will be required. Such is the capital with which one may begin farming on the prairies.
If the beginner is successful, he adds to his initial equipment; or, if he has the funds and wishes to begin in a more satisfactory way, he makes a greater outlay at the start. He builds a house in accordance with his taste, his family and his means.
He builds a granary and a good horse-stable. He buys labor-saving machinery for putting in his crop and for harvesting the same, using, as a rule, wide implements for tillage, and three-, four- or six-horse teams. If he is undertaking operations on a large scale he may use a steam-plow and other substitutes for animal labor.
The eastern farmer does not devote himself so exclusively to grain-growing as his western brother. Fruit, potatoes, dairy products, beef and bacon, breeding stock, are all produced more or less in conjunction with the ordinary cereals. Of the latter, wheat and oats, and in a lesser degree barley, peas, corn, rye and beans, are grown for sale. Those farmers who make grain-growing their chief source of income fall into two main classes: those who are too shiftless, too ignorant or too unfortunate to work into other, and, so far as outlay for capital is concerned, more expensive, lines of work; those financially encumbered, who follow graingrowing for a time because it yields the quickest cash returns, and, as soon as may be, introduce systems of mixed-farming.
The eastern farm is, on the average, neither so level nor so large as the western farm. Consequently, it is more difficult to use labor-saving machinery on it to advantage than it is on the prairies. Hence, we find practically no steam-plows; and seven-foot mowers and binders are rare. It is true that the Ontario farmer has learned to enlarge his fields and to use bigger and more efficient implements thereon; but, so long as the average farm does not increase materially in size, this sort of economy will soon reach its limit. It is practicable, however, at present, to make large use of double plows, wide harrows, cultivators and drills, and other means of saving man's labor. We cannot expect, however, that in this regard conditions will ever be as favorable for the average farmer of Ontario as they are for the prairie wheat-grower,
Fie. 177. Establishment in which the stock-barns represent a large proportion of the invested capital. (Pages 173-177.)
and the former must be content to accept other advantages as compensations for this one decided disadvantage.
Land, fixtures and equipment.
In estimating the capital and equipment required for the eastern grain-farm, several chief items may be taken into consideration.
1. Land.—In the older-settled parts of Ontario, land is sold at various prices, according to its natural advantages (soil, surface, water and the like), its improvements (buildings, fences and others) and its situation (as proximity to markets). Prices vary from, say, $20 to $100 an acre.
2. Buildings.—The grain-grower will, of course, need a dwelling-place ; and, as the size, cost, beauty and usefulness of such may vary infinitely, it would be vain to attempt to enter into details in this article. He will also need work-horses (oxen are yet used in places), and for these a stable, preferably covered by a haymow, is practically indispensable. A granary, too, is a necessity. Beyond these, nothing is needed and no other farm buildings are commonly used unless live-stock of other kinds is kept. Then cattle-stables, pig-pens, henhouses, sheep-sheds, hay and straw barns, and the like, come into existence and necessitate a very considerable outlay.
3. Animals.—Three or four good horses should be sufficient on a 100-acre grain-farm. In addition to these, a cow may be kept to supply milk for the
There is no doubt that the general relationship existing between capital and output would be considerably modified if the average size of the eastern farm were materially larger. Larger implements, larger fields, less proportionate fencing, greater coordination of workers, and more economical methods in general could be adopted. Against these, however, must be set the disadvantages of having a proportionately large number of workmen; and nowadays it is a question whether the advantages of more economical administration are not more than neutralized by the disadvantages connected with the employment of hired help. Conditions may change in the future; but one must always reckon with the amount of capital that can most profitably be put into labor.
As already indicated, the grain-farm has only a temporary existence in special localities. So-called grain-farms, in districts devoted to mixed-farming, are operated by the shiftless, the ignorant, the backward, or the unfortunate. The equipment necessary for working a grain-farm, whether in the West or in the East, is comparatively
Fig. 178. Extremes in tillage equipment in the same region. At the left, negro farming in the South. At the right, a 6-mule disc-plow and 4-mule mold-board plow breaking land in August, from which corn and cowpea hay have been gathered. Overseer in charge. Cane plots in distance.
inelaborate and inexpensive; and it varies much according to the size, soil, surface and other characteristics of the farm in question, as well as being dependent on the climate and the taste of the farmer. No figures and no rules will apply to all cases, or to the same case under all circumstances.
house, and a pig or two to consume refuse food and to be converted into pork.
4. Farm implements.—For a 100-acre farm it is customary to have some such implements as follows: One or two plows, a set of smoothing harrows, land roller, spring-tooth cultivator, disc harrow or the like, seed-drill, mower and hay rake, binder, wagon, and numerous other smaller articles. Threshing-machines are rarely owned by the small farmer; they are either owned jointly by a number of farmers or by one man who makes it his business to thresh over a certain territory during the season.
In addition to these main items, there are a few others, such as personal and household expenses, provision for contingencies, fencing, taxes and insurance, and so forth. Local prices it would be of no service to give.
As far as grain-growing is concerned, the writer does not think that barns are necessary for storing either the unthreshed grain or the straw, save in exceptional cases. Grain in sheaves can be easily and (ordinarily) safely stacked; and so also can the threshed straw. Unless the straw is to be sold, there is no object in housing it. It is usually either burnt, allowed to rot, or, preferably, plowed under; and for any one of these courses, housing the straw is of no service. The possession of a barn, with its annual wear and tear, and liability to destruction, for either unthreshed grain or threshed straw, is of questionable value.
CAPITAL REQUIRED FOR THE STOCK-FARM By Herbert W. Mumford
Stock-farming necessitates the outlay of considerable more capital than grain-farming. The money invested in live-stock is not the only factor calling for larger investment, as more and better buildings are required and the employment of more and better quality of labor is essential.
The equipment of the stock-farm will depend somewhat on the location and adaptability of the farm for breeding and rearing live-stock. It is assumed that the farm to be equipped possesses the desirable factors of a stock-farm, viz., a soil adapted to the growing of abundant forage at a minimum of expense, abundant supply of water easily accessible, plenty of shade, good fences that hold the stock without danger of injuring them, good mail, express and transportation facilities, and ample buildings of durable construction, attractive appearance and convenient interior arrangement. Buildings need not necessarily be abnormally expensive. As far as possible, the farm should furnish such feeds as are required for the maintenance and development of the live-stock produced. For example, if the stock-farm is to be devoted to the production of registered breeding cattle of some of the beef breeds, together with pork and mutton for the market, a location should be chosen where corn is relatively cheap. It is frequently better practice to buy a farm near, but outside, the corn-belt, owing to the high price of land in the corn-belt: and, as a rule, the improvements in the way of buildings and fences are not so good in the corn-belt as where mixed husbandry prevails.
Farms admirably adapted to stock-raising purposes may now be purchased in the Central West for $50 to $100 per acre. There is no objection to part of the stock-farm which is to be used for pastures consisting of rolling land, but it is a distinct advantage to have the plow-land reasonably level and free from stones and other obstructions that would hamper the use of modern labor-saving machinery. The equipment required will vary widely with the character of the soil, the contour of the land and the size of the farm. The small farm of eighty to two hundred acres is usually operated by the proprietor, he, together with one or two men, doing the farm work. The larger farms, consisting of four hundred acres or more, require that the proprietor spend his time as manager or superintendent; and this duty, well-performed, will leave little time for actual farm work. While the small farmer may engage in stock-raising with profit, the stock-farmer who conducts an extensive business is at a distinct advantage.
The economical investment of money in farm machinery is, in itself, a difficult problem. Such tools should be selected as are adapted for working to advantage the soil to be handled, and for seeding and harvesting such crops as are to be grown. Here, again, stock-farming requires a greater outlay for equipment. A greater variety of tools is re
principal crops, the farm machinery should consist of the following: Two farm wagons, complete, and one wagon fitted with stock-rack; two gang-plows and one walking-plow; one four-section, four-horse spring-tooth harrow, and one four-section, four
horse, spike-tooth drag; three two-horse cultivators, one grain drill, one corn harvester, two mowers, side delivery hay rake, self-binder, manurespreader, hay-loader, hay-slings and rope, hayknife, corn-planter, seven-foot roller, four-horse disc harrow, end-gate seeder, ensilage machine, corn-sheller, platform scales, measures, shop tools, pitchforks, scoops, road wagon, surrey and four sets of heavy double harness, one set of light double and one set of light single harness, blankets, robes and other small equipments.
The live-stock to be kept might properly include: Two teams of draft mares to be used both for work and breeding purposes; two teams of work horses; one hundred registered beef cows, five milch cows, two registered bulls; one hundred grade ewes and two rams; and fifteen brood sows and one boar.
To conduct properly a four-hundred-acre farm devoted to the breeding of registered beef cattle and a variety of live-stock for market purposes, the following men or their equivalent would be required: The proprietor, who acts as manager and looks after the correspondence; a herdsman and one assistant, two in winter, to have immediate care of the registered herd; a foreman to direct the farm work, and two extra men for eight months during the growing season.
The capital and its distribution for equipment and operating expenses would be, approximately:
400-acre farm (<i> $80 $32,000 00
Farm machinery 1,500 00
Live-stock, including work horses . 18,150 00
$53,915 00 The registered cows of the beef breeds were figured at $150 each and the herd bull or bulls at $1,000. Income from the above investment may be as follows:
Eighty per cent of calves from 100
at $100 each $8,000 00
100 fat hogs 1,000 00
Lambs and wool from 100 ewes . . 700 00
40 acres wheat 800 00
Three colts 500 00
Fie. 181. A new type of circular barn erected In Indiana. No heavy timbers are employed in the construction. The bending system of framing is used.
that more than sufficient feeds will be grown for keeping the stock enumerated, and in case the purchase of nitrogenous concentrates is found advisable, enough of the feeds grown on the farm should be sold to cover such extra expenses, or more stock kept. In either instance, the relation between the receipts and disbursements of the farm would remain practically as here indicated. Statement of probable disbursements:
Six per cent interest on $53,915
investment $3,235 00
Taxes, insurance and advertising . . 700 00
This leaves a balance of $4,000 for family expenses and profit. Many of these expenses would be nominal because of crops grown for home consumption. Family expenses vary too much to consider here.
LAND AND EQUIPMENT FOR A STOCKFARM.—ANOTHER VIEW
By Joseph E. Wing
The equipment of a stock-farm naturally depends primarily on the kind of stock to be kept and the use to which the stock is put. The equipment of a farm devoted to growing swine in the Middle West may be very simple indeed, while the equipment needed to conduct successfully a farm devoted to pedigreed sheep or fine horses, or to dairy cattle, would naturally be much more complex and costly. Certain requisites of equipment, however, all stockfarms must have to be successful.
Land and pasture.
First should be placed the soil; and the nature of the soil not only modifies the original purchase price, but also influences the expenditure that must be added to it for fertilizers and other working expenses.
The soil for a stock-farm should be calcareous, that is, made up of decaying limestone. If it is based on a phosphatic limestone, this is an advantage. Such soils produce a superior race of animals, having greater vigor, more beauty and value than animals bred on unsuitable soils.
If the soil of the stock-farm supports, naturally, clovers of various kinds and the better sorts of grasses, such as Kentucky blue-grass (Poa pratensis), the manager may easily build thereon good animals of whatever breed he may choose. If, on the other hand, he must plant his farm on an inferior soil on which grass does not naturally grow well, and in which lime is markedly deficient, he should attempt to make up the lack by liberal applications of lime and phosphorus, together with what potash and nitrogen may be needed. Thus, the sorts of plants most necessary to support animals of a high-class will be stimulated.
If one may choose at the beginning, he will do well to found his stock-farm on suitable soil, rather than attempt to make a naturally unsuitable one good by applying minerals and manures. There is not very much difference in the cost of lands compared with their intrinsic worth. There may, for instance, be in the upper foot of an acre of rich soil based on limestone, as much nitrogen, potash and phosphorus as would cost, to buy and put there, some thousands of dollars, while the difference in price between that land and another with inherent fertility not more than a tenth as great would probably be less than $50 per acre.
Animals partake remarkably of the nature of the soil on which they grow. The sheep of New Mexico are distinctly different from the sheep of Montana. The horses of the fat limestone soils of England are large, the horses of the peaty, sandy heaths and moors are ponies. Even races of men