« AnteriorContinuar »
elevation above sea-level have an important influence on its climate, especially in limiting the rainfall, which, however, proves ample for the production of the finest crops, which ripen early and satisfactorily because of the abundantsunshine. The average annual rainfall is about seventeen inches.
The severity of the winters is such as to preclude, as a rule, the possibility of agricultural operations from November to March.
The soil varies in character according to locality, but, in general, it may be said to consist of a top soil of rich sandy loam, with clay or sandy subsoil. In certain districts, such as near Regina, the soil is a heavy clay loam of great depth, which does not bake and crack. The soils of the province seem to bear a large amount of continuous cropping without apparent loss of fertility.
The problems of transportation are rapidly being solved by the construction of lines of railroad running in all directions. There are 1,886 miles of railroad in actual opera- _tion, providing adequate outlet for the chief product of the country — wheat. The chief source \'of increase of population £ :'»at the present time, is ■, ..v .".•-■'immigration, principally from European countries and the United States.
The general tendency of agriculture will undoubtedly be toward greater diversification, smaller farms and these better cultivated. So long as new land of first quality is being opened for settlement, the production of wheat in large quantities will be the chief object of the farmer in the newer districts; but, with the exhaustion of soil fertility, the increase of weeds, and the opening of new markets such as by the growth of towns, and the formation of an industrial population, other things will be found more profitable than wheat, though, owing to the peculiar properties of that cereal as grown in the province, there must always be a steady demand for it so long as its present high standard of excellency is maintained.
The total land area of Saskatchewan is 156,133,120 acres. There are about 1,500,000 acres of improved land in the province. The chief source of income is wheat, the value of this crop for 1905 being, approximately, $29,000,000.
There is no agricultural college at present in the province. The only experiment station is situated at Indian Head, under the control of the Dominion Department of Agriculture. There is a Provincial Department of Agriculture, with headquarters at Regina. Its functions are to administer the laws respecting agricultural matters and public health, to institute inquiries, to collect facts and statistics relating to agricultural, manufacturing or other interests of the province and to adopt measures for circulating and disseminating the same. There are no farmers' institutes, but institute work is conducted by the agricultural societies of the province
under the direction of the Department. There is as yet no provincial fair, but local shows are held under the auspices of the various agricultural societies. There are thirty-two agricultural societies in the province, of about equal importance. Those having the largest membership are as follows: Maple Creek, Regina, South Qu'Appelle, Yorkton, Saltcoats, Fairmede and Carrot River.
ALBERTA. (By C. W. Peterson.) The province of Alberta, the great stock-raising, dairy-farming, agricultural and mineral country, embraces an area larger than that of England, Ireland and Scotland combined. But little was known or heard of the country until the advent of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1883. Since then steady progress has been made in developing the ranching and mineral interests. Up to 1883, Alberta had no direct communication with Manitoba or eastern Canada. The postal service was through the United States and American money was in circulation. With a length of
some 350 miles from east to west and 800 miles from north to south, the province includes in its 275,000 square miles every variety of forest and stream, grazing and agricultural lands, minerals and oil. In it are found some 45,000,000 acres of very fertile soil and some of the largest and best deposits of coal, metals and petroleum on the continent.
The district may roughly be divided into two great sections—northern Alberta, which embraces all that part lying north of Township Thirty-five, and southern Alberta, comprising the remainder. Northern Alberta is especially adapted to mixedfarming, with stock-raising as an adjunct, while southern Alberta is at present chiefly devoted to winter wheat production and stock-raising. Considerable mixed-farming is, however, also conducted under irrigation in some localities.
Within the borders of northern Alberta is a great area of fertile land, well timbered and well watered. The climate is good. The soil consists of a layer of one to three feet of black vegetable-mold, with
wheat are common. Live-stock of all kinds is raisedextensively, including horses of all grades, from heavy draft to Indian ponies, cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry. Horses do well without stabling all the year round.
The plateau of southern Alberta is the country of the great winter wheat farms and cattle and horse ranches, the finest region for stock-raising on the whole continent, carpeted, as it is, over all its extent with thick and luxuriant grasses. The whole region is marked by an equable temperature, with freedom from rapid and extreme fluctations in the growing season. Range stock needs little or no shelter. The soil is fertile and deep, varying from a rich sand to clay loam, and is adapted to the growing of all classes of cereals, grasses and vegetables.
The variety of winter wheat most extensively grown is Kansas Turkey Red (Alberta Red). This hard wheat requires, for best production, a soil rich in nitrogen and receiving a limited quantity of moisture, combined with a short growing season and a dry atmosphere. Central and southern Alberta possess these characteristics. There is an enormous market for flour and wheat in oriental countries, with which Calgary has direct connection.
One of the most stupendous irrigation undertakings of modern times is at present nearing completion immediately east of and contiguous to Calgary. It is expected that about 1,500,000 acres of land can be irrigated, at an ultimate cost of between four and five million dollars.
The agricultural administration is in the hands of a Department of Agriculture of the local government, with a responsible minister at its head. Several experimental stations are soon to be established, with at least one under irrigation. Live-stock associations, with headquarters at Calgary, are established. The Provincial Fat-Stock Show is also held at Calgary.
11. ROCKY MOUNTAIN STATES
MONTANA. (By F. B. Linfield.) It has been only within the past ten to twenty years that agriculture has been considered a factor in the development of Montana, and probably ten years will cover the time of the recognition of the possible agricultural development. The state has been, and will continue to be, a mining, grazing and agricultural state; but it is to the agricultural industry that it must look for its greatest increase in population and wealth.
Montana is one of the best watered of the arid states. The Clark's Fork of the Columbia, the Upper Missouri and the Yellowstone rivers, with their tributaries, carry large amounts of water, and flow in the state for considerable distances. Along these rivers and their tributaries are found millions of acres of fertile lands, much of which will in time be irrigated.
In view of the above facts, the agriculture of the state is, first, pastoral; the higher plateaus and valleys and the rolling hills furnish a large annual crop of cattle, sheep and wool. Very large areas of the
level plateaus, which are a great distance from a water-supply, will be farmed without irrigation.
In the fertile valleys along the rivers, irrigation is practiced, and all kinds of grains except corn yield abundantly. Wheat, oats, barley, peas and beans are all grown. Of fodder crops, alfalfa, red and alsike clover grow well, yielding from two to three crops during the season. Timothy is also a very successful crop and finds a ready market at a good price in the mining towns. Roots and potatoes yield large and profitable crops.
In the Bitter Root and the Flathead valleys, in the northwest, and the Yellowstone valley in the southeast, all the hardier apples do well and smallfruits yield abundantly. In the other valleys, fruit will be raised chiefly for home consumption.
The Rocky Mountains and the chinook winds have a very important effect on the climate and agriculture of Montana. In the valleys west of the range the climate is equable and mild even up to the Canadian line, and fruit-raising is a growing industry. The short season alone excludes the laterripening varieties of fruits.
East of the Rocky Mountains, and extending for 250 to 300 miles, the chinook winds materially modify the climate, producing less extremes both in winter and summer. Grain and fodder crops are here the staples, and on this foundation will be built a large live-stock industry.
The plains country and "bad lands" in the eastern part of the state, extending about 200 miles west from the Dakota line, are affected little, if any, by the chinook winds, and here the extremes of heat and cold are greater. Dakota corn is here a possible crop.
The market for most of the Montana farm products is local, in the mining towns. A small quantity of grain is shipped out of the state, but the range furnishes the larger part of the exports of the state. Cattle, sheep and wool bring yearly to the farmers and stockmen from $15,000,000 to $20,000,000.
The farm and the range business are becoming amalgamated. The farm provides the winter feed for the range stock. This arrangement will provide a market for the surplus range stock that will be fattened for eastern consumption.
The total land area of Montana is 92,998,400 acres. Of this, according to the Twelfth Census Report (1900), 11,844,454 acres are in farms, 1,736,701 acres of which, or 14.7 per cent, are improved land. There were then 13,370 farms in the state. The total value of the farm property was $117,859,823. The total value of the farm products was $28,616,957. The values of the leading products were: Domestic animals, $51,724,113; hay and forage, $5,974,850; dairy products, $1,669,978; cereals, $3,267,726.
The Montana Agricultural College, established at Bozeman in 1893, is the land grant institution of the state. The federal Experiment Station is a department of it. There are no permanent sub
Fie. 82. Leading agricultural regions of Montana.—A. fodder, train And fruit; B. grain, clover and alfalfa; C, farming without irrigation, hay and frnit; D, alfalfa, grain and fruit; E, grain, hay and vegetables. Unmarked areas west of line X X, in forest and range pasture; east of line X X, range pasture.
stations,but work on soil cultivation and crop growth is conducted at several temporary stations. The State Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Industry is a statistical bureau and has no executive power. The farmers' institute work is under the control of a State Board of Farmers' Institutes, of which the
Fig. 83. Getting a start. Cabin of a settler from
agricultural societies of the state are: Montana Stock-Growers' Association, Montana Registered Cattle-Breeders' Association, Montana Wool-Growers' Association, Montana State Horticultural Society, Montana State Agricultural Society.
IDAHO. (By L. F. Henderson) The elevated plateau and mountain ranges at the headwaters of the Salmon and Payette rivers divide Idaho into two very distinct regions. That north of this divide is, in the main, a heavily timbered area, with extensive and valuable forests of white pine, cedar, yellow pine, tamarack, spruce and firs. It is also a great mineral region, the silver and lead mines of the Couer d' Alenes in the northeast being the richest in the world. The river-bottoms are of unexcelled fertility. Many prairies exist in this section, while the extensive Palouse country, once covered with bunch grass, is now occupied by almost continuous grain fields and orchards. The elevation here is from 2,000 to 3,000 feet above sea level. The soil is a rich, dark loess. The grains and all the fruits common to the temperate zone grow to great perfection. Many of the prairies are more adapted to cattle-raising than to cropping, though there is no place suitar ble to either where these two industries are not pursued. The most important kinds of live-stock in this section are cattle, hogs and horses; while the apple, prune, pear, wheat, oats and barley are the most marketable crop _L products. In the valleys of the Snake, Clearwater and Potlatch rivers, in the west and south, a very warm, dry and sunny summer renders irrigation necessary in restricted districts—a practice that is not essential in the other parts of northern Idaho. Amongst the crops which do well here may be mentioned the European grape, English walnuts, peaches, apricots, almonds and melons of all kinds. The climate is delightful, hot nights being almost unknown. The winters and early springs, owing to the alternations of snow and rain, are not ordinarily pleasant, but the fertility and enormous crops of this country are dependent on this very fact, since irrigation is not practiced except in a few sections, and would be impossible even were it necessary.
The country south of the Payette Lakes, in the central part of the state, constitutes the second region. This section, though raising many of the same products as the northern one, differs from it widely in its physical features. While cut by many high mountain ranges in almost every direction, it may be called the country of sage plains. Irrigation is necessary in almost every district where agriculture is practiced. The high plateaus and mountain ranges are of great mineral value, present as well as potential, and are grazed by almost untold thousands of cattle and sheep. Quantities of alfalfa, with other hay and grain, furnish food for these flocks through the short and ordinarily pleasant winters. The fruit of this region, especially its winter apples, pears and prunes, is of the first quality. Vast irrigation ditches cut this country in every direction. These are, in the main, private enterprises, but the general government is entering the field with its reclamation service and conserving by gigantic reservoirs the waste waters that are lost during the melting of the snows. In a few years, the desert region of southern Idaho will be a thing of the past.
The total land area of Idaho is 53,945,600 acres. Of this, according to the Twelfth Census Report (1900), 3,204,903 acres are in farms, 1,413,118 acres of which, or 44.1 per cent, are improved land. There were then 17,471 farms in the state. The total value of the farm property was $67,271,202. The total value of the farm products was $18,051,625. The values of the leading products were: Domestic animals, $21,389,853; hay and forage, $4,238,993; dairy products, $1,243,197; cereals, $3,212,387.
The land grant college of Idaho is a part of the University at Moscow, and the federal Experiment Station is a department of the College of Agriculture. There is no state department of agriculture, the Commissioner of Immigration doing a great deal of the work of such a department. The
Idaho, to show leading agricultural regions.—A, agricultural land, no irrigation except near Rathdrum; B, agricultural land, tittle irrigation; C. agricultural land and grazing, irrigated; D, agricultural land. Irrigated.
Fig. 85. Wyoming.— A, forest reservation; B, reclamation land; C, desert (winter range). All other areas are used for farming, ranching and grazing. Heavy lines, X X, mark irrigation divisions.
Commissioner is appointed by the Governor and resides at Boise. Farmers' institutes are conducted under the direction of the Experiment Station and Agricultural College. There is no state fair supported by appropriations from the state treasury. There are two fairs, however, under private management, one located at Lewiston, known as the Inter-state Fair, and one at Boise, known as the Inter-Mountain Fair. There is a State Dairy and Pure Food Association, State Board of Horticultural Inspection, State Board of Dairy and Pure Food Commissioners and a State Live-stock Sanitary Board. There is also a State Live-stock Breeders' Association, Idaho Wool-Growers' Association, and a State Horticultural Society.
WYOMING. (By B. C. Buf- fum.) The agriculture of Wyoming is, perhaps, as new and undeveloped as that of any part of the United States. Situated in the inter-mountain section of the arid region, there are high plateaus of comparatively level land and lower valleys along the larger water courses where considerable areas are being developed by the establishment of irrigated farms and ranches. Two-thirds of the production of these lands is native hay for winter stock food. It is estimated that there is sufficient water-supply to reclaim, by irrigation, about 10,000,000 acres. There are approximately 2,000,000 acres now under ditch and the work is being rapidly advanced. There are about 20,000,000 acres of mountain area, about one-half of this being covered with timber. The remaining half of the state is classed as grazing land, but considerable areas of this land will eventually be cultivated by systems of so-called "dry-farming," as has already been done in the eastern and northern regions,—the raising of drought-resistant crops without irrigation by advanced methods of management.
The region in the southwestern part of the state is known as the "red desert," and, while a truly desert area, it now supports more than 2,000,000 sheep. The range stock business is, however, rapidly giving way to more permanent farm homes. Mixed-husbandry, in which the diminished range can be profitably used in connection with the cultivated lands, will be the characteristic agriculture. Some regions are suitable to pure farming for the production of grains, potatoes, fruits and sugar-beets for factories.