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XVII.

MAIZE.

I. PRODUCTION AND MARKETING.

358. Maize Crop of the World.—The production of maize in the world has varied during the years 1898 to 1902, inclusive, from 2,363 million bushels (1901) to 3,183 million bushels (1902) per annum, the average yearly production being 2,747 million bushels, which is slightly less than the production of wheat during the same period.

The following table gives the average annual production for half decade by continents in million bushels:

1S98 to 1902, inclusive

Europe 471

North America 2,149

South America 86

Australasia 9

Africa 32

Total 2.747

Aside from the United States, the most important maize producing countries are Hungary, Roumania, Italy, Russia, Mexico, Argentina and Egypt. Great Britain, Ireland, Germany and the countries farther north do not raise maize, except occasionally as a vegetable, on account of lack of heat and sunshine during the growing season. During the past five years the production of maize has developed more rapidly in Argentina than elsewhere. Argentina appears to have the largest body of undeveloped land adapted to raising maize of any country.

359. Maize in the United States.—One-fifth of the area in improved land, one-third the area in crops of all kinds, except pasture, and one-half the area in cereal crops is devoted to raising maize. In 1899, while thirty-five per cent of the farms in the United States raised wheat, eighty-two per cent raised maize.

The average annual production of maize in the United States for three decades, according to the estimates of the United States -Department of Agriculture, is given below:

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The estimates of the United States Department of Agriculture make it appear that the average annual production during the ninety decade was only slightly larger than the eighty decade, while the census returns indicate that in 1899 the acreage was thirty-two per cent and the production twenty-six per cent greater than in 1889. The average gross value of an acre of maize has been less during all the decades than that of wheat, though in the decline in value of both crops per acre, that of wheat has been more rapid than maize, which would seem to indicate that maize is relatively increasing in value. While in fifty years the production of wheat has increased six and one-half times, that of maize has increased four and one-half times.

360. Maize Surplus States.—Over one-half of the entire maize crop of the United States is contributed from five States, and over two-thirds from seven States, in the following order: Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Indiana, Ohio. These seven States are known as the maize surplus States, because they are practically the only States which supply the commercial centers with maize. Notwithstanding the fact that over ninety per cent of the entire crop was limited to twentyone States, outside of these seven surplus States, maize is largely consumed where raised. Other States besides the seven named, therefore, need not be taken into consideration in the commerce of this crop, except as they need more or less from the surplus States for consumption. Although the tendency of maize production is to concentrate in areas affording the greatest natural advantages, and although the seven just named will continue for years to be the surplus States, statistics show that other States that do not make a business of maize raising, notably those on the Atlantic seaboard, are in recent years making greater relative gains in maize production.

361. Center of Maize Production.—During the last half century the center of maize production has moved from southeastern Ohio to southwestern Illinois (90° 27' 6" W. Long., and 390 19' 33" N. Lat.), nearly due west 480 miles. The westward movement of wheat has been one-half faster. While maize has moved northward only about five miles, wheat has moved

northward ninety-nine miles. For twenty years the center of maize production has been nearly stationary.

362. Production per Population.—The production of maize has increased more rapidly than population during the past fifty years. It is estimated, however, that the number of bushels of maize per capita retained for consumption in the United States was more in the decade 1880-89 than in the succeeding decade, being 28.6 bushels per capita in the former and 25.5 bushels in the latter. This is the heaviest rate of consumption of any cereal

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Map showing the distribution of maize produced in the United States In l900.

by any people in the world. It is nearly twice as much according to population as the consumption of all the cereals in Europe.

363. Yield per Acre.—The average yield of maize grain during the last two decades was twenty-four and one-tenth bushels,—nearly twice that of wheat. There are several Southern States in which the annual yield is less than ten bushels per acre. In the seven surplus maize States the annual yield of maize is thirty-five bushels per acre. In these States nothing less than fifty bushels per acre is considered satisfactory by progressive farmers, and yields of seventy-five to ninety bushels per acre are not at all uncommon; while yields of more than 100 bushels per acre are frequently reported.

364. Export of Maize.—While a much smaller percentage of the maize raised is exported than of wheat, the amount is large and is increasing. But for the great shortage of the maize crop of 1901, the average annual exportation of maize for the five years 1898-1902 would have shown an enormous increase over that of the five years 1893-1897. Notwithstanding this great decrease, which makes the exportation of maize in 1902 by far the smallest for the ten years 1893-1902, the total exportation for the five years given shows substantial gains over any

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Diagram showing the increase in the production of maize as compared with the population in the United States during fifty years, according to the reports of the census of l900.

other five years preceding. The total exportation for the five years 1898-1902 was approximately 160 million bushels of grain, while that of the five years immediately preceding was but little more than half that amount,—something less than eighty-three million bushels.

Ninety-two per cent of this great export trade is handled by nine ports, named in the order of their importance, as follows: Baltimore, New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Boston, Newport News, Chicago, Norfolk and Portsmouth, and Detroit.

The export trade in maize meal is also fast assuming large proportions. The average annual exportation of this product for the five years 1898-1902 was nearly 800 thousand barrels (3,200,000 bushels), more than twice that for the years 18931897. New York, Newport News and Baltimore, in the order named, handled the bulk of this trade.1

The important importing countries have been Great Britain and Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, Canada, Denmark, Belgium and France. Cuba has imported more than a million bushels of grain annually during the five years 1898-1902. Other countries which export important quantities of maize are Argentina, Roumania and Russia.

365. Marketing.—The legal weight per bushel of maize in most States is fifty-six pounds per bushel, although the usual

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Types of shellers for farm use: A, one-hole hand sheller J B, two-hole power sheller; C, Itinerant power sheller, made with four to eight holes for feeding in the ears.

I U. S. Statistical Abstract, 1902, pp. 301-303.

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