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atmosphere are stored up in the vegetable tissues of the grass. In feeding this grass to cows, some of the substance and much of the forces pass into the flesh of the animal, or are secreted into milk; the remainder is excreted to return as a fertilizer to the soil. In the beef animal and swine, they are transformed into flesh and fat, in which forms they have high utility for man as stored-up food or force for his body. If to the soil we add, in cultivation, the fertilizers and the labor of man and animals, we look to see these returned to us in a larger harvest of the force-storing crops. There can be no profit unless the forces produced are more valuable in amount and kind than those expended in producing the crops. All forces not used are wasted. When the force produced is not equal in amount and value to that expended, there is a loss.

221. Economic mistakes.-The common economic mistakes in American agriculture, judged from the stand-point of the conservation of forces, are:

1. The waste of land—the attempted cultivation of large farms with wholly inadequate forces. The productive power of the soil is but partially developed, and the working force is largely wasted by an attempt to spread it over too large a surface. The average corn crop of Illinois, in 1880, was only 27.2 bushels to the acre. The constant average of well-worked farms was sixty to seventy bushels the acre, or more than twice the general average. If a farmer uses one hundred acres to produce the crop which he might as easily get from fifty, he not only loses the use of fifty acres, on which he must pay taxes, and sacrifice interest, but he wastes time and working force in traveling over the double area. In addition to this loss, the larger area must be kept fenced and free from weeds, and must be provided with roads, and kept under supervision.

2. The waste of animal forces.—If the farmer would take into account the cost of creating and maintaining the animal force which his teams exert, as shown in section 219, in this

chapter, he would easily see how large a loss is possible to him from the misapplication or non-use of this force. The loss of power by the use of poor implements, the draft of which is needlessly heavy; the loss by the bad roads, which prevent the carrying of full loads, or needlessly exhaust the strength of the team; the loss by the long hours and many days of idleness, during which the strength of the team goes to waste unused; the loss by bad feeding, either starving or over-feeding, by which the animal is not kept up to its full strength, or is partly disabled by its own fat; and the loss by bad care, bad management, and bad driving; all these diminish the profits of the ordinary farm to an extent little suspected by the average farmer.

3. The want and waste of capital. The absurd notion that the farmer needs little if any capital besides his farm, his teams, and tools, has cost many a farmer dearly. Many holding this view expend every little surplus they gain in the purchase of more land, or put it at interest, as if not needed on the farm. The experience of English farmers has proved that a large working capital is one of the most necessary conditions of success; and the wiser English land-owners will not let their lands to a farmer who can not show that he has a capital equal to twenty-five dollars or thirty dollars for each acre of the land he proposes to farm. The working capital, on an American farm, ought to be equal, ordinarily, to the value of the land itself. This capital, wisely used in labor, in fertilization, in animal force, and in marketing the products, would make the one farm worth two run in the ordinary way.

4. The waste by poor or insufficient stock. -The feeding of animals of inferior stock often costs as much as those of better breeds. The animal, as we have seen, is a machine to manufacture more valuable products out of the vegetable productions of the farm. The animal that will consume most, and will produce from its food the largest amount and most valuable quality of products, is the most profitable. This is as

evident as it is that the loom which will produce the most and the best cloth with a given quantity of wool and work, is the most valuable. The farm inadequately stocked will be obliged to buy fertilizers from abroad, and will also be compelled to send its products to market in the most bulky forms and at the largest expense for transportation.

5. The waste by improper rotation.—It is a common mistake, in American farming, to confine its cultivation to a few of the common grains. The common rotation of crops, in some parts of the country, is corn, oats, and grass; in others, corn, wheat, and grass, with potatoes, as a limited crop, occupying small fields. Rye or barley are sometimes substituted for the wheat or the oats. Without pausing here on the question of the proper rotation of crops, which belongs rather to agricultural than to economic science, it may be noted that the failure to diversify agriculture, by a greater variety of cultures, fails : 1. To bring all the powers of the several kinds of soil into use; 2. To give the variety and continuity of labor desirable; 3. It leaves the farmer dependent on a few crops, with their liability to failures; 4. And cuts him off from that wider mastery of his art, which, making him familiar with many cultures, gives him choice of all, and almost certainly would give him greater expertness in each.


The objection will be made that men usually do best to confine their attention to a single business or a single branch of it even. This is true where large experience is required for the mastery of the one business, and when the attention required by the one branch forbids giving attention to the others. it is easy to the farmer to select, out of the wide range of cultures possible to his soil and situation, those which shall be adapted to his lands, to his markets, to his working forces, and to each other. And all this is consistent with his giving his attention chiefly to one branch of farming, as sheep husbandry, cattle-raising, or grain culture. On great estates of several hundred acres, the plantation system of devoting the whole to

some one culture can be profitably introduced. The extent of the enterprise permits the economies of great manufactories to be used, and the losses on some points will be more than covered by the profits on others; but in ordinary farming the profits must come from several sources, and many economies must be practiced to secure the best results.

The relations of agriculture, as one of the largest groups of the world's industries, (1) to the world's populations, (2) to the other great classes of industries, (3) to the markets and (4) to governments, involve economic questions of the deepest importance. The full discussion of these questions would demand several chapters. They are indicated here only to show the scope which must be given to a full discussion of the field of rural or agricultural economy.

The importance of the food supply to national safety and independence, and to the peace of the people and the progress of civilization, must forever give to agriculture a prominent place among the industries, in the esteem of statesmen, and in the care of all wise governments.



222. Tabular view. The following synoptical view will aid us in the clearer discussion of this branch of economic science.

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223. Needs and benefits of exchange. The life of man is confined mostly to one place. The satisfactions of his wants come from the round globe. Sitting in his own house, or working in shop or field, he asks from all lands and all climes, the comforts of his life and the materials for his arts. Few of the articles which appear upon his table or person, which furnish his house or are used in his work, come from his own immediate labor. From his neighbors to the unknown dwellers in the most distant lands, he asks from myriads their

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