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II. Several causes have conspired to improve the system of culture. The diminished amount of available manual labor convinced every farmer that whatever was done at all would be much better well done than done in the usual manner. Labor was too scarce and too expensive to be employed to slight the work. The Scriptural axiom, that “the laborer is worthy of his hire,” has been reversed, and the hire or wages have been made worthy of the labor. In times of peace, with no disturbing cause to derange our commerce, or direct labor into new channels, and ordinary unskilled manual labor abundant, the price of labor was comparatively low, but since labor has become scarce and expensive, it has also vastly improved in quality, and wherever labor was employed out of the family, it was employed in such a manner as to secure the greatest possible results. Farm labor never has been dear in the United States, in com. parison with the same kind of labor in price in England or France, but ordinary farm labor has been and yet is much more expensive in the United States than in England or France, because so much of it is either misapplied or applied to very little purpose. Before the breaking out of the rebellion, $150 per year, including board, lodging, and washing, was considered very fair wages for a farm laborer; or if the laborer was a married man, he would receive perhaps $200 per annum, and would pay the landlord $50 for rent for a small house and a half acre of ground. In England the farm laborer receives an average of ten shillings a week, equal to $2.50 of our money, including board, lodging, and washing, or about $130 per annum, together with gratuities, which there are customary, and which amount to fully $20 per annum.
The married farm laborer has the rent of a cottage and from half to a whole acre of garden free, has his fuel and milk delivered at his door free, and the landlord is compelled to find employment for the laborer's wife, at prices ranging from $1.00 to $1.50 per week, besides allowing her time to attend to her household affairs; and he must further furnish employment for all the children, according to their capacity, down to a penny a day. Hence it costs the English landlord from $300 to $100 per annum to have a hired married man on the farm. The expenditure of this sum for labor by the British farmer to a married laborer and his family, pays much better in England than hiring a man for $150 a year does an Ohio farmer; but the secret of this is to be found in the fact that the British farmer applies the labor in such a manner as to secure not only the best but the greatest possible results, whilst the Ohio farmer employs a laborer only to perform such ordinary routine duties as the landlord himself has not time to perform, and very seldom gives himself any concern as to whether it is well or indifferently done. In other words, farm labor in England is completely systematized—the laborer
knows his duty and is willing to perform it, and the landlord knows precisely what to expect from the laborer. But since the breaking out of the rebellion, every agricultural product has met with a ready sale and at greatly augmented prices, it has stimulated the farmer to increase the quantity of his crops and products by every means within his power. The Ohio farmer has therefore given to his avocation that earnest thought which it always should have received from him, and that judicious application of labor which it is passing strange was never before so successfully directed and applied. As a general thing the farmers of Ohio were out of debt at the commencement of the war, and as the price of every thing soon aug. mented, they as a class made fewer purchases and less in quantity than heretofore, whilst at the same time they were selling every thing they possibly could spare at the highest prices. This induced them to give more careful and earnest attention to their crops, stock, and mode of tillage.
There is another circumstance which it is possible may have had some influence toward inducing a better system of culture, although the manifestations of it are as yet rather slight, yet we think there are sufficient indications to warrant the declaration that it does exist, namely, a less variety of crops are grown on the same farm than formerly. In many localities farmers have learned by experience that either the soil, their mode of tillage, or the local meteorological influences would not warrant the continuance of some special crops, especially when other crops were succeeding so admirably and so remuneratively. They have therefore discontinued the precarious crops, and confined themselves to those with which they had uniformly been more successful. Farming in Ohio would be more eminently successful if this idea would receive its full development in praotice. A division of crops among farmers would be in as great a degree beneficial and successful as a division of labor amongst mechanics. Time was, and that not more than two hundred years ago, when the farmers were their own tailors, shoemakers, blacksmiths, tinkers, and agricultural implement makers. In course of time they have by degrees discontinued practicing one and another of these arts, and have relied for their necessary supplies of these various kinds of mechanism on those who made them their special business for life. The result of this division of labor is manifest in the superior mechanical products, the greater amount of time at the farmer's command to attend to his crops, and the consequent improvement of the crops themselves, both in quantity and quality.
In the days of Queen Elizabeth the British farmer produced six bushels only of wheat per acre—the average of England to-day is thirty-three and one-half bushels. If the British farmer of to-day did his own spinning,
weaving, tailoring, shoemaking, blacksmithing, plow and other implement making, as his fathers did, is it reasonable to suppose that his crops would be as abundant as at present, even though he applied all the science to them that he now does? Germany was no better, nay, was worse, for the division and sub-division of estates took place in Germany entirely unknown in England, and with this further difference, that in Germany, like in the United States, the cultivator owned in fee simple the tract he culti vated, which in England is not true of one case in ten thousand.
In Germany there would be found wheat, rye, speltz, barley, buckwheat, oats, clover, flax, potatoes, tobacco, sugar beet, kohlrabi, field peas and beans, hemp, and colza, all grown at the same time, on a tract not exceeding perhaps ten acres, and each particular crop cultivated by a different owner. This evil however carried with it its own antidote; the entire tract is now cultivated in that kind of crop to which it is best adapted, and the proceeds divided amongst the several owners. The result is not only moré remunerative crops, but a greatly improved system of culture by the introduction of improved implements and machines. Now if in Ohio such crops only were grown on a farm as are best adapted to that farm, the crops would be better, because the farmer could devote his entire attention to fewer crops, and other things being equal they would be better cultivated, and would of course be more remunerative. Such a division is gradually, and possibly without the knowledge of the parties, being introduced.
Madison county does not pretend to compete with Butler in growing wheat; neither does Stark pretend to compete with Geauga in the production of cheese; nor Harrison to compete with Ross or Pickaway in the production of corn; nor Richland to compete with Montgomery in the production of tobacco; nor Highland with Licking in sheep. But this division should be practiced even in townships or smaller bodies of land. Farming is too mixed—that is, every farmer undertakes to grow too many kinds of crops. Every farmer, almost, undertakes to grow wheat, rye, barley, buckwheat, corn, oats, clover, timothy, flax, potatoes, turnips, sorgho, and some add to these tobacco, broom-corn, and Hungarian grass crops,
besides keeping sheep, swine, cattle to fatten, and horses for sale or pleasure. Can one man on an average sized farm in Ohio (90 acres) succeed in growing all these crops in perfection? The truth is he has not the time, and very seldom the available means to grow any one of them in perfection. We have put the question to hundreds of intelligent farmers, “Why do you undertake to grow so many kinds of crops ?" and have invariably received the same answer, in substance viz.: "That if one fails another may succeed, and out of the whole lot we may have several which will be good crops.” If we
accept this answer as the true one, and we have no doubt that it in the main is correct, it shows that farming in Ohio is a very hazardous business.
How much confidence would any one have in the business capacity of a capitalist, who insisted upon it that it was necessary to engage in a half dozen kinds of business, and who would give as a reason that he did so, that in all probability he should lose some of his investments, but would probably gain on others? Is it not clearly his duty and his interest to embark in such only as present to his judgment, when all the circumstances are duly weighed, the greatest probability of success? Would it not be better for a farmer to grow two, or at most three staple crops, such as may be best adapted to his lands, and then prepare his lands expressly for them—plow deep, underdrain, manure liberally, and then devote his time and attention to the growing crop, and purchase or exchange with a neighbor what he really requires of such a crop or crops as he does not grow? One of the most successful farmers of our acquaintance grows no wheat—he formerly grew it, but abandoned it because it did not pay on his land, and because it required his attention to secure it at a period when his time could be bestowed to much better advantage on other crops. Another very successful farmer of my acquaintance grows no corn; he says " it does not pay;" that he can grow other crops much more profitably, and with less labor; and states, in conclusion, that it is cheaper to purchase corn at 25c. per bushel (the ordinary price in peace times), than it is to raise 80 bushels per acre on land worth $40 to $50 per acre, when so many much better paying crops may be grown on it, at the same or very little augmented expense. But some farmers will not believe that it is a matter of economy to purchase any thing which will grow on their land; even if they never succeed in getting more than one-fourth of a crop, they still deem it economy to grow it. They might possibly purchase for ten dollars all they grow on an acre of one of these non-suited crops, whilst an appropriate or adapted crop would yield them $40 or $50; but they argue that, if they grow the non-suited crop, they are not paying out any money, and the crop costs nothing but their labor, and if the crop does not do well there is not much lost! This must be true, certainly, for that labor which can thus be thrown away, or misdirected, cannot surely be worth much.
We have frequently inquired of farmers in the cattle-growing regions, why turnips were not grown for cattle food in winter time? Every one readily admitted the benefit and value of root crops or succulent food for cattle, but the general inference of their replies was, that England grew turnips because she could not grow Indian corn, whilst we could grow corn in perfection, but could not grow turnips to any advantage. It may possibly be regarded as being very credulous, but we very much doubt if any one has in real earnest endeavored to grow turnips as a crop for cattle food. No Buckeye farmer is willing to admit that they have a better soil in Canada than we have in Ohio, or that their climate is better adapted for agricultural purposes; in order to show what they are doing in the shape of root crops in Canada West, we copy the following from the Country Gentleman :
In our Notes of the recent Exhibition of the Canadian Association at Hamilton, we adverted to two points which seem worthy of farther remark—the extent with which the Mutton breeds of Sheep are bred and exhibited, and the display of Turnips and Mangolds as farm crops. The former, however, is so closely associated with the latter ; the culture of Roots is so important an essential in the keeping of a good flock of sheep, and both, as we believe, are so inseparably connected with the best farming-that it is mainly the experience of Canadian farmers in the production of Roots, wbich we wish now to refer to at greater length.
We are by no means inclined, for the sake of pointing an argument, to decry the condition of our own agriculture, and unduly exaggerate what is done beyond the lines. But the President of the Association, Col. Johnson, of London, C. W., in his closing address, adduces some facts that are at least worthy of our attentive consideration. After drawing an interesting comparison between the crops of that Province and those of several of our States, he shows that great attention is there paid to a proper rotation—"wheat after wheat, or wheat after oats, and so on, being a thing of rare oocurrence," while “it is certainly gratifying to witness the great increase which is rapidly being made in the growing of turnips, mangold wurtzel, beets, carrots, and other roots. I believe the growth of these roots must form the basis on which a good sound systen of husbandry must stand."
From the last census, as quoted in this address, we ascertain that in 1860 there were raised in Upper Canada,
Now, as a natural consequence, the greater attention paid to rotation and the raising of roots, increases rather than diminishes the production of grain, at least of those kinds of grain in use mainly *for human food. In the United States roots are held in so light esteem, and so little cultivated, that the national census does not even give them the honor of a place in its schedules. According to the last State census, there were grown in New York, in 1854–
7,884 do. 478,277 do.
The area of improved land in Canada West, in 1860, we do not know; in 1850 it was about 3,700,000 acres, and it might have nearly doubled by 1860, and still have only been one-half as large as that in this State, (13,600,000 acres by the census of 1855). Now let us compare the