Page images
PDF
EPUB

Stephen Feussner, Esq., of Marissa, St. Clair Co.; Indian corn, 30 -50; wheat, 18-30; oats, 30; potatoes, 100-200.

Rev. F. Will. Holls, of Centreville, St. Clair Co.; barley, 40-45; wheat, 15-20; Indian corn, 50-55.

Michael Kleinbenz, Esq., of Henry, Marshall Co.; Indian corn, 50-70.

Wm. Ross, Esq., of Pittsfield, Pike Co.; Indian corn, 50-70; wheat, 20-40; oats, 40-50.

Dr. Danl. Stahl, of Quincy, Adams Co., Indian corn, 60–70; wheat, 20-40.

Dr. Welsch, of Mascoutab, St. Clair Co.; Indian corn, 70-75; winter wheat, 22–25; barley, 40-45; castor beans, 30; oats, 40; potatoes, 50–80.

Geo. Bunsen, Esq., of Belleville, St. Clair Co. ; Indian corn, 40– 100; wheat, 16-25; barley, 40; rye, 16; oats, 40-60; potatoes, 100.

Isaac Underhill, Esq., of Peoria; Indian corn, 30-60; wheat, 15 -25.

A. Collins, Esq., of Hadley, Will Co.; Indian corn, 50; oats, 40 -60.

Thus, according to these observations, which were made in nine different counties of the State, throughout her longitudinal extension, from her northern boundary to St. Clair County, in her southern portion, we receive the following average numbers, per acre :-Indian corn, 56 bushels; wheat, 24; oats, 44; barley, 41; rye, 29; potatoes, 143.

Let us now listen to a well known authority, with respect to agriculture in Illinois. Mr. J. Ambrose Wight, of Chicago, who was for many years the accomplished editor of the “Prairie Farmer,” an excellent journal, largely diffused, which, however, should not be wanting in the house of any Illinoisian farmer, and which should be studiously perused by every new settler,-in a letter dated Jan. 9, 1855, and addressed to John Wilson, makes the following statements :

“At your request, I would state, that, from an acquaintance with Illinois lands, and Illinois farmers, of eighteen years, during thirteen of which I have been engaged as editor of the Prairie Farmer,' I am prepared to give the following as the rates of produce which may be had per acre, with ordinary culture:

66

Winter wheat ..........................................

15 to 25 bushelse Spring wheat....

10 to 20 Indian corn...... ................................. ..........

40 to 70 Oats ......................................................... 40 to 80 Potatoes. .............

............................... 100 to 200 Grass, (timothy and clover)...

11 to 3 tons. "" Ordinary culture,' on prairie lands, is not what is meant by the term in the Eastern or Middle States. It means here, no manure; and commonly but once, or, at most, twice ploughing, on perfectly smooth land, with long forrows, and no stones or obstructions; when two acres per day is no hard job for one team. It is often but very poor culture, with shallow ploughing, and without attention to weeds.

I have known crops, not unfrequently, far greater than these, with but little variation in their treatment; say forty to fifty bushels of winter wheat; sixty to eighty of oats; three hundred of potatoes, and one hundred of Indian corn. “Good culture,' which means rotation, deep ploughing, farms well stocked, and some manure applied, at intervals of from three to five years, would, in good seasons, very often approach these latter figures.”

It will be seen that Mr. Wight's statements are in perfect harmony with the above observations, made for several years by practical Illipoisian farmers; hence these numbers may be considered the exact rates of average produce.

In another chapter we have noted the market-prices of corn, and other farm produce, as the newspapers stated them to rule during the first half of January, 1856, in 51 different places, scattered all over Illinois. According to this account the highest prices in the places mentioned before (with the sole exception of Chicago, which cannot be considered as a place of production), have been the following:

For Indian corn, in Joliet.........

.$ 54 cents.
" Wheat, in Aurora and Batavia ............ 1 60
" Rye, in Freeport........

1 00
66 Potatoes, in Springfield.........

1 00 Oats, in Cairo, Moline, and Ottawa.......... 35 " Barley, in Quincy........

1 50 While the average price

Of Indian corn, was.......
" Wheat.

1 27
“ Rye ........

70
" Potatoes....

42
" Oats........
" Barley ....

1 03

[ocr errors]

25

Let us now calculate in money, the probable produce of an acre.

Basing our calculation upon the average ruling prices of the various products, during the first half of January, 1856, and upon the above given average rates of bushels per acre, we should estimate every acre to be worth, if planted with

Indian corn.....
Wheat
Rye ........
Potatoes..
Oats........
Barley ..

$18 67
30 48
20 30
60 06
11 00
42 23

Basing our calculation, however, upon the above mentioned highest prices, we find every acre to be worth, if planted with

Indian corn.
Wheat....
Rye
Potatoes....
Oats......
Barley.......

$30 24
38 40
29 00
143 00
15 40
61 50

Having shown by the preceding, how much an acre of land at an average rate of produce, and at average prices, must yield, and how much at those highest prices, paid in the first half of January, 1856, (which latter calculation is also based on the average rate of produce), we now turn to the profitableness of farming itself.

Profits of farming.-Here, also, we cannot do better than to refer to the observations and statements made by practical men.

Edward Bebb, Esq., of Fountaindale, Winnebago Co., in a letter addressed to us, gives the following account of his first crop, on newlybroken land:

“In the summer of 1851, we had sixty-five acres of an eighty acre lot broken. In the spring of 1852, we fenced the whole eighty and sowed it with oats. The following is a statement of the crop:

$100 00

320 00 130 00

80 acres of land, entered at $1 25 per acre..
Fencing 80 acres with post and board, (two boards only being

put on)......
Breaking 65 acres, at $2 00 per acre.................................
Seed, 130 bushels, at 12 cents per bus., (oats being very cheap

that spring).... Sowing and harrowing, at 373 cents per acre........... 5 acres mown and fed before harvest, no account kept. Reaping 60 acres, at 50 cents per acre....... Binding 60 acres, at 75 cents per acre Threshing .....

15 65 24 37

80 00 45 00 120 00

Total cost......
3000 bushels of oats, sold in January, at 30 cents per bushel...

$785 02

900 00

Balance in favor of crop......

114 98

In the foregoing statement I made no mention of the straw, which being cut before it was dead ripe, and gotten up without any rain, wintered, with scarcely any other feed, 25 head of cattle."

Wm. Waite, Esq., Rock Island Co., in the spring of 1853, purchased 80 acres of prairie land, at $4 50; his account of the first year is as follows:

80 acres of prairie, at $4 50 per acre.......

$360 00 Breaking 60 acres, at $2 50 per acre...........

150 00 Fencing C0 acres, at $1 00 per rod, 400 rods of board fence. 400 00 Seed for 40 acres with winter wheat, 11 bushels to the acre, at $1 00 per bushel.........

60 00 Sowing and harrowing, 75 cents per acre. ......................

30 00 Harvesting and marketing, $1 50 per acre......

60 00 Threshing and cleaning, 1,100 bushels, at 10 cents per bush... 110 00 Hauling 15 miles to rail-road, 6 cents per bushel.........

66 00 Ploughing 20 acres for corn in the spring, at 75 cents............. $15 00 Marking off and planting.........

15 00 Cultivating, at $1 25 per acre .........................................

25 00 Harvesting, at $1 per acre......

20 00 Threshing, and hauling 15 miles to rail-road, 1000 bushels, at 10 cents per bushel..........

100 00 Total cost of farm and crops...........

$1411 00 1100 bushels of wheat, at $1 15 per bushel, ...... $1,265 00 1000 bushels of corn, al 28 cents per bushel...... 280 00 Total amount of crops.

1545 00 Profits of 60 acres, after paying all expenses ...... ........ $134 00

and 20 acres of land unbroken.—This farm is now worth $25 per acre.

Jos. Reinbardt, Esq., of Granville, Putnam Co., gives the following statement of the first year's crop of 80 acres, which he purchased at an original cost of $15 per acre :

80 acres prairie land, at $15....

$1200 00 Breaking 70 at $2 50............

175 00 320 rods fence, (480 rods would have been necessary, but for 160 adjoining rods of the neighbor's fence), at $1......

820 00 Second ploughing and harrowing at $1 50

105 00 Swing 105 bushels of wheat, at $1 25.......

131 25 Hirve-ting, at $1 per acre....

70 00 Threshing and transporting, at $1 80 per acre.....................

126 00 Total cost

$2127 25 Assuming, at a moderate calculation, every acre to yield 20 bash els, we have 1400 bushels, at $1 25.........

1750 00

Hence, the 80 acres, after the first harvest, will cost only...... $377 25

Relying on my own experience, I have based the above calculation upon the highest cost, an average price of whent, and the low produce of 20 bushels per acre, although I myself have reaped 25 bushels, and many others from 30 to 3.5 busbels. I also assumed only 70 acres fit to be broken, as, among 80 acres of prairie lands, there are in most cases 10 acres of lowland, best fit for meadows. Every such acre may be safely supposed to yield 2 tons of hay, worth from $2 to $4 per ton, which amount does not form one of the itenis of my calculation.

Jno. S. Peironnel, Esq., of Peru, gives the following statement of a crop from 10 acres, purchased by him April, 1855, at $30 per acre:

DR.

J. S. PEIRONNEL,

To 10 acres of land at $30 per acre.....................
6. 6 months' interest...
" } days' ploughing......
“I do harrowing..
“ 11 do drilling...
“ 5 days with cultivator and shovel plough
“ paying for husking .........

shelling and taking to market....

$300 00

9 00 8 75 2 50 2 75 8 75 28 90 21 00

.......

J. S. PEIRONNEL,
By 723 bushels of corn, at 53 cents..

corn cobs from same..................

$381 65

CR. .$383 19

800 $391 19

Due J. S. Peironnel, above every cost..

$6 54

Ralph Anderson, Esq., of Silver Creek, Stephenson Co., estimates the costs and receipts of 34 acres, as follows:

« PreviousContinue »