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the less money you make. And statistics

all too frequently have backed up this conclusion. In 1912, for example, the country produced 677,758,000 more bushels of corn than in 1913, and yet the farmers received $171,638,000 less. In 1906 a wheat crop 101,174,000 bushels larger than that of 1907 brought $64,104,000 less. In 1906 the corn crop, too, was unusually large, more than 150,000,000 bushels larger than in 1909,- and it brought the farmers $500,000,000 less.

In order to find a solution for this and a host of other problems in agricultural economics that involve the farmers' financial success or failure, the present administration created a new bureau, called the Office of Markets and Rural Organization. It has been in operation only two years, and has not yet solved any large number of these problems, but the very. fact of its creation, the fact that the Department of Agriculture at last has undertaken the stupendous task of charting for the farmer the treacherous and tempestuous economic sea and of pointing out to him the shoals and reefs, the tides and undertows which have brought shipwreck to many thousands in the past, is a matter of historic moment. It will take years to get this work satisfactorily in hand, but it is a momentous achievement to have begun it. Some people have criticized the Office of Markets and Rural Organization for not having rounded out its lifework during its teething period. It would . be almost as intelligent to belittle the work of Columbus because, having discovered America, he failed to populate and develop it.

In addition to the creation of the Office of Markets and Rural Organization in the Department of Agriculture, Congress has passed a number of laws, and is now in process of passing several more, dealing with the farmers' economic and business problems. Among these may be mentioned the Cotton Futures Act. Before this law went into effect the producer was virtually at the mercy not only of the local buyer, but also of the big operators on the cotton exchanges, who were able

to boost or depress the market at will through the exertion of undue influence within the exchange. Since the act became effective, such manipulation would involve the control of the price of cotton on the leading future exchanges of the country, a manifest impossibility. The establishment of official cotton standards for grade, promulgated under the provisions of this act, has worked also to the decided advantage of the producer, since it gives a definite basis for bargaining, whereas under the old system, with its multiplicity of standards, the grade was frequently a matter of guesswork, with the buyer in the habit of guessing to promote his own ends.

The Warehouse Bill, which was recently attached as an amendment to the appropriation bill for the Department of Agriculture, will probably become a law within a few days. The purpose of this measure is to enhance the value of warehouse receipts in order to facilitate the obtaining of loans thereon, and thus enable the farmers to market their crops more slowly, thereby securing better and more even prices for their commodities. This act was designed originally to apply solely to cotton, but it has been broadened to cover virtually all the other leading staple and non-perishable agricultural products, and its enactment will greatly aid in the equitable disposition of our chief farm products.

A matter of great importance to the grain farmer is the recent establishment of official grades for corn. This action is to be followed up as fast as practicable by the establishment of grades of wheat and other cereals. Moreover, there is now pending in Congress a bill which has passed the House and has been favorably reported by the Senate agricultural committee providing for Federal regulation. of state grain inspection. This will provide farmers' elevators, individual farmers shipping in car-load lots, and groups of farmers shipping in car-load lots, the right of appeal to a Federal official whenever they feel that state grain-inspectors have not given them a square deal.

Another law of interest to farmers and consumers alike is that granting the secretary of agriculture authority to provide the same inspection for imported meats as for domestic meats.

Among the important measures in the interest of the farmer now pending in Congress that probably will be enacted into law during the present session, the most important is the so-called Rural Credits Bill, providing for the establishment of a system of land banks. This law does not attempt to provide additional personal credit facilities for farmers. That is a distinctly different problem, and one which ought to be and no doubt will be taken up by Congress at its next session. The Rural Credits Bill has a definite object, to furnish the farmer having the proper security to offer, first, more money, secondly, money on longer time loans, and thirdly, money at a lower rate of interest than he has been able to get it in the past. Every farmer will realize the vital importance of these three features of the bill. Every farmer will realize that a bill which furnishes him with these three things is an invaluable single step in the direction of a complete system of rural credits.

Another highly important piece of legislation now pending in Congress is the Good Roads Bill. If enacted into law, this measure will do more to provide our country with good roads than has all past legislation on that subject put together. This is a matter of primary economic importance to the farmer. At present it costs the average farmer more to haul his produce to his local market than to ship it to the nearest terminal market. The heaviest tax he pays is the penalty extorted from him for having bad roads.

Another recent achievement of prime importance has been the working out of a system of direct retail distribution to the farmer of the accumulated results of the scientific research of the last half-century. While each of the older bureaus of the department has many years of honest and invaluable research work to its credit, in the main little has been done until recently toward putting the results of the

work of the department's scientific men before the farmer properly condensed, correlated, and couched in terms easily understood. Fewer than a dozen years ago the Department of Agriculture was almost as far removed from actual contact with the masses of our farmers as the State Department or the Coast and Geodetic Survey. No wide-spread, continuous, and systematic effort has yet been made to carry agricultural education to the farmer by word of mouth or by demonstration; the Office of Farm Management was a minor appendage of one of the older bureaus; the publications of the department were lucky if they escaped being still-born, so little was the effort made to popularize them and to interest the farmers in them by means of the press. It is difficult to realize that a major government department, established for the specific purpose of informing the people, spending millions of dollars of the people's money every year for research work, could ever have been so indifferent to the prac tical application of the results of its research as the Department of Agriculture seemed to be until a few years ago. Yet one has only to glance over the current list of farmers' bulletins to find evidence of that seeming indifference.

Many of the so-called farmers' bulletins are really technical papers. Much of the information published on vitally important practical problems is scattered about in so many bulletins as to be entirely unget-at-able by the average farmer. The teachings of the department with regard to a number of the most vital farm problems have not been properly differentiated regionally and special bulletins prepared for the different important agricultural regions in the United States. Some of the most fundamental features of every-day farming have been almost entirely ignored, Indeed, here and there appears a most astonishing hiatus. For example, we find listed a bulletin on guinea-pigs, but no satisfactory popular bulletin on the rearing of the colt; a treatise on silver-fox farming, but until this year no farmers' bulletin containing all the available prac

tical information on the feeding of the dairy cow; a compendium of information on raising pheasants, but no thoroughly worked out popular bulletins on possible profitable rotations of crops for each region; a bulletin on Natal grass, but no simple, concise instructions covering the important subject of timothy as a hay crop. Thus, even to-day, with the agricultural renaissance well on foot in many respects, the department still labors under an embarrassing handicap in the matter of simple, concise bulletins on fundamental farming operations. But this situation is being remedied as rapidly as possible. The best brains in the department are now being devoted to the preparation of concise. popular bulletins on the essentials of practical farming. However, it takes time to produce simple, concise bulletins, much more time than it takes to produce technical, verbose bulletins, and as a consequence the available practical literature of the agricultural renaissance is as yet meager.

Another step in this same direction was the creation in 1913 of the Office of Information. This office summarizes and popularizes for newspapers and periodicals the various bulletins issued by the department. It also gives to the farmers of the country, through the daily and weekly press, all available information on such critical situations as threatened injury to seed corn by frost, or the appearance in a given region of the Hessian fly or other insect pests. As a result of recent efforts to popularize the teachings of scientific agriculture, the total output of farmers' bulletins increased from 9,680,850 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1914, to 14,795,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1915.

An even more important popular educational movement has been instituted by means of the Smith-Lever Bill. This bill has set in motion a plan which within a few years will place in every county in the United States that is willing to cooperate with the State and Federal governments an agricultural county agent, an official who is really a species of deputy secretary

of agriculture. This work is modeled on the agricultural demonstration work started several years ago by the late Seaman A. Knapp in the Southern States, and within a very few years will result in an annual expenditure of anywhere from ten to twenty million dollars, and is planning to bring the latest and most successful scientific methods directly to the door of the American farmers. This is the greatest university extension campaign the world has ever seen. It is learning democratized, learning brought out of the laboratories and the libraries, out of the experiment fields and the bulletins, adapted to local conditions, mixed with horse-sense and business gumption, and explained to the individual farmer by a man who lives in his community and understands intimately the needs both of its soil and of its people.

I was told the other day by a banker from central New York that in two short years one of our county agents located in his county had done more for the farmers of that county than the entire Department of Agriculture had done during the fifty years preceding. This same miracle is being wrought to-day in over a thousand counties in this country, though the Smith-Lever Bill is not yet three years. old.

The business of the county agent, who must of course have practical as well as theoretical knowledge of farming in its various aspects, is to get in personal touch with the farmers of his district, to secure the coöperation of the more progressive among them in practical demonstrations of new and profitable methods of farm operation, and to offer concrete suggestions and practical assistance to the farmer or to the community whenever opportunity presents itself. In his efforts to answer the questions and supply the needs. of the farmers of his county, he has not only his own knowledge and experience to draw upon, but can as well invoke the aid of any of the numerous experts in the state experiment station, the state agricultural college, or the Department of Agriculture. He is thus able to focus upon

any given local problem all the latest available agricultural information of the entire nation.

There are women county agents, toohundreds of them. These women, working under the home demonstration branch of the department, are doing a great work, especially among women and children of the mountain districts of the South.

Thus in a number of ways the Government is trying to help the farmer to increase his legitimate profits. The future. of American agriculture hangs upon that. Not until the average farmer makes an income comparable with his endeavor and in keeping with his contribution to the well-being of society will he be in a position to enter into his own as regards the larger issues of life. Purely sociological problems begin where economic problems end, hence the vital importance of first solving the farmers' economic problems if we would lay a foundation from which to work out a solution of his higher problems. Thus a discussion of the fundamentals of the new agriculture becomes largely a discussion of the problem of how to make the science of agriculture boost the business of farming.

The capital that the average farmer has invested in this country now pays him a return, in addition to the mere wages he gets for his labor, of anywhere from nothing to five per cent. per annum. If the apostles of the new agriculture could not promise the farmers any larger returns than that on the additional capital they are advising him to invest, it is hardly probable that their new gospel would strike any responsive chord in the farmer's heart. However, it has been demonstrated repeatedly that for the additional capital which the farmer is advised to put into lime, phosphate, or potassium, into better. seed, pure-bred bulls and boars, into silos, tile, and hog-tight fence, he can realize not only the five or six per cent. that farmers ordinarily hope to get on their money, but the ten or fifteen per cent. that business men usually expect on their investments, or even considerably more.

Take, for example, the results of farm

demonstrations carried on under the direction of one of our county agents in New York. There fifteen field tests, made in 1915, showed a profit of 169 per cent. on an investment in limestone and acid phosphate used on oats, without charging any of the cost of application to future crops. It is estimated that if only twenty-five per cent. of the farmers who grow oats in that county would follow this practice, the oat crop of the county would increase in value $87,000 in a year. On one farm in that county the increase in one crop of hay attributable to an application of lime yielded a profit of 257 per cent. on investment in lime. These dividends are exceptional, since they represent the initial gain due to the application of fertilizers to comparatively neglected land, but they serve to indicate the tremendous possibilities of legitimate profits from applied scientific agriculture.

Another way to increase the farmer's profits is by grading his crops so as to give the consumer a better and more attractive product. As an illustration of the advantages to be derived from this process, take the story of the potato-board. A year or so ago a county agent representing the department went before the farmers of a county in southern New York exhibiting a board about six inches wide and two and a half feet long, containing oblong holes of different sizes. This board was a sorting apparatus for grading the potato crop. Before it was introduced most farmers used to sell their potatoes in much the same fashion that coal dealers sell “run-ofthe-mine" coal, hit or miss, the big potatoes with the little ones. They receive prices depending upon the obviousness of the percentage of the little potatoes and the whim of the buyer. As a result of proper grading, they now sell their big standardshaped potatoes at a top-notch price to the metropolitan hotels, getting virtually as much for that one grade as they used to get for the entire crop, and having the small and odd-shaped tubers left for lessexacting markets, for home use, or for seed.

The profits of the farmer can also be

increased by various other legitimate devices for increasing the efficiency of his marketing methods. For example, in the past a large proportion of the poultry of this country was shipped to market alive. The result was a heavy transportation charge, heavy shrinkage en route, and other attendant evils, such as deterioration in the quality of the poultry. The Department of Agriculture worked out an entirely new system, in accordance with which the poultry is killed and chilled before shipping. The new method improves the quality of the product for the consumer, prevents any loss of weight in transit, and cuts down the cost of transportation. Thus the farmer is enabled to get a larger price for his product, the consumer is required to pay no more than before for the same quality of poultry, and the middleman who performs a useful social function is allowed to receive his legitimate profit as before. No one is injured, and every one connected with this industry is benefited.

One of many possible illustrations of the financial advantages to be derived from the standardization of crops is the case of the cotton crop of Caldwell County, Texas. For a number of years nearly all the farmers there have grown Triumph cotton, a variety which originated in that county. As a result there is a great demand for the pure-strain Triumph cotton-seed from that county at an average price of a dollar a bushel, or two or three times the ordinary mill prices paid for ordinary cotton-seed. Every year for the last ten years there has been shipped from the town of Lockhart from 250 to 500 car-loads of this seed destined for distribution throughout five or six neighboring States. In addition to the handsome profit made on this seed, the fact that virtually only one variety of cotton is grown in that county has enabled farmers there to obtain a premium for their cotton also, owing to the fact that cotton of a uniform quality can always be secured there in large lots.

As another illustration of the value to the farmer of efficiency in the handling

and marketing of his products may be cited the revolution in methods of picking and packing that has taken place in the orange and lemon industry of the Pacific Coast. Until 1905 the annual decay of oranges and lemons in transit often amounted to a million and a half dollars per annum. The cause of the trouble had been believed to be due to lack of icing and to other abuses in the transportation service; but after a careful investigation the Department of Agriculture discovered, to the surprise of everybody, that it was due to improper handling of the fruit in picking and packing. As a result the fruit is now usually picked by associations of trained gangs of labor paid by the day rather than by the box, care in handling rather than speed being the object aimed at. The depreciation of oranges in transit prior to the investigations of the Department of Agriculture amounted to from twenty to fifty per cent. of the crop. Now the California Fruit Growers Exchange reports that the loss is not over one to two per cent. annually. When we consider that the California orange crop is valued at twenty-five million dollars a year, it becomes clear how important this one improvement in the method of handling the fruit has been to producer and consumer alike.

Such illustrations could be multiplied almost without limit. One of the admirable features of this method of building up the prosperity of the farmer is that it is not done at the expense of any other legitimate interest. It is a creative, not a predatory, process, one that works a direct benefit to the farmer and an indirect benefit to the entire community. Efficiency in crop handling and crop distribution and marketing is just as important to the farmer, to the business man, and to the consumer as is efficiency in crop production. As a matter of fact, it is generally believed by many agriculturists that more than fifty per cent. of the cost to the consumer of farm products is added after these crops are grown, or, in other words, that it costs more to handle and market farm products than to raise them.

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