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Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 1. History
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
From the Hon. T. C. Wilson, secretary of the State Board of Agriculture at Columbia, we learn that a statistical report of the various crops of the several counties cannot be accurately presented for the fact that the Legislature has refused to appropriate money to gather the necessary information. Each biennial period the secretary has sought to have an appropriation for the work but has failed to get favorable action by the Legislature. However, through various sources we have succeeded in compiling a fairly accurate report of the products for the years 1911-12. We present both years for the purpose of reaching an average production.
In this connection it will be noted that every important field crop in the United States except winter wheat and cotton, is larger for the year 1912 than in 1911. New high records are made for corn, oats, spring wheat, rye, barley, flaxseed, hay, potatoes and apples.
The principal cereals and the aggregate production of corn, oats, wheat and barley, together with potatoes, is 5,778,000,000 bushels, or 1,251,000,000 bushels more than the yield of similar products in the year 1911, an increase of 26 per cent.
Winter wheat, however, is 100,000,000 bushels short of the high record of 1906, and 31,000,000 bushels below the crop of 1911, but this deficiency is more than made up when we combine the spring and winter wheat crops, which gives us a of 99,000,000 bushels greater than in 1911 and the largest on record with two exceptions, 735,000,000 in 1906 and 748,000,000 bushels in the year 1901.
The preliminary estimate in the production of cereals follows: All wheat, 720,333,000; corn, 3,016,000,000; oats, 1,417,172,000; barley, 224,619,000; rye, 35,422,000; buckwheat, 18,000,000; potatoes, 401,000,000; flax, 29,325,000; rice, 23,727,000; tobacco, pounds, 974,000,000; hay, 72,425,000.These preliminary estimates were made by the Department of Agriculture in October, 1912, and it is not believed the final reports will materially change these figures.
The usual experience is for crops to start with high promise and gradually decline in condition during the season, under the influence of adverse weather or insect damage, but this has been a season of steadily expanding estimates. The spring wheat crop of 1912 was 65,000,000 bushels larger than the official indication in June, the winter wheat crop 27,000,000 bushels larger, the oats crop 308,000,000 bushels larger, and the corn crop exceeds by 205,000,000 bushels.
For the purpose of comparing Missouri's yield of corn with that of other states for the year 1912, as carefully estimated by the Department of Agriculture, we present the following figures:
Illinois, 375,000,000; Iowa, 365,000,000; Missouri, 245,000,000; Kansas, 212,000,000; Nebraska, 230,000,000; Texas, 155,000,000; Oklahoma, 108,000,000; Indiana, 173,000,000; Ohio, 150,000,000; South Dakota, 75,000,000; Minnesota, 71,000,000;all others, 857,000,000.
This places Missouri third in the galaxy of corn-producing states, a position she will maintain until she moves up to second place. It is a matter for gratification and pride and a high compliment to the intelligent and persistent effort of Missouri farmers.
The last decade has been one of magnificent progress in agriculture and in no state in the Union is this more thoroughly exemplified than in Missouri, where, during the last season, a corn crop of fair proportions was grown as the result of the application of scientific methods, with an admixture of "elbow grease," brain and brawn.
The average value of forage crops in the state for the year 1911, was $4,500,000. For the year 1912 the yield in value is 26 per cent greater, of which Livingston county is credited with having planted in 1911, 124,637 acres, which produced 3,988,384 bushels. Of hay and forage 34,246 acres, producing 41,095 tons. Few counties in the state exceeded this average.
Of wheat and oats Livingston county had a wheat acreage of 11,672, with an average yield of 18 bushels per acre in 1911, making a total of 210,096 bushels, while the acreage in oats was 11,043 with an average yield of 22 bushels per acre, with a total yield Of 242,946 bushels. The year 1912 showed an increase average over that of 1911, according to the best authenticated reports, of 26 per cent, or exceeding one-fourth more than the production of 1911. Weather conditions and the magnificent progress in agriculture by scientific methods of farming is practically the result of this increased production.
Of rye, buckwheat, broom corn, potatoes, tobacco, sorghum seed, and syrup, clover seed, timothy seed, kaffir corn, millet, cowpeas, castor beans and miscellaneous vegetables, Livingston county has produced bumper crops for 1912.
The average price for the products of Livingston county has been, corn, 57 cents per bushel; wheat, 87; oats, 41; ; flax, seed, $1.90; timothy seed, $6.00; clover seed, $10.50; cowpeas, $2.20; sorghum seed, $1.00; kaffir corn, $1.15; rye, 87 cents; buckwheat, $1.00; potatoes, 75 cents; sweet potatoes, $1.25; winter apples, 60 cents; timothy hay, per ton, $10.00; clover hay, $10.50; alfalfa, $12.75; prairie hay, $6.25; broom corn, per ton, $112.50; leaf tobacco, per pound, 15 cents; wool, 18 cents.
The average farm price for live stock per head for the same period - Horses: spring colts, $53; yearlings, $75; two years and over, $103; three years and over, $124. Mules: spring colts, $66.50; yearlings, $90; two years old, $114; three years and over, $144. Cattle: steer calves, $17.50; heifer calves, $14.75; yearling steers, $28.75; yearling heifers, $23.50; steers two years and over, $40.25; cow two years and over, $47. Sheep: lambs under one year, $3.70; all other sheep, $4.35. According to the assessor's reports for the year 1910 there was 10,467 horses in Livingston county; 2,055 mules and asses; for the year 1911, the assessor's report shows 10,026 horses, 2,110 mules and 106 asses. For 1912 the reports show 10,135 horses, 2,121 mules and 107 asses. The assessed valuation for the three years averaged $35.50 for horses; $39.15 for mules and $48.45 for asses.
The number of hogs in Livingston county as reported by the assessor's returns for the year 1911, and carefully compiled by the auditor of the state, was 19,843, which were valued at $67,662, or an average of $3.41. For the year 1912, there was a slight falling off in numbers, while the total assessed valuation exceeded that of 19 11 by about $7,305. The actual market value, however, would probably approximate $135,000.
Missouri ranks at the head of the column in poultry and the production of eggs.. The average price for chickens for the year 1912 was 8 cents per pound, while eggs averaged 16 cents per dozen. For the years 1910, 1911 and 1912, live turkeys averaged 13 cents per pound. For the same period butter sold for 21 cents per pound.
According to the last census report Missouri is second in the number of colonies of bees, Texas being first. Of the number of farms reporting bees Missouri stands first, and fourth in the point of value. The last census gave Missouri credit for 203,569 colonies. These figures do not include the bees kept in cities and towns by individuals who are not farmers. Added to the number of colonies kept by farmers this would give approximately 217,000 colonies and their value $651,000. Then if we add the value of honey and wax produced, the state's wealth in this production alone is worth considering.
The supply of honey is inadequate to meet the demand, while the production of beeswax is so far below that the importation to the United States for the year 1910 amounted to almost 1,000,000 pounds. While considering the commercial value of the agriculture and by-products, we should remember that the bees are partners in the production of some of the seed and fruit crops. In red clover the work of pollenization is accomplished by the bumblebee, the tubes of the corolla being too deep for the common honey bee to reach the nectar. The number of colonies in Livingston county and the number of pounds of honey produced cannot be accurately approximated, but the product averages well with the other honey-producing counties in this state.
A summary of Missouri farm products for the year 1912, as officially reported, will prove a surprise to the world at large. Not so, however, with the people of this commonwealth, who are familiar with the capacity and productiveness of Missouri soils. Including live stock, which by the way is short for 1912, the total value of all productions of the farm reaches the enormous sum of $750,000,000.
The corn crop for 1912 is approximately one-fourth billion bushels, 243,042,951. This exceeds the corn crop of 1911 by more than 50,000,000 bushels. The value of the corn grown in Missouri this year, figured at the average state farm price of 43 cents a bushel, is $104,517,350. The average yield for the 7,610,988 acres is 31.9 bushels an acre.
Only Iowa and Illinois grew as much corn in 1912 as did Missouri. Kansas fell almost one hundred million bushels short of Missouri's total.
Of the Missouri corn crop for the present year 72 per cent is now in cribs, so favorable has been the season.
The winter of 1911-12 was unfavorable f or wheat in Missouri. In many counties, especially in the northeast, much wheat was winter killed, so that the acreage harvested was only about 75 per cent of that seeded. The crop for the present year, harvested from 1,708,999 acres, totaled 21,546,720 bushels, worth, at 90 to 92 cents a bushel, $19,441,869. The state yield was 12.6 bushels an acre.
The present wheat acreage is 2,023,330, That is only 93.2 per cent of original acreage seeded in the fall of 1911, but is considerably larger than the acreage actually harvested in 1912.
The Missouri oats crop for 1912 was good. The total yield from 940,314 acres was 29,488,490 bushels, an average 32.8 bushels an acre. The oats crop, at 32.8 cents a bushel, represents a value of $9,632,205. Audrain county, with 1,135,650 bushels, was first in oats production.
The tame hay and forage crop totals 3,333,862 tons for 1912 and represents a value of $33,323,119. In 1911 the yield was 1,968,332 tons, or .83 tons an acre, as compared with 1.3 tons this year when the acreage was 2,414,889. The preceding figures do not include the value of bluegrass.
Prairie hay represents a value of $1,400,701. The yield was 167,090 tons, the average acre yield being .85 tons for the state. More than half of the prairie hay in Missouri is grown in the southwest section of the state.
The average yield in value of other crops entering into the total value of $188,129,550 follows:
Flax, the total yield from 10,153 acres is 71,071 bushels, valued at $113,714.
Rye, acreage 7,435, yield 102,603 bushels, value $84,134.
Buckwheat, acreage 1,203, yield 30,075 bushels, value $29,173.
Barley, acreage 729, yield 30,412 bushels, value $13,268.
Broom corn, acreage, 3,433, yield 1,750,830 pounds, value $69,125.
Cotton, acreage 59,805, yield 25,357,320 pounds, value $2,916,092.
Potatoes, acreage 51,233, yield 4,149,873 bushels, value $2,614,420.
Tobacco, acreage 5,174, yield 4,894,600 pounds, value $587,352.
Sorghum seed, acreage 19,470, yield 408,870 bushels, value $396,604.
Sorghum syrup, acreage 19,470, yield 1,693,890 gallons, value $880.832.
Clover seed, acreage threshed 14,854, yield 29,700 bushels, value $264,400.
Tlmothy seed, acreage threshed, 18,609, yield 74,436, value $171,200.
Kaffir corn, cow peas, castor beans, etc., $4,440,000.
Miscellaneous vegetables, $7,325,000.
With yields of all crops aggregating more than 60,000,000 bushels and almost 2,000,000 tons more than in 1911, the value of Missouri field crops, owing to reduced prices is practically the same as last year.
A general shortage of live stock is reported throughout the entire state. Number of hogs of all ages is 70 per cent of normal and the number on feed 66 per cent. The decrease in numbers is due largely to losses from cholera.