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CANADA

536 Agriculture.

About 42 per cent, of the population of Canada belong to families whose heads or members are engaged in agriculture. A large number more are employed in industries arising out of agriculture; among these are millers of flour and oatmeal, curers and packers of meat, makers of cheese and butter, and persons occupied in the transportation and commerce of grain, hay, live stock, meats, butter, cheese, milk, eggs, fruit, and various other products. It is estimated that the annual value of all farm crops and products in Canada is not less than 600,000,000 dollars. The country is splendidly formed for the production of food. Across the continent there is a zone about 3500 miles long and nearly as wide as France, with a climate adapted to the production of foods of superior quality. In places which are now cultivated the soil has been found fertile. That of Manitoba is rich in the constituents of plant food to a degree that surpasses nearly all the soils of Europe. The freezing of the soil in winter, which at first sight seems a drawback, retains the soluble nitrates which might otherwise be drained out. The geographical position of Canada, its railway systems and steamship service for freight across the Atlantic, are favourable for the extension of the export trade in farm products to European countries. Of wheat many varieties are grown. The methods of cultivation do not involve the application of so much hand labour per acre as in Europe.of Manitoba The average yield of spring wheat in the Crops. province has varied from about 17 bushels per acre to 25 bushels per acre. The average yield of fall or winter wheat in the province of Ontario since 1883 has been 20 bushels per acre. As a rule the weather during the harvesting period permits the grain to be gathered safely without any damage from sprouting. Suitable machinery for cleaning the grain is everywhere in general use, so that weed seeds are removed before the wheat is ground. This gives Canadian wheat excellent milling properties, and enables the millers to turn out flour uniform in quality and of high grade as to keeping properties. Canadian Ji<mr has been steadily gaining ground in European markets. It is becoming known as flour from which bakers can make the best quality of bread, and also the largest quantity per barrel, the quantity of albuminoids being one-tenth greater in Canadian flour than in the best brands of European. In three tests by a leading firm of London bakers, Canadian flour gave 146 lb, 152 lb, and 151 lb of bread of excellent quality from 100 lb of flour, a better result than could be obtained from any other flour imported into the United Kingdom. There are not less than 2500 flour mills, employing over 6000 men. There is room for a great extension in the cultivation of wheat and the manufacture and exportation of flour. By the growing of crops of clover alternately with wheat one main constituent (nitrogen) required in the soil to keep it fertile may be renewed perpetually. There are many millions of acres of fertile land suitable for wheat culture unoccupied. The yield of wheat in Canada for 1901 was estimated at 85,000,000 bushels. If the area of available land only be considered, the yield might be ten times greater per annum, with plenty of fertile land still awaiting cultivation. Oats of fine quality are grown in large crops from Prince Edward Island on the Atlantic coast to Vancouver Island on the Pacific coast. The Canadian soil and climate are admirably adapted for producing oats of heavy weight per bushel, with thin husk. Canadian oatwieal is equal in’ quality to the best. It is prepared in different forms, and in various degrees of fineness; also as “rolled oats and “oat flakes.” As a rule, the weather is favourable for both the growth and harvesting of the crop. Consequently, oats and oatmeal do not become bitter from sprouted grain, or musty from the heating of the straw in stacks. Peas in large areas are grown free from serious trouble with insect pests. Split peas for soup, gieen peas as vegetables, and sweet peas for canning are obtained in perfection. Barley was formerly grown in enormous quantities for export to the United States for malting purposes. After the raising of the duty on barley under the McKinley and Dmgley tariffs that trade fell off. Some varieties are cultivated^ with success for the making of pearl or pot barley. Rye is cultivated successfully, but is seldom used as food by the people. Flour from wheat, meal from oats, and meal from Indian corn are preferred. Buckwheat flour is used in considerable quantities in some districts for the making of buckwheat cakes, eaten with maple syrup. These two make an exquisite breakfast dish, characteristic

[agriculture

of Canada and some of the New England states. There are also numerous forms of preparations from cereals, sold as breakfast foods, which, owing to the superiority of the grains grown in Canada and the care exercised in their manufacture, compare favourably with similar products in other countries. Vegetables are grown everywhere, and form a large part of the diet of the people. There is a comparatively small export, except in the case of potatoes and vegetables which have been canned or dried. Besides potatoes, which thrive well and yield large quantities of excellent quality, there are turnips, carrots, parsnips, and beets. The cultivation of sugar beets for the manufacture of sugar has been begun in Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta. Among the common vegetables used in the green state are peas, beans, cabbage, cauliflow’ers, asparagus, Indian corn, onions, leeks, tomatoes, lettuce, radish, celery, parsley, cucumbers, pumpkins, squash, and rhubarb. Hay, of good quality of timothy (Phleicm pratense), and also timothy and clover, is grown over extensive areas. For export it has been put up in bales of about 150 pounds each. Since 1899 a new form of pressing has been employed, whereby the hay is compressed to stow in about 70 cubic feet per ton. This has been a means of reducing the ocean freight per ton. The compact condition permits the hay to be kept with less deterioration of quality than under the old system of more loose baling. Austrian Brome grass (Bromus inermis) is grown for hay extensively in Manitoba and the North-West Territories. The breeding of horses has been to some extent neglected since the use of electrical power became general. Heavy draught horses of the Clydesdale breed are reared principally in the Llve stock provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Horses suitable for general work on farms, and for omnibuses, and grocery and delivery waggons, are plentiful for local markets and for export. Useful carriage horses and saddle horses are bred in a few localities, and animals for cavalry and mounted infantry remounts are produced in all the provinces and in the North-West Territories. Thoroughbred stallions of all breeds are kept by private individuals and by agricultural societies. There are no Government stud farms. Cattle, sheep, swine, and poultry are reared in abundance. The bracing weather of Canadian winters is followed by the warmth and humidity of genial summers, under which crops grow in almost tropical luxuriance, while the cool evenings and nights give the plants a robustness of quality which are not to be found in tropical regions, and also make life for the various domestic animals wholesome and comfortable. In the North-West Territories there are vast areas of prairie land, over which cattle pasture, and from which thousands of fat bullocks are shipped annually. Throughout other parts bullocks are fed on pasture land and also in stables on nourishing and succulent feed such as hay, Indian com fodder, Indian corn ensilage, turnips, carrots, mangels, ground oats, barley, peas, Indian corn, rye, bran, and linseed oil cake. The breeding of cattle, adapted for the production of prime beef, has received much attention. There is Government control of the spaces on the steamships in which the cattle are carried, and veterinary inspection to prevent the exportation of any animals that might be affected with disease. In recent years a trade has been growing up in the exportation of dressed beef in cold storage, and also in the exportation of beef preserved in hermetically sealed tins. Sheep thrive well on the hill pastures, and mutton and lamb of fine flavour are plentiful. Swine are reared and fattened in large numbers. The export trade in bacon grew rapidly between 1890 and 1900. Canadian hogs are fed, as a rule, on feeds suited for the production of what are known as “fleshy sides.” Bacon with an excess of fat is not wanted, except in the lumber camps ; consequently the farmers of Canada have cultivated a class of swine for bacon having plenty of lean and firm flesh. The great extension of the dairy business has fitted in with the rearing of large numbers of swine. Experimental work has shown that swine fattened with part of a ration of skim-milk were lustier and of a more healthy appearance than swine fattened wholly on grains. Slaughtering and curing are carried on chiefly at large packing-houses. The use of mechanical refrigerating plants for chilling the pork has made it practicable to cure the bacon with the use of a small percentage of salt, leaving it mild in flavour when delivered in European markets. Regular supplies are exported during every week of the year. Large quantities of lard, brawn, and pigs’ feet are exported, and there is a growing trade in “lunch tongues.” Turkeys thrive well, grow to a fine size, and have flesh of tender quality. Chickens are raised in large numbers, and of late years farmers have adopted the method of fattening them a few weeks before they are killed, thus increasing the proportion of edible material. Canadian eggs are usually packed in cases containing thirty dozens each. Cardboard fillers are used which provide a separate compartment for each egg. There are cold storage warehouses at various points in Canada, at which the eggs are collected, sorted, and packed before shipment These permit the eggs to be landed in Europe in a practically fresh condition as to flavour, with the shells quite full.