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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/221

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211
THE FRUIT INDUSTRY IN CALIFORNIA.

Yield of 700 Acre Orchard.

Pounds.
Apricots 339,411
Peaches 2,115,314
Nectarines 210,518
Pears 280,124
Plums 4,705
Prunes 22,283
Total 2,972,335

This is a well-authenticated yield of nearly 3,000,000 pounds from the orchard, or, to be more exact, within a fraction of 4,246 pounds to the acre. This fruit was sold for $84,365.01, or $130 per acre, gross receipts. The annual product of the 1,300 acres of vines and trees upon this ranch is confidently expected to be 10,000,000 pounds of fresh fruit when every acre comes into bearing, and that is practicable under first-class management. Ignorance or neglect would ruin both orchard and vineyard, however, in less than three years. The average yield per acre, as previously shown, is only 1,200 pounds, but here is a tract of 700 acres, not in full bearing, that gives three and a half times as much. By obtaining the highest possible price, the estimated possible sale of about $45 per acre (when the yield was 1,500 pounds) has been raised in this case to $120 per acre. Should the whole 1,200 acres ultimately yield 10,000,000 pounds, the average per acre will be more than four tons of green fruit, the increase being largely in the item of grapes. Four tons per acre, at a uniform price of one cent a pound, would yield $80, as against the average value of the State crop at that price, $13 per acre.

If the 200,000 acres of deciduous fruits in the State could be made to yield at the rate of this irrigated San Joaquin Valley orchard, the product would now be about 850,000,000 pounds of fresh fruit. The same acreage in full bearing at the expected average would reach the enormous yield of 1,660,000,000 pounds. If the semitropic fruits and vineyards could be depended upon to yield in like proportion, it is safe to say that the fruit supply of the world would be more than provided for, and the transportation facilities of the great railroad lines would be overburdened. But horticulture, like agriculture, is subject to drawbacks and limitations. Orchards and vineyards, exactly the same as corn fields and wheat fields, give only a low general average. The industry of fruit-growing is established upon a solid foundation and is very prosperous, but the whole yield of the State can never be made proportionate to the yield obtained under exceptional circumstances.

The acreage and yield of the orchards and vineyards have now been ascertained. The cash value of the total output can not be