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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/788

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764
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Prospective demand of 1930, at the same meager average product per acre, without progress in agricultural science:

Crop called for. Per acre. Area required.
Maize 3,450,000,000 bushels. 28. 8 bushels. 226,600 square miles.
Wheat 700,000,000 " 13. 4 " 81,600 ""
Oats 1,250,000,000 " 27. 2 " 70,800 ""
Hay 100,000,000 tons 1.43 " 109,400 ""
Total in square miles 488,400 square miles.

Assuming all land under the plow in 1930 in the ratio as above, the area of all now in all crops 400,000 square miles—an excessive estimate—that year (1930) will call for 667,000 square miles of arable land in actual cultivation.

I have been accustomed to consider one half our national domain, exclusive of Alaska, good arable land in the absence of any "speculation" on that point in the records of the Department of Agriculture; but from the returns given by the chiefs of the experiment stations and secretaries of agriculture of the States hereafter cited, that estimate may be increased probably to two thirds, or 2,000,000 square miles of arable land out of a total of 3,000,000 square miles, omitting Alaska.

Assuming that we possess 2,000,000 square miles of arable land, capable at least of producing the present meager average product cited above, the conditions of 1930 will be graphically presented on the following diagram:

Prospective Use of Land in the Year 1930 on Present Crop Average.

Oats, Wheat, Hay, Miscellaneous Maize Wheat
70,800 81,600 109,400 Roots, cotton Indian corn, for
sq. miles. sq. miles. sq. miles. tobacco, etc. 226,000 export,
168,000 sq. m. sq. miles. 143,000
Excessive. sq. miles.
Arable land unassigned 1,200,000 square miles.
Deduct for cities, towns, parks, and reserves of all kinds 200,000 ""
Reserve for future use 1,000,000 ""
Forest, mountain, arid, etc., not counted, about 1,000,000 square miles, not included in these lines or squares.

Arable land assumed to be 2,000,000 square miles in the outer lines of the diagram.

No reduction on area cultivated on prospective improvement in the present methods of farming, although it may be assumed that the prospective increase of crop per acre will exert great influence.

If the facts should be in 1930 consistent with Mr. Hyde's "speculation" it would therefore appear that our ability to meet the domestic demand of 1930 with proportionate export of cattle, provisions, and dairy products, and to set apart a little patch of land for the export of 1,226,000,000 bushels of wheat raised at the rate of only