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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 81.djvu/526

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

of the year. The loss, however, is due to animal products and not to crops, the former having decreased over $300,000,000 in value, and the latter having gained nearly $50,000,000. The total value of farm products reached The great total of eight billion four hundred and seventeen million dollars.

Corn is the leading crop of the country, being double in value that of cotton and being three quarters the total production of the world. The | amount produced last year was a little under the average for the preceding five years, but the value was greater than ever before. The United States produces about three fifths of the cotton of the world and the exports, amounted last year to $585,000,000, or more than a quarter of all exports. The crop of cotton last year was the largest ever grown, but the price declined. Hay, which stands next to cotton and is close to it in value, gave last year the smallest crop produced since 1888. Wheat, worth about $600,000,000, was in quantity about five per cent, below the five-year average. Oats, fifth in order of value, decreased in quantity, but rose in price. Potatoes yielded about 90 per cent, of the average production, but the crop sold for more than ever before. Next in order of value were barley, tobacco, flaxseed, rye, sugar beets, hops, rice and buckwheat. The refined beet sugar produced in the country greatly increased, amounting to the value of $90,000,000, while cane sugar is valued at $45,000,000.

According to preliminary official reports the crops in 1912 will surpass all others in the history of this country. Eight billion dollars a year for farm products is an enormous sum. We should not, however, forget that at least one fourth of this vast amount represents the natural fertility of the soil which we are consuming. So much should surely be saved for permanent improvements, buildings, tools, stock, roads, etc., and the most profitable and permanent of all investments, the education, health and welfare of the people.

 

SCIENTIFIC ITEMS

We record with regret the deaths of Dr. Lewis Boss, director of the Dudley Observatory, Albany; of Professor Morris Loeb, the distinguished chemist of New York City; of Dr. Leonard W. Williams, instructor in comparative anatomy at the Harvard Medical School, and of Professor Williston S. Hough, dean of the Teachers College and professor of philosophy at the George Washington University.

Dr. Alexis Carrel, of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, has, according to cablegrams from Stockholm, been awarded the Nobel prize in medicine. Dr. Carrel, who was born in France in 1873, has carried forward important research work in experimental pathology, physiology and surgery.—Mr. A. Wendell Jackson, who has arranged a loan of $50,000,000 to China, in opposition to the offers of the financiers of the six great powers, is a mining engineer who was formerly professor of mineralogy and economic geology at the University of California. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a fellow of the Geological Society of America.

Sir W. H. White has been elected president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for the meeting to be held next year in Birmingham.—At the eighty-fourth meeting of the German Association of Scientific Men and Physicians held recently at Münster, it was decided that next year the meeting will be held at Vienna, under the presidency of Professor H. H. Meyer.—The fourteenth meeting of the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science will be held in Melbourne in January, 1913.—The International Congress of Mathematicians recently meeting at Cambridge adjourned to meet in Stockholm in 191