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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/250

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234

��Popular Science Monthly

���bCALE IN MILES

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��'SOUTH BYRON

��You would have to tour about in an automobile for six or eight hours before you could get any idea of this farm. It is a vast tract nine by two miles and like a pair of saddle-bags in contour

��fertility. Over sixty miles of drainage canals, criss-crossing the immense farm, have been constructed, so that to-day the muck region stretches for miles in every direction. In certain parts of the valley the reclamation work was accomplished in what is undoubtedly record time. One large patch, which in the Autumn of 1913 was practically a lake bristling with heavy trees, was transformed in nine months into a harrowed field, ready for planting. Drained of water, stripped of woods, ploughed, harrowed — and a lettuce crop harvested within the following three months — that is a record of engineer- ing and agricultural achievement which corporate farming may well boast of for a representative twelve-month's work. The Factory Idea Applied to Farming But in the layout and management of the huge green- stuffs factory — that is precisely what they are making of Oak Orchard Farm — lie its most interesting phases. Every hundred -acre plot of soil re- ceives careful planning with regard to its

���The dwelling in the home communities as planned by the farm officials is not at all the ordinary type of farmhouse ; but is compact, cozy and attractive

��tillage, planting, cultivation and harvesting. The light and heavy tractors, employed instead of horses, do their work under gangs of men. There are plough-foremen, and harvesting staffs on Oak Orchard farm, and they report to their immediate superior official just the same as a city factory sub- chief would do. Each unit of the intricate farm machinery with which the big hotbed swarms receives credit for every yard of work that it does. Each acre, under a cost- accounting system, as effective as it is unique on farms, is debited on the farm auditor's book with its daily share of man- labor, horse-labor, machine-labor, ferti- lizer and its share, too, of the overhead expense. There is nothing inexact about the big farm's,^ methods ; it proposes

to know just where it stands after the crops have been har- vested and sold.

Efficiency, e specially wherever the precious muck- soil is involved, is the by-word in operating the farm. For in- stance, the an- cient rail-fences which marked boundaries- have been completely

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