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Page:Quarterlyoforego10oreg 1.djvu/179

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Land Tenure in Oregon. 6s there are more people desiring to rent farms than there are farms offered to rent. A great many, on the other hand, say that the number of rented farms and of renters is about equal. These different answers come not from distinct, separate sec- tions of the State, but each view, from all parts. Morrow county, unlike others, gives the report that enough tenants can be found to rent the land. The reason for this condition is 'not given, but it probably is because farming must be con- ducted on a large scale to make it pay, the yield per acre being very small; and the party who farms the land has a great risk to run. When the crop is exceptionally good and the price of wheat high, then the farmer strikes it rich; if the opposite is the case, then he will lose money. Very few renters have enough capital to undertake farming under such speculative conditions. This argument is not conclusive and may be a little overdrawn, yet it may help to show the condi- tions that prevail in that section. Tenant farmers, in nearly all parts of Oregon, manage, if they are industrious and ambitious, to accumulate money by tenant farming to acquire land of their own. The only coun- ties reporting the opposite are Lincoln and Marion, All the other counties claim that a good per cent of the tenants be- come landowning farmers in time. Nearly all government land suitable for farming in this State has been taken up, and '.tenants are compelled to buy farms when they become land- owners. The counties reporting available public domain suit- able for farming are Lake, Malheur, Baker, Umatilla, Crook and Tillamook. The first four named offer government land available either to homestead entry or to desert entry; Tilla- mook, of course, has no dry land. Practically all the desert land remaining can not be irrigated ; and, when taken up, must be farmed to raise only such crops as will grow with very little water. At present, very little attractive government land remains anywhere in the State. When landless farmers acquire land, banks or loaning asso-

iations will nearly always advance from 40 to 60 per cent of----