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276

V. Half-standard mulberry tree ...

276

VI. Pruning of mulberry trees, dwarf..

276

REPORT OF THE STATISTICIAN:

Map I. Corn (maize). Values and yields per acre.

296

II. Wheat Values and yields per acre....

298

III. Cotton. Values and yields per acre

324

REPORT OF THE MICROSCOPIST:

Plate I. Eight edible mushrooms common to the United States. Second

series......

366

II. Twelve poisonous mushrooms,

366

III. Mushroom beds in cellar..

368

IV. Mushroom beds in market gardens..

368

V. Mushroom house ....

368

VI. Microscopic researches in food fats..

374

VII. Nitrate of silver test of food and medicinal oils.

374

VIII. Nitrate of silver test of food and medicinal oils

374

IX. Nitrate of silver test of food and medicinal oils.

374

X. Nitrate of silver test of food and medicinal oils ...

374

XI. Species of mushrooms. ,,

374

5

REPORT

OF THE

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE,

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY,

Washington, D. C., October 25, 1890. To the PRESIDENT:

I have the honor to submit my Second Annual Report as Secretary of Agriculture.

I deem it to be my first duty in making this report to congratulate you and the country at large upon the generally improved outlook in agricultural matters. At no time in the history of this country has there been so much agitation among the farmers as a class as during the period which has elapsed since I had the honor to-submit to you my first report. The causes of this widespread agitation have been so varied and so numerous that to attempt to specify them all would be as tedious as it would be unnecessary in a report of this character. I will only refer to such of the most prominent causes as for various reasons seem to require special mention here.

Naturally the first place in this brief enumeration belongs to a depressed condition of agriculture prevailing at the time that you assumed office, the result of a slight but steady diminution of the prices of most of our staple agricultural products, a reduction which had been going on for some years, and which, therefore, has amounted in the aggregate to a considerable percentage of the average crop values. Severely as such a depression must necessarily have been felt by a class who measure even their prosperity by a very moderate standard of profit, it has not been without its good results.

The attention of the country was thoroughly awakened to the farmer's condition, and agricultural matters were very properly made the subject of special consideration by Congress. The subject was discussed in the press, the views of the farmers themselves were made

7

known, and it is gratifying to be able to point out that to-day the cloud which for some years seemed to rest gloomily upon American agriculture has been lightened, while the wise economic legislation already secured holds out still brighter promise for the future. As an earnest of this statement, I subjoin a brief table, showing prices of some of our staple agricultural products to-day and a year ago.

Prices of leading agricultural products at Chicago, October 16.

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The recent legislation looking to the restoration of the bimetallic standard of our currency, and the consequent enhancement of the value of silver, has unquestionably had much to do with the recent advance in the price of cereals. The same cause has advanced the price of wheat in Russia and India, and in the same degree reduced their power of competition. English gold was formerly exchanged for cheap silver, and wheat purchased with the cheaper metal was sold in Great Britain for gold. Much of this advantage is lost by the appreciation of silver in those countries. It is reasonable, therefore, to expect much higher prices for wheat than have been received in recent years.

In my last report I ventured to appeal most earnestly for a larger measure of tariff protection for the farming industry. “For all such articles as our own soil will produce, the farmer justly asks that protection which will insure to him all the benefits of our home market.” Such was the language with which I concluded my appeal on his behalf. I am thankful to say that it has been in a very large measure heeded; and, admitting to the fullest extent the place to which natural causes are entitled in assigning reasons for the higher prices now prevailing for agricultural products, it is impossible not to see the beneficial influence of the tariff protection awarded to the farmer under the present law. A comparison of the duties under the present law on some of the agricultural products heretofore imported in considerable amounts with the rates of duty imposed on them under the old law will illustrate this in a striking manner.

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