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DIAGRAM A. Average price of hogs and home consumption of hog products per capita.
Price of hogs.
Consumption per capita.
Average price of hogs, compared with the total production of hog products
per capita, and the price of corn.
price of hogs advancing in the winter of 1882–83, although the 1882 corn crop shows a very considerable decline in price. This advance in the price of hogs corresponds with a decreased production of hog product per capita of population. The second year of decline in the price of corn, that is, 1853, is followed by a marked decline in the price of hogs, and this corresponds with a slight increase in production of pork product. Then we find that, with the continued decline in corn during 1884 and 1885, there was also a decline in hogs. The 1886 corn crop brought more money and the price of hogs at once advanced. The crop of 1887 was still higher in price and the price of hogs again advanced. The 1888 corn crop was lower in price, and here we see the effect of the rule above referred to, for, while the price of hogs did not advance, it was sustained and the drop was very slight, only 5 cents per hundred pounds. In 1889 the price of corn was still lower and the drop in the price of hogs was very marked.
If, now, we turn our attention to the line on the chart showing the quantity of hog product in proportion to the population we find that in 1874 the price of hogs advanced before there was any decrease in production. The second year after the advance in corn the reduction in the quantity of hog product is marked, and the reduction continued one year after there was a fall in the price of corn. In 1878–79 the production per capita reached the highest point, corresponding with the low-priced corn crop of 1878. In 1880 there was a decrease in hog product corresponding to the advance in corn, and in 1881 we find an exception to the rule-an increase in hog product and at the same time a second increase in price of corn. Then comes a drop in production in 1882 corresponding to the increase in the price of the corn crop, of 1881. With the drop in the price of corn in 1882 we find that the hog product instead of increasing continued to decrease. This shows a tendency, exhibited also in 1876, that should be noted, which is that the hog product does not always respond to a fluctuation in the price of corn until the succeeding year. "That is, when the hog crop has been decreasing for one or more years it requires some time to change the conditions and increase it, or vice versa. We see the operation of this rule again in the increase in the product of 1887 over 1886, although there was an advance in the price of the crop fed. So again the decrease in the price of corn in 1888 over 1887 was not followed by an increase in hog production until the succeeding year,
From these facts we may conclude that during the eighteen years covered by the tables and charts the following general rules appear to bear upon this question:
(1) The price of hogs increased with the price of corn without regard to the amount of hog product placed upon the market.
(2) After an advance in the prices of corn and hogs for a series of years the price of corn dropped one year before the decline came in the price of hogs.
(3) The fluctuation in the quantity of hog product per capita of population which followed an advance or decline in the price of corn after having moved in the opposite direction did not usually occur until a year had intervened. "When corn had been high this failure of the hog product to increase with the first decline in corn kept up the price of hogs or even increased it for one year after corn dropped'; but when corn had been low the failure of the hog product to decrease in quantity the first year that corn advanced did not prevent the
advance in the price of hogs immediately following the increase in the price of corn.
It would appear that the above conclusions are worth remembering, for if these rules have held good for eighteen years they will likely apply for some time in the future.
Having determined some of the factors which have influenced the price of hogs, and having found that the most important of all was the price of corn, it may be well to briefly consider the causes which fix the latter. The following table shows the price of corn, the total production, and the production per capita of population,
Diagram Cillustrates these fluctuations graphically. We see that, , beginning with 1872, there was a decreased production of corn per capita of population in 1873, and a further decrease in 1874, and that there was a corresponding increase in price. In 1875 there was an increase in production and a decrease in price. In 1876 there was a decrease in production and a further decrease in price. In 1877 there was a slight increase in production and an equally slight decrease in price. In 1878 there was another increase in production and a decrease in price. In 1879 there was a considerable increase in production and also an increase in price. In 1880 there was a slight decrease in production and a slight increase in price. In 1881 there was a great decrease in production and an equally marked increase in price. In 1882 the production increased and the price decreased. In 1883 there was a decrease both in production and price. In 1884 and 1885 the production increased and the price decreased. In 1886 and 1887 the production decreased and the price increased. In 1888 and 1989 the production increased and the price decreased. This shows that as a rule the increase in production corresponds with the decrease in price, and vice versa, the only exceptions being found in the years 1876, 1879, and 1883, or three years in the eighteen covered by the diagram.
It is interesting to note concerning the three exceptional years just mentioned that two of them, 1876 and 1883, correspond to the years on Diagram B, where it is shown that the price of hogs advanced in spite of the fact that the price of corn declined. That is to say, the reduction of the stock of hogs not only increased the price of hogs but lowered the price of corn, because there were not so many hogs to feed and the corn which would otherwise have been fed was put upon the market. The remaining exception, 1879, which is a fluctuation in the opposite direction, corresponds to the year on