Friday, November 19, 2010

Crop Prospects Abroad

There appears to be a diversity of opinion abroad as to the appearance of the crops. – Baron Mecei, the eminent agriculturalist, writes to the London Times:

“I congratulate the country on its food prospects.  I never saw the wheat look more promising, or a more perfect plant, especially on the heavy lands which suffered so much the last two years, the contrast between this and the last two is striking.  The wheat plants branch or tiller abundantly.  Last spring the very reverse was the case.  There is also a greatly increased breadth of wheat this year, and the crops are from three weeks to a month earlier.  Beans and peas are luxuriant, also spring tares, grasses, and clover.  Barley grows rapidly, but on some heavy underdrained lands farmers have been hindered from sowing their spring grains.  Oats and managold will go in well when the land dries a little. – Altogether, I never saw a more promising spring.”

The Mark Lane Express, however, thinks that the continuance of rainy weather has very materially affected the cereal prospects.  That Journal says: “Much barley, oats and other spring crops remain unsown.  The young wheat has already changed its appearance, being in many places rank weak and unpromising; and the only favorable circumstance as respects the future is the rapid growth of the grass, as well as of all esculents.  The reference to the damp weather as damaging to the wheat samples has been quite discouraging; but as the acceptance of facts, whether pleasant or not, is our proper province, we can only lament the continued want of condition in the samples.  We have become much more dependent on foreign supplies, and there is already a greater firmness in the trade not withstanding good stocks and heavy arrivals, more especially American flour.”

It is estimated by the same authority that sixty-four million bushels foreign wheat will be needed to supply the English market alone from the first of May to the first of September.  This is about twice as much as was required for the same period of time last year.  From this it is apparent that every bushel of grain which our farmers can raise will meet with ready sale.  Every encouragement is presented for developing our agricultural resources to their utmost extent.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly-Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, May 17, 1862, p. 2

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