Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/171

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159
UNITED STATES' WHEAT-GROWING CAPACITY.

Cost of Shipping Wheat per Bushel from Moorhead, an Inferior Point in Minnesota, to

Liverpool.

On September 17, 1888.

Rate, Moorhead to Duluth

Duluth elevator and inspection charges

Lake freight, Duluth to Buffalo

Elevator charges and commission at Buffalo Canal freight, Buffalo to New York. . . Elevator charges, etc., in New York. . . Ocean freight, New York to Liverpool.

Totals

On May 27,

1898.

On July 9, 1898.

On August, 20, 1898.

Cts. per bu. 9.30

Cts. per bu. 9.30

Cts. per bu. 8.70

0.80

0.80

0.80

1.40

1.25

1.25

1.00

1.00

1.00

3.00

3.00

2.75

2.00

2.00

2.00

8.00

3.50

4.50

25.50

20.85

21.00

Ct». per bu. 8.70 0.80 1.75 1.00 2. 50 2.00 6.00

22.75

General average, 22.525 cents per bushel.

It will be remarked that Mr. Powers says I am wrong in not asserting a sure continuation of the decline in the price of wheat which I predicted in 18 SO. In setting up one dollar a bushel in London as the standard of this inquiry, I had no thought that our farmers could be made happy for the next thirty years by any hope of securing so high a price. In my predictions in 1880 I said that the time was not then far off when the farmers of the Mississippi Valley would secure as large a remuneration from their wheat at thirty-four shillings per quarter in London as they had been gaining from a previous average of fifty-two shillings. I might then have fixed the lessened price at twenty-eight shillings, and at the present time I have a greater expectation of a reduction in the price of wheat in Mark Lane to less than twenty-eight shillings a quarter, or eightyfive cents a bushel, than I had in 1880 that it would so soon reach thirty-four shillings. I merely adopted a dollar a bushel as an arbitrary standard on which an abundant supply of bread at low cost would be absolutely assured to the people of England.

In fact, as I stated before the Royal Commission on Depression of Agriculture, it is not probable that a reduction in the price of wheat to forty cents a bushel on "Western farms or sixty-five to seventy cents a bushel in England would stop the growth of this grain, although it might check an increase. When the price went down to a very low point on the last excessive crop it is probable that 100,000,000 bushels of wheat were fed to swine and to cattle. It proved to make better pork and beef than maize or Indian corn, and, as the price of meat did not decline in anything like the proportion to the price of wheat, the farmers who thus fed their excess secured a profit which the sale of the crude grain might not have given.

In this comment Mr. Powers deals with the reduction in the number of foreclosures in Minnesota. Attention should be called to