Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 59.djvu/578

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568
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
FOOD AND LAND TENURE.[1]
By EDWARD ATKINSON.

THE conditions of Europe in the present year compel attention to the food supply of what is called the civilized world. The principal supply of grain exported and a large part of the supply of meat are derived from the central United States, in the northern section of the Mississippi Valley.

The area of the twelve States of the northern Mississippi Valley, on which main dependence is placed, is given in the subsequent table; also the proportion of each State which is now devoted to the crops of Indian com or maize, wheat and oats, which are the chief dependence for the grain supply of man and beast; rye, barley and buckwheat being of minor importance. In another table the proportion of the area of each State which is devoted to each of the three principal grains is indicated graphically.




Land,
Square Mile.
Wheat. Area Devoted
to Maize.
Oats.
Ohio 40,760 2,220 4,514 1,659
Indiana 35,910 1,890 6,299 2,144
Illinois 56,000 2,161 11,156 5,495
Michigan 57,430 1,906 1,688 1,434
Wisconsin 54,450 1,327 1,936 3,026
Minnesota 79,205 7,665 1,505 2,598
Iowa 55,475 2,183 12,577 6,001
Nebraska 76,840 3,229 12,646 2,708
Missouri 48,735 2,356 10,084 1,408
Kansas 81,700 7,282 13,476 2,129
North Dakota 70,195 4,202 37 956
South Dakota 76,850 4,563 1,876 920
753,550 40,984 77,794 30,478

By far the larger proportion of all these States is arable land, portions of the western section being for the present uncertain in their product, because of semi-arid conditions. Ere long, however, these sections may become the most productive, irrigation on a national scale being under way.

  1. Read at the meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Glasgow, September 11-19.