In all these industries, whether the fiber cultivated is flax, ramie, or jute, the machine question enters so largely into the problem of their successful establishment that the business must be conducted on a large scale. Even in the growth of Sisal hemp in Florida,The Luffa, or Sponge Cucumber. should it be attempted, the enterprise will only pay when the necessary mill plant for extracting the fiber is able to draw upon a cultivated area of five hundred acres. In other words, the small farmer can never become a fiber producer independently, but must represent a single wheel in the combination.
The subject is a vast one, and, while I have been able to set forth the importance of these industries as new sources of national prosperity, only an outline has been given of the difficulties which are factors in the industrial problem. Summing up the points of vantage, the market is already assured; through years of study and experiment we are beginning to better understand the particular conditions that influence success or failure in this country; we have the best agricultural implements in the world, and American inventive genius will be able, doubtless, in time, to perfect the new mechanical devices which are so essential to economical production; our farmers are intelligent and industrious, and need only the promise of a fair return for their labor to enter heart and soul into this work.