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The European Corn Belt and the Vienna Basin

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THE EUROPEAN CORN BELT AND THE VIENNA BASIN Sumer rain in the ' tenor of a continent.—We found (Sec. 73) that there is summer rain in the Central Farming Region of North America. This area is almost in the middle of the North American continent. We find summer rainfall also in Hungary, Rumania, south Russia, and central Asia. This is very important for the farmer.

Where there is much summerloto Service. N. Y.

rain and a long season of warmwenian peas Dssed in her weather, there are corn belts.

e style. Where there is little rain and a cooler, shorter summer, there are spring wheat belts. (Sec. 89.) 534. Bounds and climate.—The European Corn Belt is tucked in between the Alps, the Balkans, and the Black Sea. It is really divided into two parts by the Carpathians. North of the Carpathians the summer is too cool for corn, and east of Odessa the summer rainfall is too light. South of the Danube Valley, the Balkan Highlands are the bound ary. (Fig. 319.) Another way of thinking of this corn belt is to say that it consists of the lower valley of the Dneister, the middle and lower parts of the Danube Valley, and the valley of the Pruth, a branch of the Danube.

535. Agriculture.—To understand this country, we must think of the western part of our own corn belt. You remember (Sec. 74) that the farmer of eastern Kansas often has a field of corn, a field of wheat, a field of hay, and some cattle or hogs. The same plan is followed in Hungary, because the country is the same—a fine, rich, level land, with a summer hot enough and moist enough for corn, and a winter climate that suits wheat. Therefore, the Hungarian farmers grow wheat, corn, and hay, and keep animals.

The central part of the Hungarian plain has less rainfall than the sections nearer the mountains, and some of it, like our own Great Plains, is too dry for grain crops. On these wide, flat stretches are ranches where horses, mules, and cattle are pas tured in large droves.

The part of Rumania east of the Car pathians is much like Hungary, except that there is less rain. Droughts are more frequent and the corn crop fails more often. The Rumanian farmer plows his fields with oxen. Can you tell why? (Sec. 527.) Since the grain supply is irregular, the farmers must keep fewer animals than do the farmers in America. If they tried to keep many cattle they would have no feed for them in the years of poor crops, so they sell the grain when they have harvested a crop. This shows why many more cattle and hogs are kept in the Middle Danube than in the Lower Danube District.

npnrde of the European Corn Belt I make their living largely by selling corn and wheat. Many of them eat corn bread because it is less expensive than wheat bread. Some of the export

grain goes by river boats up the Danube into south Ger many, or by canal boat into the basin of the Elbe in Czechoslovakia and on to cen tral Germany. More of it reaches the markets of south Europe and west Europe by way of the ocean steamers that come up the Danube River.

Some tobacco is grown in central Hun gary, but the chief thing to remember about the agriculture of this region is its likeness to that of our own western Corn Belt.

536. People.—Several peoples live in this region. Chief among them are Rumanians, Hungarians, and the Slovaks in the eastern part of Czechoslovakia. In nearly all of this region, counts and dukes own large estates on which many tenant farmers live. Most of these farmers live in villages and go out each day to work in the fields around the village. On holidays the people dress up in gaily-colored costumes of native style. They are fond of singing, music, and dancing. Perhaps you have heard some Hungarian music.

537. Cities.—All the chief cities, save Odessa, a seaport, and Bucharest, a capital, are along the Danube, the great commercial thoroughfare of this region. Much work has been done to make it possible for boats to pass around the rapids at the place called the Iron Gate, where the river has cut a notch through the mountains that sepa rate the Hungarian and the Rumanian plains.

It is interesting to compare pairs of cities in the American and European Corn Belts and also a pair of corn ports: The European cities are r larger than the American cities because, as the table below shows, the European region is much more densely peopled than the American region.

538. Future.—(Sec. 535.) The uneducated peasants can learn to cultivate their fields somewhat better, but there is not room for many more farms. When the Rumanian Gov ernment helped farmers to buy land after the World War it tried to get twelve and a half acres for each family. The average farm in Kansas is more than ten times as large as that. Unless this region can build cities, it may continue to be as it has been in the past—a place from which people have migrated by the thousands, seeking places where there were more resources and more chance for work at good pay. Many Hungarians and Rumanians have come to America.

Can this European Corn Belt have a large city population? There has long been some manufacturing in Budapest and Vienna, but only a small part of the products were for export. Places in northwest Europe have locations so much better for manufacturing, that the European Corn Belt may continue to be a region living chiefly by the export of farm produce, and with a population but little larger than it now has.