Everywhere this is a land of but little rain, not enough to allow people to grow crops of corn and wheat as they do in the North Central States. (Figs. 52, 117, and 88.) In many places, trees grow only along the streams, and you may ride for days without seeing a single tree. Flocks of sheep, and also herds of cattle and horses, eat the small amount of grass that grows on these plains, and also that which grows in the mountains.
113. IrrigaIion and and there a stream flows out cf the mountains cn to a level plain where the people can easily make ditches, which carry the water out on the fields to water the crops. This method of watering crops is called irrigation.
Most of the irrigated land in these states is planted to alfalfa, a kind of grass that sometimes grows as high as a man's waist. It is cut with mowing machines and dried in the sun. It is then called hay, and is stacked up for the sheep and cattle to eat in the winter. Many of the sheep and cattle from the Plateau States are shipped in freight cars to the corn belt farms to be fattened on corn, oats, and hay before they go on to the meat packing plants about which we have already read. (Sec. 86.) The higher mountains in these Plateau States are deeply covered with snow in winter, but there is not so much of it in the plains and valleys as there is in the North Central States. The ranch owners here do not often build barns for their sheep and cattle, and some of them do not even put up hay for winter food for their animals. Instead they keep some land unpastured in the sum mer, so that the animals may eat dry grass in winter. Sheep and horses will dig through snow with their feet to find the grass that lies under neath, still sweet and good to eat.
114. Sheep in other count:ies.—We can find sheep herders with their flocks and dogs in every continent. As you study each continent, you will learn where the sheep lands are. Australia, a land of little rain, has mere sheep than can be found in all North America.
Argentina, in South America (Figs. 12C and 284), is another country with millions of sheep,—more than we have in all North America. We found (Sec. 81) that the people of eastern Argentina grow wheat and corn near the Parana River, where there is good rainfall. But to the west ward, there is less rain, and the sheep herders have an enormous plain over which to drive their flocks. This plain is as big as our Plateau States. The sheep raised here are later sent eastward to be fattened on alfalfa, and are then sent on to the packing plants. (Sec. 294.) 115. Carpet wool from you will look at the rainfall map of the world (Fig. 89) you will see a great region of lit tle rain reaching through southern Europe, western Asia and central Asia. The world sheep map shows that sheep are found in all of this region, at least in all of it that is not too dry for grass to grow. If you were on a steamer at a port on the Persian Gulf, you would see on the hills tack of the little town long strings of camels bring ing big bales of wool down to the steamer. They bring it over many mountain ranges from the places where the Persian shep herds, far in the interior, shear their sheep. Some of this wool comes to the United States where it is made into carpets. It is too coarse for clothing.
116. Sheep in sheep map (Fig. 120) shows that there are (or were before the World War) many sheep in Spain, Italy, Greece, and the Balkan countries. It is so rough and hilly in these countries that little of the land can be made into fields for plowing and hoeing. (See Fig. 374.) For this reason it is used only for pasture, and flocks of sheep make up much of the small wealth of these people. The sheep map shows that England and Scotland also have many sheep—a great many indeed for such small countries. The rainy climate makes rich pastures on the hilly land.