AGRICULTURE. Few States are so exclusively agricultural as Arkansas. It shared with the other Southern States the disasters of the Civil War. but not to so great a degree. It was new and comparatively undeveloped at that time, and it soon regained and rapidly exceeded its former importance. In 1S60 the farm acreage was only a little more than one-fourth of the total area of the State; in 1900 it was 49 per cent. During the decade 1890-1900 the farm acreage increased by 1,755.0(10 acres. In 1860 but 20.7 per cent. of the farm land was improved, while in 1900, 41.8 per cent. of it was improved. There has been during the period mentioned a rapid in crease in the number of farms and a decrease in their size. The average size in 1860 was 245.5 acres; in 1900 it was 93.1 acres. The farms in the cotton belt average a little smaller than in other parts of the State. In three counties in that section the number of farms doubled dur ing the last census period, and in others the in crease was almost as marked. The farms are there cultivated largely by negroes, who consti tute about 26 per vent. of the total number of farmers (SO per cent. in two counties), but the acreage cultivated by them is only 13.S per cent. of the total. Of the white farmers, 5(1.3 own their farms; of the colored farmers only 21.2 per cent.
As already mentioned, there are two agricul tural sections in the State. The region north and west of a line drawn from near the northeastern corner of the State to Little Rock and thence west to the boundary is known as the upland region, containing much hilly and mountainous territory, resembling the Missouri region to the north; while the southern division, consisting largely of low ground and an alluvial soil—much of it requiring drainage and some of it subject to annual overflow—resembles the Louisiana re gion to the south. The cereals and temperate
zone crops predominate in the northern division; while cotton and representative southern crops predominate in the other. The cotton product of the State yields nearly half of the total crop receipts, though the acreage is less than one-third of the total cultivated area. In 1900. 819,000 bales of cotton were marketed, giving the State fifth rank among the cotton-growing common wealths. Corn, wheat, and oats are the most important of the cereals. Hay and forage crops are also of considerable value. Peas are raised in the southwest; Irish potatoes in the northwest; and sweet potatoes throughout the State. Sorghum cane is produced, but in less quantities than formerly. The northwestern part of the State has acquired an enviable reputation in the production of fruits. The number of apple trees increased from 2.114,000 in 1890 to 7,434, 000 in 1900. The peach trees exceed 4,000.000. In 1900 there were 9600 acres of strawberries. A minor local industry is the cultivation of roses and other flowers for the making of perfumes and for seeds. As in most other cotton-growing States, stork-raising is on a small scale. Horses, mules, and asses are necessary to the agricul turist, and their numbers are increasing rapidly. The raising of swine is extensive and increasing; but the last census showed a decrease in the number of dairy cows, neat cattle, and sheep. There was, however, a large increase in dairy products. The figures for farm animals, and also for crops, will be found in the following table: