CEREAL PRODUCTS, EXTENSION AND AREA OF. The reading of statistics to the think ing man sometimes reveals marvelous changes. The increase in productive capacity of the United States is shown from the fact, as stated in the Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture, that, while the number of people, in 1880 were more than double those of 1850, the production of cereals not only kept pace with population, but furnished fifty-three bushels for each inhabitant in place of thirty-eight at the earlier date. With an increase of seven millions of people in the first half of the present decade, the aggregate of cereals exceeded 8,000,000,000 bushels in 1885, still keeping up the extraordinary rate of supply attained in 1880, and showing in wheat a product five times as large as in 1850, a corn crop nearly four times' as large. The year 1886 was one of medium productiveness, with less corn and more wheat tima in 1885, or nearly 1,700, 000,000 bushels of corn, and something more than 450,000,000 bushels of wheat. The recent extension of area and product has been remark able, as shown by a comparison of the averages of the decade between 1870 and 1880, and those of the six years of the present decade, as follows: The increase of production, in this brief period, is over 43 per cent., while the enlargement of area is still greater, amounting to 54 per cent.
This advance was attained in a series of years with a comparatively low rate of yield, includ ing the unfavorable seasons of 1881 and 1883. According to The Cotton World there was about double the land devoted to corn, wheat and oats in the Southern States in 1887 that was planted in cotton, and the value of the cereal production ofthese States was in excess of that of the cotton crop. In, round figures there were 35,000,000 acres planted in corn last year, against 18,500,000 in cotton. The corn crop of the South in 1887 was worth over $200,000,000, and if that portion of it which was converted into meal be taken into consideration, it would doubt less be found that the corn-crib now furnishes more wealth than the cotton-gin even in the ex treme Southern States.
The wheat production of India, which has been a bugbear to many in this country and Europe, is not likely to produce any extraordin ary increase. For the past four years the crop has averaged 262,937,511 bushels, but the crop of 1884-5 was 60,000,000 bushels, and that of 1885-6 was 20,000,000 bushels more than the crop of 1886-7. The area under wheat remains year after year pretty uniformly about 27,000,000 acres.