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Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin
(1913-1919)

Russell, H. L.
Wisconsin bankers' farm bulletin. Bulletin 67: the farm outlook for 1919 and the spring drive PDF (1.0 MB)



     The Farm Outlook for 1919 and
                     the Spring Drive
    Events in the last three months have completely overturned all plans,
both national and individual, relative to food supplies. Before the armistice,
every possible effort was made to build up food reserves. Long hours of labor
on the part of the farmer, coupled with unusual good luck in the matter of
weather, resulted in crop returns which went far to restore the world's empty
granaries. Conservation was in full swing and the free will offering of the
American home pulled Europe through.
    Today it is difficult to maintain the patriotic urge. All rules and restric-
tions except those of sheer waste have been lifted. Profit will be the spur
to action this coming year to which will be added with increasing tensity
the
call for help from destitute Europe.
    The food shortage abroad, especially in Russia, Finlan6 Poland, and
Serbia, and undoubtedly in portions at least of the central empire, is such
that this winter will see millions of people in want. If hunger is the mother
of anarchy, Bolshevism is the natural fruit of such conditions. Europe looks
to America for relief but we must have responsible governments with which
to deal. The problem is so huge that governmental action alone can handle
it.
    But what of next year? How will the American farmer adapt himself lo
the problems of 1919? What program may the Wisconsin farmer wisely
follow?
                THE PROGRAM FOR BREAD GRAINS
    The fixed wheat price in force until July 1, 1920, insures definite price
returns for the coming crop, and has already stimulated the largest seeding
(49,000,000 acres of winter wheat) ever made.
    Under the pressure of patriotic duty as well as from a standpoint of
profit, it was good policy last year to plant wheat. Doubtless it will be
quite
as profitable this season to continue this practice, but it can hardly be
con-
sidered as patriotic. With present prospects the nation will have a crop
of
over a billion bushels, the unexported surplus of which must be taken by
the
government at the fixed price regardless of the world price.
    Europe will doubtless recover her yield of field crops much more quickly
than she can her live stock and dairy products but hardly in time to permit
of normal spring planting. A labor shortage in the war-stricken countries
is
certain. Machinery and fertilizer supplies are below normal Italy is now
crying for phosphates, saying that a shipload of fertilizer today is more
needed
than food.
    The most unsettled small grain problem for Wisconsin concerns barley,
one of the best of our field crops. As a bread grain its use is no longer
imperative; and the former outlet in brewing is now stopped. Fortunately,
it
is one of the best (and at the present time the cheapest) of the feeding
grains.
In the lake shore counties and other regions where corn is not certain, it
will undoubtedly be a safe grain to grow for feeding live stock.
        THE OUTLOOK FOR LIVE STOCK AED DAIRYING
    The world shortage of meats, and especially fats, is much more likely
to
persist for several years than a scarcity of bread grains. In live stock
and
dairying is found not only the job that Wisconsin can do best, but the golden


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