Generally, the periods of depression in the prices of agricultural products heretofore have not been long; but we have no reason to expect high prices in the future, without a great war or unusual failures of crops in Europe. The remarkable development o f the great prairies of the Northwest; the rapid extension of railroads in all civilized countries; the building of the Suez canal, which shortened the distance in time between India and England from eight months to one month, and the increasing demand for the best agricultural implements for breaking up and tilling the broad prairies of South America, are only a few of the principal signs which indicate that the markets of the world will soon be overstocked with the different kinds of agricultural and horticultural products. The development of steam and the arts bearing on transportation, tends to equalize the incomes of the farmers of Russia, India, South America and this country. Before long, the peasants of Russia, will not be obliged to work for a few pennies per day; but the hired men on Iowa farms, will be compelled to work for much less than twenty dollars per month and their board. This tendency, to equalize the prices of farm labor and farm products in the different parts of the world, has already driven many thousands of New England farmers to the cities, and it is driving and will continue to drive a majority of the owners of mortgaged western farms to the wall. To make money hereafter, more skill will be necessary to till the soil and breed and feed the domestic animals than formerly. Brains, skill and large crops, must be substituted for ignorance, shiftlessness and partial failures of crops. Extra to choice farm products must take the places of the common or only fair to good agricultural products, which have always met with sharp competition in all of the general markets. To show the difference between the results of good and shiftless farm management, I will copy a report of the Chicago cattle market from a late Chicago paper, which is as follows:
Extra shipping steers 1,600 lbs.. $5.20.......................$83.20
Choice shipping steers 1,500 lbs., 4.90.......................73.50
Good shipping steers 1,400 lbs., 4.20.......................58.80
Fair shipping steers 1.300 lbs., 3.70.......................48.10
Stockers and feeders 1.100 lbs.. 3.20.......................35.20
Speer, R. P.
"Comparative value of fodder plants and other feed stuffs,"
Bulletin: Vol. 1
, Article 2.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletin/vol1/iss9/2