The territory west of the 100th meridian, known as the Range, is rapidly becoming the great breeding ground for cattle and sheep. Already this locality is producing about one-half of the total number of sheep in the United States. This is pre-eminently a grazing country and must largely remain so. The natural conditions will not permit of the production of sufficient corn and other grain to properly fatten the stock grown in the range territory. The finishing can only be done by the utilization of some of the surplus grain crops of the upper Mississippi valley states. These states have lately been reducing their stock production and increasing their grain crops. The seven states constituting the corn belt produced over one and a half billion bushels of corn and about 237 million bushels of oats in 1896; and Iowa alone produced nearly 322 million bushels of corn and 105 million of oats, according to the statistics of the United States Department of Agriculture. In addition to this there was a large surplus of both corn and oats left over from 1895, and there has not yet been a profitable cash market for this enormous product. In view of these conditions, the Iowa station deemed it of interest to determine what opportunities were offered for a profitable market in feeding some of this surplus grain to range lambs. This inquiry was doubly urgent inasmuch as the cattle supply was short and hog cholera had swept the state and destroyed over 2,000,000 hogs.
Curtiss, C. F. and Wilson, James W.
"Feeding range lambs,"
Bulletin: Vol. 3
, Article 3.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/bulletin/vol3/iss35/3