The Interstate Farmer (Muskogee, Okla.), Vol. 22, No. 5, Ed. 1 Sunday, August 1, 1915 Page: 3 of 16
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on Current Topic;
Every person who is able to read these lines has
witnessed the evolution of the automobile from a
i rude, uncouth, impractical and expensive ma-
chine to an intensely practical, useful and com-
paratively inexpensive vehicle, which has in a
phenomenally short time so firmly established
itself in public favor as to be considered indis-
The evolution of the farm tractor is now near-
ing completion, and if we are to accept the claims
of some of the manufacturers—which are not as
wild as some of the claims we accept—it is prac-
tically complete already. The demonstrations
conducted at Enid and Hutchinson in July were
milestones in this development.
It did no good to make fun of the automobile,
or try to rule it off the road, or attempt to dis-
courage those who worked for its perfection
Neither will it have any effect on the development
of the tractor industry to enlarge on the fact that
these machines cannot plow the bottom of a lake
or climb a sand hill. It is not necessary for them
to do so. They have already demonstrated be-
yond a doubt that they can do more work, and
better work, at less expense if they are properly
handled, than can be done with horses. And while
it is true that a horse can walk through a mud
hole that would stall a tractor, it is also true that
a tractor fan pull a set of plows in ground so hard
that the work would be killing on horses, even if
possible, and they can work when it is so hot
that horses would drop in their tracks if urged to
These facts are being realized by the thousands
of hard-headed farmers who viewed the demon-
strations at Enid and Hutchinson. The time for
criticisms of and objections to the tractor as a
practical farming adjunct has clearly passed. It
is now more a question of the adaptability of the
various machines to the requirements of the in-
Ten years ago the automobile industry was a
commercial infant and the automobile itself a me-
chanical joke. Now a single manufacturer sells
three hundred thousand in a year—a gross busi-
ness of $150,000,000—while the industry itself
has mounted to a place in the front rank of the
The tractor industry will not catch up with the
automobile industry, because both city men and
tarmers buy automobiles, while only farmers will
buy tractors, but very many more tractors than
automobiles will be sold to farmers.
The tractor era has arrived.
The Hessian Fly Memac®.
By The Editor
C. E. Sanborn, professor of entomology at the
Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College,
makes the following observations on this sub-
"Data now available shows that the present in-
festation of Hessian fly in the wheat fields of Ok-
i..ui.ma is of greater importance than any pre-
vious Hessian fly infestation in this state. The
following counties in Oklahoma have the infesta-
tion. Those first named seem to be the most se-
"Grant, Kay, Garfield and Noble. Others in-
fested but not seriously are: Osage, Pawnee,
Washington, Tulsa, Nowata, Rogers, Wagoner!
Craig, Mayes, Ottawa, Delaware, Cherokee and
"Last year a timely warning was issued rela-
tive to a probable infestation, but for some un-
known reason, the rules relative to the fly free
sowing date were not adhered to by the wheat
growers in the fly infested districts. Consequently
at this time the infestation is greater than it was
last year, although the proper sowing of wheat
last fall could easily have eliminated the possi-
bility of any Hession flies being in the State of
Oklahoma at the present time, except along the
border line of Kansas where the infestation of
that state might possibly have crept over.
"It seems, however, that timely warning was
given in Kansas and the Kansas wheat raiser was
not inclined to heed the warning any more than
the Oklahoma wheat raiser. It is quite likely that
the farmers in the Infested localities of both
states will co-operate this year and stamp out the
infestation by a uniform late sowing of the wheat.
October 20th is the earliest possible date that
wheat should be sown In this state in order to
How Wars IHIawe Affected the Price
escape the ravages of this insect. It will take a
very strong and concentrated movement on be-
half of the wheat raisers to adhere to such a con-
tract and prevent the early sowing of wheat.
"Many wheat farmers are also stock raisers
and they desire early sown wheat for pasturage.
At least this was the chief reason given for not
sowing late last year. It is easily proved, how-
ever, this year that such pasturage was too ex-
pensive for the ordinary stock man. For in-
stance, in the infested wheat district, a fall pas-
ture of wheat would figure out as follows from the
standpoint of expense:
• "Forty acres of early sown wheat would re-
ceive such infestation as to seriously infest other
fields the following spring within a radius of four
or five miles, this forty acres, if sown at the fiy
free sowing date, should yield 800 bushels. Being
sown, however, before the fly free sowing date, it
would yield nothing except pasturage. The cost
therefore of the pasturage would cost at least
$800.00, provided the wheat was worth $1.00 per
bushel as it doubtless will be at harvest or at least
before the following harvest.
"The question then is, 'Is the pasturage from
forty acres of wheat during the fall and winter
months of the year worth $800.00?' Further-
more is the wheat pasture worth enough to cause
a loss of several times this much in the adjacent
wheat fields by an infestation the following
The effect of the war upon the exports of Amer-
ican made agricultural implements is shown by a
recent bulletin of the Department of Commerce.
Exports of American agricultural implements
during the fiscal year 1915 totaled approximately
$10,000,000, as against $40,600,000 in the high-
record year 1913, $21,000,000 in 1903, and a year-
ly average of more than $29,000,00 for the past
decade. This loss of trade fell most heavily upon
sales in Europe, but there were also smaller
though significant decreases in shipments to Ar-
gentina, Canada, and various countries of Africa
and other sections of the world. Cuba and Siber-
ia made gains. Australia barely held its own in
the year s trade, but this is a good showing in
view of the fact that her wheat crop dropped
from over 100,000,000 bushels in 1913 to 25 -
000,000 bushels last year.
The European war was doubtless the dominant
factor in the great falling off in our exports of
agricultural implements in the fiscal year just
ended, since the decrease in sales to Europe was
disproportionate to that in sales to other sections.
Thus our exports of agricultural implements to
European Russia, usually the greatest of foreign
markets for this class of American manufactures,
practically ceased, as did also those to Germany,
—Mle huge losses likewise occurred in sales to
France and other European countries. Another
contributory factor was the recent establishment
of great plants in Russia and France, financed
and controlled by American capital, for the manu-
facture of farming machinery.
Information reaching the Department of Com-
merce, however, indicates a growing use of ma-
chinery on farms both in Europe and elsewhere,
a tendency which will doubtless be even more
pronounced upon the resumption of peace, since
the devastation of war is causing a marked short-
age in human and animal labor, necessitating
proportionately more machinery for the success-
ful conduct of farming. Russia, for example,
possesses one-seventh of the entire area of the
world and an even larger proportion of the land
devoted to cereal crops, which require for their
cultivation more machinery than most other
classes of farm products. General depression in
Canada, Argentina, and elsewhere so reduced
buying power in 1914-15 that new agricultural
machinery has not been purchased in the usual
ouantities but with a restoration of normal con-
ditions American manufacturers will doubtless
find larger markets than ever before.
One of the best prairie hay crops raised in re-
cent years is now being harvested. Here's hoping
that the bottom will not drop out of the price.
This seems to be a genuine corn year.
It is interesting at this time to delve into his-
tory and see what effect previous wars have had
on the price of wheat throughout the world. This
data has been compiled by Up-to-Date Farming,
the figures given being the average prices in Eng-
land. Naturally the highest and lowest for the
respective years were wide of the average, and
crop production had its influence, but the chief
contributing cause of price fluctuations were the
^It is a coincidence that the price of wheat in
17 79 was the same as at the commencement of
the present great war in Europe ($1.05 per bush-
el.) In 1789 the French revolution began and
the average price that year was $1.56. It advanc-
ed to $1.66 the next year but settled back to $1.26,
the average in 1792.
From 178:1 to I8<>7.
When the Twenty Year war with France began
in 1783 the price was $1.50. By 1796 it had
reached $2.39, when it took a turn and the aver-
age price in 1797 was $1.56 and in 1798, $1.54.
From this point it rapidly ascended until it reach-
ed $3.63 in 1801. This year witnessed the vic-
tory of Nelson and a peace was declared. Immed-
iately the price of wheat began to go down. It
averaged $1.70 in 1803 when its downward course
was arrested and turned upward again by a war
declared by Napoleon. This time it averaged
$2.74 in 1805 but reached to $2.07 in 1807 after
the issuance of the Berlin Decree in 1806.
From 1808 to 1822.
In 1808 the Peninsular War commenced and
the average price that year was $2.44, but went
up to $3.08 in 1810, down to $2.98 in 1811, then
up to $3.85 in 1812 which was the year of the dis-
astrous retreat of Napoleon from Moscow. This
was the turning point in Napoleon's career and his
overthrow at Waterloo occured in 1815. Between
1812 and 1815 the price of wheat constantly
sought a lower level and the average price in the
year of the Waterloo battle, the end of the war,
was $1.99. From this point the price again ad-
vanced, because of great waste and apprehensions
of scarcity to $2.69 in 1816. After this the price
declined until it was $1.33 in 1822.
From 1828 to 18HO.
In 1828-29 was a Russi-Turkish war, but there
was only 21 cents variation in the average price
of wheat in England—$1.82 to $2.03. After this
war the price went to $1.20 in 1835, up to $2.15
in 1839, to $1.52 in 1843-'44-'46. In this latter
year, the "Corn Laws" of Great Britain, which
were calculated to keep prices down, were repeal-
ed. The price averaged $2.33' the next year,
1847, but broke to $1.15 by 1851 and reached to
$1.54 on rumors of another war which broke
out in 1853 between Russia and Turkey. This
and the Crimean War of 18 54 caused the price to
go to $2.21 in 1865. There were two years of
peace following this and the average price was
around $1.33. Minor European wars were waged
in 1859 and '60 with slight fluctuations in the
average year's prices.
From 18«1 to 1877.
In 1861 the American Civil war began. The
year of its opening the average price of wheat
in England was $1.68. From there it dropped
to $1.22 in 1865, only to advance to $1.50 the
year of the beginning of the Austro-Prussian war
in 1866 and reached $1.94 in 1867. Peace pre-
vailed until 1870 when the Franco-Prussian war
broke out. This year the average price was $1.40
but advanced to $1.70 for the next year. For
1875 the price was $1.25. The prospect of trouble
between Russia and Turkey again caused the
price to go up to $1.70 in 1877, the year the war
From 1877 to the Present War.
Since that time peace prevailed in Europe qn-
til the present trouble and the price of wheat in
England was comparatively low. The price in
1880 was $1.25, in 1890, 92 cents, in 1894-'96,
68 cents. A rise was noted in the year of our
Snanish-American war in 1898 to $1.03. After
the war, in 1899, the price was 72 cents. The
fluctuations were then very narrow until the pres-
ent war, the highest being $1.11 in 1909.
On August 10, 1912 the rresent, Furopr>in w""
began with the price at $1.05, while on May 15,
1915, the quotations at Liverpool for cash wheat
was $2.00 a bushel.
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Drummond, W. I. The Interstate Farmer (Muskogee, Okla.), Vol. 22, No. 5, Ed. 1 Sunday, August 1, 1915, newspaper, August 1, 1915; Muskogee, Oklahoma. (gateway.okhistory.org/ark:/67531/metadc97930/m1/3/: accessed December 18, 2018), The Gateway to Oklahoma History, gateway.okhistory.org; crediting Oklahoma Historical Society.