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little known. It is indeed well known that the Durham stock is of Dutch origin, and the first cows brought to the River Plate by the Gäes brothers, in the sixteenth century, were also Dutch cows. There is, then, similarity of origin between the noble Durham race and the native cow of the River Plate..
In the “estancia” of which we are speaking, there are four hundred Durham cows milked exclusively to sustain a queese dairy establishment under the management of several Frenchmen, who divide the profits between them. · The sale of the milk is easy, there being little competition, and the profits are good.
The other cows are in inclosures containing from four to five thousand in number. If they could be collected in one place, their great numbers would be shown; but wandering in complete freedom in an area of about 9,800 acres, one sees only small groups of them at a time. On very few occasions are the cattle taken to the “rodeo,” their place of rendezvous, and they soon forget to go to it of their own accord.
The steer represents the true profit of cattle-growers, as it can be sold when it reaches the age of two years if it is fat. The sales begin in October, and the plains that produce the first fat steers are considered, for that alone, to be first class, and are paid for accordingly.
The “saladeros,” where jerked beef and extract of beef are prepared, do a good business. The most important and better known is the one situated in Fray Bentos, in Uruguay, where the Liebig extract of beef is prepared. This establishment is situated on the Uruguayan side of the Uruguay River, but the cattle slaughtered there come in part from the Argentine Provinces of Entre Rios and Corrientes.
What this company exports [says Monsieur Daireaux) is in reality 220,000 pounds of extract of beef, 440,000 pounds of tongue and preserved beef in tin cases, and 2,000 or 3,000 tons of grease. They have not yet learned to dispense with their primitive methods. The grease and the hides are the principal articles of export from this as from all the other “saladeros” of the River Plate and Australia. In Fray Bentos, some portions of the animal are separated to make the extract by the compress and evaporation system, and 1 pound of extract is obtained from every 24 pounds of meat. The remaining portions are disposed of as in the other “saladeros;" the quarters are dried in the sun and are salted to make jerked beef; the greasy parts and the meat not otherwise used are put into the pot and the grease produced exported to Europe.
In five minutes the “desolladores remove the skin from the animal. The
head, the extremities, and the intestines are put apart. The hides are placed in order, well covered with lime, and are kept thus twenty days before being shipped.
The other parts of the animal pass to another department. Here, one man cuts the animal in two and another carries the pieces to a different room, while a third has no other occupation than to clean the floor.
The meat is put in the shade, some of it being salted by the old process, while the rest is used to make the extract. Both portions pass first to the “charqueadores.” The meat to be made into jerked beef is separated from the bones, cut into large portions, and placed immediately in an apparatus where it receives a bath of brine; afterwards, it is taken to the salting department. On a heavy layer of salt, is placed a portion of meat, and on top of this another, until the pile reaches a height of nearly 12 feet, each portion of meat being separated from the rest by a layer of salt. Each pile has 200,000 pounds of meat. At the end of twenty-four hours, the pile is taken down and made up again, so that the portions that were in the bottom now occupy the upper place. Afterwards, the different portions are placed in the sun during forty days, at the end of which time they are ready to be exported to Havana and Brazil.
This operation is performed in all the “ saladeros,” but in this one, the making of the Liebig extract of beef and the placing of conserved tongues in tin cases is also done.
To make the extract, the meat is placed in great pots, from which the juice of the meat is extracted by means of steam. This juice passes to the evaporating apparatus and immediately afterwards to the distillery apparatus; heated to a high temperature, it passes afterwards to a condenser, where it is reduced to a paste. By this process each steer produces 8 pounds of extract.
The Liebig Company exports yearly about $15,000,000 worth of its products. In 1891, the “saladeros” of the River Plate slaughtered altogether 1,521,100 head of cattle, of which 369,300 were used to make extract of beef and 1,151,100 to make jerked beef, which was exported to Spain, Cuba, and Brazil.
Regarding the conditions of the sheep-growing industry, Monsieur Daireaux says:
The importation of fine rams into the Argentine Republic was, twenty-five years ago, a very complicated and costly affair, but with the advent of regular steamship communication it has improved a great deal in every respect. All the steamers that leave Europe carry many fine rams and sheep to Buenos Aires.
From Rambouillet, are imported the greater number; and the merino of Rambouillet origin has always pleased the Argentine breeders, on account of its height and its great production of wool. The Negrettis are also in high favor, but not so much as the Rambouillets. Yet it is said that a breeder offered $10,000 for a Negretti born in the country, and the offer was refused. Southdowns and Lincolns have also been imported in great numbers. The system in use is that of progressive flocks. Some farms have flocks of
pure blood, which they reproduce by importing new rams of the same class, to infuse new blood into the flock.
The rams born in the country are mixed with native sheep, the result of this mixture being sold at auction to other breeders, the rams of the most noted farms obtaining the best prices. With these rams, the other breeders constitute a small and selected flock, for the purpose of producing rams for the rest of their flocks. These rams are brought up in the open air, so that they may become accustomed to the life they will lead when mixed with their flocks. Twenty-five years
process has sufficed to transform the native sheep in such a manner that it has entirely disappeared.
In 1888, there were 385,000 sheep and rams of pure blood in the Argentine Republic. As a proof of the rapid improvement of the sheep-growing industry the following figures may be of interest:
In 1832, only 934,560 pounds of wool were exported. In 1840, the exportation of wool was 3,541,230 pounds. Ten years
later, it was 16,898,310 pounds. In 1860, it had increased to 37,400,000 pounds; in 1870, to 143,000,000 pounds; in 1875, to 198,000,000 pounds, and in 1886, the exportation of wool amounted to 290,040,000 pounds and that of sheepskins to 77,000,000 pounds. In 1892, the wool product was estimated to be worth $39,000,000.
Monsieur Daireaux describes a sheep-growing estancia or farm in the following manner:
The estancia comprises all the necessary buildings. The open yard that the puestero requires for his flock is here replaced by covered yards, where fine sheep and rams are kept in proportion to the importance of the estancia. The yards are numerous, and in them, are kept the different grades of sheep and rams, from those of the purest to those of mixed blood. There are also yards for other uses.
Farther on, are the shearing yards. Around these, are the bathing ponds where, after being sheared, the sheep are dipped in a solution of water and arsenic to be cured of the mange. If they are well bathed, the itch disappears, but if this is not the case, then they must be bathed again in February or March, although by this time the fleece has usually grown so much as to make it necessary for the remedy to be applied by hand.
From 10 to. 20, and sometimes as many as 100 shearers, are engaged in this work. The sheep, with their four legs tied together, are laid on the floor, where they are sheared. The fleece remains on the ground, and is carried by an assistant to another man who ties it up. Shearers get from 20 to 25 cents for every sheep they shear and some of them earn $5 a day. They are all natives.
Twenty-five years ago, great areas of land could be bought for insignificant sums, but the increase of cattle and sheep and of the lands devoted to agricultural pursuits has increased to such an extent the value of land, especially good land, that to-day, the annual leasing of the land is higher than the price of purchase then.
The best and most important lands, situated in the north, near the city of Buenos Aires, crossed by railroad and by the Paraná River, cost to-day from $160,000 to $500,000 the square league of 6,178 acres, or $32.80 to $48.57 per acre, and the renting of 494 acres necessary for a flock of 2,000 sheep is $600 per year, or $1.21 per acre.
It is necessary to go farther, in the direction of the west and south, to find lands at a cheaper rate. In the north, lands that cost from $20,000 to $60,000 per league can be here rented from $4,000 to $5,000 and $20,000 per league.
be had for $6,000 or $8,000 per square league, in which 2,000 head of cattle and 8,000 sheep can be located. In general, a sheep produces per year as much as it is worth; that is to say, a sheep that costs $1 produces $1 of profit per year. The land it occupies and the care it needs represent 50 cents per year.
The following figures show the calculations of the owner of a flock of 2,000 sheep:
Renting of the land..
Eighteen arrobas of 25 pounds each of wool for every 100 sheep, at
$14 per hundred weight.. Annual increase in the flock... Sales.
Latterly, the exportation of frozen meat has acquired considerable importance. One of the first houses to engage in this business was that of G. Sansinena & Co., which has spent over $12,000,000 in the establishment of the necessary storage, sale markets, etc., in Buenos Aires, Liverpool, London, and Glasgow. It has also introduced Argentine meat into Paris and has a storage house in Havre, from which place the meat is taken to Paris in special wagons. Several other companies are engaged in the same business, and in 1891, the River Plate Fresh Meat Company (limited) exported 498,237 frozen sheep and 2,080 frozen steers. La Negra Company exported 401,844 frozen sheep and 2,058
The Nelson River Plate Meat Company (limited) exported 334,125 frozen sheep. This shows that these companies exported in all 1,234,206 frozen sheep.
All these companies, as well as G. Sansinena & Co., export also live cattle and sheep, but in less quantity.
Several European governments, especially those of France and Italy, have begun to buy Argentine horses for the use of their armies.
The Argentine Republic has passed a law granting a bounty on the export of dressed beef.
of dressed beef. It is in the form of a guarantee of 5 per cent for ten years on the capital of companies formed for that purpose, the total capital for such companies being limited to $8,000,000 in gold.
Under the regulations, the entire amount to be guaranteed must not exceed $8,000,000 of national money. Parties applying for the guarantee for any particular establishment must give full details as to owners, the form of operation, the amount invested, the quantity of meat it is proposed to export annually, estimates of cost per ton, etc. All applications for the benefit of the law must be made to the Minister of Finance. The largest amount of capital guaranteed in any one establishment will be $1,000,000, and the smallest amount $500,000. When two or more parties from