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The exhibits of the grain crop for the years 1856, 1857 and 1858 have been, with a few exceptions, compiled from the returns of the different County Assessors. When it has been found necessary to seek other channels of information, the most reliable have been applied to, and the greatest care exercised to use such estimates as would approximate to the actual amount raised. In the table of 1858, the returns of the counties marked with an asterisk (*) have been obtained from private sources, except those from Santa Barbara, where the estimates of last year are inserted.
The amount of land under cultivation in 1856, was five hundred and twelve thousand acres; in 1857, six hundred and eighty-four thousand acres; and in 1858, seven hundred and fifty-seven thousand acres. This is exclusive of the land inclosed for grazing, etc., which in 1858, amounted to one million one hundred and fifty-nine thousand eight hundred and thirteen acres -making an aggregate of one million nine hundred and sixteen thousand eight hundred and thirteen acres of inclosed land in the State.*
WHEAT.—The amount of land in cultivation in 1856, was 171,869 acres, producing 3,879,032 bushels-average 224 bushels per acre; in 1857, 164,642 acres, producing 3,205,484, averaging 194 bushels per acre; and in 1858, 186,464 acres, producing 3,568,669, averaging 19} bushels per acre. Napa County, in 1858, was the heaviest wheat growing county in the State; number of acres 16,000, producing 500,000 bushels, average 313 bushels per acre. This yield, though beyond the average, may be regarded as a fair estimate of the capacity of the land in this State for the cultivation of this important cereal. For the past few years, the crop in several of the most extensive grain-growing districts, has been severely injured by smut and the existence of severe drought during the early part of the season; the crop however, for the present year, is more uniform and it will no doubt become more so hereafter, when the character and adaptation of the soil is better understood. The President of the State Agricultural Society, E. L. Beard, Esq., in his address of 1856 before that body, says:
“It is now a well ascertained fact, established by several years' experience, that California stands without a rival in respect to her capacity for producing wheat and other small grains. She produces it in larger quantities to the acre, of better quality, with more certainty and with less labor, than any other country in the known world."
BARLEY.—The number of acres in cultivation in 1856, was 150,674, producing 4,519,678, averaging 30 bushels per acre; in 1857, 216,991 acres, producing 5,088,330 bushels, average 231 bushels; and in 1858, 237,692 acres, producing 5,382,718 bushels, average 225 bushels per acre. f No portion of
* The amount of inclosed land, compiled from the Assessors' Reports for 1857 and 1858. + For the purpose of comparing the prolific character of the soil of this State with that of New York, we have compiled from the census of 1855, the following interesting statement of the productions of that State: Wheat--acres cultivated, 795,487 ; bushels, 9,092,402; average, 112 bushels. Barley-acres, 212,608 ; bushels, 3,563,540 ; average, 1658 bushels. Oats, average 2034 bushels ; Rye, 10% bushels; Buckwheat, 87, bushels ; Corn, 21 bushels ; Potatoes, 70 bushels; Peas, and Beans, 15 bushels per acre, each.
$ The amount of Barley raised in this State during the year 1858, exceeds the aggregate of the crop of the entire Union in 1850.
the Union will approach California in the cultivation of this grain. It is of no ordinary occurrence for a crop of barley to average from fifty to seventyfive bushels to the acre, and the following extract from the Report of the Visiting Committee for 1856, of the California Agricultural Society, will best illustrate the extraordinary capacity of the land in this State for the culture of this important grain;
"Near Alviso, Santa Clara County, there is a field of barley, fifty acres in extent, which has averaged, the present season, forty-three bushels to the
This is the fifth crop from a single sowing; it has received no special care and may be regarded as a memorable example of a succession of volunteer crops."
OATS.—The number of acres in cultivation in 1856, was 32,402, producing 1,107,359 bushels, average 347 bushels per acre; in 1857, 44,966 acres, producing 1,201,405, averaging 264 bushels; and in 1858, 44,616 acres, producing 1,322,231 bushels, an average of 294 bushels per acre. Crops of this grain have frequently averaged 75 bushels, and a crop of 32 acres in Alameda County, which received a premium at the State Agricultural Fair for 1856, averaged 134 bushels to the acre. In Del Norte County during the season of 1858 two crops of oats yielded an average of 125 and 157 bushels, respectively, to the acre, and a crop of barley, 100 bushels to the
On one farm the crop of grain averaged as follows: Wheat 34, barley 62, and oats, 75 bushels to the acre.
INDIAN CORN.—The returns from thirty-three counties, give the crop of 1858 as follows: 12,978 acres producing 620,323 bushels, average 48 bushels per acre.
Los Angeles, Napa, Santa Barbara and Sonoma, are the principle corn-growing counties of the State. Los Angeles County in 1857, produced from 2,728 acres, 272,800 bushels, an average of 100 bushels per acre.
RYE.—The returns from twelve counties, exhibit the produce of 1858 at 41,235 bushels from 1,641 acres, an average of 25 bushels per acre. San Mateo, Siskiyou and Sonoma, are the principle counties which raise this grain; the crop of Sonoma is 7,160 bushels from 358 acres, an average of 20 bushels.
BUCKWHEAT.-The returns from eleven counties for 1858, are 862 acres, producing 22,360 bushels, average, 26 bushels. Alameda, Santa Cruz and Sonoma, are the leading counties in the production of this grain.
BEANS.—The returns from nineteen counties, exhibit the crop of 1858 at 6,335 acres, producing 158,571 bushels, average 25 bushels. Los Angeles, Marin and Santa Cruz, are the most extensive producing counties of the State.
PEAS.—The returns from seventeen counties for the year 1858, show 1,387 acres in cultivation, producing 41,929 bushels, averaging over 30 bushels per acre. The counties of Humboldt, San Joaquin and Sonoma, raised a heavier crop thnan any other counties of the State.
POTATOES.—The returns from thirty-three counties show the crop of 1858 at 1,465,239 bushels, from 15,888 acres, average 92 bushels per aore. The
counties most extensively engaged in the production of this important esculent are Monterey, Napa, Sacramento and San Mateo. The average of the yield in Sacramento was 230 bushels per acre. Number of acres in cultivation, 831, producing 191,300 bushels.*
SWEET POTATOES.—The return for 1858 from ten counties, exbibit a yield of 78,630 bushels from 489 acres. The average yield is 160 bushels per acre. The largest yield in a single county was from Sacramento, acres 166, bushels 37,200, average per acre, 224 bushels.
VEGETABLES. -— The returns from thirty counties for 1858, show that 23,500 acres were appropriated to the cultivation of vegetables. The remaining counties will probably increase the amount to about 40,000 acres.
Hay.—The yield of the entire State for the year 1858, exceeds 150,000 tuns. Six counties, alone, have reported 72,963 tups.
BUTTER.—The returns from twenty-five counties for 1858, exbibit a production of 2,001,584 pounds of butter. The largest yield in a single county is in Sonoma, 621,000 pounds; the next is in Sacramento, 281,600 pounds; Santa Clara is the third, yielding 200,000 pounds. The remainder of the State will probably increase the aggregate to 3,000,000 pounds.
CHEESE.—The returns from twenty-three counties for 1858, exhibit a production of 1,263,610 pounds of cheese. Sonoma produced 384,150 pounds, Santa Clara 250,000 pounds, and Contra Costa 100,000 pounds.
EGGS. — The returns from twenty-eight counties show that 1,371,525 dozen of eggs were produced in 1858. Alameda produced 450,000 dozen, Santa Clara, 200,000 dozen, Sacramento, 120,860 dozen, and Contra Costa, 126,000 dozen.
COTTON.—The experiments of the past two years have demonstrated the adaptation of the soil and climate of California to the culture of this valuable staple. Small quantities have been raised with entire success, in the counties of El Dorado, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Shasta and Tuolumne. The quality of the article raised in El Dorado is fine, soft and silky, and white as the driven snow," and that of San Diego, has been pronounced equal to the best Sea Island staple. The Committee of the State Agricultural Society in their report for 1858, say:
* From less than one acre, in the county of Humboldt in 1858, there were raised 30,000 pounds of potatoes, and from three-fourths of an acre, in the same county, over 19,000 pounds. Many of these specimens were over four and one-half pounds each, and all perfectly sound.
+ The following specimens are inserted as an evidence of the capacity of the soil of California, most of which were exhibited at the State Agricultural Fairs of 1855-58 :
“Two pumpkins, from Sacramento, weighing two hundred and ten and two bundred and forty pounds ; a beet, grown by Col. Hall, of Sacramento City, weighing seventy-three pounds; a carrot, weighing ten pounds, measuring one foot and eight inches in circumference and three feet and three inches in length, there were fifty in the same bed of equal size, the seeds were sown on June 25th and the carrots dug Sept. 20th ; a tomato, seventeen inches in circumference; a squash, weighing one hundred and forty-one pounds; an onion, weighing two pounds and fifteen ounces, and measuring twenty-two inches in circumference; a cornstalk, twenty-one feet and pine inches in hight; watermelons, from near Nevada--twenty-seven gave an aggregate of five hundred and fifty pounds ; a sweet potato, from San José, weighing eleven pounds and two ounces; an Irish potato, from Bodega, weighing seven and a quarter pounds; a bunch of potatoes, of the Oregon red variety, from a single eye, weighing ten pounds, grown at the forks of the Turnback Creek, near Sonora ; grapes--several bunches, weighing over four pounds each ; peas, second crop, fine and good, from Los Angeles ; a citron lemon, sixteen and a half by eighteen and three-quarter inches in circumference, weighing two pounds and fourteen ounces from Los Angeles ; fig tree-a slip one foot in length and five-eighths of an inch in thickness, was planted April 1, and in the month of September, following, was eleven feet and six inches high, and nine and a quarter inches in circumference at the base, with a corresponding growth of branches ; peach trees, in twenty-eight months from the planting of the seed, bore fruit over nine inches in circumference, and weighing from seven to eight and a ball ounces; there were thirty-four of these large peaches on one tree; an apple, measuring fifteen and one-third inches each way, weighing twenty-three ounces, grown in the Yamhill Orchard."
“It is with pleasure that we have to refer to the successful growth of this great 'peace preserver' between our common country and the manufacturing States of Europe, and, wo hope, of the different sections of our own. We examined, in contrast, Georgia upland cotton and the growth of this State, from seed taken from the same parcel, and the improvement in fineness and fiber of the native growth over the imported or Georgia growth, is manifestly striking, and in this we have the concurrence of experienced spinners from the East. But the staple of the native cotton is not quite so long as the Georgia grown, although it is fully as strong. This we attribute to the lack of moisture in the land on which it grew. We believe it a reasonable calcu. lation to say, when our bottom or swamp or overflowed land, is leveed and dyked, to keep out the spring and summer floods, that we shall be able to produce an article of finer texture, as is now the case on our dry lands, and one of superior length of staple—the two ingredients to make a first-rate article of cotton. Several other samples rate as 'fair upland.' The one from Slocum's Bridge has the advantage in staple and texture to any of the others. But we have to refer to another sample, grown in Los Angeles County, equal if not superior to the best Mississippi or Louisiana cottons, and of course, superior to all others, and of but one grade below Sea Island cotton. This sample is not of the Sea Island seed, but the gray Petty Gulf kind, proving conclusively, the perfect adaptation of our climate and soil for the production of the very finest staple cotton yet found anywhere of its kind.”
TOBACCO.—The results of the experiments already made, have established the adaptability of the soil and climate of this State, to the culture of this important staple. Small quantities have been cultivated in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Shasta and Trinity, with results of the most satisfactory character. The great consumption of this article in California will render its cultivation an object of some considerable importance, and as so little care and labor are necessary in raising it here, it is more than probable that but a few years will elapse, before it will find a place in our commercial tables, as an article of home production and, perhaps, of export.
Dr. Trask, in his report of the Geology of the State, 1855, referring to the soil and climate of the southern portion of the State, says:
" The climatal condition of these plains, and the adaptability of their soils, are such as we may reasonably expect, ere a few years shall pass, that cotton, coffee, tea, sugar and rice, the latter four articles particularly, will find a place in our catalogue of home productions, and the only impediment that now stands in the way of their immediate production is the high price of labor, which is consequent upon the sparseness of population.”
SUGAR CANE.—The cultivation of the sugar cane has been successfully prosecuted in several counties of the State. In Los Angeles, small quantities have been raised annually for the past five years, but no preparations have as yet been made for its manufacture into sugar.
The Committee of the State Agricultural Society, in their report for 1858, in referring to a specimen of the cane on exhibition at the State Fair, says:
"The sample produced speaks well for its production and successful cultiva
tion in our State. It has matured six or eight joints, and is of full size. The success which this experiment has established in our State, must dispel all doubts of the profitable and successful culture of this great and indispensable staple, entering as it does, so largely into the every-day use of all classes."
CHINESE SUGAR CANE.—The experience of the past season in the culture of the Chinese sugar cane, have fully established the practicability of the soil and climate of this State for its successful cultivation, and there is no reason why it may not become a profitable product to California. Several acres have been raised in the counties of Alameda, Los Angeles, Santa Clara, Tehama and Yuba, and a limited quantity manufactured into syrup. The attention of the agriculturists of the State has been attracted to the cultivation of this product, and there is scarcely a doubt but that it will soon become an important branch of our resources.
SUGAR Beet.—The cultivation of the sugar beet, and its conversion into sugar, have attracted considerable attention during the past season. Many acres of the beet were sown last season in Santa Clara, and the yield and profit arising therefrom exceeded the most sanguine expectations of those engaged in its production.
HONEY BEE.—The experiments to introduce the honey bee into this State have met with the most complete success. A large number of swarms are in the counties of Butte, Napa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Tuolumne, etc.; they appear to thrive well and increase rapidly. The amount of honey stored during last season, is estimated at 5,000 pounds.
Hemp.-The efforts of several of our agriculturists, to test the capacity of the soil of this State for the production of hemp, have been attended with such flattering results as to leave no longer a doubt but what there will be in a few years, a sufficient quantity produced here to supply the demands for home consumption, and a share of the trade existing abroad. The hemp raised in San José, last season, will favorably compare, in yield and quality, with that of the Eastern States, and the cordage made therefrom is equally durable.
FLAX.—The returns for the year 1858, show that small quantities of flax have been cultivated in Alameda, Los Angeles, Santa Cruz and Yolo.
CULTIVATION OF RICE.—It is believed, by those practically acquainted with the cultivation of rice, that the extensive marsh lands of this State may be made available for that purpose, and, in order to test its practicability, several companies have been formed, and arrangements are already in progress for the commencement of operations.
It is well known that vast tracts of the marsh lands of China have been converted into fertile rice fields, which are now of great value and importance, in maintaining the supply of this necessary article of food. The great consumption of California alone should be sufficient to enlist the attention of those persons interested in the development of the resources of the State.
MULBERRY AND ITS CULTIVATION.—The experiments already made for the cultivation of the mulberry in this State have been very successful. The following extract from the Report of the State Agricultural Society for 1856,