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reached a very high quality of race.

All stock-breeders, even the smallest, are aware today of
the great advantages to be obtained by crossing selected
animals with sires of pure blood, and the result has been a
great advance in the stock-raising industry. The statistics
of importation show that in nine years, from 1899 to
1907, plus eleven months of 1908, there have entered the
country from England, where the Argentine breeder usually
seeks his stud animals, 10,040 bulls and cows, and 35,094
sheep. These two figures alone show the importance which
the Argentine breeder attaches to the improvement of the
breed of his flocks and herds. The prices paid for these
animals are sometimes extravagant ; in one case £3520 was
paid for a bull ; but land-owners willingly pay such sums in
the certainty that such sires will bring them considerable
profits.

The area at the disposal of the Argentine stock-raiser is
still practically unlimited. We need only remember that of
the 750 millions of acres which roughlj'^ represent the area
of the Argentine soil, one-half, or some 375 millions of acres,
are adapted to stock-raising.

Of this enormous area some 185 millions might be sown
at once with cereals and fodder, notably in the coast
Provinces, in Cordoba, and the Pampa, and there remains as
much more for stock-raising, without taking into account
the millions of animals that might be nourished by intensive
culture in the cultivated zone. This extension would allow
of the existence of 40 million cattle and 200 million
sheep.



STOCK-RAISING ir.O



Results of the Census of Stock taken in 1908.

What is the amount of stock at present in the Argentine
Republic ? We are in a position to answer this question,
one of the present writers, Senor A. B. Martinez, having
been appointed Director of the last agricultural and pastoral
census, which was taken during the first fortniglit of May
1908, according to a law passed by Congress. The work
which sums up the results of this important undertaking is
in three volumes, and is at present in the jiress; thanks to
which fortunate circumstance we are able to anticipate its
publication, and to give our readers the benefit of this in-
vestigation.

The census of agriculture and stock-raising, undertaken
over the entire territory of the Republic, has revealed
the existence in Argentine territory of 29,110,625 cattle,
7,581,376 horses, 465,037 mules, 285,000 asses, 67,211,754
sheep, 3,945,086 goats and 1,403,591 swine.

If we compare these results with those of the two previous
censuses, that of 1888 and that of 1895, we obtain the follow-
ing table : —



Census.


Cattle.


Horses.


Sheep.


Swine.


1888 ...


2i,9(;:i,n;?o


4,262,917


66,701,097


40:i,2O:J


189.5 ...


•ii,70i,:$2(;


4,445,859


74,379,562


652,766


1908 ..


29,11G,G25


7,531,376


67,211,754


1,403,591



We see from these figures that in twenty years, between
I 1888 and 1908, the number of cattle has increased by
1 7,152,695 head ; and in thirteen years, between 1895 and 1908,
I by 7,415,099 head. The number of horses has increased by
' 3,268,459 between 1888 and 1908, and by 3,085,517 between
i 1895 and 1908. Sheep have increased by 510,657 between
I 1888 and 1908, but decreased by 7,167,808 betAveen 1895
I and 1908. Swine, far from numerous if we compare their
! numbers with these obtained from other countries, present
I a continual increase: 1,000,388 between 1888 and 1908,
I and 750,825 between 1895 and 1908.

The decrease of 7.000,000 in the numbers of sheep in
thirteen years is in keeping with what has been observed in
the principal wool-producing countries. Authorities assure us



170 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

that of the 400 millions of sheep which existed in various
parts of the world in 1873, there remain to-day barely
300 millions. In Germany, for instance, to go by the
Journal des ^conomistes, the number of sheep has dropped
from 19 millions to 7 millions in a space of twenty-five
years.

The causes of this constant diminution are numerous.
First of all we will take the development of agriculture,
which has expelled the sheep. According to an eminent
collaborator in the census, "The sheep has to walk, must
walk far and wide, must walk always, in order to eat
sufficiently — unless he does so, his food will be too costly ; he
is essentially a vagabond, and he consequently requires a
great space and continual supervision." * For these reasons
the European small farmer prefers, if he can, to keep
one or two cows in his cow-shed and suppress the sheep
entirely.

Sheep-breeding really gives encouraging results in
regions where the area of the soil and the prairies is out
of all proportion to the number of labourers available for its
culture. Land given up to sheep cannot support the high
rents paid by the producers of cereals ; this is the principal
cause of the decline of sheep - farming all the world
over.t



♦ Probably the sheep would pay better if kept more as cattle are kept.
The theory of long marches only applies to enormous flocks, so thick upon the
ground that they must walk miles a day, eating all the time. If the whole herd
of sheep on a large sheep-farm were divided into many small flocks, and the
farm into, say, ten times as many pastures, each flock might be turned for two
days into each pasture, so that it would have three weeks' growth on it before
the flock returned : or, if large enough to feed the sheep twenty days, it would
have twenty weeks in which to recover — time to grow a crop of leguminous
fodder, after which a splendid crop, or series of crops, of cereals could be grown
upon it. Under such a system the sheep would wander less, fatten quickly and
be more tender. English sheep-farming is on an infinitesimal scale, but the
profits from a small flock changed from pasture to pasture are often very con-
siderable.— [Teans.]

t Other causes are : the invention of mixtures of cotton and wool ; the use
of silk and mercerised cotton : and the production of cellular or netted cotton
and linen underclothing, which is healthier and cheaper than wool, and equally
warm ; also the improvement of wool-bearing breeds, through which fewer
sheep will produce the same quantity of wool. The export of cheap beef from
America is another active factor. — [Tbans.]



STOCK-RAISING 171

The following table gives the total number of beasts of
various kinds, classed according to purity of breed : —



Species.


Pure.


Cross-bred.


Native.


Total.


Cattle


084,897


13,060,446


13,071,282


29,116,625


Horses


49,0U0


1,693,637


5,788,739


7,331,376


Mules








465,037


465,037


Asses








285,088


285,088


Sheep


1,179,482


55,448,749


10,583,523


67,311,754


Goats


3,321


129,800


3,816,965


3,945,086


Swino


34,462


589,126


780,003


1,403,591



In the matter of cross-breeding the Argentine has made
.stonishing progress, the proof of which is to be found in
he comparison of the figures for 1895 with those of 1908.
t is enough, for our purpose, to mention that in 1895, in the
'rovince of Buenos Ayres, out of 100 cattle, 6 per cent, were of
>ure blood : 49 2 per cent, were cross-bred, and 50-2 per cent,
rere of native breeds; and thatthirteenyears later these figures
s^ere transformed into 6*2 per cent, of pure blood, 85*1 percent,
f cross-bred cattle, and 87 per cent, of native breeds. This
mprovement in the Province of Buenos Ayres is repeated in
he other more productive Provinces, and in the case of other
pecies of animals.

We have stated that the number of cattle in the
Lrgentine Republic is over 29 millions; this number may
e analysed, according to sex, age, etc., in the following
lanner : —

Year 1908.

Male calves 3,820,443

Heifers 3,611,412

Bulls 886,450

Bullocks 4,687,027

Cows for breeding 12,825,904

Milch cows 2,163,900

Oxen 1,221,489

29,116,025



I It now remains to consider the value of the animals

!gistered as existing in the Republic in the year of census

,:^08.

! In 1895 this value was estimated at 1,186,780,411 piastres

i>aper), which with the exchange at 300 percent, was equiva-

,ntto 378,926,803 piastres (or dollars) in gold, or £75,785,360,

la., while the latest census gives a value of 1,481,282,245



172 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

piastres in paper, which with exchange at 2*27, is equivalent
to 651,764,187 piastres in gold, or £130,352,835.

If now we analyse these figures, dividing them among
the various species of animals, as given by the censuses of
1895 and tliat of li^OS, we obtain the following table : —

Species. 1895. 1908.

Cattle £44,508,493 £82,604,353-4 '

Horses

Mules

Asses

Sheep

Goats

Swine



We see from this that, in spite of the moderate valuatio
of the stock in 1908, its value had increased, in thirteen yean'
by nearly £54,600,000.

Knowing the numbers and the value of the live stock c'
the Argentine Republic, a last question arises of the highe.'
interest. What place does tlie Argentine hold among thof
nations in which stock-raising has reached its highest develoi
ment ?

To answer these questions, we have resorted to the mo
authoritative publications available, with the result that i-
are enabled to draw up the following table : —



5,099,281-4


18,112,761-4


066,150-6


1,985,374-0


131,914


251,235


24,525,101


25,287,598-6


389,139


732,322


405,272


1,379,192


£75,785,300


£130,352,837







Species.




States.


Cattle.


Horses.


Sheep.


Swine.:


The Argentine Republic ...


29,116,625


7,531,376


67,833,112


l,403,i;


The United States


69,438,758


21,216,888


61,837,112


04,694,:^;


Canada


5,376,451


1,577,493


2,510,239


2,353,; 1


Australia


9,349,409


1,765,186


83,087.053


813,1


Cape Colony ...


2,000,000


300,000


11,800,000


400,' 1


India, Burmah, E. Indies, etc.


91,700,000


1,300,000


18,000,000


— '


European Russia


39,000,000


22,000,000


42,900,000


11,200,)


Germany


20,000,000


4,300,000


7,700,000


22,100,3


France


14,000,000


3,200,000


17,500,000


700,3


Austria


9,. 500, 000


1,700,000


2,000.000


4,700,0


Great Britain


7,000,000


1,600,000


25,400,000


2,700,0



This table shows us that, in the matter of cattle, e
Argentine Republic holds the third rank ; it is also in e
third rank in the matter of horses ; in the second rank in' e



STOCK-RAISING 173

matter of sheep ; and in the matter of swine she holds one
of the lowest ranks.

If we compare the Argentine with the United States in
particular, the contrast is strikinor; while in North America
the value of all bestial reaches the colossal sum of
£664,800,000, in Argentina it amounts only to £130,400,000,
distributed as follows : —



Species.
I Cattle

Horses

Sheep

Asses

Mulos

Swine
^ Goats

i Consequently the Argentine is far from achieving the

j wonderful results obtained by the great northern Republic

! of America;* for that matter, she could not compare with

the States, having only 6,000,000 inhabitants to the latter's

, 86,000,000 ; and her wealth is equivalent only to a small

! fraction of the colossal wealth of the States. Yet an examina-

j tion of the above figures is encouraging, for in view of

I the progress accomplished before the previous census, the

Argentine may justly regard her flocks and herds with pride,

and continue to increase them, thanks to her climate, the

; fertility of her soil, and the energy of her inhabitants.



United


Argentine


United


Argentine


States.


Republic.


States.


Repul;lic.


«0,438,758


29,116,625


£315,660,088


£82,604,353


I'l, 216,888


7,531,376


218,601,571


18,112,761


61,837,112


67,211,754


35,571,250


25,287,598


111,450


285.088


1,412,307


251.235


8,445,029


465,037


43,239,985


1,985,374


64,694,222


1,403,581


49,657,202


1,379,192


1,941), 005


3,945,086


707,865


732,322



* It must bo remembered that of two boasts of equal purity of brood, and in
perfect condition, the Argentine would be reckoned as being of the lower value.
The reason of this is economic and very simple. The Argentine bullock is
affected by competition and pays tribute to the breeder, the railway company,
the refrigerating company, the shipping line, the European buyer or salesman,
and the retail salesman. Consequently it is worth less in the Argentine than n
the States, where the selling-price is artificially inflated, and whore the valuo
of a beast to the breeder, since he has only to pay freight and the profit of a largo
company, which is sometimes the breeder and the railway company too, is natur-
ally far greater. It must not therefore be supposed that because the Argentine
horse or bullock is cited as of lower value, that it is inferior. Its value is lower,
juBt as good land in the Argentine is cheaper than in New York State. — [TkaN8.]



CHAPTER IV

THE VALUE OF THE SOIL

Difficulties in estimating this value — Principal factors of valuation — Examples
taken from lucerne fields and the forests of quebracho — Despite adverse
circumstances, and with a few exceptions, there has always been a tendency
for the price of land to rise — Alienation of lands acquired by conquest from
the Indians ; their enormous present value — The rise of value dates from
1902, and has hitherto continued without relapse — The causes of this rise,
and its rational principles, according to an authoritative opinion.

Examples of valuation drawn from the sales of public lands — The rise of prices
in the Provinces of Buenos Ayres, Cdrdoba, Santa Fe, and the Pampa,
with figures indicating the prices realised in some large recent trans-
actions.

NOTHING is more difficult than to determine the value
of land in a country in the course of formation, like
the Argentine Republic, in which it undergoes considerable
increase from one moment to another; not only on account;
of general progress, but also from special reasons, such as
good harvests, the construction of a railroad, etc. In the
same region, in the same district, two neighbouring tracts
will often have a different value, accordingly as they have
or have not a permanent water-supply, or as they are more or
less adapted to agriculture, nearer to or further from a
railway, a station, or a centre of population.

For some years now, two new factors of valuation have
come into being : the culture of lucerne and the planting of
quebracho wood.

Since farmers have known of the enormous — the fabulous
— profits to be derived from fields of lucerne, every buyer of
land inquires first of all if there is water available ; that is.
if the subterranean water-level is near the surface; as on
that factor depends the existence of the lucerne pasture foi
many years.

If upon investigation it is found that there is water
the land, by this sole fact, acquires an enormous value ir
comparison to what it would be worth if it were unfit foi

lucerne.

174



THE VALUE OF THE SOIL 175

An important newspaper, published in Buenos Ayrcs in
the English tongue, the Standard, has shewn that the price
of land in Victoria (Australia), where the acre is worth from
£4, 6s. to £9, compared to the prices paid for land in the
Argentine suitable for sowing lucerne (that is, in the south
of Cordoba and San Luis, where there are no invasions of
rabbits, where there is no drought, and which are half-way,
so to speak, to the European markets) proves, by comparison,
the low value of Argentine land. Even when near a railway,

: such lands may be bought for I7s. 6d. or £1 per acre.

In proof of the above affirmation, the Standard has
made the following calculation : Let us suppose an expense
of 6s. 5d. per acre for the expenses of sowing and
cultivating an acre of soil (including sowing it with lucerne
at £2 per cwt.), it follows that the acre costs from £1, 3s. to
£1, 8s., and the square league of 6175 acres (representing
the work of eighteen months) about £7920. Adding £880
for fencing and watering, we find the price of the square
league (9648 square miles) amounts to some £8800.

What, according to the Standard, is the profit to be

' drawn from this square league ? It will fatten some 4500

: head of three-year-old cattle, which may be bought at £4, 88.

• per head, and seven months later sold at £7, 18s. 6d. ; this
will give a profit of £3, 10s. 6d. per head, or a gross profit of
£15,862. Deducting £7040 * for expenses (allowing freight

j to the extent of 10s. 6d. per head), there remains a net profit

i of £8800 per league per annum, or 100 per cent, on the outlay.

' If such are the results to be obtained from the transformation

' of an uncultivated tract of land into a lucerne pasture, it is
not surprising that rural property is so quickly attaining so
high a value.

In the case of quebracho — a very hard wood which is use-
ful for building and constructive purposes, and from which

I an excellent tannin can be obtained — matters are much the
same. Having had experience of the large profits to be
derived from the manufacture of quebracho extract, and the

'■ splendid dividends paid by the companies engaged in the

* Apparently made up of half the cost of the lucerne pasture, plus freijfht
and labour ; as two sets of boasts can be fattened in a year or a liitlo over. —
[Trans.]



176 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

work, men of business, anxious to invest their capital to
advantage, hastened to acquire forests of quebracho, with
the result that the price of such land suddenly rose to a
level hitherto undreamed of. Tracts situated in the Chaco —
a region where quebracho abounds — which were selling a
year previously for £88 the square league of 9648 square
miles, rose in price to £880, and this latter price can by no
means be considered as a definite maximum.

What is true of lucerne and quebracho is also, though on
a much smaller scale, true of linseed or wheat, when after
an abundant harvest the land-owner or farmer procures the
requisite capital for the purchase of the land he has been
cultivating and pays a good price for it. There are here
elements which confound all calculations made in advance,
and make it difficult to fix even an approximate value on
the soil.

At the present moment there is no basis for such a
valuation. A farm selling to-day at 20s. per acre, may
to-morrow sell for 26s., the day after to-morrow for 32s., and
so on, until prices are reached which astonish the first vendor
and give him the melancholy conviction that he did ill t(
part with his land. For this reason, the best thing one car
do to-day is to hold on to the land.

The value of rural and urban property has gone oi
increasing more and more rapidly for more than forty years
and although there have been great fluctuations in prices
the rise has always been constant in the long run ; owing t
the increase in the population, the consolidation of politics
institutions, the construction of far-reaching railway system!
the prodigious development of international traffic, and, a
a natural consequence, the great increase of public wealth.

To gain an idea of the entire significance of this increas
in values, we must go back to the more than modest price
of rural property which ruled before the later developmer
of the upward movement. It is enough to recall the fa<'i
that in 1879, with the object of procuring funds in suppo) T
of the expedition which General Roca was leading againi
the Indians of the wilderness, an expedition which resulte
in the conquest of 226,800 square miles of territory, tl:
Government oflfered for sale an enormous tract of land i



THE VALUE OF THE SOIL 177

the price of £80 the league (about £9 the square mile), the
purchase-money to be payable over five years. But the
devaluation of these lands was so great, and faith in their
remunerative possibilities so inferior, that very few accepted
the offer. Many did so rather as a patriotic loan than as
: a serious investment. Others did so as a mark of personal
deference towards the men who were at the head of the
Government. But all have been abundantly rewarded, since
much of the soil which they were able to obtain at £35 the
league is selling to-day at £26,000 and £35,000. More than
one of the great private fortunes in the country had no
other foundation than this.

This depreciation of rural property continued still un-
changed for a dozen years ; so much so, that in order to tide
, over the crisis before the crash of 1890, the Government, which
so disastrously handled the affairs of the nation, liad the evil
inspiration to offer for sale in Europe, by virtue of the law
of October the 15th, 1889, those very 24,000 leagues of land
. obtained by conquest by General Roca's expedition. The
: sale was to be effected at the figure of 10 francs per hectare —
; about 3s. 3d. per acre ! — payable half upon purchase and hal
1 at the end of two years. No limit was set to the powers
of purchase of any one buyer ; each could buy just as much
, as his purse would allow. The law, in palliation of this
I incredible operation,* promised to apply the whole product
i of the sales to the fund for converting the issue of the
I guaranteed bank-notes of famous memory. Providence,
I happily, which more than once has taken the Argentine
i under its especial protection, prevented this disastrous
I alienation of territory from taking place. Had it been
otherwise, the Republic would have sold for a mess of pottage
I a magnificent portion of her territory, a country large enough
j to house more than one European nation, and which to-day
I perhaps would be in the hands of a company or a foreign
i government — a new state within the State.

The depreciation of rural property continued for some

* It must be remembered that this tract was four and a half times the size

of England ! — and this enormous country, in the heart of the Argentine, waa

offered for sale to foreigners ! The process of buying it back when the terrible

' folly of the act was once obvious, would have been oquivalont to making the

country tributary for years, and for enormous sums, to Europe. — [Trans.]



178 THE ARGENTINE IN THE 20th CENTURY

years. Thus, in 1897, the Government sold by tender to the
highest bidder a large portion of its best lands, at the price
of 3750 piastres, or £330 the square league (about £36
the square mile), payable in five years, with permission to
pay in bonds of the patriotic loan, which then stood at
about 75 per cent.*

This situation continued until 1902 — a year which saw the
settlement of the old question of the Chili- Argentine frontier ;
a year of abundant harvests and enormous development in
the stock-raising world ; a development which took shape
first in the export of cattle on the hoof and then in the
despatch of great quantities of chilled or frozen meat to
the English markets ; a year which also saw the advent of
a financial stability resulting from the " law of monetary
conversion," which gave a fixed value to paper money, the
medium of all commercial transactions in the interior. Then
came a steady and decisive rise in the value of landed
property in general and of rural property in particular.

Since the beginning of this movement the value of the
soil has steadily increased ; the last price is always greater
than the previous one, although the latter may have appeared
stationary, if not final. This being the case, we ought to
ask whether this general rise responds to permanent and
sufficient causes, or if it is only the result of capricious
speculation, afiecting landed property now as at another time
it affected paper money.

In reply to this question, Senor Roman Bravo, one of
those Argentines who are most familiar with all the complex
aspects of land valuation, — for he is the Director of the
house of business t which transacts the greater proportion
of such operations — has at our request summed up, in the
following terms, the causes which at present determine the
increase in the value of property : —

"The economic life of the country offers at each step
signs of further progress. The enlargement of ports, the
extension of railways, the dredging of channels, the

* The piastre note was then worth 1 franc 71 — Is. 4-4d., or 34-2 per cent.
of the par value. It was later fixed by law at 44 per cent. — [Trans.]

t The Bales by auction conducted by this house during the first sis months



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