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UC-NRLF



I Illllil'l' '*

B 3,173 747



.THY PAMPHLETS



VOL. VIII.



Some Things the prospective Settler Should

Know. By Thomas Forsyth Hunt, and other
members of the staff. Circular Ho. 1E1.

jiscussion of Log Rules. Their limitations
and Suggestions for Correction. Bulletin
Ho. 5. California State Board of Forestry.
1915.

Ill ^cale Study of Western Yellow Pine.
Bulletin Ho. 6., 1915. Gal. State Board
of Forestry.

Conservation of Resources, in California. By

the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Assembly Bill. Ho. 605. 1915.
jembly Bill. Ho. 491. 1915.

/visory Pamphlet on ^amn Sanitation and Housing
Commission of Immigration and Housing of

California.

in the Hirh bier:: - rles J.
Beld-en.









tte

foi






UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION

BENJ. IDE WHEELER, PRESIDENT



COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE

THOMAS FORSYTH HUNT,



BERKELEY H - E - VAN NORMAN, VICE-DIRECTOR AND DEAN

UNIVERSITY FARM SCHOOL

CIRCULAR No. 121

OCTOBER, 1914

SOME THINGS THE PROSPECTIVE
SETTLER SHOULD KNOW

BY
THOMAS FORSYTH HUNT

AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE STAFF



[A good many people are being detached from their customary employment
or source of income by the pressure of the crisis in Europe. To all such who
are looking about for a new start, the best suggestion we can give is that the
land is the place where living is cheapest and the cost of shelter hardly exists
at all. No man forced out of employment this winter is in worse plight than
millions of immigrants who have landed in America with less than $50 in their
pockets. Those immigrants who have gone to the land have been able in the
course of a few years to acquire a farm, to raise families; and to participate in
the most wholesome gifts that American civilization has to offer. To be forced
from the city back to the farm may seem a hardship to the man who goes
through the transition, but in the end he will be better off and his children
will be benefited. Collier's.]

An agent who is seeking to sell land, holds that he may, with
propriety, state the maximum yield which may be expected from a
given crop on the land which he is offering for sale. It is difficult
to deny that he has such right. It is worth while, therefore, to con-
sider whether there is any relationship between maximum yields and
yields that may be expected in the ordinary run of business. The
average yield of wheat in California, one season with another, is
about 13 bushels. It varies in different seasons from 9 to 18 bushels
per acre. On land that is fairly adapted to wheat good farmers not
infrequently get 40 bushels per acre and no farmer thinks that his
crop is to be commended unless he has obtained 25 bushels per acre,
providing the season is favorable. In the same manner, the average
yield of barley in California is about 25 bushels per acre. Many good
farmers secure 75 bushels, while a yield of 50 bushels per acre is
considered commendable. Under the most favorable conditions a yield
of 50 bushels of wheat or 100 bushels of barley is not impossible,
although it is a rather extraqr dinar



EXPECTED YIELDS

The question now arises, how may one estimate the yield which
may be used safely as a business guide ? If only an average yield of
these different crops is obtained, the raiser secures a very modest daily
wage plus a small interest on the investment. A man who can produce
only average yields of crops will, generally speaking, do better in
some other business, or by working for a daily wage for others. An
intelligent, thrifty, careful farmer may properly hope to secure twice
the average return that is customary under the conditions of his soil
and climate, but even this is not a safe estimate on which to do
business. Very broadly speaking, necessarily there must be many
exceptions, a competent farmer may expect to secure an increase of
50 per cent over average yields. To illustrate, the following table
may be prepared showing what may be expected in California under
average conditions of soil and climate:

Wheat Barley

Average yield 13 25

A safe estimate for business purposes 20 40

A good yield which competent men may hope to obtain 25 50

Yield not infrequently obtained under favorable conditions 40 75

Possible but extraordinary yields 50 100



These figures are merely illustrative, but it is probable that they
represent a somewhat general law : namely, first, that it is possible to
secure, under favorable conditions, a yield that is four times that
usually obtained; and, second, that for business purposes, it is not
safe to count on securing more than two-fifths of the maximum yield.
There are many exceptions to the rule because of varying soil and
climatic conditions.

It is not intended to assert that larger returns may not be obtained,

but to suggest that if a profit cannot be calculated upon this

basis, then further study of the situation is needed before making a

purchase. In order to assist a new settler in California, a table has

sen prepared, from such data as is available, showing the yields that

may be expected when the crop is grown by a competent man in a

ation and on a soil adapted to it. The figures given below may be

laid to represent the best judgment of those who, through actual

experience and observation, are competent to judge. The figures are

m no sense official :



AVERAGE, PROBABLE, AND POSSIBLE YIELDS*



Wheat, bu :..

Oats, bu

Barley, bu

Potatoes, bu

Alfalfa, ton

Grain hay, ton

Cotton, Durango, Ib

Rice, rough, Ib

Hops, Ib

Beans, field, Ib

Onions, sack

Sugar beets, ton

Butter fat, per cow, Ib

Oranges, box

Lemons, box

Raisins, Muscat, ton

Raisins, Seedless, ton ....

Grapes, shipping, ton

Grapes, Interior, wine,

ton

Grapes, Coast, wine, ton

Olives, ton

Walnuts, ton

Almonds, ton

Prunes, dried, ton

Plums, shipping, crate -
Apricots, dried, ton

Apricots, shipping, crate

Pears, ton

Peaches, dried, ton

Peaches, shipping, box ....

Apples, box

Cherries, ton



Average

yield
per acre

13

31

25

125

3.5

1.25

300

1500

1500

1100

100

9

150
150
175
0.5
0.75
3.0

3.0
1.5
1.0
0.4
0.4
1.25

250
0.75

250
4.0
0.75

300

200
1.25



A safe
estimate

for

business
purposes

20
45
40
175
5.0
1.75
400
2200
1800,
1200
150
13
225
225
225
0.75
1.00
5.0

5.0

3.0

1.50

0.5

0.5

1.75

350
1.0

350
5.0
1.0

400

300
2.0



A good yield
which com-
petent men

may hope to
obtain

25
60
50
200
6.0
2.0
500
3000
2200
1400
250
18
300
300
300
1.00
1.25
7.0



7.0
5.0
2.0
.75
.75
2.5

450
1.25

450
7.0
1.5

600

500
2.5



Yield not
infrequently

obtained
under favor-
able conditions

40
90
75
300
9.0
3.0
800
4500
3000
2500
300
25
350
450
450
1.25
1.50
10.0

10.0
7.0
3.0
1.0
1.0
3.0

650
1.75

650
10.0
2.0

800

900
5.0



Possible
but extra-
ordinary
yield
50
120
100
500
12.0
4.0
1200
6000
8000
3000
400
30
400
600
600
2.00
3.00
15.0

15.0
10.0
5.0
1.5
1.25
5.0
850

2.5
850
12.0
3.0
1000
1200
8.0



* In California the pounds per bushel are barley, 50 ; corn, 52 ; oats, 32 ; and wheat, 60.
The sack equivalent in pounds is neither uniform nor standardized. The variation is due to the
fullness of the bags and the volume weight of the grain.

Good plump barley 110115 pounds per sack.

Second class barley 100 pounds per sack.

Heavy extra wheat 125150 pounds per sack.

Average wheat 120135 pounds per sack.

Heavy oats in barley bags 100 pounds per sack.

Light oats in barley bags 85- 90 pounds per sack.

Oats in regular oat bags, about 125 pounds per sack.

Beans 80-100 pounds per sack.

Potatoes 110-120 pounds per sack.



Too much emphasis cannot be placed upon the fact that the figures
given in the table above are intended to apply to average land and
not to the best land adapted to that particular crop. There are large
areas in California where five tons of alfalfa per annum may be
deemed a safe estimate and where competent men would not under-
take to raise alfalfa if they did not expect six tons per acre. On
the other hand, there are some areas where much smaller yields may
be considered satisfactory.

The chief purpose of this discussion is to enforce the principle
that the large yields which are obtained under very favorable con-
ditions are not a true business guide. It is necessary to recognize
frankly that only a fraction of. such possible yields are obtained
ordinarily in actual practice. The purpose is not to try to state what
yield may be obtained under each given condition of soil and climate,
but to give a sort of working basis for reasonable estimation. Thus if
in a given region on a particular type of soil, one determines that it
has been found possible to get a yield of thirteen tons of alfalfa per
acre, on the basis of two-fifths previously stated 5.2 tons of alfalfa
would be a safe estimate for business purposes. If, on the other hand,
eight tons were found to be an extraordinary yield, then 3.2 tons are
all that could be safely predicted. However, it must always be kept
in mind that the competent man may hope to secure better yields.
The second and third columns in the above table are the ones to
which the reader should give his chief attention.



INVESTMENT BEQUIBED FOE SATISFACTOEY INCOME

Persons will differ widely as to what is a satisfactory income.
Some arbitrary figure must be assumed, however, as a basis of dis-
cussion. All that can here be hoped is to show such relationship
as to enable one to forecast a condition that will be satisfactory
to himself. Let it be assumed then that a gross income of $4000 per
year is desired. The annual gross income from the chief farm crops
of the United States is about 16 per cent, or one-sixth of the capital
invested. Under these conditions an investment of $24,000 would be
required. Only a modest wage and a small interest would be earned.
A satisfactory gross income, one perhaps that competent men may
reasonably expect to earn, would be 25 per cent or one-fourth of the
capital invested. An investment of $16,000 would therefore be neces-
sary. Suppose a gross income of $4000 per year is obtained, what
becomes of it? In a general way this sum may be divided into three
parts: (1) expenses, (2) interest on the investment, (3) return to the



farmer for his management and labor. The latter may be called the
labor income. There have been gathered, for example, some data on
general farms tending to show that if a man has invested wisely in land
and equipment he may pay about 7 per cent of the total investment
for a working manager. This is equivalent to saying that a farmer
should receive 7 per cent on the capital invested for his management,
assuming that he is himself actively engaged either in managing or
laboring or both. In reaching this conclusion from data collected,
5 per cent interest on the capital invested was assumed. On this basis
the following will result :

For labor income 7 per cent on $16,000 $1,120.00

Interest on investment 5 per cent on $16,000 800.00

For expenses 2,080.00



Total $4,000.00

One thing that is at once obvious from an examination of the data
is that if one must pay 10 per cent interest for money to purchase
land and equipment there would be only 2 per cent, or $320, left for
labor income. It will be noted that for each per cent which is added
to the interest charge an equivalent reduction must be made in the
labor income. Thus if the interest is 6 per cent one may expect his
labor income to be only 6 per cent of the capital invested. If the
interest, is 8 per cent, the labor income will be but 4 per cent. More-
over there is a tendency for the labor income to be further reduced
on farms growing a single crop, since such farms furnish employment
for a relatively small portion of the year.* However, on fruit farms,
this condition is somewhat offset by the opportunity for employment
in the packing houses, thereby augmenting the income of the owners
and their families. Of course, owners of fruit and other farms, who
are not actively employed thereon need not expect to secure more than
a fair interest on their investment and then only when intelligently
and efficiently managed.

Some surprise may be felt that any definite relation can be assumed
between labor income and capital invested. The explanation seems
to be that the value of the land rises with the income and thus the
interest on the new capitalization prevents the labor income from
rising. Thus, if a man buys a farm at $50 per acre and the subsequent
income justifies valuing the land at $200 per acre, the interest upon
the new valuation keeps the labor income from rising. It is well
known that this rise in the value of land has been the source of much
profit to farmers.

* See footnote, page 15.



6

Of course, very much will depend upon the wisdom with which
expenses are incurred. Without doubt there is in individual cases
great opportunity for increasing the labor income by decreasing
expenses. What this paragraph suggests is that it is not wise to assume
a gross income greater than one-fourth the capital invested and that
one must concede that one-half the gross income may be required for
running expenses. Unless a man can estimate a satisfactory labor
income on this basis, it is prudent to proceed with caution. It is
obvious that if a man is satisfied with a labor income of $560 per
year an investment of $8000 will suffice. If the farm is paid for he
may expect a cash income over expense of $960 per year, since he has
a right to expect interest on the investment plus his labor income.

SIZE OF FARM

How large must a farm be to furnish a satisfactory living? From
what has been said the best practical measure with which to answer
this question is the gross income. The area of land necessary to
obtain a gross income of $4000 will depend upon the crops raised.
Thus, if the land is to be put into barley, from which may be expected
40 bushels per acre, worth 60 cents per bushel, or a gross return of
$24 per acre, there will be required 167 acres to return a gross income
of $4000. If adapted to potatoes, yielding 175 bushels per acre, worth
70 cents per bushel, 33 acres would be required. An orange grove,
yielding 225 boxes, netting the grower a dollar per box, would require
less than 18 acres in trees. As there js more or less waste land in
all types of farming, it may be stated, in general terms, that 200 acres
of land would be required for barley and 40 acres for potatoes, while
20 acres would suffice for oranges. A similar estimate may be made
concerning dairying. Estimating a yield of 225 pounds of butter fat
per year and that three pounds of butter fat are worth a dollar, the
total income for butter fat per year is $75 per cow. Each cow may
raise a calf, and some pigs and chickens may be kept. It may be
possible, therefore, to secure a gross income from all sources of $100
per cow. The amount of land which is required to keep a cow in
California varies at least as widely as from one to ten acres where
dairying is now actually practiced. Where alfalfa is grown in the
open valleys under irrigation, it requires about l 1 /^ to l l / 2 acres to
support a cow. Assuming the latter figure, it will require 60 acres
to bring a gross income of $4000. It is interesting to observe that"in
a certain irrigated region tracts of 20 acres each were sold for dairy
purposes. As time has gone on the farmers located upon these tracts
have acquired additional lands, so that at present the one-family dairy



farm, based upon alfalfa, is actually about 30 acres. This is perhaps
another way of saying that these families are satisfied with a gross
income of $2000 per year.

INFLUENCE OF CHILDREN

The one-family farm just mentioned is a familiar instance of
the influence of family co-operation in farming. Various members
of the family help on these farms. In this way the labor income
is apparently increased and the expense of conducting the farm is
decreased. This, however, is merely because members of the family
are not paid for this labor at current rates. Nevertheless one of the
important reasons for engaging in certain types of farming is that
it gives rational and remunerative employment to the children of the
family. Farming remains the one great industry where children are
a material asset. A man with a family of children may wisely engage
in dairying, fruit raising, or vegetable growing, not only because he
can use the labor of his children to advantage, but because the train-
ing in contributing to the family income which they receive before
the age of twenty-one is one of the most valuable assets these children
can acquire. If the ideal of a successful home is not a part of the pro-
gramme it may be well to question whether some other activity may
not better engage attention.

THE INFLUENCE OF PEICE

The gross return per acre depends of course, upon two factors
yield and price. The size of the farm required for a given gross
return will depend, therefore, not only upon the fertility of the soil
but also upon the location. The latter materially affects the price,
especially in a state of great size with many communities remote from
the larger centers of population. Nowhere, probably, is community
effort more important in securing satisfactory prices than with the
fruit raiser in California. No matter how satisfactory the yield and
quality of the fruit may be, if the grower is not surrounded by others
raising a like commodity, usually it will be found difficult to market
the crop at a satisfactory price. In the figures which are given in
the table it is not intended to state either the lowest price or the
highest price at which a given commodity sells in California, but
rather to state what men in the industry would look upon as a low or
high price. The average price, also, is not necessarily the average of
any number of years or of any locality, but rather a statement of
what would be looked upon as a satisfactory price by those who are
engaged extensively in growing the particular crop in the leading
localities where the crop is produced.



ILLUSTRATIONS OF SIZE OF FARM

Table showing the area required to produce a gross income of $4000 per year,
assuming the average price stated. The yield assumed is stated in column 2,
page 3, under the heading A Safe Estimate for Business Purposes. Figures

are not official.

Size of Farm
necessary to



Low Price


High Price Average Price obtain grc


Dollars and


Dollars and


Dollars and


income of $4




cents


cents


cents


Acres


Wheat, bu ....


$0.70


$1.00


$0.85


235


Oats, bu


.40


.65


.55


161


Barley, bu


.50


.75


.60


167


Potatoes, bu


.50


.90


.70


33


Alfalfa, ton


5.00


12.00


8.00


100


Grain hay, ton


6.00


15.00


10.00


229


Cotton, Durango, lb


.11


.17


.14


71


Rice, rough, lb


.01


.03


.02


91


Hops, lb


JO


.30


.17


13


Beans, field, lb


.03


.05


.04


83


Onions, sacks


.50


2.00


.80


33


Sugar beets,' ton


4.50


6.00


5.50


56


Butter fat, lb


.25


.40


.33


60


Oranges, box


.50


2.50


1.50


12


Lemons, box


.75


3.00


2.00


9


Raisin, Muscat, Jb. :.,


.02


.05


.03


89


Raisins, Seedless, lb


.025


.06


.04


50


Grapes, shipping, ton


7.00


60.00


20.00


40


Grapes, Interior, wine,










ton


7.00


18.00


15.00


53


Grapes, Coast, wine, ton


12.00


30.00


23.00


58


Olives, oil, ton


40.00


50.00


45.00


59


Olives, pickling, ton


80.00


200.00


150.00


18


Walnuts, lb


.10


.15


.12


33


Almonds, ton


160.00


340.00


280.00


29


Prunes, dried, ton


50.00


120.00


80.00


29


Plums, shipping, crate


.45


1.25


- .60


19


Apricots, dried, ton


120.00


300.00


180.00


22


Apricots, shipping, crate


.50


1.50


.75


15


Pears, ton


20.00


60.00


40.00


20


Peaches, dried, ton


70.00


200.00 x


105.00


38


Peaches, shipping, box


.25


1.00


.40


25


Apples, box


.40


1.50


.65


20


Cherries, shipping, ton....


100.00


300.00


200.00


10



A certain amount of waste land must be assumed. The smaller the
tract the greater the proportion of waste due to roads and buildings.
Allowing some leeway for waste land, it is possible to state, in general
terms, that for grain raising, such as barley, oats, or wheat, two
hundred or more acres will be required to secure a gross income of
$4000 per year where the rainfall is sufficient to permit of annual
cropping, and twice that amount will be required where it is necessary
to practice summer fallow on alternate years. Sixty acres may be
required for sugar beets, grape growing, or dairying. Potatoes and
various tree fruits may require forty acres or less. Ten acres appears
to be the smallest area on which a California crop will return a gross
income of $4000 a year under average conditions. It is not intended
to assert that a given crop will require a given area as shown in the
last column of the table. In fact, it will probably require in most
cases either more or less than the amount stated, because the con-
ditions will probably be above or below the average. Neither is it
intended to assert that even though the conditions are only average a
suitable return may not be obtained from a less area through greater
energy, thrift, and knowledge. Indeed, it is being constantly done;
for example, while it ordinarily may take forty acres to produce $4000
worth of shipping grapes, an authentic example was brought to the
writer's attention where thirteen acres of shipping grapes in 1913
sold on the farm in bulk brought the owner $4692. This crop did not
cost the tenant, exclusive of rent, to exceed $500, including pay for his
own labor. This illustration is quoted to show that while statements
similar to this one can be made honestly and such cases occur not infre-
quently, they are not a proper guide for the new settler. A part of the
zest in farming in California is that there are such prizes for which one
may reasonably strive. What it is intended to say is that if one expects
to get greater returns than are indicated in the table, he should be
thoroughly convinced that he has more favorable conditions or greater
ability than the average. Of course, one may properly be content with
a smaller gross income and thus require a smaller area to satisfy his
needs. It is fairly obvious, however, that statements of satisfactory
income on less than ten acres, which undoubtedly do occur, do not
represent normal conditions and are not safe guides for those who
desire to make a home in the open country. Such small areas may, and
in many cases do. furnish delightful homes for those who have other
sources of income. A more delightful place for people of moderate
income to live than in some of the valleys of California can be found
in but few localities in the world. It is apparent that this type of
population is destined to increase largely. Neighbors of unusual



10

intelligence and culture, schools and civic improvements of the highest
order, unparalleled climate, and good roads throughout the year, as
well as many other factors, contribute to this end.



SOME CENSUS FIGURES

More than three-fifths of all the land owned in farms in California
in 1910, was held in tracts of one thousand acres or over. This vast
area of seventeen million acres, however, represents only about 5 per
cent of the total number of farms. There were less than five thousand
farms of over a thousand acres each, while there were more than ten
thousand farms of less than ten acres each. More than one-tenth of
all the farms in California, 1910, were less than ten acres in area. In
many instances, however, the income from the farm did not represent
the total income of the owner. The following table gives the number
of farms by size groups, together with the total area of land and the
value per acre in each group as determined by the census of 1910.

Number Total area Value per acre

Under 20 acres 22,525 200,822 $666.67

20 to 49 acres 20,614 625,954 308.01

50 to 174 acres 22,695 2,462,400 126.03

175 to 999 acres 17,670 7,352,304 59.29

1000 acres and over 4,693 17,289,954 21.84



Total 88,197 27,931,434 51.93

Speaking in general terms, one-fourth of the farms of California
were less than twenty acres in area, one-fourth between twenty and



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