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Frank Albert Fetter.

Source book in economics, selected and ed. for the use of college classes online

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Such land is rarely worth much as a pasture, and the stock
greatly injure the woods.

The woodlots are worth saving. Farmers are usually not
aware of the value of their woodlots. Estimation of the value
of standing timber is not easy for an experienced lumberman.
Many farmers seem to have no idea of the value of timber.
The following are a few examples taken from lumbermen's
books :

EXAMPLE I.

A farm of 122 acres, 80 acres of which was woodland consisting of
mixed hard and soft wood timber: oak, basswood, hemlock, maple,
cheny, beech, ash, birch, elm.
Proceeds from lumber sales:

500,000 ft. mixed lumber at $20.00 per M $10,000

500 cds. slab wood at 50c 250

Resold farm with top wood. 700

Total sales $10,950

Cost of cutting and marketing 4,250

Net sales. . $6,700

Price paid for farm 1,750

Profit $4,950

EXAMPLE II.

A farm of 50 acres, 35 of which was of mixed hardwood.

Total sales, lumber and lot resold $5,004

Cost of cutting and marketing 1,500

Net sales $3,594

Price paid for farm 500

Profit $3,094



78 THE FARMER'S WOOlDLOT

EXAMPLE III.

A lot consisting of 16 acres of mixed hardwood.

Proceeds from lumber sales $2,194

Cost of cutting and marketing 900

Net sales $1,294

Price paid for lot 500

Profit $794

Cost of putting lumber on the market. The cost of put-
ting lumber on the market is quite variable, depending on the
kind of lumber and the distance that it must be hauled. The
price is constantly rising as wages advance. An average of
$10 per thousand board feet is perhaps a fair estimate for a
farmer to make.

Most of the timber cut in Tompkins County is sawed by
portable sawmills. The lumber then has to be hauled to
market. The distance to market varies greatly, but ordinarily
it is two to six miles. The estimated cost of cutting the timber,
sawing and delivering to market is as follows :

Cutting (logs) per thousand feet $ 75

Skidding to mill per thousand feet 2 00

Sawing per thousand feet 3 00

Sticking (piling lumber) per thousand feet 40

Delivering to market per thousand feet 2 00

Estimated overrun per thousand feet 35

Total expense per M. board feet $8 50

The woodlot now a profitable farm crop. As an example,
a farm on the hill lands of southern Tompkins County con-
sists of 100 acres, 30 acres of which is in timber. This wood-
lot was cut in 1907 for the third time in 90 years. Each time
it has been cut with entire disregard for the future. The third
cutting on the 30 acres sold for $2,100, standing. In spite
of the present high price of lumber, no attention was given
to the future in this cutting. Young trees that were scarcely
worth cutting, but that would be valuable in 10 to 20 years,
were cut. Those that were too small to cut were broken down.



THE FARMER'S WOODLOT 79

This is the almost universal practice, in spite of the profits
that come from such a woodlot.

After "skinning" the woodlot, the entire farm of 100 acres,
with buildings, was sold for $1,400. This farm would not
rent for $1 per acre, as indicated by the selling price. But,
in spite of the owners, it has grown $70 worth of wood per
acre since the last cutting 30 years ago. If the $1 per acre
rent were placed at compound interest at 5 per cent., it would
not amount to $70 at the end of 30 years. In other words,
the wood land pays better than the farm land. If the wood
land were given a very little attention in cutting, so as to main-
tain a stand of the best kinds of trees, the returns could prob-
ably be doubled.

As another example, a lot consisting of 35 acres composed
of mixed hardwood was cut and the net proceeds from the
timber sales amounted to $4,938. Men who knew the history
of this w^oodlot asserted that 75 per cent, of the wood had
grown in the past 22 years. That is, the lot was cut over
22 years ago and the greater part removed. According to
these estimates, $3,704 of timber grew on the 35 acres in 22
years. This is $106 per acre or $4.82 per acre per year.
This land would not sell for over $15 per acre.

These examples are fairly typical of southern New York
woodlots. Neither of them received any care. If the diseased
trees and weed trees had been cut and the woodlot looked after
as a farm crop, the income would have been much greater.

These profits are based on what is made when lumber is
sold, but the chief use of a woodlot is to supply posts and
lumber for farm purposes. If lumber and posts have to be
purchased, they usually cost much more than is received for
those that are sold. So that the profits will be much greater
than those given above.

Suggestions on the care of woodlots. The first thing to
consider in the management of a woodlot is to decide where one
is wanted. There are some areas of land now in woodlots
that are so rich and valuable that it may be best to cut the



80 THE FARMER'S WOODLOT

wood and use the land for pasture and later clear it. On
other farms there is cleared land that is of little value and that
had best be set to trees. On still other farms the woodlot
is already in the right place. If it has been decided that a
woodlot is desired in a certain place, this area should be
devoted to woods. It should not be pastured. If it is needed
for pasture it will pay better to devote half of it to pasture
and half to woods. The pasture part will then be gradually
cleared, leaving only enough trees for shade. Half the area
devoted entirely to woods will probably grow as much wood
as the entire area will if pastured. It is poor economy to
try to grow trees and grass on the same land.

After the area to be devoted to woods has been determined,
the woods should be looked on as a regular farm crop. The
dead trees, the ill shaped trees, and the undesirable kinds
should be cut. The open spaces should be planted with good
kinds of trees. Nearly all of this work can be done in winter
or at other times when little or no work would otherwise be
done. The planting can be done very rapidly and at small
cost.

White pine, chestnut, and black locust are the most de-
sirable trees to plant. White pine will grow well in most of
southern New York. Chestnut is particularly adapted to the
poor soils. Black locust is good for posts. It is sometimes
attacked by borers. It may not be quite so good for the poorer
land as chestnut. The State encourages this planting by
furnishing trees at cost. Directions for planting are sent with
the trees. For these trees address the State Forester, Albany,
N. Y.

When the woodlot is cut the young trees should be saved
so far as possible, and those that are not of fair size should
be left for future years.



HAULING FROM FARMS TO SHIPPING POINTS

[Ax example of the economic problem of place-value is found in the
location of farms relative to the shipping points on railroads or on
navigable waters. The Bureau of Statistics of the U. S. Department
of Agriculture, in Bulletin 49, issued in 1907, published the results
of an in<pilry in which replies were received from correspondents in
nearly two thousand counties. Most of the explanation of the methods
used in the calculations, and most of the detailed tables may be
omitted, but the following extracts give the main results of the in-
quiry.]

Rates of hiring and actual costs. The price for hiring a
team, wagon, and driver for one day in a given community is
taken, in this investigation, as the cost of hauling in that
community — the cost to the farmer to perform that service for
himself. It is known that farmers in the United States usually
do their own hauling, and in many parts of the country the
practice prevails of exchanging services, so that a number of
men may on one day haul enough of one man's produce to load
a railway freight car, and on another day they perform the
same service for a second member of the group, continuing this
until all members have been helped; but, as a general fact,
it is rare that a farmer hires his produce hauled to a shipping-
point or local market, and in many communities the practice
is unknown.

In a few parts of the wheat regions of the Mississippi
Valley farmers hire their grain hauled at certain rates per
Ijushel; and professional "freighters" are important aids to
the farmers and grazers between the eastern slope of the
Iiocky Mountains and the Pacific coast. This region is one
of great distances, and it does not pay all of the producers
to keep enough horses, wagons, and drivers to move their

G 81



82 HAULING FROM FARMS

wool, cotton, or other surplus over the long distances of 50,
75, 100, and even 150 miles from the ranch to the "local"
shipping point or market. The "freighter" will take the
produce for a moderate charge, and on his return trip will
bring merchants' goods and farm supplies from the distant
railroad station.

Conditions affecting actual cost. Hauling in most cases
may be regarded as a secondary employment for the horses,
wagons, and drivers of the farm, the chief duties of the
men with their teams being on farms themselves. . . . But the
price paid for hiring may be regarded, generally, as subject
to competition and, hence, tending to equal a sum which will
just cover the actual cost of performing the service and allow
a fair profit in addition. The actual cost to a farmer of
performing the service of hauling for himself may in certain
instances be less than the cost of hiring, and in other cases
it may be more. The hauling may be done when no other
farm work is pressing and when teams and wagons would
have no other employment. One-half the cost of hauling may
be saved when it is practicable to take full loads on the re-
turn trips. Sometimes farmers haul produce to market and
return with loads of fertilizer, coal, or other goods. These
back loads, however, may be regarded as rather exceptional,
and their influence upon the average cost per load of produce
hauled from the farm, as computed in the following tables,
is not known to be important.

On the other hand the farmer's expense of hauling may
be increased on account of bad roads; he may be compelled
to deliver his product at the local shipping point when prices
are low or wait for a better market and run the risk of hav-
ing to haul over rough roads with more horses to the wagon
and a much lighter load. Some persons prefer to sell at
a lower price than to wait for a better market and incur the
expense of hauling under difficulties which may amount to
double or even four times the normal cost.

Taking into consideration the low and the high costs of



HAULING FROM FARMS



83



hauling, it does not appear that the average cost is not about
the usual price for hiring in that community. . . ,

Values of products and costs of hauling. The average
costs per 100 pounds for hauling products from farms to
shipping points vary in a number of instances roughly with
the relative values of the articles hauled, the more valuable
product being hauled often at greater cost than the less valu-
able product. Corn, wheat, oats, hay, and potatoes were



TABLE 1.-



-AVERAGE COSTS OF HAtrLING PRODUCTS FROM FARMS TO SHIPPING
POINTS: TOTALS FOB STATES REPRESENTED.



Product hauled.



Apples

Barley

Beans

Buckwheat

Corn

Cotton

Cottonseed

Flaxseed

Fruit (other than

apples)

Hay

Hemp a

Hogs (live)

Hops

Oats

Peanuts

Potatoes

Rice

Rye

Timothy seed c . . .

Tobacco

Vegetables (other

than potatoes) .

Wheat

Wool



o tu

2 s ft






Average—




5.5
.2 ftfl




C d ■


u
ft


ft -S
MO S




33

draft


q2'.S


PM.a.2


6a


00

O.H ft


114


9.6


0.9


2,300


$2.79


$0.12


226


8.8


.7


3,970


2.67


.07


22


9.0


.8


3,172


2.75


.09


8


8.2


.8


2,438


2.90


.11


981


7.4


.6


2,696


1.78


.07


555


11.8


1.0


1,702


2.76


.16


110


10.7


.9


1,654


2.42


.15


51


10.4


.7


3,409


2.70


.08


99


11.6


1.1


2,181


3.53


.16


761


8.3


.7


2,786


2.32


.08


7


5.2


.7


3,393


2.10


.06


316


7.9


.7


h 1,941


2.00


6.10


14


11.7


1.0


3,665


3.89


.11


798


7.3


.6


2,772


1.82


.07


19


8.1


.6


1,363


1.67


.12


569


8.2


.7


2,679


2.34


.09


18


7.5


.8


2,407


2.70


.11


78


8.4


.7


2,625


2.23


.08


5


8.0


.8


2,410


1.92


.08


113


9.8


.8


2,248


2.28


.10


152


9.8


.9


1,852


2.84


.15


1,051


9.4


.8


3,323


2.86


.09


41


39.8


5.6


4,869


21.39


.44



$0.25
.16
.20

.27
.19
.27
.28
.15

.28
.19
.23
&.25
.19
.19
.30
.22
.29
.19
.20
.20

.31
.19

.22



a Kentucky only, h Average for six States only, c Iowa only.

hauled at costs ranging from 7 to 9 cents per 100 pounds,
cotton 16 cents, and wool 44 cents per 100 pounds. Tobacco
and hogs, however, cost only 10 cents per 100 pounds to be
hauled from farms. The difference in cost of hauling be-
tween one product and another is largely due to the relative
distance traversed and the relative size of load taken. It



84 HAULING FROM FARMS

will pay to produce cotton farther away from local shipping
points than grain, and 150 miles is not too far to haul wool
from ranches to railroad stations. Hogs being produced gen-
erally where grain is also a surplus crop, the prevailing dis-
tances and methods of hauling for the cheaper products would
affect the cost of hauling the higher-priced commodity.

Hauling cotton and wool. [Of the detailed comment
(Bulletin, pages 14-34) upon the various crops in the different
States, only a part regarding cotton and wool is here given.]
... As in the case of nearly all other farm products, cotton
is generally hauled to local shipping points by the farmers
themselves, and hiring such work done is the exception. Ow-
ing to its high value, cotton may be transported profitably in
much smaller loads and for longer distances than a less valu-
able article, as grain or hay. It is noted that the average
load of cotton weighs about one-half as much as the average
load of wheat in the United States, but a load of cotton, at
prices prevailing in October, 1906, was worth more than four
average loads of wheat.

For the United States the average cost of hauling cotton
from farms to shipping points is about 80 cents per bale, and-
the average load is a fraction more than three bales. One-
horse carts and wagons and ox carts are found more service-
able in hauling the main crops in the cotton region than in
the grain country, and their use helps to account for the
small average loads. It is of interest to see that one of the
smallest average loads of cotton for any State or Territory
is in Florida, where about one-half the crop consists of Sea
Island cotton, a variety much more valuable than the rest
of the cotton produced in the United States. . . .

The average cost of hauling wool to shipping points is high
on account of the great distances traversed, the average
for the United States being 39.8 miles, and the distance in at
least one county whose returns enter into the averages was
150 miles. Hauling over these long routes is usually done
by freight wagons, owned and driven by persons other than



HAULING FROM FARMS 85

the producers of the wool, and the rates actually paid for
hauling are used in these instances as the cost of wagon trans-
portation from farm or ranch to shipping point. The large
number of actual rates paid entering into the average cost of
hauling wool in the United States makes this figure (44 cents
per 100 pounds) appear to be one of the most accurate of the
average costs determined.

The value of an average load of wool ranges from $500
to $900 and allows for a high cost to get it to the shipping
point, and even the cost of 71 cents per 100 pounds for the
county reported in Arizona and the five counties in Oregon
is not too large in proportion to the value of the load. . . .

The farmers' longest hauls. The conditions of hauling
from farms over the longest routes reported for each product
are given in Tables 23 to 40.^ While there may be longer
hauls for farming communities in the United States in the
cases of some or all tlie crops mentioned in these tables, the
instances as reported here serve to illustrate extreme costs
of wagon transportation. It is not to be supposed that all or
any considerable number of these great costs of hauling per-
mit the products in question to be sold profitably at prices
which would prevail in a large commercial center.

Potatoes hauled 70 miles over Colorado roads at a cost of
84 cents per bushel, as given in Table 23, could be sold
only at some local market where prices were far above those
in most parts of the United States; and the corn, rye, and
vegetables carried over the Georgia mountains from the ex-
treme northern part of the State down to Gainesville, a dis-
tance of some 60 miles, do not represent a considerable por-
tion of the general supply of those products in Georgia, and
their extensive production under such great costs of delivery
is out of question.

By taking on the same load with grain or vegetables a con-
siderable amount of poultry, eggs, and butter, a farmer can

1 rOnly Tablo 23 is hero reprodnoed, in wiiich is indicated the one
longest haul reported for each ot the i tops lucurioned. — Ed. J



86



HAULING FROM FARMS



make his long trip to town pay, so that the total cost of haul-
ing the load falls but slightly upon the less valuable part
of it. A half-ton load of produce taken from farm to local
market or shipping point at a cost of $16 might easily con-
tain, in addition to several bushels of grain or potatoes, enough
poultry, butter, and eggs to make the total value of the load
from $30 to $50.

TABLE 23. — COSTS OF HAULING PEODTJCTS IN THE UNITED STATES FROM
MOST REMOTE FARMS TO SHIPPING POINTS, AS REPORTED.



Product hauled.



Apples

Barley

Com

Cotton

Cottonseed

Flaxseed

Fruit (other than

apples)

Hay

Hogs (live)

Oats

Potatoes

Rice

Rye

Tobacco

Vegetables (other

than potatoes) . .

Wheat

Wool



State or Terri-
' tory reporting

most remote

farms.



Arkansas . . . .
New Mexico . . .

Georgia

Texas

Alabama

South Dakota.
Utah



New Mexico . . .

Texas

Utah

Colorado

Louisiana ....

Georgia

North Carolina



Georgia
Utah . .
Oregon



o M


h




h










1^ OQ p.






P.

° ^


50.0


4.5


2.000


$12.38


57.5


4.0


2,000


22.00


60.0


8.0


1,000


16.00


110.0


8.0


3,000


24.00


50.0


3.0


1,000


7.50


50.0


2.5


2,500


15.00


52.5


4.5


3,000


13.50


80.0


5.0


2.000


15.00


31.5


3.0


(a)


7.50


100.0


14.0


7,000


35.00


70.0


7.0


2,500


35.00


22.5


2.0


2,000


8.00


60.0


8.0


1,000


16.00


50.0


4.0


1,600


8.00


60.0


8.0


1,000


16.00


100.0


14.0


7,000


35.00


165.0


24.5


7,000


61.25



$0.62
1.10
1.60
.80
.75
.60
.45

.75
(a)

.50
1.40

.40
1.60

.50

1.60
.50
.88



a Not reported.



Methods of hauling. In the North Central States much
of the grain hauled from farms is taken in bulk, and the size
of load is determined by the capacity of the wagon box. Ad-
ditional sides and end pieces are put on when it is desired to
haul larger loads, especially when such a light grain as oats
is taken. When a farmer intends to load a car with grain,
and it is necessary to haul from ten to twenty wagonloads
within a day or so, he often will be helped by a number of
neighbors. He in turn will aid them when they haul.



HAULING FROM FARMS 87

It is a common practice to haul wheat and other small grain
direct from thrasher to ear. The grain is loaded as rapidly
as thrashed and each wagon in turn is driven to the shipping
point, where a wagon dump is often used for unloading the
grain. This dump is a platform, on which a loaded wagon
is driven, the end gate of the wagon box removed, and the
parts of the platform upon which the hind wheels of the wagon
rest are lowered so that the grain falls into a space below.
It may be received into a bin under the platform for tem-
porary storage, or may be conveyed immediately by mechanical
means to cars or up to bins in an elevator.

Corn also, in some places, is handled in a similar way, the
wagons receiving their loads from the machine on the farm
as the corn is being shelled.

The use of large wagons with broad tires and teams of
four, five, and six horses enables farmers of certain parts
of the United States, notably in the hill country of Mary-
land and the adjoining counties in Pennsylvania, to carry
their products to shipping points and local markets in loads
of two or more tons each. Since one of these large wagons
holds at least twice as much as an average two-horse wagon,
one driver performs with the larger outfit twice as much serv-
ice as he can with the smaller one. Where wages are high
the economy in the use of the four-horse wagon is consider-
able. . . .

The general use in the far West of regular freight wagons
owned and driven by persons other than the owner of the
products carried has already been mentioned. ... In order
that one driver may take charge of a large amount of freight,
two or more wagons are often coupled together and the en-
tire train is drawn by a number of horses, mules, or ponies.
The loads taken by a freight wagon, with its trailers, are
said to weigh at times as much as seven tons, and as many as
twelve or fourteen horses are sometimes used in one team.
Since the freight wagon carries goods also on its return trip,



88 HAULING FROM FARMS

its earnings do not depend solely upon hauling farm prod-
ucts. . . .

Total costs of hauling done in 1905-6. The quantity of
all farm products hauled to shipping points in the United
States in a given time is not to be obtained with much accur-
acy from present sources of information, but for twelve crops
the quantity hauled from farms may be estimated approxi-
mately. . . . The total weight of twelve products hauled from
farms ... is about 43,000,000 tons, and the total cost of
hauling this amount was $73,000,000. The average cost per
ton was $1.80.

The weight of wheat and corn hauled from farms in 1905-6
was 31,000,000 tons, while cotton and nine other surplus prod-
ucts weighed altogether only 12,000,000 tons. The heaviest
crop, and the one costing most to haul to shipping points, was
corn, and next in order was wheat. The barley crop, less an
allowance for seed retained, was heavier than the cotton crop,
but cost about one-half as much to haul to shipping points.

The relatively low price of corn made it cost 9.6 cents to
market a dollar's worth of this grain, while a dollar's worth
of wheat was taken to shipping points for 7.2 cents, a dollar's
worth of cotton for 1.4 cents, and a dollar's worth of tobacco
was hauled for as little as 1.2 cents.

The high rate per 100 pounds (44 cents) for hauling wool
amounted to only 2.7 per cent, of the value of the article as
given in the Twelfth Census. The average cost of hauling
from farms to shipping points for the twelve articles men-
tioned was 5.2 per cent of their value. . , .

As this bulletin treats only of hauling from farms to ship-
ping points, the quantity of wheat hauled to local mills for
grinding is not included in the total of 24,246,000,000 pounds
as given. The entire wheat crop of 1905 amounted to 692,-
979,489 bushels. Allowing li^ bushels per acre for seed, the
quantity used on the 47,305,829 acres sown in the fall of 1905
and spring of 1906 would equal 71,000,000 bushels. This
amount together with the quantity shipped out of county



HAULING FROM FARMS 89

where grown being; subtracted from the total crop, there re-
mains about 6,500,000 tons of wheat, which may be taken as
approxnnalely the quantity hauled from farms for the use
of local mills. With this home-ground wheat added to the
total weight of traffic as given above, the sum would be over
49,000,000 tons. And the cost of hauling this wheat to local
mills, if computed at the same rate as the cost of hauling
to shipping points, would amount to $11,700,000. This,
added to the total cost of hauling to shipping points as given
al)ove, would equal $33,521,000 for wheat and $84,684,000
for all crops mentioned.

Value of better facilities. The cost of wagon transporta-
tion would be lowered if the size of load were increased, or
the time of round trip shortened, or if both these changes were
effected; and either of them could be brought about in many



Online LibraryFrank Albert FetterSource book in economics, selected and ed. for the use of college classes → online text (page 7 of 30)