Copyright
Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station.

Bulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) online

. (page 26 of 77)
Online LibraryMassachusetts Agricultural Experiment StationBulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) → online text (page 26 of 77)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


tries at the present time. By combining and analyzing the data obtained from
the State Industrial Census of 1938 and from the special survey of local in-
dustries made in 1935, and the information supplied by industrial directories,
it has been possible to determine the number of industrial employees for all
rural towns in Massachusetts.

From the map indicating the number of industrial employees in towns below
10,000 population it appears that, out of a total of 273 towns, 89 or about one-
third have no industries at all. In 87 towns, or roughly another third, the number
of employees is below 100 in any one town. In the next group of 58 towns, the
number of industrial employees ranges from 100 to 500. The remaining 39 towns
have more than 500 industrial employees each. The full significance of these
data will appear later when they are discussed in connection with agricultural
land utilization and other important factors in rural communities.



30 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387



employees
none:

BELOW 100

100 -499

500 OR OVER



Map 3. Towns Below 10,000 Population Classified on the Basis of the Number of Employees

in the Town Industries



Table 9. — Group Averages for Towns Below 10,000 Population



Population per Square Mile, 1940

Percent of Total Area in Woodland, 1941

Percent of Total Area in Improved Land, 1935 .
Percent of Land Suitable for Agriculture, 1941 . .
Value of Farm Land and Buildings, per Acre, 1935

Size of Farms, Acres, 1935

Cows per Square Mile, 1940

Poultry per Square Mile, 1940

Percent of Farm Land Improved, 1935

Tax Rate, Towns Below 10,000 Population, 1940
Employees — Percent of 1940 Population



TOWN GROUPINGS ON THE BASIS OF MAJOR
FACTORS IN LAND UTILIZATION

In the preceding discussion general consideration has been given to several
important factors which have affected agricultural land utilization in Massachu-
setts over a period of years. The influence of some of these factors has been
naturally more important than that of others, depending on the period of time
and the character of individual sections. The areas so far considered have been
in terms of counties which in themselves contain a great variety of conditions.
This gives, therefore, only a partial picture since in Massachusetts even individual
towns present a wide variation, especially in the physical background found
within their limits.

In order to form an adequate picture of land utilization and to explain it in
terms definite enough to propose desirable adjustments in any particular com-



Group 1
Low


Group 2
Middle


Group 3
High


26.8


100.9


356.0


47.9


67.1


81.2


6.7


14.2


26.4


29.7


54.0


70.4


$37.38


$98.85


$284.57


34.3


64.8


135.7


6.1


18.3


35.8


71.5


289.9


911.8


21.8


33.0


50.5


$24.06


$31.68


$40.75


.7


4.8


19.0



LAND .USES 31

munity of the State, a detailed analysis of local conditions is of primary import-
ance. The land utilization survey throughout the State and the analysis of land
utilization factors, presented in considerable detail in a series of maps for in-
dividual towns, make it possible now to formulate local plans on a definite factual
basis. From the data obtained and from the examination of individual com-
munities, it is possible to fix broad classifications of the individual towns in rela-
tion to several important factors. These factors cover both vital features in
agricultural land utilization and pertinent social and economic influences operat-
ing in the communities. On this basis consideration is given by towns to the
proportion of woodland, the density of cow and poultry population, the average
size of farms, and the percentage of land suitable for agriculture.

From the economic and social point of view land values, density of population,
and the amount of industrial employment in various communities are taken into
account. For purposes of effective measurement of these characteristics and for
subsequent classification of the towns, all the communities in the State (excluding
the Island counties) with a population of less than 10,000 have been divided into
three groups, each containing the same number of units. The procedure followed
was, first to array the towns in ascending order in relation to each item under
consideration. In this manner the first group contains one-third of the towns
where a certain characteristic is least important, and the second and third groups
indicate in their respective order the increasing importance of the factor under
consideration. By observing the group into which the town falls in regard to
each particular item, it is possible to form a judgment as to the character of the
town and its relation to other towns. For instance, the standing of the town in
regard to the proportion of improved land, amount of woodland, and density of
cow and poultry population will indicate the extent of agricultural land utiliza-
tion and development in relation to other communities in the State. The relative
position of the town in regard to farm land values, if considered with other factors
such as location and proportion of iniproved land, will indicate the extent to which
other land uses exert their influence on agricultural land utilization. The intensity
of industrial employment indicates the extent to which additional sources of
income are available to the town and the amount of land associated with resi-
dential and part-time farming developments. The grouping of towns in regard
to each item under consideration is presented in a subsequent series of maps.



Land Suitability

Land suitability has been determined on the basis of soil and topography.
Areas classified as of good or medium quality for agricultural purposes have been
combined to form the total amount of land designated as suitable. This designa-
tion has no reference to the present use or cover. As a matter of fact, for reasons
already discussed in the first part of this report, much of the land suitable for
agricultural development and at one time actually used in farming is now devoted
to some other use, with most of it under wooded cover. This in itself would
prevent these areas from being immediately available for agriculture. However,
by comparing the groupings of towns on the basis of land suitability and the
amount of improved land it is possible to observe which towns, by virtue of his-
torical or other reasons, have lost their agricultural significance, even though
they may rank high on the basis of their physical background. Likewise there
are a few towns where a high degree of agricultural land utilization prevails in
spite of a rather limited amount of good land to justify such a condition. Never-
theless for the great majority of towns a high degree of coincidence between these
two factors will be easily observed.



32



MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387




Towns Below 10,000 Population Classified in Three Equal Groups

Man 4. On the Basis of the Percentage of Land Suitable for Agriculture
Map 5 On the Basis of Percentage of Total Land Area Improved
Map 6. On the Basis of Percentage of Farm Land Improved



LAND USES



33




Towns Below 10,000 Population Classified in Three Equal Groups

Map 7. On the Basis of Density of Cow Population

Map 8. On the Basis of Density of Poultry Population

Map 9. On the Basis of Percentage_of Total Area in Woodland



34 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387

Proportion of Improved Land

The proportion of improved land is considered both from the standpoint of
total town area and in relation to land in farms. Each indicates a different set
of circumstances. A high percentage of improved land in the total town area
denotes the agricultural character of the town as far as land utilization is con-
cerned. On the other hand, a high proportion of improved land in farms does not
necessarily point to the same position of the town in agricultural land utilization.
There are a number of towns of a residential and industrial character with only
a few farms but with most of the land on these farms being utilized for farming.

Classification on the basis of percentages of improved land in relation to total
town area indicates (Map 5) that the group of towns with the lowest proportion
of improved land is found in the hilly sections of the Berkshire area, in the northern
section of Worcester County with the adjoining towns of Franklin County, and in
the Cape Cod region. The proportion of improved area in this group of towns
ranges up to 10.6 percent. The small amount of land utilized for agricultural
purposes in these towns is due in most cases to the poor quality of the soil or rough
topography or both. In the eastern part of the State the primary cause is most"
often the use of land for purposes other than agriculture or forestry.

The second or intermediate group of towns has a range in proportion of im-
proved area from 10.6 to 18.6 percent; these towns are scattered in various sec-
tions of the State. The third group, with the highest percentage of improved
land, is represented largely by towns in the western part of Berkshire County, in
the Connecticut River Valley, in the southern part of Worcester County, and in
the northwestern portion of Middlesex County. Most of these towns have a
high degree of land suitability and are primarily agricultural in character.

In considering the grouping of towns on the basis of proportion of improved
land in farms it will be observed from the maps that there is substantial coinci-
dence with the groups based on the relation of improved lai;d to total town area.
There are, however, a number of exceptions, the most notable being the Cape
Cod area, where little land is in farms, but most of it is used with a fair degree of
intensity.

DENSITY OF COWS AND POULTRY

The amount of improved land indicates the degree of intensity to which the
land is being utilized for crops and improved pasture. Much of the agriculture
of Massachusetts, however, is carried on through the medium of imported feed
which enables some towns with a low degree of land utilization to maintain con-
siderable numbers of livestock and poultry. Maps 7 and 8 indicate respectively
the number of cows and poultry supported by the individual towns per square
mile of their territory.



Density of Cow Population

Dairying is the predominant type of agricultural enterprise in Massachusetts
and is found in all sections of the State. The major distinctions in the organiza-
tion of the dairy industry in Massachusetts, going from west to east, lie in the
smaller size of farms (Map 7), the declining proportion of pasture land, and the
amount of home-grown feed per head of livestock. In considering the grouping
of towns on the basis of the density of cow population it will be observed that the
greatest concentration is in towns where the proportion of improved land to the
total town area is the highest, or in other words, in towns which have already
been designated as agricultural on the basis of land utilization.



LAND USES 35

Density of Poultry Population

In regard to the importance of the poultry industry, the distribution of towns
presents a different picture with more emphasis on geographical location. The
greatest density of poultry population is found in the eastern part of the State.
It is lower in the central part and reaches the lowest level in the towns of Berk-
shire County. Unlike the situation with the dairy industry, poultry farming,
therefore, is largely located irrespective of the suitability of land for cultivation
or the proportion of improved land.

Proportion of Total Area in Woodland

In classifying the towns on the basis of the proportion of woodland, all the
areas under wooded cover have been included, whether in farms or not. As
already pointed out, trees are the major cover of land in the State and this is illus-
trated by the fact that in some cases the proportion of woodland exceeds 50
percent of the total area, even in the lowest third of towns. In general, the group-
ings of towns indicate an inverse ratio to the classification on the basis of im-
proved land. The towns with the highest proportion of improved land show the
smallest amount of woodland and vice versa.

The classification of towns on the basis of land suitability, amount of improved
land, and density of livestock population deals primarily with factors involved
in agricultural land utilization. In order, however, to grasp the full significance
of these factors and place them in proper relation to other types of land utiliza-
tion, it is necessary to take into consideration several major economic and social
developments which pertain to the character of the communities.

Density of Population

Coincident with the general decline in agricultural land utilization in a number
of Massachusetts communities, there occurred also a decrease in total population.
This took place primarily in towns where agriculture and small local industries
were the basis of the town's economic development. With the decline or disap-
pearance of these basic activities and no new enterprises to take their place, a
general decline set in with a crushing effect on the entire economic structure of
the community. In spite of the fact that the total population of Massachusetts
more than doubled in the period between 1880 and 1940, there are 101 towns in
the State where the population now is smaller than it was at the earlier date.
Most of these towns are located west of the Connecticut River Valley, with an
additional group in the eastern part of Franklin County and the western section
of Worcester Count}'. In the eastern part of the State the decline took place in
most of the towns of Cape Cod and the two Island' Counties.

In considering the three groups of towns segregated on the basis of density of
population, as presented on Map 10, it is easy to see that the group at the lower
level closely coincides with those towns experiencing a decline in agriculture
since 1880. The group with the highest density of population is mostly in the
eastern part of the State, although some towns belonging to this class are found
in the Connecticut River Valley and around industrial centers in other sections.



36



MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387



MASSACHUSETTS




POPULATION PEIR SQUARE Mil
2,.6 - 58.3
^ 59,6 - 156.4

■ 1566 -1.8350




Towns Below 10,000 Population Classified in Three Equal Groups

Map 10. On the Basis of Population Density ^ , „ , ».

Map 11. On the Basis of the Ratio of Those Employed in Industry to Total Population



Industrial Employment

It has already been pointed out that in the past there existed in Massachu-
setts a very close connection between agricultural land utilization and local
industries. Judging by the State Census of Massachusetts, in the middle of the
last century practically ever}' community had some industry giving full- or part-
time employment to a certain number of local people who ordinaril}' were also
engaged in farming. This well-balanced arrangement has been disturbed over a
period of time for a good many towns with the disappearance of local industries.
At the present time, 89 towns, or one-third of the total number with a population
of less than 10,000, have no industries at all. Only a small number of these towns



LAND USES 37

is in the eastern part of the State. Most of them are in the western areas where
the main reliance has always been on agricultural land utilization accompanied
by extensive areas of woodland. In the remaining 176 towns under 10,000 pop-
ulation where figures for industrial employment at the present time are available,
the group classified as the lowest third has so little in the way of industries that
it can be practically disregarded as a factor in industrial classification. In the
intermediate group the number of industrial employees ranges from 1.9 to 9.0
percent of the total population, with an average just under 5 percent. The
towns in this group are scattered throughout the State, although in most cases
they adjoin towns with the highest concentration of industrial employment.
This upper third group of towns is decidedly industrial in character and is con-
centrated mostly in the eastern and central parts of the State. From the stand-
point of land utilization the existence of established industries in these towns has
a definite significance by providing an additional source of income for the town
and b}' involving a certain amount of land use for residential, recreational, and
part-time farming purposes.



Land Values

The influence of various factors on land utilization in any community finds its
final expression in the prevailing values of land. While from the standpoint of
agriculture the value of land should be determined primarily by its productive
capacity, in many Massachusetts towns this condition obtains only to a limited
extent. In working out the map indicating the division of towns into three
groups, the average value of both land and buildings has been employed because
of the character of the information available by minor civil divisions. The
actual division is therefore on the average \'alue of farm real estate per acre of
farm land. In the lowest of the three groups the average value of farm land and
buildings per acre ranges from $9.05 to $63.62 with an average for the group of
$37.38. The map shows that these towns are located mostly in the western part
of the State. Inasmuch as this section is least subject to the influence of more
intensive land uses, the farm land values in this area come the nearest to being
based on the agricultural importance of the land. The supplementary land uses
in this area are largely forestry and less intensive types of recreational develop-
ments.

For all the towns in the intermediate group the average value of land and build-
ings rises to $98.85 per acre. While some of the towns in this group, as in the one
preceding, derive their land values solely on the basis of their agricultural impor-
tance, most of them, especially in the upper range, definitely show the influence
of more intensive uses. This follows both from their location and from the relative
density of the local population. The major concentration of the towns in this
group is in the western edge of the eastern third of the State and in the Connecticut
River Valley.

The third group of towns, with the highest land values, appears in the eastern
densely settled area of the State. The values here range from $146.28 to $1,910,
with an average for the group of $284.57 per acre. In these towns, agricultural
land utilization, with a few minor exceptions like cranberry bogs, is dependent,
from the standpoint of land values, upon more intensive uses present or antici-
pated. In these towns, the interdependence and interrelationship among
several major land uses is most apparent and effective. Agricultural land
use planning, therefore, can not be carried on adequately in these towns without
giving full recognition to the presence of residential, part-time farming, recrea-
tional, and industrial land uses. (Table 10)



38



MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387




Towns Below 10,000 Population Classified In Three Equal Groups

Map 12. On the Basis of Average Value of Land and Buildings per Acre of Farm Land

Map 13. On the Basis of Size of Farms

Map 14. On the Basis of the Tax Rate per $1,000 of Valuation



LAND USES



39



Table 10.



Relative Position of Towns Below 10,000 Population in
Three Groups for Eight Different Factors



1 — Percentage of land suitable for agriculture, 1941
2 — Percentage of total area in improved land, 1935
3 — Cows per square mile, 1940
4 — Poultry per square mile, 1940

5 — Percentage of total area in woodland, 1941 ^

6 — Population per square mile, 1940
7 — Employees — percentage of total population, 1940
8 — Value of farm land and buildings per acre, 1935
The towns are divided into three equal groups for each factor: 1 indicates the "low" group;

2, the "medium" group; and 3, the "high" group; in column 7 means that there were no industrial

employees in the town.



Town



12 3 4 5 6 7



Town



12 3 4 5 6 7 8



Barnstable County



1 1 1


3


2


1


2


1 1 1


3


2


1


2


1 1 1


3


1





3


1 1 2


2


2





3


1 1 1


3


2





3


1 1 1


1


1





2


2 1 1


3


2


1


3


1 1 1


3


2


1


3


1 1 1


3


1





3


1 1 3


3


2


1


3


1 1 1


1


3


2


3


1 1 1


3


1


1


7.


1 1 1


1


1





s


1 1 1


1


1


2


9


1 1 1


3


2


1


2



Barnstable 1

Bourne 1

Brewster 1

Chatham 1

Dennis 2

Eastham 2

Falmouth 2

Harwich 1

Mashpee 1

Orleans 1

Provincetown 1

Sandwich 2

Truro 1

Weimeet 1

Yarmouth 2



Berkshire County

Alford 3 3 3 1110 1

Becket 1 1 1 1 3 1 3 1

Cheshire 2 3 3 1 1 2 2 1

Clarksburg 1 1 3 3 3 2 3 1

Dalton 22212332

Egremont 3 3 3 1110^

Florida 11113 10,

Great Harrington. .2331222^

Hancock 1 2 2 1 3 1 f

Hinsdale 3 3 2 12 10^

1

Lanesborough 233 12 101

Lee 1 2 3 1 2 3 3 2

Lenox 3 3 2 1 1 2 3

Monterey 2 2 1 1 3 1 1

Mount Washington 11113101

New Ashford 11113101

New Marlborough 3 3 2 2 2 12 1

Otis 2 1113 12 1

Peru 2 1 1 1 3 1 1

Richmond 3 3 3 2 1 1 2

Sandisfield 12 12 3 10 1

Savoy 2 1 1 1 3 1 1

Sheffield 3 3 3 1 1 1 1

Stockbridge 33212213

Tyringham 12212111

Washington 11113 10 1

West Stockbridge. .23311121

Williamstown 3332 122 1

"Windsor 2 2 113 10 3



Bristol County

Acushnet 22332323

Berkley 2 2 2 3 1 2 2

Dartmouth 2 3 3 3 2 2 12

Dighton 22232232

Easton 21232323

Freetown 2 1 1 2 3 1 3 2

Mansfield 22233322

Norton 2 2 2 3 2 2 3 2

Raynham 22331222

Rehoboth 1 2 3 3 2 1 2 2

Seekonk 1 3 3 3 1 3 2 3

Somerset 2 3 3 3 1 3 1 3

Swansea 1 3 3 3 1 3 2 2

Westport 3 3 3 3 2 2 2



Essex County

Boxford 3 2 2 2

Essex 1 2 2 3

Georgetown 3 113

Groveland 3 3 2 3

Hamilton 2 2 12

Ipswich 12 2 1

Lynnfield 2 2 2 2

Manchester 1112

Merrimac 3 2 2 2

Middleton 2 2 3 3

Nahant 1111

Newbury 1 3 2 2

North Andover 3 2 3 1

Rockport 1 1 2 1

Rowley 112 2

Salisbury 12 2 2

Topsfield 3 3 3 1

Wenham 2 3 2 3

West Newbury .... 3 3 3 3



Franklin County

Ashfield 3 2 3 2 1 1 1 1

Bernardston 33322112

Buckland 2 3 3 2 2 2 1 1

Charlemont 2 2 2 2 3 1 1 1

Colrain 3 2 3 3 1 1 1 1

Conway 2 2 3 11111

Deerfield 3 3 3 112 12

Erving 11113 2 2 1



2


1





2


1


2





3


2


2


2


2




3


1


3




2





3




3


2


2




3


1


3




3


1


3




3


2


2




3


2


2




3





3




2


1


1


2


3


3


2


3


3


2


3


2


2


2


2


1


2


3


2


1


2


1


3


1


2





3


1


2





2



40



MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387



Table 10. — Rel.a.tive Position of Towns Below 10,000 Popul.\tion in
Three Groups for Eight Different Factors — continued

1 — Percentage of land suitable for agriculture, 1941
2 — Percentage of total area in improved land, 1935
3 — Cows per square mile, 1940
4 — Poultry per square mile. 1940
5 — Percentage of total area in woodland, 1941
6 — Population per square mile, 1940
7 — Employees — percentage of total population. 1940
8 — Value of farm land and buildings per acre, 1935
The towns are divided into three equal groups for each factor: 1 indicates the "low" group;

2, the "medium" group; and 3, the "high" group: Gin column 7 means that there were no industrial

employees in the town.



Town



12 3 4 5 6 7



Town



12 3 4 5 6 7



Franklin County — Cont.

Gill 3 3 3 2 1 2

Hawley 11113 1

Heath 3 3 2 1 3 1

Leverett 2 2 113 1

Leyden 3 2 3 1 1 1

Monroe 2 1 1 1 3 1

Montague 2 2 2 1 3 3

New Salem 1 1 1 1 2 1

Northfield 1 2 3 1 2 1

Orange 112 2 2 3

Rowe 11113 1

Shelburne 2 3 3 2 12

Shutesbury 3 1113 1

Sunderland 3 3 3 2 2 2

Warwick 2 1113 1

Wendell 2 1 1 1 3 1

Whately 3 3 3 2 11



Hampden County

Agawam 3 3 3 3 1 3

Blandford 11113 1

Brimfield 2 3 2 2 2 1

Chester 11113 1

East Longmeadow. 3 3 3 3 13

Granville 11113 1

Hampden 13 2 2 11

Holland 3 2 1 1 3 1

Longmeadow 2 2 1 2 1 3

Ludlow 1 3 3 2 1 3

Monson 1 2 2 2 2 2

Montgomery 112 13 1

Palmer 12 2 2 3 3

Russell 1 1 1 1 3 2

Southwick 3 2 3 2 2 1

Tolland 11113 1

Wales 3 1113 1

Wilbraham 3 3 2 2 2 2

Hampshire County

Amherst 3 3 3 3 1 3

Belchertown 2 3 3 2 2 2

Chesterfield 2 1113 1

Cummington 2 2 2 1 3 1

Goshen 3 2 2 1 3 I



Online LibraryMassachusetts Agricultural Experiment StationBulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) → online text (page 26 of 77)