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feet or more.

In a few instances the subsoil is underlain by quicksand at a depth of 30 inches.

The soil produces good crops of wheat, oats, corn, and hay. In adaptation this type is an excellent grain and grass soil.

The muck consists of vegetable matter, more or less thoroughly decomposed, mixed with a very small proportion of very fine sand and clay. It is of a dark-brown or black color and has a depth of 40 inches or more, except in a few narrow strips along the edges, where the soil is from 15 to 40 inches deep, underlain by a subsoil of fine sand or clay. In many places the muck is from 6 to 10 feet deep.

It occupies the level low-lying land along the small slow-moving streams and the inclosed depressed areas between the hills and ridges, where drainage outlets are insufficient or altogether lacking.

On account of its position the soil has scarcely any drainage. Before it can be cultivated it is necessary in every case to cut ditches through the areas sufficiently deep to collect and hold, even if they can not rapidly remove, the water drawn from the upper part of the soil. Fortunately the nature of the soil is such that ditches are easily constructed and are of considerable permanence.

The muck soil is due to lack of drainage. The soil is formed through the filling in of ponds or shallow lakes by the accumulation of decayed vegetation, particularly the remains of tules, flags, and other water-loving, plants. The soil is therefore rich in nitrogen, to such an extent even as to make it profitable to add it to the hill soils, commonly deficient in organic matter.

About two-thirds of the area of muck is under cultivation and produces large crops. The remainder is covered with a growth of trees or thick grass and is too wet for farming. The area unreclaimed, when cleared, ditched, and exposed to the sun, can be cropped profitably. The yield of onions from this soil ranges from 150 to 700 bushels per acre, with the average yield not far from 400 bushels. Potatoes grow very large, but they are apt to be hollow or to be attacked by black heart. The keeping quality is also poor. Some celery is also grown with fair results.

In this area the muck is especially adapted to onions and celery, and its cultivation can be most profitably carried on if exclusive attention be given to the production of these crops.

The following table, compiled from the records of the Weather Bureau station at Lyons,

shows the normal monthly and annual temperature and rainfall, based on observations covering a period of eleven years.

An examination of this table shows that the rainfall is fairly uniformly distributed throughout the year, the greatest amount of precipitation, however, occurring during May, June, July, and August.

Mean monthly and annual temperature and precipitation.

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AGRICULTURAL CONDITIONS. The size of the farms owned by immigrants varies according to the kind of farming in which they are engaged. The average size, including both truck and general farms, is 32 acres.

The truck farms average 74 acres, while the farms where general crops are raised average 57 acres.

The crops raised by Italian settlers are as follows: Corn, oats, wheat, hay, buckwheat, onions, potatoes, celery, willow, sugar beets, carrots, peas, cucumbers, cabbage, beans, strawberries, raspberries, apples, cherries.

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The approximate production per acre of the various crops as compared with that of neighboring native farmers is hard to estimate fairly, as the Italian farmer has usually started with an inferior grade of land and has had to contend with conditions which the native is not forced to meet. From observation and in interviews with those in a position to know the following conclusions have been reached:

On the small farm of from 5 to 10 acres the Italian secures better results, while the native does better on a larger acreage. On the small farm the crops raised are onions, carrots, potatoes, celery, berries, and fruit. The Italian has been familiar with this system of farming in Italy, and on account of the crowded conditions there has learned to utilize every inch of soil that is available for cultivation. Moreover, these crops require constant care and are cultivated by hand. The Italian, with the aid of his large family, can give them minute attention and by his tireless industry is enabled to keep a small acreage in prime condition with small cash expenditure. On the other hand, natives in the locality under discussion pay little attention to raising small crops and do not give them the time and attention necessary. Besides, it is only in rare instances that the wives and younger children of Americans assist on the farm. The Italian thus secures reliable labor for nothing, while the American farmer has to pay for help not nearly so efficient. Thus by constant work and by experience gained on small farms in Italy the Italian can produce better crops and more to the acre than the American.

On the larger farms there is no doubt that the American farmer secures far better results than the Italian. The crops raised on larger farms are corn, wheat, oats, hay, and other staples. The South Italian is not familiar with the raising and cultivation of these crops, and as methods of production are entirely different from those employed in raising fruits and vegetables the immigrant does not enjoy the success of the American. It is stated that the Italian shows poor judgment in seeding and fertilizing land and seems to have no idea in regard to proper rotation of crops; moreover, he is unfamiliar with the use of the heavier farm machinery required. He also seems averse to hiring the labor necessary to the proper cultivation of a large farm, and tries to produce too great a diversity of crops.

For example, on a farm of 125 acres the American will raise wheat, oats, corn, and hay, while the Italian will have a smaller acreage of these staples and will devote the rest of his farm to potatoes, beans, onions, carrots, etc. On a large acreage it is impossible for him to give each field the care and attention necessary, the consequence being that all his crops suffer, and his production per acre falls short of the neighboring American farmer with fewer crops and better farm management.

The condition of the small farm owned by Italians is usually better than that owned by the native. More care is given to the thorough preparation of the soil, and all weeds and brush are kept down. On muck land, where draining is necessary, the Italian is more careful of his ditching, and the land is usually more thoroughly drained. The conditions of larger farms owned by Italians and Americans are about the same in regard to keeping up of fences, clearing land, removing weeds, and improving the general appearance.

Italian settlers have introduced the raising of garden truck, which was new to the locality, but have made no improvements in methods

of cultivation, fertilizing land, machinery or tools used, or standards of living

The American farmer keeps more live stock than the Italian, and in all cases is more successful as a dairyman. It is stated that the Italian shows poor judgment in the raising and care of live stock, particularly in regard to horses. Farmers who have had experience with immigrant labor say that an American can get twice the work out of a team of horses than an Italian can and still keep the team in far better condition. This is accounted for on the theory that because the Italian in his own country has never had to use horses in farming, he has had little experience in handling them.

Italian truck farmers of Clyde and Lyons keep few cows, as their farms are usually small, and all land being under cultivation there is no room for pasture. Those engaged in general farming own a few cows, but have shown no remarkable success in marketing dairy products. None of the immigrant farmers have entered the poultry business to any great extent. All raise a few chickens, ducks, and geese, but market very little poultry and raise it principally for their own use.

In raising vegetables very little machinery is used, and most of the cultivating is done by hand or with light garden plows and cultivators. On the larger farms, where wheat, corn, oats, and hay are raised, heavier machinery is employed. It is stated that although the Italian is not as well versed in the use of this machinery as the American, he takes good care of it and when not in use always keeps it under shelter, while the American farmer often leaves his implements in the fields exposed to the weather. The Italian shows care in inclosing his land, and his fences are always well built and substantial. In the quality of the crops raised dealers say that they can see no difference between those produced by immigrants and those produced by natives and that they are unable to form an opinion as to which is of superior quality.

On Italian farms all the women of the family assist with the farm work and perform the same field tasks as the men. In some instances, where the farm is very small, consisting of only 1 or 2 acres, the wife does all the farm work while the husband is working on the railroad or is employed by some neighboring farmer.

As previously stated, 14 farms owned or operated by South Italians were studied in detail by agents of the Commission. Of the 13 farms purchased, 7 were untillable at the time of purchase. These farms, in some instances, were entirely uncleared and undrained and in others had suffered from lack of cultivation or neglect and demanded much clearing and ditching before a crop could be produced. On 6 farms three-fourths or more of the total acreage was tillable at the time of purchase by the present Italian owners.

The average size of the untillable farms was 37.79 acres. One farm had less than 5 acres, two between 5 and 10 acres, one between 20 and 40 acres, two between 40 and 80 acres, and one had 120 acres or over. The tillable farms average 19.83 acres in size, one being under 5 acres, two between 5 and 10 acres, one between 10 and 20 acres, one between 20 and 40 acres, and one was between 40 and 80 acres in size. One of the 14 farmers rented a farm of 60 acres, all tillable, before purchasing. Three-fourths or more of the total acreage of 14

farms is now tillable, showing that the 7 who acquired untillable land now have their farms in a cultivable condition.

Beans, buckwheat, celery, peas, and willow were each grown on only 1 farm, and ranged in value per farm from $20 for buckwheat to $350 for willow. Strawberries were produced on 2 farms, with

an average of 4,350 quarts per farm at an average valuation of $294. Three farmers were apple producers and sold an average of 207 barrels, worth $429. On 5 farms carrots were grown, averaging 166 bushels, worth $56 per farm. Six farmers raised oats, averaging 61 bushels per farm, worth $29, and 6 also grow wheat, the production being 101 bushels per farm, worth $69. On 8 farms corn, hay, and potatoes are grown, the corn averaging 153 bushels per farm, valued at $73; the hay grown per farm being 23 tons, valued at $218, and potatoes yielded 254 bushels, worth $166 per farm. Eleven farmers were onion growers, producing 665 bushels per farm, valued at $316. It is seen that onions, corn, hay, potatoes, wheat, and oats are considered the most important crops and are more generally grown than any others.

Ten of the farmers reported owning one or more horses, the total number of horses owned being 24, with an average value per head of $91. Nine farmers owned cows, but the total number owned on the 14 farms was only 30 with an average value per head of $39. Six farmers reported owning swine, 3 having from 2 to 3 swine, 3 from 4 to 6. The total number owned was 22 and the average value per head was $9.

PROPERTY OWNED. Property owned by Italian settlers consists of dwellings and stores in Lyons and Clyde and farms in the surrounding country. Most of the property which has been owned for a number of years is fully paid for.

Debts owed by immigrants consist of unpaid balances on farms or money owed for seed, fertilizer, or machinery. It is generally stated that immigrants meet payments on land promptly upon maturity and debts for supplies, etc., are always paid in the fall when the crops are sold. The 14 farms previously considered average about 40 acres each, and the averge value of each is about $3,200, or $80 per acre.

Italians have invested most of their savings either in farms or houses, and a few have gone into business with the money made on farms. During the past year (1909), as nearly as can be ascertained, about $8,000 was sent abroad. Of this amount, $6,385 went through the post-offices at Lyons and Clyde and the rest was sent through other channels. This money was forwarded in small amounts, and was sent either to bring over friends and relatives or to support families still in Italy.

The table next presented shows the value of property brought in by immigrants and net value of property now owned and number of years since first lease or purchase of the 14 heads of families

. reporting, 1 had no property when he came to the locality, 3 had under $50, 2 had between $50 and $100, 1 brought between $100 and $250, 3 had between $250 and $500, 3 had between $500 and $1,000, and '1 had property valued at between $1,000 and $1,500. Four heads of families have owned or leased farms between one and five years, 4 between five and ten years, 3 between ten and fifteen years, and 3 between fifteen and twenty years.

The net value of property now owned by 14 Italian settlers is as follows: One farmer has property valued at between $1,000 and $1,500, 7 have between $1,500 and $2,500, 3 have property worth between $2,500 and $5,000, and 3 are worth $5,000 or over.

It will be interesting to compare the value of property now owned by immigrants with the value of property brought to the locality and to consider in this connection the number of years since the first lease or purchase. One immigrant who had no property upon coming to the settlement, after a residence of between ten and fifteen years, has property valued at over $5,000. Of the 3 farmers who brought under $50 to the locality, 1 has owned or leased property between one and five years, 1 between ten and fifteen years, and 1 between fifteen and twenty years. At the present time 2 of these 3 farmers own property worth between $1,500 and $2,500, and 1 between $2,500 and $5,000. Of the 2 who brought between $50 and $100 to the locality, one has between $1,000 and $1,500 and the other between $1,500 and $2,500 after farming between one and five years and five and ten years, respectively. One man who brought between $100 and $250, after farming between five and ten years, now owns property the net value of which is between $1,500 and $2,500. Three bringing between $250 and $500 now have between $1,500 and $2,500, and $2,500 and $5,000, and over $5,000. Two of these 3 farmers have been farming for between five and ten years and 1 between fifteen and twenty years. Of the 3 Italians who brought between $500 and $1,000 to the locality, 2 have property with a net value of between $1,500 and $2,500, and 1 with $5,000 or

Two of these 3 farmers have been farming in the locality between one and five years and 1 between fifteen and twenty years. One Italian brought between $1,000 and $1,500 and after farming for between ten and fifteen years now has property the net valuation of which is between $2,500 and $5,000. A study of the table shows that each of the 14 Italian farmers has greatly increased his capital since engaging in farming.

TabLE 36.- Value of property brought to Lyons and Clyde by South Italians, net value

of property now owner, and number of years since firet leuse or purchase.

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