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     About twelve bushels per acre. Extensive establishments for the manufacture of oil and oil cake from flax seed have long been in existence at Omaha and other points in the State.

     Buckwheat, sorghum, broom corn, tobacco, beans, etc., are cultivated to a more or less extent, and all do finely.

     Potatoes, onions, beets, cabbage, melons, and in fact, all of the root crops and garden vegetables produce abundantly and attain a great size and excellence. The yield of potatoes generally ranges from one to three hundred bushels per acre.

     Hops grow luxuriantly and are a sure and remunerative crop. They are also found in the wild state growing in profusion on many of the streams, and are said to equal the best cultivated ones.


     Much attention has been given in the past several years to fruit culture, and the question as to the adaptability of Nebraska soil to fruit growing is no longer a matter of doubt.

     The hundreds of thrifty young orchards throughout the eastern portion fully attest this fact. The apple, pear, plum, grape, cherry, and the berries are now successfully and profitably produced. The cultivation of the apple has met with marked success. Fine, heavy-bearing orchards of this excellent fruit, embracing all the choice and delicate varieties, are numerous in almost all of the older settled Counties, and some of them already afford a handsome return.

     Pears grow to great perfection. The trees are very productive, and the fruit highly flavored.

     The cultivation of the peach has not met with the same success which has attended the cultivation of the apple and pear, although there are quite a number of fine peach orchards growing in the State, especially in the southeastern portion, which bear more or less fruit every year, and at least one year in three the yield is very large. The peaches thus far grown are usually of extra size, finely flavored, and rich in all the valuable properties of this delicious fruit. No doubt in process of time, as timber becomes more plentiful in the State - as it soon will be, in the eastern portions especially, thus affording better protection to the orchards - the peach will also be profitably raised.



     The cultivation of the grape has been attended with remarkable success. The soil is naturally adapted to its growth, and it flourishes and does well almost anywhere. Many farmers have made a specialty of grape culture, and have fine, prolific vineyards. The grapes are very rich and finely flavored, and are equal, if not superior to those of California.

     At the annual meeting of the American Pomological Society, convened at Richmond, Virginia, in September, 1871, Nebraska exhibited 146 varieties of apples, fifteen of peaches, thirteen of pears, one of plums, and one of grapes, and was awarded the first premium of $100 for the best collection of different species of fruit. A similar success has since been achieved for Nebraska fruit at each annual meeting of this Society.

     There are a number of flourishing nurseries in the State, some of which are exceptionably large and fine, and the business is rapidly growing in proportions by the constantly increasing demand for fruit and shade trees, shrubbery and evergreens.



     Probably no State in the Northwest is better supplied with wild fruits than Nebraska:

     The plum grows in great profusion, along almost all the watercourses, and on the outskirts of the timber belts. The bushes are from six to twelve feet high, and when in bloom the thickets present a vast sea of white flowers, whose fragrance is wafted on the breezes a long distance.

     There is an endless variety of plums, ranging in size from half an inch to an inch in diameter, and of various colors, from almost white to many shades of yellow, and red tinged with blue. They are finely flavored, and make most excellent preserves and table-sauce. Delicious as some of these wild plums are, their size and flavor are much improved by cultivation and pruning. It is easy to produce an early and fruitful growth from the seed.

     The sand-hill cherry, so famous on our western plains, is really, botanically, a dwarf plum. It grows in thick clusters on a shrub from one to two feet in height, and is found over the greater part of the western half of the State, on the sand-hills and very sandy land. It is a prolific fruit, about the size of the domestic cherry, and is very finely flavored.



     Choke cherries are also abundant. They grow on a small shrub or bush from four to eight feet high, and are much used for making jelly and in pastries.

     The Buffalo berry is found along the banks of the Missouri, Platte, Elkhorn and Loup Rivers, and their tributaries, in the northern part of the State, and on the Republican, Nemahas and Blues, and some of their tributaries in the southern part. The Buffalo tree is usually from eight to twelve feet in height, and rather scrubby, the branches rusty white and quite thorny, with numerous small, thorn-like limbs. The leaves are oblong and silvery white in color. The berry grows in bunches in the forks of the branches, close to the main stern, and is about the size of a currant, round, red-colored, and slightly tartish. It ripens in early autumn, and if not disturbed hangs until winter. Wherever this berry becomes known it is at once a favorite, and is highly prized for the manufacture of jellies and canning.

     Gooseberries of the largest and finest qualities grow in great abundance all over the State. There is scarcely a brook but what has a plentiful growth of this delicious fruit along its banks, and in the timber adjacent. There are four varieties of this berry growing wild. They are easily domesticated, and grow wherever set out without any difficulty, their qualities being much improved by cultivation.

     Currants, of two species, abound mostly in the western portion of the State, but are not plentiful. The fruit is much like the black currant of the garden.

     Strawberries are abundant in the eastern portion of the State, but scarce in the western portion. They grow in the valleys, on the sides of the hills, and near the timber belts, and are almost equal to the tame strawberry in size and flavor.

     Black raspberries are plentiful, in the eastern Counties especially. These berries are very large and fine, and are among the choicest of the wild fruits. Large quantities are gathered annually and marketed, and put up in cans for winter use. They bear profusely, and are found on the wood and brush land, and on the banks of streams.

     Blackberries are plentiful in the southeastern portion of the State, and rather scarce in other sections.



     The grape is the most abundant of all the wild fruit. It is hardy and very prolific, and a failure of the crop is an unheard of thing. It is found in great profusion along the Missouri and almost all the other water-courses. Some of the timber belts are almost impassable from the number and length of the vines, which form a complete net work from tree to tree, in many instances climbing to the very tops, and when the fruit is ripe the tree will be black from the ground to the top. In other places the vines run over the tops of the brush for many rods, and frequently straggling vines are found far out on the prairies. Where deprived of any other support they creep along the ground over the weeds and grass. There are several varieties of these grapes; some ripen in the summer, others in the fall, frequently not until after frost. There are large quantities of this fruit gathered, canned and dried for winter use. In many places along the Missouri and other large streams, they are gathered by the wagon loads and made into native wines, which is used at home and sold abroad.


     One of the most important industries of this country is that of stock raising and sheep husbandry, and the State of Nebraska, and more especially its northwestern and western portions, is fairly entitled to the first position among the Western States and Territories as a stock producing and a stock sustaining region. Its vast prairies; abundant, luxuriant and nutritious grasses; its rivers, creeks, and springs of clear and sparkling waters; and still more, its uniform and delightful climate, in which the rounding season gives not only a simple promise, but the full protection of a genial clime - these are a few of the more substantial reasons why Nebraska excels all other Western States in the profitable industries referred to. While it is true, that almost every County in the State is adapted to these industries, as before stated, it is in the western sections where a wider range, and larger opportunities are offered for prosecuting the business successfully that stock men must look as the future great grazing fields of the Continent.

     Less than twenty years ago, a very large per cent. of the herds



and flocks shipped to the seaboard markets, were the products of the States lying east of the Mississippi River; Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and Michigan, being the chief sources of supply. As those States became more densely populated, and the lands divided up into smaller farms, stock raising was crowded westward where wider and more profitable ranges were offered; hence Iowa, Eastern Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, and the Territories, from 1862 until the present time, have been the chief source of supply. But as these sections of country, like those to the East of the Mississippi, became more densely settled, cattle raising has been forced still further west, to more extended fields. As in all other industries, men engaged in stock raising and sheep husbandry, will naturally seek such sections of country as offer the largest advantages in the way of economical production. These advantages are in a great measure confined to such sections of country as require the smallest expense in winter feeding. There are but two species of natural grass upon which stock can be successfully pastured during the more inclement season of the year; - the Buffalo grass of western Nebraska, and the Musquite, or bunch grass, as it is known here, of Texas and New Mexico - these retain a large portion of their nutritious properties during the winter months, and it is on these that flocks and herds can be successfully pastured the year round. In the way of water and marketing facilities, Nebraska affords advantages for stock raising not found even in Texas, a State that produces more meat cattle than any other five States of the Union. Then again, the present grazing fields of Texas are largely adapted to the culture of cotton and grain, and it is only a question of time when they will be more exclusively employed in the cultivation of those products. In Nebraska, however, that vast section of country west of the 100th meridian, embracing nearly one-half of the State, also portions of Colorado, Dakota and Wyoming, are non-productive grain sections; and yet, producing as they do, an abundance of Buffalo grass, they offer advantages not to be found elsewhere, for stock raising, including cattle, sheep and horses. It has been contended in some quarters that these grazing fields are too far north to be economically employed in raising cattle; that the per cent. of loss during the winter seasons would



prove so alarmingly large as to discourage the industry. The past ten years' experience, however, have proved all such predictions to be entirely groundless, as the average loss of cattle from inclement weather and other causes, has been much less north of the thirty-eighth parallel of latitude during the past few years than it has south. This is especially the case in the losses suffered in Texas, as compared with those in Western Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado.

     It is to the grazing fields of Western Nebraska that the attention of stock growers is especially directed at the present time. They have discovered the almost immeasurable advantages it offers over other sections of the country.

     To note the progress made in the industry of stock raising in this State during the past ten years is truly marvelous. On ranges employed for that purpose, the grasses support the stock the year through, hence the cost of raising a steer of 1,200 pounds, so far as the feed is concerned, is less than that of raising a yearling calf in the Eastern States.

     While Western Nebraska offers almost unlimited facilities for stock raising, the industry is by no means confined to that part of the State, as it is most extensively carried on in nearly all of the eastern and middle Counties, and large droves of the better grades of beef cattle, hogs and sheep are annually shipped to the East from the older settled portions of the State. On many of the larger farms one can see thoroughbred bulls, and droves of from twenty to one hundred head of cattle, either mixed or graded. In fact, many of the farmers have made fine stock breeding a specialty and have met with uniform success. A large number of fine blooded stallions and Kentucky jacks have been introduced, as also the Norman breed of horses, which have greatly improved the size and class of the draught horses. The fine appearance of the horses and graded stock is a subject of remark by strangers while passing through the State or visiting at the Agricultural Fairs.

     Sheep raising throughout the eastern Counties receives a large share of attention, and is attended with very favorable results. The winters are so short and dry, and the green feeding so plentiful during the greater portion of the year, that sheep raising is rapidly becoming a prominent industry. The sheep are remarkably free



from the diseases so common among them in the older States. The flocks now in the eastern and western portions of the State are numbered by the thousands. The breeds are being constantly improved by the introduction of the best blooded animals, and the result is that Nebraska wool ranks very high in the market.



     In a great corn producing State like this, where it can be profitably raised and readily bought at from fifteen to twenty-five cents per bushel, and where the price of pork ranges, from three to four and one-half cents per pound, hog raising must necessarily yield handsome returns. This industry is increasing so rapidly that in a few years more Nebraska must be ranked among the greatest of the pork-producing States. During the years of the grasshopper invasion, 1874-75, a check was given to the hog crop, especially in the western Counties. In these years the corn was almost entirely destroyed, and farmers having none to feed their bogs they were obliged either to kill or sell them. However, the abundant crops of the succeeding years have given a new impetus to hog raising, and immense numbers of these animals are now shipped to the Eastern markets, while the extensive pork packing establishments at home furnish a ready market for tens of thousands more.

     But, as before stated, it is in the unorganized and unsettled territory in the western part of the State that the great stock region is to be found. Here the land costs the ranchman nothing for its use, and the expense required for buildings and herding is so trifling when compared with that attending the business further east, where the cost of land and winter feeding is a great item, and all other expenses proportionately high, that it enables the western stockmen to successfully compete in the markets with the higher grade stock of the East. The ranche buildings are generally rude and inexpensive, consisting of corrals, hay-covered sheds and a cheap house for the use of the herders, and men employed in marking, branding and shipping the stock. Hay is put up at an expense of $1.00 a ton. Many of the ranches are so admirably located, with a broad stream circling around on one side, and deep-cut canons on the other, as to require only a few rods of fencing to complete an enclosure of thousands of acres; others again, are on peninsulas at the junction



of two streams, the open ends only requiring a fence, thus making the task of herding very light. The most advantageous and desirable locations have been pretty generally taken, although thousands of choice sites yet remain where stock raising could be carried on with convenience and profit, especially in the Niobrara country. The amount of stock on the plains is increasing very rapidly, and new herds are being started each year. Thousands upon thousands of Texas and Cherokee cows and heifers are annually driven to these ranches and bred to fine blooded bulls, which are carefully selected from the best stock farms of Kentucky, Missouri and other Eastern States, and Canada. The stock is thus being constantly improved, and commands in the markets very nearly as much as the native cattle of the East.

     A number of the leading and most successful stockmen of today are old plainsmen, who have grown up to the business, and are conversant with its every detail; men of ability and energy who, from a very small beginning, have seen their herds increase to, thousands of head. The profits attending the business, when judiciously and understandingly handled, are usually from forty to sixty per cent. above all expenses; therefore it will be seen that stock raising, notwithstanding the losses that occur from mismanagement and other causes, is a profitable business, although requiring a large capital, great care and attention.

     For the purpose of better showing the profits of stock raising we append the following:

     Estimate for a herd of 6,000 Texas cattle, to be bought there, say in April, 1878, and driven to the western plains of Nebraska, with the result of the investment, under good management and ordinary success, at the end of three years and a half, allowing for an annual loss through death or straying, of three per cent., and assuming that eighty per cent of the cows will have calves that mature.

1,000 Beef steers, 4 years old and upwards, at $20 each.

$ 20,000

1,000 Three-year-old steers, at $15 each


1,000 Two-year-old steers, at $11 each


1,000 Cows at $15 each


1,000 Two-year-old heifers at $10.50 each


1,000 Yearling heifers at $7 each


$ 78,500




Wages of drovers, provisions, etc., including all inci-

   dental expenses in bringing herd from Texas - four

   months' time - at the rate of $1.50 per head

$ 9,000

Eight months' expenses on range, herding, branding,

   etc., at the rate of $1.50 per head per year


Thirty horses bought in Texas, at $40 each, and kept for

   herding on range


Mower, hay-rake, wagon, plow, saddles, ranche build-

   ings, etc


100 bulls, fair to fine grades, bought in the North, at

   an average price of $50 each



Interest at 10 per cent. for one year


Amount of investment at the end of one year


Expenses six months' herding, etc., to Oct. 1, 1879


Interest half year, at 10 per cent



October 1, 1879, net returns for sale of 2,465 beef

   steers, averaging 1,100 pounds each. at 3¢

   per pound


200 old cows, averaging 900 pounds each, at 3¢

   per pound



$ 34,288


Beef steers




Heifers, two-year-olds







OCTOBER 1, 1880.

Expenses one year

$ 7,039

One year's interest at 10 per cent


Bought 50 bulls, at $50 each


$ 13,671



388 beef steers, averaging 1,100 pounds each, at

   3¢ per pound


400 old cows, averaging 900 pounds each, at 3¢

   per pound



Net capital account





Cows (926 last year's two-year-olds)









OCTOBER 1, 1881

Expenses one year


One year's interest at 10 per cent


$ 12,145



500 old cows, averaging 900 pounds each, at 3¢ per lb


Net capital account



30 horses, worth at least $30 each

$ 900

Wagons, mower, hay rake, plows, saddles, ranche

   buildings, etc



1,619 cows, valued at $27 each


719 two-year-old heifers, valued at $16 each


719 two-year-old steers, valued at $16 each


1,003 yearling steers, valued at $10 each


1,003 yearling heifers, valued at $10 each


1,695 calves, valued at $5 each


150 bulls, valued at $50 each



Deduct outstanding capital account


Balance to profit, exclusive of 10 per cent. interest

$ 81,656

     This makes an admirable exhibit and will be encouraging to those who think of investing their money in cattle; but to succeed one must have patience, shrewdness and self-reliance, with any amount of energy and capacity.

     The plains of Nebraska have been the natural grazing grounds through untold ages of millions of buffalo and other grass-feeding animals, and they are rapidly becoming the great meat producing lands of the nation. In a few years it will be a difficult matter to find a vacant range in the State suitable or capable of sustaining 5,000 head of cattle. The rivers and creeks are all being rapidly taken up by small herders or branches of large herds.

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