In the prefecture of Hyogo, with 596 square miles of farm land, as compared with Rhode Island’s 712 square miles, Hyogo farmers produced in 1906, on 265,040 acres, 10,584,000 bushels of rice worth $16,191,400, securing an average yield of almost forty bushels per acre and a gross return of $61 for the grain alone. In addition to this, these farmers grew on the same land, the same season, at least one other crop. Where this was barley the average yield exceeded twenty-six bushels per acre, worth $17.
In connection with their farm duties these Japanese families manufactured, from a portion of their rice straw, at night and during the leisure hours of winter, 8,980,000 pieces of matting and netting of different kinds having a market value of $262,000; 4,838,000 bags worth $185,000; 8,742,000 slippers worth $34,000; 6,254,000 sandals worth $30,000; and miscellaneous articles worth $64,000. This is a gross earning of more than $21,000,000 from eleven and a half townships of farm land and the labor of the farmers’ families, an average earning of, $80 per acre on nearly three-fourths of the farm land of this prefecture. At this rate three of the four forties of our 160-acre farms should bring a gross annual income of $9,600 and the fourth forty should pay the expenses.
At the Nara Experiment Station we were informed that the money value of a good crop of rice in that prefecture should be placed at ninety dollars per acre for the grain and eight dollars for the unmanufactured straw; thirty-six dollars per acre for the crop of naked barley and two dollars per acre for the straw. The farmers here practice a rotation of rice and barley covering four or five years, followed by a summer crop of melons, worth $320 per acre and some other vegetable instead of the rice on the fifth or sixth year, worth eighty yen per tan, or $160 per acre. To secure green manure for fertilizing, soy beans are planted each year in the space between the rows of barley, the barley being planted in November. One week after the barley is harvested the soy beans, which produce a yield of 160 kan per tan, or 5290 pounds per acre, are turned under and the ground fitted for rice, At these rates the Nara farmers are producing on four-fifths or five-sixths of their rice lands a gross earning of $136 per acre annually, and on the other fifth or sixth, an earning of $480 per acre, not counting the annual crop of soy beans used in maintaining the nitrogen and organic matter in their soils, and not counting their earnings from home manufactures. Can the farmers of our south Atlantic and Gulf Coast states, which are in the same latitude, sometime attain to this standard? We see no reason why they should not, but only with the best of irrigation, fertilization and proper rotation, with multiple cropping.