CORN AND THE STRUGGLE FOR DEMOCRACY.
a vital part in the European conflict. In response to widespread appeals,
the acreage in 1917 was increased more than 10 per cent compared with 1916
and approximated 117,000,000 acres. The crop of 3,065,000,000 bushels was
next to the largest ever harvested. If this crop had been loaded on wagons,
each containing 50 bushels and allowing 20 feet of space for each wagon,
these wagons placed end to end would make a line long enough to encircle the
globe 9-1/2 times.
The importance of corn in the agriculture of the United States is
well shown by the fact that in the decade 1908 to 1917 the acreage devoted
to corn in this country was 4.8 per cent greater than the combined acreage
of the crops of wheat, oats, barley, rye, rice, buckwheat, and flax. The
value of the corn crop for the same period was 24.3 per cent more than the
combined values of these crops. During the same decade, the number of acres
in corn was 18.7 per cent in excess of that for the previous decade. A
growing increase in the price per bushel for corn is indicated by the fact
that the value of the crop was about 100 per cent greater in the past decade
than in the previous one.
In many forms, corn is becoming more and more popular as a human
food. It is the main cereal food of the cotton belt. Considering the food
value of crops grown on an acre of land, corn heads the list, a 35-bushel
crop producing nearly 150 pounds of protein and more than 3,000,000 units of
Valuable, even in the remote past, as a sustainer of life among
primitive peoples in peace and war, the importance of corn in the world's
affairs becomes more and more manifest with each decade of time. Moving
westward and northward as its merits became better recognized, its growth in
production is closely associated with the building of canals, railroads, our
national highways, and our commercial supremacy. Because of the manifold
uses of every part of the plant, the production of corn in closely linked
with the development and perpetuation of many great industries. Because of
its wonderful adaptation to conditions, it is now grown with success in
every State of the Nation, from sea level to lofty plateaus. In acreage, in
multiplicity of uses, in production, and in value it exceeds any other
cultivated crop. A corn-crop failure of any extent affects our supply of
meat, lard, butter, and imports and exports. Its use as a substitute for
wheat made it possible to release exceptionally large shipments of wheat to
Europe, to supply the Allies and our own armies.
Having served a useful purpose in the early days of our country's
history, corn is still indispensable in the development and perpetuation of
our great Republic.