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Supplement to Commerce Reports, 1918

Supplement to Commerce Reports, 1918

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Excerpt from Supplement to Commerce Reports, 1918: Daily Consular and Trade Reports Issued by the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, Department of Commerce

The acreage under wheat showed an increase. Barley and oats were grown more extensively, the former showing an increase of 128,500 acres, and the latter one of 173,000 acres; the area under oats was the largest recorded since 1904. Of the pulse crops, beans were reduced by 25,000 acres and peas increased by 18,000 acres. The area under potatoes showed an increase of 80,000 acres, or nearly one-fifth, and was about 10 per cent greater than the highest acreage previously recorded. There was an increase of 34,000 acres in the area under turnips and swedes; the area under mangolds increased by nearly 11,000 acres. The area of clover and rotation grasses was 90,000 acres less than in 1910, nearly all the reduction being in that, reserved for hay; in all the hay area was reduced by nearly 180,000 acres.

From an agricultural point of view the year was characterized by the large number of orders and regulations issued by the various Government departments, with the object of increasing production, controlling supplies, and keeping down prices. One of the most important regulations was that under which the various county war agricultural committees were given power to enforce the proper cultivation of land and to take over a farm from the owner if in their opinion he was unable to work it properly. These committees were also given power to enforce the plowing of grass land as part of a scheme to increase the area under grain crops by 3,000,000 acres for the harvest of 1918. In connection with this
Few legislative measures were introduced during the past year, although many of the earlier restrictions and prohibitions were extended or rendered more stringent. The list of goods of which exportation and importation are prohibited was added to. and the efforts made to prevent trading with the enemy subjects at home and abroad were more drastic. Numerous orders were issued with a view to extending the Government's control over trade, production, and resources of the country, many of which related to metals and machinery. The excess-profits duty was raised from 60 per cent to 80 per cent. The Government placed under control a large number of commodities. Everything wholly and partly made of steel was brought under the restrictions of the steel permits; but afterwards it was made permissible to sell tools up to $5 in value to one person in a single transaction, and the supply of garden tools was insured by the creation of the agricultural machinery branch of the Ministry of Munitions at the beginning of the year. A sufficient amount of steel was also freed to maintain the supply of edge tools and the continuity of manufacture in the agricultural implement trade. Throughout the year the restrictions on the use of gasoline were tightened from time to time.

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