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AGRICULTURAL COMPETITION. The Royal Agricultural Society, in the last issue of their journal, take a decidedly hope- ful view of the prospects of farming. Mr Bear commences his article on The Future of Agricultural Competition by a half apology for the cheerful tone in which he approaches the subject, so different from that in which we usually hear it discussed. The views of most agriculturists are limited to their own horizon they feel the pinch of foreign competition they hear exaggerated accounts of the capabilities of new lands, and treat with impatience the statements of statis- ticians, that economic laws must ere long prove favourable to them. Mr Bear shows us that the tide has already turned, though its influence has not as yet been fully felt. Stores of corn, the result of abnormally pro- ductive harvests, and of a disproportionate area of land under cultivation, aided by ex- tremely low shipping rates, have enabled the foreign exporter to carry on his business under exceptionally favourable circumstances, such as are hardly likely to occur again to the detri- ment of English farmers. Taking wheat as t5 Z5 the great staple which influences the price of all grain, statistics of the various corn growing countries show us that in the United States. Canada, and Australasia, the wheat acreage 0 increased enormously during the ten years m ending 1880. Then, the low price prevailing n Z) began to tell. Farmers in these countries found wheat growing unremunerative, and notwithstanding the great increase of popula- tion and the quantity of new land taken up, the area under wheat remained almost sta- tionary during the next decade. It may be asked why, under these circumstances, the price of wheat has ruled so low? Mr Dear explains that until 1886 the increase of popu- lation had not overtaken the excess of wheat production, and that since that date pheno- menally abundant harvests of enabled stocks of grain to be accumulated in exporting coun- tries, in addition to the amount requited for immediatc consumption. Reserve stocks of grain have during the past year been reduced to a minimum, and we have abundant evidence that not only has the cultivation of wheat at present prices proved unremunerative to the foreign grower, but that something very like distress has overtaken the American farmer, while in Australia colonists are devot- ing more of their attention to cattle and the cultivation of vines and of such more paying crops. The evidence of Mr Wood Davis, an eminent American agriculturist and statisti- cian, goes to prove that the days of cheap corn are drawing to a close, and that ere long America will have to cease her exportations if she does not even have to import for her own consumption. This seems somewhat incredi- ble, but it must be borne in mind that vast as is the area of America and of Australia, climatic influences prevail over a great extent which prevent or render extremely risky the cultivation of wheat. As regards meat, there has been a great depression in the cattle trade of America, which has enabled shippers to inundate us with cheap meat but even under these circumstances American papers report heavy losses, and sometimes declared that the export trade of the season, as a whole, has been done at a loss. The balance sheet of one givat company for seven months ending September, 1890, shows a loss of over 16,000 attributed to the unremunerative returns of the trade with England." Mr Bear gives us very clear grounds for the hopeful view he takes of agricultural prospects, which, we trust, may be realised in the near future.