THE PASTORAL INDUSTRY IN ARGENTINA.
Reverting to the resources of Argentina as set forth in the Argentine Year Book for 1903, we find that the average feeding capacity per hectare <2i acres) in the provinces of Buenos Aires, 'Entre Rios, parts of Santa Fe, and the southern districts of Cordoba is estimated at 3 to 12 sheep, or 4 to 2 cows, while the territories of Pampa, Santa 'Cruz, Rio Negro, Neuquen, and Chubut are estimated at 1 to 3 sheep per hectare. In the provinces of Mendoza, San Juan, SalU, and Jujuy the live stock is raised and fattened on irrigated alfalfa (lucerne) fields, which support from 3 to 6 breeding cows, or from 2 to 3 fattening steers per hectare.* The typical Argentine "estancia," or slock farm is a tract of land varying in size from 3000 to 700,000 acres, the average being about 25,000 acres. The properties are fenced and divided into paddocks ranging from 200 to 300 acres, and if there are no running streams, wells and watering troughs are provided. Sheep are kept in flocks of 1500 to 2000, and are shepherded by men (who are paid a monthly wage, or 25, 30, 40 or 50 per cent, of the flock's production), living with their families in houses generally built on the boundary or division lines of the property. All breeding estancias keep cattle, sheep, and horses, there being hardly any place where one kind of stock is exclusively kept, but no sheep and very few horses are kept at" eatancias where the fattening of steers it the principal' object. When dairying forms part of the work ofa breeding or fattening estancia, milch cows are kept in herds of 150 to 250 by dairymtn, who had charge of the care and milking qt , j,sach herd, and get 40 to 60' per cent, of the profits obtained Sn the sale of milk or cream to the batter factories, or wholesale or retail sellers of dairy products. When agriculture is combined with animal industry it is generally carried on by, families who obtain 150, 200, or 300 acres of land, and are supplied with ploughs, harrows, etc., and the necessary horses and bullocks to work them, and get half the crop for 2, 3, or 5 years, the reaping l and threshing expenses being divided.
The prevailing conditions' under which, persons with small * capital usually commence pastoral farming are that the owner of the land provides a horse, pens, troughs, the necessary land to carry stock,- and 800 sheep. The shepherd buys another 809 sheep, and takes charge of the whole flock and provides his own food, but kills old ewes and inferior sheep from the flock for meat. Whatever the flock produces is equally divided between the landlord and the shepherd, after deducting the shearing and dipping expenses, which are advanced by the land owner. The shepherd is allowed to grow whatever he requires for his own use, and to keep poultry, milch cows, and bees, and to plant fruit trees. Contracts of this nature are generally made for three years. -At the end of every year the produce of wool, sheep, and skins sold is divided, and the increase toeing
shared at the end of the contract, th"H
shepherd may either take his capital in sheep, or renew the contract if both parties are agreeable. With a capital of £228, and with sheep clipping 541b to 61b of wool, the shepherd's part of the net annual prctfit may be estimated at £90 o? £110—without counting what he could make out of butter, cheese, poultry, honey, etc., or—if his family is capable of minding his flock—from cattle work at neignbouring farms, which is paid at the rate of 4s or more per day.
It will be seen from what we have said in this and a previous article, that the man with a small capital has an opportunity of getting a living in the Argentine, either by cropping, dairying, or raising sheep, but unless he has sufficient means to purchase his land, there docs not seem a chance of securing a permanent heme. There is, therefore, not much inducement for Englishmen with small means to go to the Argentine; if they desire to go abroad and settle, they are more likely to choose Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, where the life would be more settled even if the earnings were not always as large. It is doubtful, too, whether the Argentine dairymen could make as much in the year as those in New Zealand, for*-while the land and cows are much cheaper in the former country, the yield of milk, except on specially good or irrigated country, cannot equal that on the dairy farms in New Zealand. The advantages of living in a land under a British form of government, where life and property are both held in
proper regard, must also weigh Tery heavily with <Englishmen in making their choice of a new home.