By producing 240,000,000 bushels of winter wheat less in 1915 we have lost enough flour energy to support 10,000,000 people for one year. But as no man lives on bread alone, this shortage represents wheat sufficient for the needs of 20,000,000 men for a year.
The practicability of quickly drying vegetables for longer preservation was demonstrated on a large scale last year in western New York, where quantities were dried in the available apple evaporators and in rapidly constructed dry-kilns, for export as army supplies.
The importance to the nation of a generously adequate food supply for the coming year cannot be overemphasized, in view of the economic problems which may arise as a result of the entrance of the United States into the war.
Because of the shortage of such crops practically throughout the world, there is no risk in the near future of excessive production such as sometimes has resulted in unremunerative prices to producers.
Corn is the leading food and feed crop of the United States in geographic range of production, acreage, and quantity of product. The vital importance of a large acreage of this crop, properly cared for, therefore, is obvious.
The placing of too great emphasis on production in new regions is inadvisable, since the introduction into a farm operation of a crop not usually grown frequently involves practical difficulties not easily foreseen nor quickly surmountable.
The value of the beans for oil production, as well as for human food, has become recognized so quickly and so generally during the past year that the crop has acquired a commercial standing far in excess of its previous status.
With an abundance of oats and barley available, much closer milling of wheat than at present could be practiced, if necessary, without endangering the milk supply, which constitutes so important an element in the dietary of consumers.
The ease with which barley may be substituted directly for wheat in human food and its usefulness to replace wheat milling by-products as feed in the production of the milk supply render its abundant production important.