The Political Parties of To-Day: A Study in Republican and Democratic Politics

By Arthur N. Holcombe | Go to book overview

APPENDIX B
THE AGRICULTURAL REGIONS1

"The United States may be divided into an eastern and a western half, characterized, broadly speaking, one by a sufficient and the other by an insufficient amount of rainfall for the successful production of crops by ordinary farming methods. The North Pacific coast and several districts in California and in the northern Rocky Mountain region constitute exceptions to this statement. The transition zone which separates the East from the West lies, in general, along the one hundredth meridian, the average annual precipitation increasing in this zone from about 15 inches at the Canadian boundary to 25 inches in southern Texas, where the evaporation is much greater and the rainfall more torrential. The East is a region of humid climate farming, based upon titled crops, small grains, and tame hay and pasture; the West, of wild hay and grazing, dry farming, winter crops in certain localities, and irrigation farming, with only limited areas of ordinary farming under humid conditions such as characterize the East.

"The East and West may each be divided into six agricultural regions. In the East, precipitation being usually sufficient, the classification is based largely on temperature and the crops grown, while in the West rainfall and topography are the important factors. In the East the agricultural regions extend for the most part east and west, following parallels of latitude; while in the West the regions are determined by the mountain ranges and extend north and south. Agriculture in the East varies primarily with latitude and soils, but in the West the principal factors are attitude and rainfall. The average elevation of the eastern half of the United States is less than 1,000 feet; that of the western half, over 4,000 feet.

"In the East corn is the leading crop, constituting over onequarter of the acreage and nearly 30 per cent of the value of all crops. It is grown in all the six eastern regions, but is dominant

____________________
1
United States Department of Agriculture, Yearbook 1921, pp. 413-415.

-389-

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