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The Outlook in French Agriculture

    Naturevolume 100page426 (1918) | Download Citation



    THE Revue Scientifique for September 22 contains a report on the position and prospects of French agriculture presented by M. Louis Mangin, of the Academic, des Sciences, to the National Council of the Ligue Francaise on behalf of the Committee on Economic Organisation of that body. The position revealed is far from reassuring. Wheat production has fallen to barely 70 per cent, of the prewar crop, potatoes to 80 per cent., wine to 65 per cent., and sugar-beet to little more than 30 per cent. The situation as regards live stock shows the same disquietipg features. Practically 20 per cent, of the pre-war head of cattle fell into the hands of the enemy, and ill-devised measures taken to secure the meat supply in the early days of the war further seriously accentuated the shrinkage. Although the cattle position from the point of view of numbers has since been substantially improved, the proportion of young stock is so great that substantial relief of the meat stringency cannot be expected from home resources for a considerable time. The decline in numbers of sheep which had set in long before the war has been greatly accentuated. Pigs also show a decline of 38 per cent, since the end of 1913. No reference is made to the position as regards milk production. A survey of the forest area completes the tale of depleted resources, something like one-eighth of this area having been already denuded, with but little provision for its replacement.

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