64
HARVESTING.
On August 5, the flax having attained the proper stage for pulling, I employed
all the men and boys (some of them being Indiaus) I could procure to ‘* rush” the
pulling through as speedily as possible, giving them wages ranging from 18} cents
per hour for fullgrown men, 15 cents per hour for youths, and 5 cents per hour
for boys. As these were new hands and inexperienced in flax pulling, I had to
educate them on the subject, and naturally they did not accomplish as much at
first as after they had gained some experience. I commenced pulling on the 5th
of August with two men, on the 6th six more men and three boys came to pull,
and on the 7th ten more men and five boys came to work. During this time two
or three knocked off, others taking their places. Under this arrangement the
most feasible mode of keeping a record of the cost of pulling and other work was
to keep an account of the number of hours (regardless of the nuinber of hands) in
each stage of the work at the different rates of wages paid.
I started on lot 2, which took 152 hours to pull, tie, and stack 11 acres, at a
cost of $25.85, and for 1 acre it required 132 hours, at a cost of $20.68. Neither
boys nor Indians were placed on this lot, as they were employed in different por-
tions of lots 3 and 4. Having finished pulling lot 2, we passed on to lot 1, and by
this time, having gained some experience by practice, were able to pull lot 1 ina
shorter time and at less expense, although the crop was somewhat heavier than
lot 2.
Lot 1 being the same area (14 acres), was pulled in 78 hours, at a cost of $14.60,
or for 1 acre, requiring 62 hours, at a cost of $11.68. Tying the bundles on lot 1
consumed 20 hours’ work and cost $3.37; stacking cost 99 cents; for 1 acre tying
required 16 hours, at a cost of $2.70, and stacking 82 cents.
Lot 2 yielded 5 wagonloads of good quality straw with the seed on, which was
haaled into the barn at a cost of $2 for the 14 acres, or $1.60 for 1 acre, while lot 1
yielded 6 wagonloads of still finer straw and seed, and cost $2.40 to place in the
barn, or $1.92 for 1 acre.
The rippling and weighing of lots 1 and 2 were completed in the barn, and was
a Slow process, requiring the taking off the stack, untying the bundles, rippling
the seed, again tying the bundles, weighing in larger bundles with an ordinary
steelyard, and again stacking in the barn, and from time to time sacking up the
seed bolls for removal. For this work I had 4 men, working upon 2 ripples, and
1 man supplying straw for the ripples, tying bundles, weighing, and putting on
stack again. From careful timing of the ripplers for runs of 5 hours at a time,
and several times in succession, I found the average, with steady work, range
from 38 to 44 pounds of straw per hour per man, the difference depending upon
the toughness of the straw from sweating in the stack. The rippling and weigh-
ing of lot 1 required 152 hours, at a cost of $23.29, or for 1 acre 1134 hours, at a
cost of $18.63, and yielded 4,857 pounds of clean straw of fine quality and 23 bush-
els of clean seed of good quality, or for 1 acre 3,865 pounds of straw and over 17
bushels of seed, while lot 2 required 121 hours for rippling and weighing, at a cost
of $21.09, or for 1 acre 96 hours, costing $16.86. Yield for the lot was 4,447 pounds
of clean straw and 21 bushels of seed, or for 1 acre 3,557 pounds of straw and 16.8
bushels of seed. (See flax field, Plate IV.)
LARGE YIELDS OF SEED.
The yield of seed upon lots 1 and 2 has been very satisfactory, lot 1 yielding
at the rate of 17 bushels per acre, and lot 2 yielding 16.8 bushels per acre. Lots 1
and 2 yielded in the aggregate 44 bushels of seed, while lots 3 and 4 only yielded
103 bushels in the aggregate, thus illustrating to what a degree lots 3 and 4 fell
below a normal crop, owing to late sowing and dry season. This high yield of
seed on lots 1 and 2, under such adverse circumstances, establishes some .very
interesting and unexpected facts,