31: Agriculture and Minerals
<< 30: Population || 32: Industry and Commerce >>
Agriculture. - Notwithstanding the great industrial progress
made by Austria during the last quarter of the 19th century, agriculture still forms the
most important source of revenue of its inhabitants. In 1900 over 50 % of the total
population of Austria derived their income from agricultural pursuits. The soil is
generally fertile although there is a great difference in the productivity of the various
crown-lands owing to their geographical situation. The productive land of Austria covers
69,519,953 acres, or 93.8 % of the total area, which is 74,102,001 acres; to this must be
added 0.4 of lakes and fish-ponds, making a total of 94.2 % of productive area. The
remainder is unproductive, or used for other, not agricultural purposes. The area of the
productive land has been steadily increasing - it was estimated to cover about 89 % in
1875, - and great improvements in the agricultural methods have also been introduced. Of
the whole productive area of Austria, 37.6 % is laid out in arable land; 34.6 % in woods;
25.2 % in pastures and meadows; 1.3 % in gardens, 0.9 % in vineyards; and 0.4 % in lakes,
marshes and ponds. The provinces having the largest proportion of arable land are Bohemia,
Galicia, Moravia and Lower Austria. The principal products are wheat, rye, barley, oats,
maize, potatoes, sugar beet and cattle turnip. The produce of the ploughed land does not,
on the whole, suffice for the home requirements. Large quantities in particular' of wheat
and maize are imported from Hungary for home consumption. Only barley and oats are usually
reaped in quantity for export. The provinces which have the lowest proportion of arable
land are Tirol and Salzburg. Besides these principal crops, other crops of considerable
magnitude are: buckwheat in Styria, Galicia, Carniola and Carinthia; rape and rape-seed in
Bohemia and Galicia, poppy in Moravia and Silesia; flax in Bohemia, Moravia, Styria and
Galicia; hemp in Galicia, chicory in Bohemia; tobacco, which is a state monopoly, in
Galicia, Bukovina, Dalmatia and Tirol; fuller's thistle in Upper Austria and Styria; hops
in Bohemia, including the celebrated hops round Saaz, in Galicia and Moravia; rice in the
Küstenland; and cabbage in Bohemia, Galicia, Lower Austria and Styria. The principal
garden products are kitchen vegetables and fruit, of which large quantities are exported.
The best fruit districts are in Bohemia, Moravia, Upper Austria and Styria. Certain
districts are distinguished for particular kinds of fruit, as Tirol for apples, Bohemia
for plums, Dalmatia for figs, pomegranates and olives. The chestnut, olive and mulberry
trees are common in the south-chiefly in Dalmatia, the Küstenland and Tirol; while in the
south of Dalmatia the palm grows in the open air, but bears no fruit.
The vineyards of Austria covered in 1901 an area of 626,044 acres,
the provinces with the largest proportion of vineyards being Dalmatia, the Küstenland,
Lower Austria, Styria and Moravia. The wines of Dalmatia are mostly sweet wines, and not
suitable to be kept for long periods, while those of the other provinces are not so sweet,
but improve with age.
Forests. - The forests occupy just a little over one-third
of the whole productive area of Austria, and cover 24,157,709 acres. In the forests tall
timber predominates to the extent of 85 %, and consists of conifers much more than of
green or leaved trees, in the proportion of seventy against fifteen out of the 85 % of the
total forests laid out in tall timber. Exceptions are the forest lands of the Karst
region, where medium- sized trees and underwood occupy 80 %, and of Dalmatia, where
underwood occupies 92.6 % of the whole forest land. The Alpine region is well wooded, and
amongst the other provinces Bukovina is the most densely wooded, having 43.2 % of its area
under forests, while Galicia with 25.9 % is the most thinly wooded crown-land of Austria.
The forests are chiefly composed of oak, pine, beech, ash, elm and the like, and
constitute one of the great sources of wealth of the country. Forestry is carried on in a
thoroughly scientific manner. Large works of afforestation have been undertaken in
Carinthia, Carniola and Tirol with a view of checking the periodical inundations, while
similar works have been successfully carried out in the Karst region.
Landed Property. - Of the whole territory of the state,
74,102,001 acres, about 29 % is appropriated to large landed estates; 71 % is disposed of
in medium and smaller properties. Large landed property is most strongly represented in
Bukovina, where it absorbs 46 % of the whole territory, and in Salzburg, Galicia, Silesia
and Bohemia. To the state belongs 4 ½ % of the total territory. The Church the
communities, and the corporations are also in possession of large areas of land; 4 %
(speaking roundly) of the territory of Austria is held on the tenure of fidei-commissum.
Of the entire property in large landed estates, 59 % is laid out in woods; of the
property in fidei-commissum, 66 % is woodland; of the entire forest land, about 10
% is the property of the state, 14.5 % is communal property, and 3.8 % is the property of
the Church. The whole of the territory in large landed estates includes 52 % of the entire
forest land. The forest land held under fidei-commissum amounts to over 9 % of the entire
Live Stock. - Although richly endowed by nature, Austria
cannot be said to be remarkable as a cattle-rearing country. Indeed, except in certain
districts of the Alpine region, where this branch of human activity is carried on under
excellent conditions, there is much room for improvement. The amount of live stock is
registered every ten years along with the census of the population.
|Census of the Population.
|Mules and asses
Austria is distinguished for the number and superiority of its
horses, for the improvement of which numerous studs exist all over the country. All kinds
of horses are represented, from the heaviest to the lightest, from the largest to the
smallest. The most beautiful horses are found in Bukovina, the largest and strongest in
Salzburg; those of Styria, Carinthia, Northern Tirol and Upper Austria are also famous. In
Dalmatia, the Küstenland and Southern Tirol, horses are less numerous, and mules and
asses in a great measure take their place. The finest cattle are to be found in the Alpine
regions; of the Austrian provinces, Salzburg and Upper Austria contain the largest
proportion of cattle. The number of sheep has greatly diminished, but much has been done
in the way of improving the breeds, more particularly in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and
Upper and Lower Austria. The main object has been the improvement of the wool, and with
this object the merino and other fine-woolled breeds have been introduced. Goats abound
mostly in Dalmatia, Bohemia and Tirol. The rearing of pigs is carried on most largely in
Styria, Bohemia, Galicia and Upper and Lower Austria. Bees are extensively kept in
Carinthia, Carniola, Lower Austria and Galicia. The silk-worm is reared more particularly
in Southern Tirol and in the Küstenland, and the average annual yield is 5,000,000 lb of
cocoons. In the Alpine region dairy-farming has attained a great degree of development,
and large quantities of butter and cheese are annually produced. Altogether, the rearing
of cattle, with all its actual shortcomings, constitutes a great source of revenue, and
yields a certain amount for export.
Fisheries. - The fisheries of Austria are very extensive,
and are divided into river, lake and sea fisheries. The numerous rivers of Austria swarm
with a great variety of fishes. The lake fisheries are mostly pursued in Bohemia, where
pisciculture is an art of old standing, and largely developed. The sea-fisheries on the
coast of Dalmatia and of the Küstenland constitute an important source of wealth to the
inhabitants of these provinces. About 4000 vessels, with a number of over 16,000
fishermen, are employed, and the average annual catch realizes £240,000.
In the mountainous regions of Austria game is plentiful, and
constitutes a large source of income.
Minerals, - In the extent and variety of its mineral
resources Austria ranks among the first countries of Europe. With the exception of
platinum it possesses every useful metal thus, besides the noble metals, gold and silver,
it abounds in ores of more or less richness in iron, copper, lead and tin. Ritch deposits
of coal, both pit coal and brown coal, are to be found, as well as extensive basins of
petroleum, and large deposits of salt. In smaller quantities are found zinc, antimony,
arsenic, cobalt, nickel, manganese, bismuth, chromium uranium, tellurium, sulphur,
graphite and asphalt. There are also marble, roofing-slate gypsum, porcelain-earth,
potter's clay and precious stones. It is therefore natural that mining operations should
have been carried out in Austria from the earliest times, as, for instance, the salt mines
of Hallstatt in Upper Austria, which had already been worked during the Celtic and Romanic
period. Famous through the middle ages were also the works especially for the extraction
of gold and silver, carried out in Bohemia and Moravia, whose early mining regulations,
for instance those of Iglau, were adopted in other countries. But the great industrial
development of the 19th century, with its growing necessity for fuel has brought about the
exploitation of the rich coal-fields of the country, and to-day the coal mines yield the
heaviest output of any mineral products. To instance the rapid growth in the extraction of
coal, it is worth mentioning that in 1825 its output was about 150,000 tons in 1875, or
only after half a century, the output has become 100 times greater, namely over
15,000,000, tons; while in 1900 it was 32,500,000 tons. Coal is found in nearly every
province of Austria, with the exception of Salzburg and Bukovina, but the richest
coalfields are in Bohemia, Silesia, Styria, Moravia and Carniola in the order named. Iron
ores are found more or less in all the crown-lands except Upper Austria, the Küstenland
and Dalmatia, but it is most plentiful in Styria, Carinthia, Bohemia and Moravia. Gold and
silver ores are found in Bohemia, Salzburg and Tirol. Quicksilver is found at Idria in
Carniola, which after Almaden in Spain is the richest mine in Europe. Lead is extracted in
Carinthia and Bohemia, while the only mines for tin in the whole of Austria are in Bohemia
Zinc is mostly found in Galicia, Tirol and Bohemia, and copper is extracted in Tirol,
Moravia and Salzburg. Petroleum is found in Galicia, where ozocerite is also raised.
Rock-salt is extracted in Galicia, while brine-salt is produced in Salzburg, Salzkammergut
and Tirol Graphite is extracted in Bohemia, Moravia, Styria and Lower Austria. Uranium,
bismuth and antimony are dug out in Bohemia, while porcelain-earth is found in Bohemia and
Moravia. White, red, black and variously-coloured marbles exist in the Alps, particularly
in Tirol and Salzburg; quartz, felspar, heavy spar, rock-crystal and asbestos are found in
various parts; and among precious stones may be specially mentioned the Bohemian garnets.
The total value of the mines and foundry products throughout Austria in 1875 was
£5,000,000. The number of persons employed in the mines and in the smelting and casting
works in the same year was 94,019. The total value of the mining products throughout
Austria in 1875 was £5,000,000, and the value of the product of the foundries was
£3,795,000. Of this amount £3,150,000 represents the value of the iron, raw steel and
pig iron. The increase in the value of the mining products during the period 1892-1902 was
40 %; and the increase in the product of the furnaces in the same period was 35 %. The
number of persons emploved in 1902 in mining was 140,890 in smelting works, 7148; and in
the extraction of salt 7963. The value of the chief mining products of Austria in 1903
was: brown coal (21,808,583 tons), £4,182,516: coal (12,145,000 tons), £4,059,807, iron
ores (1,688,960 tons), £615,273; lead ores, £135,965; silver ores £119,637; quicksilver
ores, £92,049; graphite, £78,437; tin ores, £78,275; copper ores £22,119; manganese
ores £5368; gold ores, £4407; asphalt, £2250, alum and vitriol slate, £992. The
production of petroleum was 660,000 tons, and of salt 340,000 tons. The value of the
principal products of the smelting furnaces in 1903 was iron (955,543 tons), £2,970,866;
coke, £862,137; zinc (metallic), £174,344; silver £141,594; copper, £57,542; sulphuric
acid, £8488; copper vitriol, £5710; mineral colours £5565; lead, £5067; tin, £4566;
gold, £878; iron vitriol, £603; litharge, £384; quicksilver, £218; coal briquettes,
£92,000. In 1910 the total value of the mining products exclusive of salt and petroleum,
was £13,145,000, and that of the furnace products was £5,956,000. The amounts of the
principal minerals and metals produced were: coal 13,573,000 tons (14,631,000 tons in
1911); lignite, 24,722,000 tons (24,863,000 tons in 1911) iron ore, 2,586,000 tons; pig
iron, 1,482,000 tons; graphite, 32,600 tons; lead, 15,200 tons; zinc, 12,200 tons; copper,
1440 tons; mercury, 592 tons; gold, 391 lbs. (401 lbs. in 1911) silver, 109,322 lbs.;
salt, 341,000 tons. In Galicia, 1,737,000 tons of petroleum were extracted, valued at
The Austrian government has bought the radium-producing pitchblende
mines at Joachimsthal at a cost of about £94,000. and has thereby obtained what is
practically a world's monopoly of radium. The annual production of ore from these mines is
estimated at 22,000 lbs., which should contain about 46 grains of radium.
Agriculture. - Hungary is pre-eminently an agricultural
country and one of the principal wheat-growing regions of Europe. At the census of 1900
nearly 69 % of the total population of the country derived their income from agriculture,
forestry, horticulture and other agricultural pursuits. The agricultural census taken in
1895 shows the great progress made in agriculture by Hungary, manifested by the increase
in arable lands and the growth of the average production. The increase of the arable land
has been effected partly by the reclamation of the marshes, but mostly by the
transformation of large tracts of puszta (waste prairie land) into arable land. This
latter process is growing every year, and is coupled with great improvements in
agricultural methods, such as more intensive cultivation, the use of the most modern
implements and the application of scientific discoveries. According to the agricultural
census of 1895, the main varieties of land are distributed as follows:
|By area in acres -
|By percentage of the total area -
The remainder, such as barren territory, devastated vineyards,
water and area of buildings, amounts to 5.1 % of the total.
The chief agricultural products of Hungary are wheat, rye, barley,
oats and maize the acreage and produce of which are shown in the following tables:
|Area in Acres in Hungary Proper
||Average per Annum
|Wheat . . . . . .
|Rye . . . . . . . .
|Barley. . . . . .
|Oats . . . . . . . .
|Maize . . . . . .
|Produce in Millions of Bushels.
||Average per Annum
|Wheat . . . . . .
|Rye . . . . . . . .
|Barley. . . . . .
|Oats . . . . . . . .
|Maize . . . . . .
In Croatia-Slavonia no crop statistics were compiled before 1885.
Subsequent returns for maize and wheat show an increase both in the area cultivated and
quantity yielded. The former is the principal product of this province. Certain districts
are distinguished for particular kinds of fruit, which form an important article of
commerce both for inland consumption and for export. The principal of these fruits are:
apricots round Kecskemét, cherries round Kõrös, melons in the Alföld and plums in
Croatia-Slavonia. The vineyards of Hungary, which have suffered greatly by the phylloxera
since 1881, show since 1900 a tendency to recover ground, and their area is again slowly
Forests. - Of the productive area of Hungary 26.60 % is
occupied by forests, which for the most part cover the slopes of the Carpathians. Nearly
half of them belong to the state.
Live Stock. - The number of live stock in Hungary proper in
two different years is shown in the following table:
In Croatia-Slavonia the live stock was numbered in t895 at: horses,
309,098; cattle, 908,774; sheep, 595,898; pigs, 882,957. But the improved quality of the
live stock is more worthy of notice than the growth in numbers.
The small Magyar horse, once famous for its swiftness and
endurance, was improved during the Turkish wars, so far as height and beauty were
concerned, by being crossed with Arabs; but it degenerated after the 17th century as the
result of injudicious cross-breeding. The breed has, however, been since improved by
government action, the establishment of state studs supported since 1867 by annual
parliamentary grants, and the importation especially of English stock. Large numbers of
horses are exported annually.
Owing to its wide stretches of pasture-land Hungary is admirably
suited for cattle- raising. The principal breeds are either native or Swiss (especially
that of Simmenthal). The export trade in cattle is considerable, amounting in 1905 to
238,296 head of oxen, 56,540 cows, 23,765 bulls and 19,643 breeding cattle, as well as a
large number of carcases.
Sheep are not stocked so extensively as cattle, and are tending
rapidly to decrease, a result due to the spread of intensive cultivation and the rise in
value of the soil. They are not exported, but there is a considerable export trade in
Pigs are reared in large quantities all over the country, but the
principal centres for distribution are Debreczen, Gyula, Barcs, Szeged and Budapest. They
are exported in large numbers (408,000 in 1905), almost exclusively to Austria. There is
also a considerable export trade in geese and eggs.
Minerals. - Hungary is one of the richest countries in
Europe as regards both the variety and the extent of its mineral wealth. Its chief mineral
products are coal, nitre, sulphur, alum, soda, saltpetre, gypsum, porcelain-earth,
pipe-clay, asphalt, petroleum, marble and ores of gold, silver, mercury, copper, iron,
lead, zinc, antimony, cobalt and arsenic. The principal mining regions are Szepes-Gömör
in Upper Hungary, the Kremnitz- Schemnitz district, the Nagybánya district, the
Transylvanian deposits and the Bánát. Gold and silver are chiefly found in Transylvania,
where their exploitation dates back to the Roman period, and are mined at Zalatna and
Abrudbánya; rich deposits are also found in the Kremnitz-Schemnitz, and the Nagybánya
districts. The average yearly yield of gold is about £100,000, and that of silver about
the same amount. The sand of some of the rivers, as for instance the Maros, Szamos,
Kõrös and Aranyos, is auriferous, Coal is extensively mined in the region of
Budapest-Oravica, Nagybánya, Zalatna, at Brennberg near Sopron, at Salgó-Tarján, Pécs,
in the counties of Krassó-Szörény, and of Esztergom and in the valley of the river
Zsil. Iron is extracted in the counties of Szepes, Gömör and Abaúj-Torna. The
production of coal and iron trebled during the period 1880-1900 amounting in 1900 to
6,600,000 tons, and 463,000 tons respectively. The principal salt- mines are in
Transylvania at Torda, Parajd, Désakna and Marós-Újvár; and in Hungary at Szlatina,
Rónaszék and Sugatag. The salt-mines are a state monopoly. Hungary is the only country
in Europe where the opal is found, namely at the famous mines of Vörösvágás in the
county of Sáros, and at Nagy-Mihály in that of Zemplén. Other precious stones found are
chalcedony, garnet, jacinth, amethyst, carnelian, agate, rock-crystals, &c. Amber is
found at Magura in Szepes, while fine marble quarries are found in the counties of
Esztergom, Komárom, Veszprém and Szepes. The value of the mining (except salt) and
smelting production in Hungary amounted m 1900 to £4.500.000. while in 1877 the value was
only £1,500,000. The number of persons employed in mining and smelting works was (1900
Mining. - The total value of all mining and furnace products
in 1910 was £6,364,000. The quantity of the leading minerals and metals produced was:
lignite, 7,617,000 tons; coal, 1,282,000 tons; iron ore, 1,876,000 tons; pig iron, 494,000
tons; gold, 6,690 lb.; silver, 27,603 lb., and salt, 232,000 tons.
Mineral Springs. - Hungary possesses a great number of cold
and several hot mineral springs, some of them being greatly frequented. Among the
principal in Hungary proper except Transylvania are those of Budapest, Mehádia, Eger,
Sztubnya (Turócz county), Szliács (Zólyom county), Harkány (Baranya county), Pöstyén
(Nyitra county) and Trencsény- Teplitz, where there are hot springs. Cold mineral springs
are at Bártfa, with alkaline ferruginous waters; Czigelka, with iodate waters; Parád,
with ferruginous and sulphate springs; Koritnicza or Korytnica, with strong iron springs,
and the mineral springs of Budapest. Among the principal health resorts of Hungary are
Tátrafüred in the Tátra mountains, and Balatonfüred on the shores of Lake Balaton.
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