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31: Agriculture and Minerals

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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 forest land.

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.
1880. 1890. 1900.
Horses 1,463,282 1,548,197 1,711,077
Mules and asses 49,618 57,952 66,638
Cattle 8,584,077 8,643,936 9,506,626
Goats 1,006,675 1,035,832 1,015,682
Sheep 3,841,340 3,186,787 2,621,026
Pigs 2,721,541 3,549,700 4,682,734
Beehives 926,312 920,640 996,139

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 £1,850,000.

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:

Hungary Proper. Croatia-Slavonia.
By area in acres -
Arable land 29,714,382 13,370,540
Gardens 928,053 136,354
Meadows 7,075,888 1,099,451
Vineyards 482,801 65,475
Pastures 9,042,267 1,465,930
Forests 18,464,396 3,734,094
Marshes 199,685 7,921
By percentage of the total area -
Arable land 42.81 32.26
Gardens 1.34 1.31
Meadows 10.19 10.52
Vineyards 0.69 0.63
Pastures 13.03 14.03
Forests 26.60 35.74
Marshes 0.28 0.08

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
Cereal. Average per Annum 1900. 1907.
1881-85. 1886-90. 1891-95.
Wheat . . . . . . 6,483,876 7,014,891 7,551,584 8,142,303 8,773,440
Rye . . . . . . . . 2,475,301 2,727,078 2,510,093 2,546,582 2,529,350
Barley. . . . . . 2,420,393 2,491,422 2,407,469 2,485,117 2,885,160
Oats . . . . . . . . 2,460,080 2,546,582 2,339,297 2,324,992 2,898,780
Maize . . . . . . 4,567,186 4,681,376 5,222,538 5,469,050 7,017,270
Produce in Millions of Bushels.
Cereal. Average per Annum 1900. 1907.
1881-85. 1886-90. 1891-95.
Wheat . . . . . . 99.8 121.3 144.9 137.3 128.5
Rye . . . . . . . . 41.8 42.1 46.5 39.2 38.0
Barley. . . . . . 46.2 43.7 53.6 49.7 51.0
Oats . . . . . . . . 53.9 52.3 64.9 63.6 43.7
Maize . . . . . . 92.4 86.4 118.0 121.7 158.7

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 increasing.

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:

Animal. 1884. l895.
Horses 1,749,302 1,972,930
Cattle 4,879,334 5,829,483
Sheep 10,594,867 7,526,783
Pigs 4,803,777 6,447,134

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 wool.

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 census) 70,476.

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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