The story of the transformation of desert land into producing fields giving several crops of alfalfa in a season, and other crops in proportion, is often told by visitors to the arid States. But as yet little has been said or written about the increased yield of fruits and crops, as the result of watering in the humid States, mainly for the reason that little has yet been done. But at St. Joseph, Missouri (400. Watering the Orchard Fruits), at the insane asylum, Joliet, Illinois, and here and thero in several States, the increased crops as a result of watering have more than equalled the results in the arid States and at much less labor and cost, as the period when water is needed is short. In Wisconsin, Professor King, after trial and much observation, has stated: "The value of a crop, such as the strawberry, in a season when crops generally are injured by drought, may pay all the expenses of the original cost of the irrigation plant."
Even in New Jersey, with moister air and more rainfall than in the States west of the lakes, the experiment station reports for 1898 and 1899 an average gain of 1637 quarts per acre on the irrigated plots of blackberries over those that are not watered, and the size and selling value was much increased. The Bulletin record reads:
"Plot No. 1, 1898. - Early Harvest, 1001; J. Wilson, Jr., 2256; Erie, 39; Agawam, 1280; Taylor, 2970; Eldorado, 3395
"Plot No. 2, 1898. - Early Harvest, 295; Wilson, Jr., 1618; Erie, 2164; Agawam, 318; Taylor, 2535; Eldorado, 2330.
"Plot No. 1, 1899. - Early Harvest, 913; Wilson, Jr., 1875; Erie, 809; Agawam, 2106; Taylor, 1092; Eldorado, 2408.
"Plot No. 2, 1899. - Early Harvest, 1833; Wilson, Jr., 1735; Erie, 2535; Agawam, 1618; Taylor, 1209; Eldorado, 4109."
The above figures represent the gain in quarts per acre of the plots irrigated over those watered by nature. In Plot No. 1 it will be noted that the gain of the Eldorado in 1898 was 3395 and in Plot No. 2 it reached 2330. In 1899 the gain on Plot No. 1 of the Eldorado was 2408 and on Plot No. 2 it reached the surprising gain of 4109 quarts over and above the Eldorado plot without irrigation.