A comparatively low cost of labour, the fact that labour is not, as in the days of slavery, that of unintelligent blacks but of intelligent free labourers, the centralized organization and modern methods that prevail on the plantations, the remarkable fertility of the soil (which yields 5 or 6 crops on good soil and with good management, without replanting), and the proximity of the United States, in whose markets Cuba disposes of almost all her crop, have long enabled her to distance her smaller West Indian rivals and to compete with the bounty-fed beet.
To prevent the gradual destruction of the forests by unskilful management and depredations, schools of forestry have been founded, and means have been taken for regulating the cutting of wood and for replanting districts that have been partially denuded.
This has led to restrictive measures, the vines being tapped under definite regulations as to the manner and time of tapping, and also to requirements as to replanting vines to take the place of those which have been injured or destroyed, certain areas being periodically closed.
The third plan, which consists in replanting the affected vineyard with American vines - such as the Vitis labrusca, V.
In the grand duchy the forest has almost entirely disappeared, but owing to the compulsory law of replanting in Belgium this fate does not seem likely to attend the Belgian Ardennes.