At the close of 1905 the area devoted to tillage was 9,365,000 acres, the area utilized for the production of breadstuffs being 6,270,000 acres or over two-thirds of the whole extent of cultivation.
Compared with the principal countries of the world, Australia does not take a high position in regard to the gross value of the produce of its tillage, the standard of cultivation being for the most part low and without regard to maximum returns, but in value per inhabitant it compares fairly well; indeed, some of the states show averages which surpass those of many of the leading agricultural countries.
This has greatly facilitated the formation of large estates devoted chiefly to grazing purposes, contrary to the policy of the legislature, which has everywhere sought to encourage tillage, or tillage joined to stock-rearing, and to discourage large holdings.
The proportion of tillage to pasture is roughly as 1 to 22.
How many a poor immortal soul have I met well-nigh crushed and smothered under its load, creeping down the road of life, pushing before it a barn seventy-five feet by forty, its Augean stables never cleansed, and one hundred acres of land, tillage, mowing, pasture, and woodlot!
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