The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 22
The resources of the Southland district are indeed manifold, and its future importance page 3 can scarcely be over-estimated. For many years to come no doubt its agricultural and pastoral interests will be those chiefly promoted, for, although manufacturing industaies will arise, yet this southern portion of New Zealand presents a field for agricultural and pastoral pursuits, either separately or combined, unequalled in the colonies. I was recently shown an estimate which well illustrated the kind of farming that does pay and that should be successfully followed in many, if not all, parts of the Southland district. This estimate was based on the sale of wheat .at 3s 9d per bushel, oats at 2s per bushel, fat cattle at 20s per 100lbs, and wethers at 12s each; and it would probably satisfy any intending settler, with capital varying from .£1000 to £5000, that mixed farming offered a safe and increasing return for the investment. Moreover, there is a greater certainty about mixed farming in Southland than in any other part of New Zealand, as shown by the published statistics, for sheep are always saleable, and the annual returns from wool certain; whilst as to the production of gram, Southland yields on an average 29 bushels of wheat to the acre, to Auckland, Taranaki, "Wellington, and Marlborough's 18 bushels, Canterbury's 22, and Hawkes Bay's 25 bushels.
In oats, Southland produces 30 bushels to the acre, to Auckland, Taranaki, and Nelson's 18 bushels, Wellington, Hawkes Bay, and Marlborough's 20, and Canterbury's 24 bushels.
In barley, Southland produces 26 bushels to Auckland's 17, and Canterbury's 20 bushels.
Over a long series of years, 11 bushels per acre has been a high average yield of wheat in Australia, but in a moderately favourable season a Southland farmer may fairly expect to realise fully 40 bushels per acre, if his farm is in good condition. It is thus seen that Southland is one of the best agricultural districts in New Zealand, and compares favourably, with any of the Australian colonies.