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P. H, Rolls
It gives great pleasure to be here and to mest
you young fllonws. I wmagntulate you that you are
at the threshold of a new era; mountains of rubbish
have been cleared oAtrtfl M way. Ninlty per cent of
what I was taught in AniaiA Husbandry fifty yearn ago
had to be unlearamed., I believe it was Josh Billing
who said: "I'd rather not k w uch MU to know so
S many things that are not so.
How I eonry you the future, that .i i I or@ you.
At no time in the tast fifty years ham there been sudi
a wealth of opportunity for the young-man, figuratively
speaking, a whole new world lies before yout a be explored
.Literally. millions of highly educated young people. have
leisure and time to *tudy forced en the*. We older
fellows wore *e buoy aoumulatimg wealth and knowledge
that there was no ti n to see where v o wre going. We
have provided for you this heritage of comfort, wealth
amd knowledge. It is yours. It is your stepping stone
to greater and more brilliant achievement.
I wish to devote about fifteen minutes to a generalisM
discussion of Brasil. The photographer that follow will
give you a more concrete and correct idea of Braeil than
anything that hee been published. They portray what would
require many hours of reading.
Vy daughter Miss 1RoAf, and I spent twelve year
"locating, organizing and conducting a modern Agricultural
College for the State of Iinau Gorais". After twelve years
mervioes, we epent nine and a half months voyaging In
Argeniine, Paraguay, Uruguay and seventeen of the twenty
Brailiuan States. Our travel was by dug-out canoe, sail-
boat, steamboat, automobile, railways steamship when
%avoidable, and by airplane when oaur objective could
be more economically attained. We spoke Portuguese
fluently so went where we pleased.
The site I selected for the College war some seventy
kilometerm from the nearest English speaking family. The
unquestioned success attained by the institution munt
be credited largely to the latgli Mrs., Iolfe and my daughter
Clarissa. I Just smiled and looked wice, but felt other-
This sketchy outline is unavoidable, as I shall
disillusion you, in seos respects, and contradict, in part
or as a whole, almost everything uritte regarding
Brasili ; Ergiuh during the last fifteen yearn.
EXTENT. Brasil is ten per cent larger than the 48
United States; 80 % of it in the latitudinal torrid
zone; embraces nearly oneshalf of South Amerisa; has
47 million inhabitants (1935 estimate); about one-half
the total population of South America.
MIHAS GERAIS. The moat pepulou state in Brail
population eight snd a half million; about 85 % that
of Pennsylvania; eighty percent rural. Fifth Ina sie
among the Brasilian states; witb about seven time the
area of Pennasylvania; equal to Germany or France;
larger than Italy. Exceeded in size and population only
Your Prof. Rhoad, in four years, built up the best
teaching department of Animal Husbandry in any Agricultural
College in Brasil.
I often irritate my torwr colleagues by telling them
that in seven year the attendance at the Minas Agricul-
tural College was a hundred per sent greater than in te
Florida Agricultural College after forty years.
There are three important factors that determine
plant regions; Agriculture. A). Temperature, 3). Altitude
A),. TEPERATURE. Citrus fruits are produced for export
Sm Rio Grande do Sul, the southern most state. We also saw
Marsh Seodless grapefruit and pineapple oranges growing oan
the Tapaj6s, an affluent of the Amason. In other words, mo
far as temperature is ooneramed, oitrus may be grown la
very state we visited. There is.j h Wor a araw O
4utIL ftve b nn.ir==t ho l surprisingly little change in
the general aspect of the forests where altitude and
humidity remain the sam4. Thb a will be evident when we
study the photograpbs of tbhe rain f omte, taken thousands
of miles apart.
B)K, ALTITUDE. ft%$gjVaries anywhere from "a level
up to 2800 meters, nearly ten thousand feet. The culmiaa-
ting peaks, Pioctda Bandeira snd Itatiay., are only a short
dkej==japy from the coast; one is a day's Journey north-
ward and the other a day's journey southward from Rio do
Janeiro. The mountain ranges run mare or less parallel to
the coast. Brasil contains geologically the oldest part
of South Ameriea Cprobably of the Western lHemispher).
It looks as if the South Amerioan aoutinsnt" had been
eroded almost to the backbone. Back of these %###
mountain ranges, only 100 to 300 kilometers from the coast,
lies the great interior plateau; eultinatiag at about
1200 meters (4,000 fooeet), a thousand kilometers into the
interior from Rio do Janeiro.
In the southernmost states Rio Grando d* Sul, we
ascended to Caxian to see the great vins producing eoe-
tion. Deciduous fruittluxuriate. We saw an Iabe b
vineyard 4 year old, vines 25-30 centimeters (10
to 12 inches) in diameter. Another vineyard, thirty years
old, of a European variety, grafted on Isabel. The morning
we left COxias, hoar frost covered the entire landscape.
This was in midwinter, during June, Snowfall is expected
everyj nearly as far north au the State of
Sio Paulo. The Tropie of Capricorn crosses that state.
By October we had Journied as far as Frortaleua, on the
northern coast, within four degrees of the Equator. We
bought freshly picked Concord grapes ripened on the
highlands of that States Ceard.
So much for altitudes; none of it high when compared
with the Andes or our Rocky mountains, but high enough to
produce a temperate-zone-temperature over an enormous
region. None known how extem ive; it ham never been or
pletely explored. Certainly more than fifteen times the
size of Pennsylvonia. A southern portion of this plateau
is a glaciated region touching the coastal mountains at the
latitude of Sao Paulo and stretching in a north westerly
direction, far north of the latitude of Rio. The surface
is planed down as smooth as Illinois and Iowa. I was
told that this glaciation was co-ineident with that of
South Africa and antedated our glacial period.
C). HUMITDITY. A well distributed rainfall thruout
the year is more conducive to plant growth, agriculture,
than a periodic rainy season, even tho the pneodic
reglonAmay have a much heavier annual rainfall. The region
to the south of Sio Paulo has no well defined rainy season.
From Rio northward, in the zone ef the trade winds, there
is a clearly defined rainy and dry season. The rainy
season begins in Spptaber or October, and reaches its
maximum about January, then gradually diminishing until
about April. As we travel northward, the advent of the
rainy season is retarded. TheArainfall In Brasil varies
anywhere from zere to 1000 ceontimeters (o to 200 inches).
In the southern area of the trade winds, the
maximum number of rains per day ocour from 3 to 7 P.V.
In the North-East, at 2 to 4 P. M. Here appointments
are made for before and after the rain. We of South
Brasil twit the northeastener eon correcting his watch
to accord with the beginning of the afternoon rain.
Aside from these general. features, there are local
geographical features, mountains for example& which
greatly disturb the local picture. As the moisture Ladeoa
air encounters the mountains, it is thrust upward into
the cooler stratum and precipitation secure. As the
dried air passes to the interior, it absorbs moisture
which is again precipitated as it again rims and sots
a cold stratum. Thus in passing over repeated sorras
Owe encounter areas of heavier and lighter rainfall.
Continuing in the path of this repeated drying out
of the trade winds, wuich hit the continent at, we will
way, Bahia, and travel inland for 1000 to 2000 kilromters,
in a northwesterly direction* all the tine looslig altitude
and approaching the Equator* ve roeah a condition where the
rainy season i only a week's duration and precipitation
reduced to some twenty eontimeters. Two or three years
amy pasc without any rain. In other words, we arrive
at the Cantinga and Sertlo, an ar a 10 or 15 times that of
Another perturbing factor in that when the air
passes to the interior it becomes warmed and rices, thus
sucking in water laden air from the ocean, causing heavy
precipitation the northern bonier. Henee the W"'k
csut coastal foreits froa the Amazon to the (fea. 7t4 i
continuous belt, nor of a uniform width.
In the Upper Amazon valley another humidity element
enters the picture. The warmed tropical air passing
ever the Amazon basin absorbs a greet deal of moisture.
The rotation of the earth gives this air a general
north-westerly drift. When this encounters the Andean
System, heavy precipitation occur. I have seen records
of 500 centimeters (200 inches) at Mlanoss; a thousand
mile. up the Amazon; the limit of %j/% navigation for
ocean liners. I have been told of 400 inches of rainfall
and 400 rainy days in a year !
/X). That Brauil, as its name implisa, is one
vast tropical forest. It is not. My guesh is that not
more than 10 % of its area is covered with merchantable
timber, Yet Brasil is so vast, that no other nation has
an equal. area of tropical forest.
The pioneer botanists and geoligiuts were obliged to
travel by water. They saw the marvelouu forests and not
the hinterland. The text boota writers used t 5e5Aplai
their imagination. We, poor children, got third hand
The waters of magazine articles often exaggerate .
For example; a writer in a recent number of the Brailian-
Azwrican said that one-half of Brasil was covered with
forest. Magazine editors edit according to what text-books
taught them. You are different; yau are here because
you want to know. I am here because I went you to get
2). That dense forests and jungle have to be
cleaned off before farming can be done. Farming man be
and is bein tens on lands that were no more timbered than
were Indiana, Illinois and Iowa. The great coffee produ-
cing area is outside of the tropical forest region. Yet
Braail produces one-half of the world's coffee supply. So
much indeed that sowe years Brasil has burned train loads
of coffee to keep it off of the world's market.
3). That fatto Grosso, a vast interior state, more
extensive than Mew England and toe Middle States anmiMd, is
a vast forest, as the neame implies. It is another one of
those mis-nomers. In At occurs the culmination of the
plateau, about 4000 feet.
Theodore Roosevelt explored a part of it. Fleming
searched for Fawaett in a portion; H. Vfon Leutzelburg
botanized in a portion; Davis and other Presbyterian
missionaries have outposts among the Indians. It is a
vast cattle region. Tbs-mti- outlet is by the Paran&
and Paraguay Rivera.
If you want something sensational and scientifi-
cally untrustworthy read "Creen Hell". I mention it
because it is a best seller and frequently quoted.)
4), That traveling in the back country is
dangerous and fraught with hardships. UMrs. Chase, a
botanist in our National 5kmzmz crossed from railhead
in t/gIW4 Matto flrosso, into Bolivia and back by
herself. Other North American women have traveled almost
anywhere they pleased. Miss Rolls end I spent a week at
Iguass& near the boundary between Paraguay, Argentine and
Brasil, where criminals aan tit evade police officers
of any one or another country.
As f&r hardship, my daughter end I are rather hardy
specimens; we can live on food for a day or a week, that
is the regular diet of the native population. In short,
these stories of dangers and hardships are mainly for
My stories of great snakes, fierce Jaguars, and
ferocious Indians, I am reserving for those who must be
treated to mental cocktails.
5). That Brasil contains only tropical speaies:-
PARANA PINE. Another misnomer, not a pine at all,
a Araucaria, should have become extinct a million or so
years ago. Forests occur only on the highlands of the four
southernmost states of Brasil. Freezes and enowfall are
expected every year in this region.
The only forest that appeals to the North Amerioan
lumberman. We saw millions of feet of lumber in yard
at Tree Barras, State of Santa Catharina, operated by tim
late R. H. Mead a North American.
Foresters estimate that about one third of Brasil's
lumber is in the Paranh pine forests, over a hundred billion
6). That Brasil is an unfit habitat for the white
man. Prof. Ellsworti Huntington of Tale University in his
"The Human Habitat", proves t abis own satisfaction that-
vio civiliSation wrthy of the nem can persist outside of
the 7/&Y tmperate mane. That only the north temperate
zone has foci for irridiating the highest type; Europe
several foci and North America one fost,- New England. Oh,
you provincialist :
That reminds me, forty six years ago, when I was
biddinmy ftftand and mentor Dr. J. H. PFammel, of the
Iowa Igricultural College, "'!uufyJ he warned me that I
must not remain in Florida for more than a year. That hne
tropical climate made white men lazy. It did, after
46 years I am still living in Florida. 0 you provincials :
I. Iy tentative estimate on the phytological areas
in Brasil is:
1. Rich tropical forest 10 %
2. Araucaria forests 5
3. Wooded country, timber unsuited for lumberingP
4. Agreste, grasses dominant 30 %
5. Gaatinga (cactus prominent and sertai4, 20 %
6. knexplored, but not tropical forests 20 %
II. THE PEPLE. I have purposely avoided saying anythkq
about them on about the government. It would take an hour
to present a clear picture of the government and another
hour to understand somewhat clearly the Brasilian of today.
III. Brasil could easily *uovide food and susteneasme
for 300 million people; more easily than can the United
States and Canada support 150 million. A year's labor in
Uines Gerais is twice as productive as a year's labor in
IV. FINALLY. I want to felicitate you young
fellows for the marvelous present. You and millions of
other, highly educated young people have plenty of time
I would not ezohmgs the experience of the past four
decades for four centuries in Cathay.
The next four decodes should bring to you a far
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