Towards an Agricultural Prices Index for Ireland 1850-1914, M Turner

Tags: Ireland, British Parliamentary Papers, agricultural output, agricultural products, agricultural prices, adjustments, price index, Irish Agriculture, cent, pp, product prices, Vaughan, David Richardson, MICHAEL TURNER, Thomas Barrington, Richard Middleton, Cartographic Information Systems Research Group, Sec Barrington, animal husbandry, weights, composite index, Ballinasloe, Potato prices, Irish Agricultural Products, University of Hull Abstract, Nuffield Foundation Social Sciences Fellowship
Content: The Economic and Social Review, Vol. 18, Mo. 2, January, 1987, pp. 123-136. Towards an Agricultural Prices Index for Ireland 1850-1914 MICHAEL TURNER* University of Hull Abstract: An Irish agricultural prices index is presented for the period 1850-1914, based upon the shares of various agricultural products in total value added agricultural output. It supercedes a quasi-official construc tion of 1915 because it is based on variable weights which reflect the changing product mix of Irish agriculture, and it includes the decades of post-Famine recovery. The period from 1850-1890 was one of almost contin uously rising real agricultural prices followed by two and a half decades of short-term prices adjustments which were almost always above the base price of 1900. The phase of post-Famine recovery i n Irish agriculture proceeded increas ingly on the basis of developing animal and animal products and away from grain p r o d u c t i o n . 1 W h i l e i t is true to say that the country became greener, w i t h the combined acreage under hay and pasture increasing from 9.99 million acres i n 1851 to 12.08 m i l l i o n acres i n 1881 and 12.42 m i l l i o n acres by the Great W a r , it is also true to say that certain forms of tillage production d i d not diminish as m u c h as the grain economy. I n terms of animal feedstuffs an acre of root or green crops yields more than an acre of hay, meadow or rough pasture (see H u t t m a n , 1969, pp. 366-367, based on Jensen, 1937). Part of the problem which faced the Irish agricultural sector was also the problem which faced West European agriculture in general, that is, increasingly cheap imports of grain from N o r t h America, especially from 1870 onwards. For the purposes of this article the consequence was an almost constant downward t u r n in prices which, 1. Details of which will be incorporated in my Atlas of Irish Agriculture from the Famine to Partition", which is in the course of completion. *My thanks to colleagues of the multi-disciplinary Cartographic information systems Research Group of the University of Hull for their assistance, and in particular Richard Middleton of the Department of Geology for guidance with the tabular and graphical data. My thanks also to Gerry Makepeace, Chris Hammond and John Treble of the Department of Economics, and David Richardson and Donald Woodward of the Depart ment of Economic History for discussing with me the construction of a prices index. This research is part of a larger project towards an "Agricultural Atlas of Ireland from the Famine to the Partition" and has been made possible by the award of a Nuffield Foundation Social Sciences Fellowship during the year 1985-86.
ceteris paribus, had serious implications for agricultural incomes. I n Britain this came in the wake of " H i g h F arming", and the "Golden Age" was followed by a desertion of tillage farming and, where possible, the development of animal husbandry. More factors were at play, however, on the British mainland. The mid-1860s Contagious Diseases Acts gave a degree of protection to the fresh meat trade i n Britain i n w h a t was otherwise a free trade British W o r l d ; the British standard of living was improving, reflected i n a boost for demand for meat and dairy pro ducts; the railway network was complete by 1870, or as near complete as makes no difference, and this gave a boost to the horticultural and fresh milk industries. ( O n the British M e a t T r a d e see Perren, 1978.) T h e conjunction of these factors and the evident diminution of the arable sector, principally resulting in a relatively less labour intensive agriCultural Industry, led, for the first time i n recorded history, to a decline in the actual numbers employed in agriculture.2 I n Ireland some of these factors were also at play, but i n some respects on a reduced or altered scale. For example, Irish livestock as exhibited i n exports to Britain, responded to British adjustments in living standards rather than to Irish ones. But far more important, and a factor which led to Irish adjustments ahead of the rise in the N o r t h Atlantic grain trade after 1870, was a problem which was special to Ireland -- that is a labour supply constraint. (For a retrospective com ment on the period from the Famine to the t u r n of the century see British Parlia mentary Papers, 1902, p. vii, and for a discussion of the immediate pre-Famine l a b o u r / l a n d ratio see McGregor, 1984.) This induced an adjustment i n agri culture towards the livestock economy well ahead of the late nineteenth century " A g r i c u l t u r a l Depression" which set i n throughout much of Western Europe after 1870. Arguably the Irish agricultural industry not only rationalised early on, but also improved in terms of output and productivity in real terms from 1850 onwards -- give or take short-term fluctuations -- especially on the live stock side.:i Nevertheless, in spite of a labour constraint there was a substantial input of labour intensive root, green and potato cultivation, as well as seasonally labour intensive hay cultivation, all or the most part of which crops were used as feedstuff inputs to the livestock sector.4 Some of these consequences can be seen when we look at long-term price trends. Using Thomas Barrington's tabulation of official prices from 1881 and semi-official estimates before 1881 from the Cowper Commission (Barrington 1927, pp. 251-253, and British Parliamentary Papers, 1887) we see that from a base of 100 i n 1840, apart from a boost d u r i n g 2. As a proportion of the total workforce the agricultural population in Britain had been in decline through out the century, and in terms of actual numbers it was in decline from the 1860s. SeeDeane and Cole, 1967, pp. 142-143. 3. This is based on preliminary calculations of the annual value of net output, which is gross output less the non-marketed proportion. 4. c. 1908 an estimated 68.3 per cent of potato output by value went into fodder or seed, as well as all of the root and green crops. Sec Barrington, 1927, p. 259 based on British Parliamentary Papers, 1912.
the Crimean War when Russian supplies to Western Europe were curtailed,
wheat prices fell to a low of 50 by the mid-1890s,5 never to recover fully (77 i n
1914) until the exceptional circumstances of the Great War. Wheat acreage over
this period fell from 605,000 acres in 1850 to 466,000 acres in 1860, 149,000 acres
in 1880 and finally 37,000 acres by 1914. O t h e r grain prices held up m u c h better
because with both barley and oats there was a substantial demand for their pro
ducts from the livestock sector, and in the case of barley also from the brewing
and distilling industries.6 T h e effect o f this was competition for the output o f
these grains from both human and animal consumers which helped to hold up
prices. Potato prices were volatile and always 50 per cent or more (and up to 300
pei' cent) ahead of pre-Famine levels. Almost all livestock and livestock product
prices stayed ahead of pre-Famine levels, except for butter from 1885-1898
(Barrington, 1927, ibid).
We have i n d i v i d u a l prices but what does a composite agricultural prices index
look like? H o w indeed do we construct one? I f the shares of all the agricultural
products in total output were the same then it would be a simple task to average
all of those prices. But, as we have indicated briefly here, the shape of Irish a g r i
culture changed so that not only were the shares of the various products never
the same, but also over time those shares were constantly changing.
Using the existing price material, and involving assumptions about that part
of each product which was eventually marketed it is possible to calculate the
value of agricultural output over time. That value was composed of the various
product values, the shares of which i n total agricultural output can then be
directly measured to give a moving picture of the changing shape of Irish agri
culture. Other scholars have attempted this calculation for isolated years or for
runs of years. ( O n I r e l a n d see Solow, 1971, p. 170-171 and 213-217, O ' G r a d a ,
1973, pp. 128-143, O'Grada, 1984, pp. 149-165, Vaughan, 1980, pp. 85-97,
and Moody, 1981, pp. 569-570 but based on Vaughan, 1973, pp. 33-35 and
336-358. For related calculations on, variously, Britain and Ireland or the U K see
Ojala, 1952, pp. 191-217, Drescher, 1955, pp. 153-183 and Fletcher, 1961, p.
432.) Based on some of the assumptions employed by these scholars about the
marketable p r o p o r t i o n of output and also based on self-assessed estimates, I have
calculated the annual output of Irish agriculture from 1850-1914.7 Without
5. With some recovery back to 1840 levels in the late 1860s and early 1870s. 6. By c. 1908 up to 73.3 per cent of the oats output by value was not marketed, and 29.2 percent of the barley output. See Barrington, 1927, p. 259 based on British Parliamentary Papers, 1912. 7. These assumptions produce, in the main, upper and lower boundaries which suggest, for example, that between 32 and 50 per cent of potato output was marketed or consumed by farmers and their families (the remainder was consumed by animals or used as seed, the value of which would have been realised in the value of the animals and in future years' crops), as well as between 40-28 per cent of the oats crop, 0 per cent of the root and green crops (it was all consumed by animals), 100 per cent of the flax crop, and so on for the other crops. The weighting of the livestock output is a much more hit and miss affair, as self-confessed by most other estimators. As Vaughan reminds us (1980, p. 95), "All of these methods are based, in the end, on more or less arbitrary estimates of the value of the commodities sold or consumed by Irish farmers".
further explanation m y weightings are summarised i n A p p e n d i x 1. Table 1 is based on these weightings and summarises the values of the different agricultural products and their shares i n total output. I t is simplified i n terms o f annual averages centred for convenience on population census years.8 T h e transition from the arable to the livestock economy is clear. F r o m con tributing about 60 per cent of total output in and around the post-Famine decade the contribution of the arable sector fell to only 25 per cent at the turn of the century and thereafter, but w i t h the main transition complete by 1870 or even 1860. W i t h i n the livestock sector there was the rise of the cattle trade princi pally, and the ever important contribution of pigs (based on bacon prices) and of the milk industry (based on milk output converted to butter output for which there are butter prices). This general shift in output culminating in the rise of the poultry industry, here represented by egg output, led O ' G r a d a (1984, p. 154) to remark that by the turn of the century "the humble farmyard hen and duck were adding more to agricultural output than wheat, oats, and potatoes combined, crops w h i c h i n the early 1840s accounted for more than half of o u t p u t . " O n m y estimates that is something of an exaggeration, but the point about the changing pattern o f agricultural output is well made by O ' G r a d a . T h e price material is entirely based on official averages, which predominantly means D u b l i n prices, even though regional price data for part of the period is available. D u b l i n constituted the largest market and represented the final value added price for many products before final export to Britain. I n addition, i n general, it is reckoned that i n a small, relatively open economy, as befits Ireland and the free t r a d i n g posture of her neighbour, product prices were determined i n the w o r l d market. (See McGregor, 1984, p. 296, and the comment of 1907/08 that "prices have become m u c h less local i n character. T o a large extent they are international and are subject to influences of supply and demand beyond the control of the home producer" i n British Parliamentary Papers, 1908, p. 7) O ' G r a d a (1984, p. 164) and V a u g h a n (1980, p. 95) for the years 1854, and 1854 and 1874 respectively used the regional market prices recorded at Ballinasloe in their calculations of sheep output (Vaughan) and cattle output (O'Grada). O n a national basis, however, I t h i n k the use of this regional market tends to exagger ate the output of these two products. T h e specialist nature of this fair may have encouraged the sale of better than average animals at, therefore, better than average prices. This seems to be borne out when we compare Ballinasloe prices w i t h those quoted for D u b l i n . (See British Parliamentary Papers, 1908, pp. 90-93, the prices of cattle and sheep at Ballinasloe 1841-1907 and compare w i t h official annual prices data from the 1880s i n ibid., pp. 24-25 for 1888-1907 and British Parliamentary Papers, 1917, pp. 14-15 for the overlapping period 8. But omits certain products for which data is not available. See Appendix 1 and the note which follows. It also omits certain inputs, such as fertilizers. For the problems involved for periods well into the twentieth century see in this context O'Connor and Guiomard, 1984, especially p. 92.
Table 1: Annual Average Value and Shares of Crop and Livestock Output in Ireland: 1850/55 to 1906/13
2 o
Animals and Animal Products Values in Јs ;million
c r H C Grand
Wheat Barley Oats Potatoes Flax Hay Cattle Pigs Sheep Butter Wool Eggs Crops Animals Total
3.424 1.858 4.390 12.236 1.840 .603 3.605 6.196 .631 5.561 .536 .744 24.351 17.273 41.624
1856/65 1866/75 1876/85
2.452 1.717
1.025 3.233 1.410 3.415
6.624 6.417
2.131 .688 1.939 .764
5.825 7.699 1.723 7.851 8.619 2.888
8.103 .928 1.155 16.153 9.326 1.108 1.529 15.662
25.433 31.321
41.586 46.983
2 Q
.823 1.194 2.943 5.524 1.283 .794 10.190 8.507 2.866 7.563 .604 2.332 12.561 32.062 44.623
.910 2.562 5.054
.837 .927 9.829 7.772 2.259 6.189 .550 2.753 10.699 29.352 40.051
.966 2.398 5.332
.461 .950 11.493 7.732 2.371
6.463 .453 3.267 10.405 31.779 42.184
.348 1.121 2.784 6.883 .618 1.137 13.249 9.131 2.386 7.580 .585 5.665 12.891 38.596 51.487
Shares in Percentages*
4.5 10.6
4.4 1.5
8.7 15.0 1.5
13.4 1.3 1.8 58.9
5.1 1.7
14.0 18.5 4.1
19.5 2.2 2.8 38.8
4.1 1.6
16.7 18.3
19.8 2.4 3.3 33.3
2.9 1.8 22.8 19.0 6.4
16.9 1.4 5.2 28.1
71.8. .
2.1 2.3 24.5 19.4 5.6
15.4 1.4 6.9 26.7
1.1 2.2 27.2 18.3 5.6
1.1 7.7
1.2 2.2 25.7 17.7 4.6
1.1 11.0
*Subject to rounding errors. 05 CJ! o
1896-1915). But Ballinasloe constituted a small proportion of the sheep and cattle trade. Sheep presented for sale at Ballinasloe as a proportion of all sheep w h i c h disappear from the annual enumeration was less than 7 per cent in the mid-nineteenth century reducing to a little over 1 per cent at the end, and for cattle the comparable figures were 3 per cent reducing to 1 per cent. (Comparing the sheep and cattle sold and left unsold at the Ballinasloe fair reported in British Parliamentary Papers, 1908, pp. 90-93 with the annual disappearances of those animals.) For these reasons it is likely that those authorities who use Ballinasloe market prices overestimate the value of Irish livestock output. Staying faithful to the Barrington price indices runs the risk of underestimation, but at least it means that the eventual composite price index uses a consistent price data source. I have used my annual calculations of the distribution of values to construct a composite price index. T h e calculation takes the form of,
Pan*San Pbn*Sbn
Pa base Pb base
P'n'n*S'n'n + P ' n ' base
Where CPn,is the Composite Price Index in year n n,is annual 1850-1914 P,is the Price of Products a,b,.. . n ' in the years base to n S,is the Share of O u t p u t of Products a,b,.. . n ' in the years base to n base,is base 1900 i n A p p e n d i x 2 and the graph below but can be adjusted onto any base year. 9. The method of indexing used here is neither the Laspeyres, which uses fixed base weights, nor the Paasche which uses current weights but at base year prices. Instead it uses current weights which were in turn derived from current prices. Most standard statistics and index number texts explain the differences. In expanded notation,
Laspeyres is Paasche is Turner is
Pio Qjo
K° =1
'^PioQjo j
Pio Qit
i=l n Pit
j Pit Qit
The followingparagraphs compare the new index with an "Official" one produced in 1915 which was based on the Laspeyres method.
Each year the shares (weights) of each product change depending on supply and demand conditions as reflected t h r o u g h the conjuction of acreage, yield and prices of arable products, and numbers and prices of livestock products. The composite index thus produced is given i n A p p e n d i x 2, A G 1900, w i t h base year in 1900.9 T o the extent that an index has been constructed in the past The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland in 1917 (British Parliamentary Papers, 1917, pp. 5-11) produced a " R e t u r n of Prices" for .that year and a summary of price movements from 1881-1915. The composite price index w h i c h they produced was based onfixed weights which were said to represent the comparative importance of the various outputs to the Irish farmer in 1900. These weights are reproduced in Table 2 with, for comparative purposes, my own calculated weights for the same year and for the average of 1896-1905. The differences in weighting between the "Official" estimates and my own are not dramatic except in the case of butter, and to a m i n o r extent for oats, but then this was a relatively m i n o r crop by 1900 anyway. A p p e n d i x 2 is the Index produced by using the annual weights at the upper bound margin for the years 1850-1914, compared with the Statist/Sauerback wholesale prices index for the same years. This leads quite naturally to the " r e a l " agricultural prices index using the Sauerback as the deflator. I t may not be the best deflator. I n its t u r n the 1915 R e t u r n of Prices used an index of U K wholesale prices for the limited period 1871-1915. T h e " O f f i c i a l " price index produced in 1915 together w i t h the U K wholesale prices index is also reproduced in A p p e n d i x 2 and the deflated "Offical" index calculated and reproduced. Finally, the last column in Appendix 2 is the index of association between the " O f f i c i a l " " r e a l " agricultural prices index and m y o w n estimate o f " r e a l " agricultural prices. T h e whole has been reduced to base 100 in 1900 (following the " O f f i c i a l " R e t u r n of Prices). In "real" terms the new composite agricultural price index improves, with minor short-term fluctuations, throughout the period. (On the implications for agricultural incomes and the distribution of the improved incomes in terms of rents, wages and profits see V a u g h a n , 1980.) I n particular the rise was steepest during the very years when British agriculture faced its crisis of a prices depres sion. Perhaps here we see the early Irish adjustments evident i n the 1850s, away from tillage and into livestock, producing a terms of trade advantage to Irish producers from 1870 to the mid-90s. A t this moment the general industrial defla tion which beset the Western W o r l d after c. 1870 began to reverse leading to the Edwardian prices recovery. This becomes evident in two ways: a more shallow improvement in "real" Irish agricultural prices, only marginally better than a plateau; and secondly and perhaps significantly, a period punctuated by more frequent short-term adjustments in real prices. The comparable movements in wholesale and agricultural prices producing these real movements are shown in Figure 1.
Table 2: The Shares of A rable and Livestock Products in Irish Agricultural Output ' in c.1900
Offical Share 1900
Mew Estimated
Share 1900
.New Annual Average Estimated Share 1896- 1905**
all in percentages
27.2 15.3 18.3 5.6 7.7 1.1 12.6 5.7 2.2 1.1 2.3 0.7
* I n some cases upper bounds are lower because marketable output was based on fixed weights over the years. T h u s in composite lower bound terms the proportion of these outputs of the total output necessarily rises. T h e main reason for upper and lower bound estimates was because of differential weighting over time for crops, for different pig carcass weights and for different milk yield esti mates. **Based on Upper Bounds. f i n fact based on sheep and lamb prices in the new estimates. A calculation based on mutton prices with certain assumptions about sheep and lamb carcass sizes produced almost identical output values. tJTncludes straw in the new estimates. §Includes rye in the new estimates.
The index of association between my own price index, based on variable weights,and the official one, based on fixed 19.00 weights, moves upwards from a low of 96 in 1881 to a short-term high of 112 in 1887 but is generally a plateau which hovers on or around 100. The index of association between the two deflators, the Sauerback and the U K wholesale prices, was generally below 100, rising steadily from a low of 87 in 1883 to slightly over 100 i n 1906. T h e net result of these mainly minor differences would be a higher estimate of the movement in "real" agricultural prices up to the mid-1880s based on my new estimates com pared w i t h the official ones, but a lower estimate of real prices thereafter. Thus short-term fluctuations about a plateau in the Edwardian period using my index and Sauerback became a, steady i f shallow, almost continuous rise using m y
Figure 1: Irish Agricultural, Wholesale, and "Real" Irish Agricultural Prices 1850-1914 (base 100=1900) miirfimnni1 mil in l l l l M l l t M i l l l l l l l i t l
'Real' Irish ' Agricultural Prices Index U.K. Wholess)e Prices Official Agriculti Prices 'Real' Irish Agricultural Prices index
o--rom^i/)iDt^moio^rgmTruicDr^cDaio«r^m'Jt^tD[>cDOio--rNjriwLnu^cocnO'-fNjnwtriiDc-* cooio^rycrwiriuDh-cocrjO'-'riir'w LOlfil/)mLr>iniillJllJlini0lDU3lOu3lDU[)lOlDC>^ CO CO CO OD CD CD CO 03 03 CD CO 00 CD CD CD CD CD 03 CD 03 CD CD 0 3 ^ index and the U K wholesale prices index. T h e differences are small, w h i c h is a comfort both for m y initial calculation of agricultural values and shares, and m y subsequent construction of the'long-term index. We may conclude from this exercise that practically throughout the period from the Famine to the Great War "real" Irish agricultural prices improved. This was particularly true in the period up to the 1890s, a time when we are always led to believe that British agriculture in general was passing through a period of depression, at least from 1870, and not merely a prices depression. For the period when an " O f f i c i a l " estimate of " r e a l " price movements is available the new index conforms very closely to that estimate. I t is offered here as an improvement on two counts: it employs variable weights to take into account the variable product mix in Irish agriculture; and it extends back into those very important post-Famine decades of Irish agriculture adjustment.
REFERENCES B A R R I N G T O N , T . , 1927. " R e v i e w of Irish Agricultural Prices", Journal ofthe Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, V o l . X V , pp. 249-280. British Parliamentary Papers, 1887. Report of the R o y a l Commission on L a n d L a w (Ireland) Act 1885 -- Popularly known as the Cowper Commission. V o l . X X V I . British Parliamentary Papers, 1902. Agricultural Statistics of Ireland, with Detailed Report for the Y e a r 1901. C d . 1170. British Parliamentary Papers, 1908. Agricultural Statistics, Ireland, 1907-8. R e t u r n of Prices of Crops, Livestock and other Irish Agricultural Products. C d . 4437. British Parliamentary Papers, 1912. T h e Agricultural Output of Ireland 1908. Department of Agri culture and T e c h n i c a l Instruction for Ireland, Dublin, 1912. British Parliamentary Papers, 1917. Agricultural Statistics, Ireland, 1915. R e t u r n of Prices of Crops, Livestock, and other Irish Agricultural Products. C d . 8452. British Parliamentary Papers, 1928. T h e Agricultural Output of Northern Ireland, 1925. C m d . 87 D E A N E , P. and W . A. C O L E , 1967. British Economic Growth 1688-1959, 2nd Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. D R E S C H E R , L . , 1955. " T h e Development of Agricultural Production in Great Britain and Ireland from the early Nineteenth Century", The Manchester School, V o l . X X I I I , No. 2, pp. 153-175, and the "Comment" by T . W . Fletcher, pp. 176-183. F L E T C H E R , T . W . , 1961. " T h e Great Depression of English Agriculture, 1873-96", Economic History Review, 2nd series, V o l . X I I I , pp. .417-432. H U T T M A N , J . , 1969. Institutional Factors in the Development of Irish Agriculture 1850-1915, Unpublished P h . D . Thesis, University of London. J E N S E N , E . , 1937. Danish Agriculture: Its economic development, Copenhagen: J . H . Schultz Forlag. M c G R E G O R , P., 1984. " T h e Impact of the Blight Upon the Pie-Famine R u r a l Economy in Ireland", The Economic and Social Review, V o l . 15, No. 4, pp. 289-303. M O O D Y , T . W . , \98\.Davitl and Irish Revolution 1846-82, Oxford: O U P . O ' C O N N O R , R . and C . G U I O M A R D , 1985. "Agricultural Output in the Irish Free State Area Before and After Independence", Irish Economic and Social History, V o l . X I I , pp. 89-97. O ' G R A D A , C , 1973. Post-famine Adjustment, Essays in Nineteenth Century Irish Economic History, Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Columbia, New York. O ' G R A D A , C , 1984. "Irish Agricultural Output Before and After the F a m i n e " , Journal of Euro pean Economic History, V o l . 13, No. 1, pp. 149-165. O J A L A , E . M . , 1952. Agriculture and Economic Progress, London: Oxford University Press.P E R R E N , R . , 1978. The Meat Trade in Britain 1840-1914, London: Routledge & K e g a n Paul. S O L O W , B., 1971. The Land Qiieslion and the Irish Economy, 1870-1903, Cambridge Mass: H a i v a r d University Press. V A U G H A N , W . E . , 1973. A Study of Landlord and Tenant Relations Between the Famine and the Land War, 1850-78, Unpublished P h . D . Thesis, University of Dublin. V A U G H A N , W . E . , 1980. "Agricultural Output, Rents and Wages in Ireland, 1850-1880", in L . M . C u l l e n and F . Furet (eds.), Ireland and France, Paris and Michigan: U M I Monograph Publishing, pp. 85-97.
A P P E N D I X 1: Weights Used in Calculating the Proportion of Crops, Animals and Animal Products which were Marketed or Consumed on the Farm by Farmers and their Families
Item Wheat Rye Barley Oats Potatoes Other Roots Flax Hay and Straw Cattle Sheep Pigs
Proportion of output regarded as marketed ( I n the case of crops, after allowing for seed and the proportion fed to animals, the value of w h i c h crop is realised in the value of the animals. W i t h some items there are variable weights to account for the increased feed to animals over time. I n the case of animals the calculations allow for mortality and variable carcass weights, milk yields and wool clips.) 92%. As for wheat and using wheat prices. This item is very small i n terms of gross acreage and there is not a separate prices index. Its inclusion or absence does not significantly alter the calculations which have been made. U p p e r bound of 92% and lower bound o f 70%. U p p e r bound of 40% and lower bound of 28%. U p p e r bound of 50% and lower bound of 32%. 0%, assumed that all other root crops are fed to animals. 100%, entire crop is marketed. H a y counted as 1.5 tons per non-farm horse over 2 years of age, that is for 13% of all horses over 2 years of age, plus 0.75 tons per unbroken horse between 1-2 years of age, plus 0.5 tons per horse less than 1 year of age. Straw counted as 4% of 1.4 cwt of wheat, barley, oats and rye straw per cwt of each grain produced multiplied by one-half the hay price. T h e annual disappearance of cattle over 2 years of age times the price of cattle over 2 years, plus the annual disappearance of cattle under 2 years times the price of cattle under 2 years, all after allowing 5% mortality. After deducting 12% for mortality, the net disappearance of sheep each year in the ratio of 2:1 sheep to lambs (based on export ratios) using l a m b prices in the ratio 1.4:1 sheep to lambs (based on the ratios of young to old sheep prices at the Ballinasloe market). Using bacon prices, upper and lower bounds of 1.5 and 2 cwts per p i g carcass times 130% of the annual enumeration. This is in keeping with other scholars and based on assumptions about multiple p i g litters and early p i g slaughter in any one census year.
Butter Wool Eggs
I n fact milk output but using butter prices and after deducting for the consumption of milk by calves and pigs. Upper and lower bound estimates of 400 and 350 gallons per m i l c h cow for 88% o f the enumerated cows at 3 gallons per lb of butter. Based on a fleece of 5 lbs per head of sheep over 1 year of age. Based on a production of 50 eggs per head of 95% of the enumerated poultry population.
Items unaccounted for: For lack of one or other data set, but usually price, the following items o f output cannot be included. Horses i n the horse breeding trade and horse flesh; output from goats; the sale of poultry; the production of hides and other by products from the cattle industry; the general slaughter and subsequent sale of spent cows and other aged or otherwise unwanted livestock; and the sale of turf. O t h e r estimators have employed a mark-up of 5% or so of calculated tillage and livestock output to account for these missing items. For a calculation of the value of t u r f output for the Irish Free State alone from 1912/39 see O ' C o n n o r and Guiomard, 1985.
Note: A full justification of the weights employed can be obtained from the author on request. I n general they are based on self-assessment and the combined authorities o f Solow, 1971; O ' G r a d a , 1973; O ' G r a d a , 1984; V a u g h a n , 1980. See also Barrington, 1927, especially p. 259 and British Parliamentary Papers 1912. T h e unusual straw calculation is based on self-assessment but guided by esti mates of the value of straw output i n N o r t h e r n Ireland in 1925, as reported in British Parliamentary Papers, 1928, p.-71.
A P P E N D I X 2: Irish Agricultural Wholesale and "Real" Irish Agricultural Prices 1850-1914 (base 100 = 1900)
Year 1850 1851 1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 1857 1858 1859 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893
AG 1900 58.9 56.0 58.1 7.2.7 82.1 84.2 80.3 78.5 73.9 79.1 84.6 83.6 82.0 76.5 80.5 91.5 91.0 76.9 91.1 87.7 87.3 92.4 102.5 103.4 102.8 102.2' 104.0 100.8 100.2 98.5 102.3 94.4 100.1 96.6 92.5 82.1 78.2 89.1 92.1 98.0' 96.3 91.6 90.4 89.4
ST 1900 102.8 100.0 105.6 127.8 137.5 136.1 136.1 141.7 122.2 126.4 133.3 130.6 136.1 138.9 141.7 136.1 136.1 134.7 133.3 131.9 129.2 134.7 147.2 150.0 136.1 129.2 127.8 126.4 116.7 111.1 118.1 113.9 113.9 109.7 102.8 97.2 93.1 91.7 94.4 97.2 97.2 97.2 91.7 91.7
R1900 57.3 56.0 55.0 56.9 59.7 61.9 59.0 55.4 60.4 62.6 63.5 64.1 60.3 55.1 56.9 67.2 66.8 57.1 68.3 66.4 67.6 68.6 69.6 68.9 75.5 79.2 81.4 79.7 85.9 88.6 86.6 82.9 87.9 88.1 90.0 84.4 84.1 97.2 97.5 100.8 99.1 94.2 98.6 97.5
WHOLE -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- .-- -- -- -- -- 135.6 145.2 151.9 146.9 140.4 137.1 140.4 131.1 125.0 129.0 126.6 127.7 125.9 114.1 107.0 101.0 98.8 101.8 103.4 . 103.3 106.9 101.1 99.4
01900 -- --
OR 1900 z
-- 108.4 108.8 108.4 101.8 92.6 87.1 85.2 93.1 97.8 95.9 99.9 97.7 97.8
-- 85.6 85.2 86.1 89.2 86.5 86.2 86.2 91.5 94.6 92.8 93.5 96.6 98.4
96.8 103.1 102.3 100.9 97.6 97.5 112.7 106.6 106.6 106.7 100.8 102.1 .99.1
Tear 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 A G 1900 S T 1900 R1900 WHOLE O1900 OR1900 ASSOC
A P P E N D I X 2: Continued
AG 1900 86.4 88.1 86.2 93.1 91.2 93.6 100.0 98.4 97.0 105.2 101.4 102.1 103.5 107.9 106.6 113.7 119.1 116.6 119.1 122.9 125.0
ST] 900 84.7 83.3 81.9 83.3 86.1 91.7 100.0 94.4 93.1 93.1 94.4 97.2 102.8 106.9 98.6 100.0 105.6 106.9 '113.9 113.9 113.9
R1900 102.0 105.7 105.2 111.7 105.9 102.2 100.0 104.2 104.3 113.1 107.4 105.0 100.7 100.9 108.1 113.7 112.8 109.1 104.6 107.9 109.8
WHOLE 93.5 90.7 88.2 90.1 93.2 92.2 100.0 96.7 96.4 96.9 98.2 97.6 100.8 106.0 103.0 104.1 108.8 109.4 114.9 116.5 117.2
01900 92.7 93.0 87.5 93.0 93.2 93.6 100.0 100.5 99.9 100.8 99.0 102.1 103.9 107.7 107.0 107.5 113.3 111.6 114.8 119.2 120.3
OR1900 99.1 102.5 99.2 103.2 100.0 101.5 100.0 * 103.9 103.6 104.0 100.8 104.6 103.1 101.6 ' 103.9 103.3 104.1 102.0 99.9 102.3 102.6
New Irish Agricultural Prices Index Statist-Sauerback Wholesale Prices Index Real Irish Agricultural Prices Index U K Wholesale Prices Index Official Irish Agricultural Prices Index Official Real Irish Agricultural Prices Index Index of Association between R1900 and O R 1 9 0 0
ASSOC 102.8 103.1 106.0 108.3 105.9 100.6 100.0 100.2 100.6 108.7 106.5 100.4 97.7 99.3 104.1 110.1 108.3 106.9 104.7 105.5 106.9

M Turner

File: towards-an-agricultural-prices-index-for-ireland-1850-1914.pdf
Author: M Turner
Published: Sun Apr 22 13:53:47 2012
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