and are situated in the narrow creek valleys, where the numerous ditches are usually owned by individuals. The climate is very favorable to the growth of deciduous fruits, apples, pears, and peaches, and to beekeeping. There are several large apiaries, as well as many smaller ones, in this part of the state.
Maricopa County, which, in 1871, was formed by a division of Yavapai County, is far in advance of any other county in Arizona, both in agricultural development and bee culture. The State Inspector of Apiaries inspected 34,710 colonies in the state in 1918, of which 21,319 were in Maricopa County; 4398 colonies in Yuma County; 2951 colonies in Cochise County; 2484 colonies in Pinal County; 1176 colonies in Yavapai County; 557 colonies in Pima County; and 256 colonies in Greenlee County.
One of the most famous irrigation systems in the world is the Salt River project, which has been constructed by the United States Reclamation Service. Eighty miles east of Phoenix, in a narrow canyon, the Roosevelt Dam rises to a height of 284 feet above the bed of the river, forming a beautiful lake 28 miles in length, surrounded by hills and mountains. The waters of Salt River and Tonto Creek are stored in the lake, and at the proper time are permitted to flow through the sluicegates, taking up in their course down the valley the water of Verde River. At the diversion dam, at Granite Reef, the three streams are turned into great canals, and serve to irrigate 216,000 acres. The total cost of this system was about $10,000,000.
The altitude of Salt River Valley is 110 feet above sea level, and the average annual temperature is 69 degrees F. During 40 years the average annual rainfall has been about 8 inches, and the average number of clear days 232, and of rainy days 37. The soils are sand and gravel loams, loess loams similar to those found along the Mississippi River, and heavy clay loams. The loess soils are from 100 to 500 feet deep. The land is well adapted to irrigation, as it is almost level, with a gradient of seven feet to the mile. There are no rocks.
Alfalfa may be cut five or six times for hay, or, if preferred, profitable crops of seed may be grown. During the last years of the Great War alfalfa was partially replaced by Egyptian or long-staple cotton, used in the manufacture of automobile tires. The supply of a suitable grade of cotton for this industry having become wholly inadequate, in the spring of 1918 one of the large American tire companies bought several thousand acres of land in the Salt River Valley, and seeded them with Egyptian cotton. In 1918 about 40,000 bales of cotton of superior quality were harvested; in 1919, 90,000 bales were grown; and in 1920 growers expected 100,000 bales. The average yield was one-half a bale per acre; but on the older cultivated land one bale per acre was not unusual.
Cotton does not yield as much nectar per acre as alfalfa; and in localities where it has largely supplanted alfalfa beekeepers are not securing as large a surplus as formerly. The nectar is secreted much more freely by glands on the underside of the leaves than by the floral nectaries. Cotton honey is white, and has a mild flavor, or is almost without flavor, like sugar syrup. It may be expected that the larger acreage of cotton will, to some extent, compensate for the decrease in the alfalfa area. Cotton, moreover, remains in bloom from July until late in the season, while farmers cut the alfalfa for hay at a much earlier stage than formerly, not allowing the plants to come into full bloom. The alfalfa butterfly (Colias eurytheme) has so increased in numbers since 1895 that the honey flow, which once continued into September, is now cut short in July. In 1920 the price of cotton dropped so low that many acres, it was reported, in the Colorado River Valley lands could not profitably be picked. It is probable, therefore, that many farmers will return again to growing alfalfa.
In the vicinity of Phoenix there are 75 yards which range from 1 to 619 colo-