A Weekly Journal for
THE FARM, ORCHARD, AND FIRESIDE.
ESTABLISHED IN 1841. ENTIRE SERIES: VOL. 56—NO. 1.
CHICAGO, SATURDAY, JANUARY 5, 1884.
PRICE, $2.00 PER YEAR, IN ADVANCE.
[Transcriber's Note: Some pages in the original had the corner torn off. Missing text has been marked [***].]
[Transcriber's Note: The Table of Contents was originally located on page 8 of the periodical. It has been moved here for ease of use.]
THE CONTENTS OF THIS NUMBER.
AGRICULTURE—Tall Meadow Oat-Grass, Page 1; The Barbed-Wire Business, 1-2; A Rambler's Letter, 2; Let Us Be Sociable, 2; Seed Corn Again, 2; Field and Furrow, 3.
LIVE STOCK—Mr. Grinnell's Letter, Page 14; Prices of 1883, 4; Docking Horses, 4; Items, 4.
THE DAIRY—Lessons in Finance for the Creamery Patron, Page 5.
VETERINARY—Fever, Page 5.
HORTICULTURE—Ill. Hort. Society, Page 6; A Short Sermon on a Long Text, 6; Prunings, 6-7.
FLORICULTURE—Gleanings by an Old Florist, Page 7; Am I a Scot or am I Not, Poetry, 7; Primitive Northwest, 7.
EDITORIAL—Items, Page 8; Seed Samples, 8; The Pork Question in Europe, 8; Corn, Wheat, and Cotton, 8; Chicago in 1883, 9; Strong Drink, 9; Questions and Answers, 9; Wayside Notes, 9; Champaign Letter, 9.
POULTRY NOTES—Chat With Correspondents, Page 10; Feather Ends, 10.
THE APIARY—Keep Bees, Page 10; The New Bees, 10; Hive and Honey Hints, 10.
SILK CULTURE—Women In Silk Culture, Page 11.
HOUSEHOLD—The Schoolmarm's Story, Poem, Page 12; A Chat About the Fashions, 12; A Kitchen Silo, 12; Items, 12.
YOUNG FOLKS—Talk about the Lion, Page 13; A Jack-knife Genius, 13; Little Johnny, 13.
BOOK NOTICES—Page 13.
LITERATURE—Robin, Dear Robin, Poetry, Page 14; Mrs. Wimbush's Revenge, 14.
HUMOROUS—The Carpenter's Wooing, Poetry, Page 15; Where the Old Maids Come From, 15; Items, 15.
NEWS OF THE WEEK—Page 16.
TALL MEADOW OAT-GRASS.
Prof. John W. Robson, State Botanist of Kansas, sends THE PRAIRIE FARMER an extract from his last report, concerning a tame grass for hay and pasturing which is new to that State. The grass has been on trial on an upland farm for two years, during which time he has watched it very closely. The Professor says, "It possesses so many excellent qualities as to place it in the front rank of all cultivated grasses." He enumerates from his notes:
1st. The seed will germinate and grow as easily as common oats. 2d. It maintains a deep green color all seasons of the year. 3d. Its roots descend deeply into the subsoil, enabling this grass to withstand a protracted drouth. 4th. Its early growth in spring makes it equal to rye for pasturage. 5th. In the next year after sowing it is ready to cut for hay, the middle of May—not merely woody stems, but composed in a large measure of a mass of long blades of foliage. The crop of hay can be cut and cured, and stowed away in stack or barn, long before winter wheat harvest begins. 6th. It grows quickly after mowing, giving a denser and more succulent aftermath than any of the present popular tame grasses.
For several years, he says, we have been looking for a grass that would supply good grazing to our cattle and sheep after the native grasses have become dry and tasteless. In the early portion of 1881, his attention was called to a tame grass which had been introduced into the State of Michigan from West Virginia. This forage plant was causing some excitement among the farmers in the neighborhood of Battle Creek. So he entered into a correspondence with a friend living there, and obtained ten pounds of seed for trial. The result has been satisfactory in every respect. The seed was sown April 1, 1881. It germinated quickly, and the young plants grew vigorously. During the whole summer they exhibited a deep-green color, and did not become brown, like blue-grass, orchard grass, or timothy. As soon as the spring of 1882 opened, growth set in rapidly, and continued till the latter end of May, at which period it stood from three to four feet high. At this time it was ready for the mower; but as the production of seed was the object in view, it was not cut till the second week in June. The plot of ground of about half an acre, on which ten pounds of seed were sown, produced three barrels of seed.
He exhibited a little sheaf of this grass at the semi-annual meeting of the Kansas State Horticultural Society, where it excited much attention—the height, softness of the stem, length of blade, and sweet aroma surprised every one present.
On the last day of August, he went into the plot with a sickle, and cut two handfuls of aftermath which measured twenty inches in growth. This he tied to a sheaf of the June cutting, and exhibited the same at the State Fair, where it attracted much attention and comment.
Here, then, we have, he continues, a grass that will insure a "good catch" if the seed is fresh; that can endure severe drouth; that produces an abundant supply of foliage; that is valuable for pasture in early spring, on account of its early and luxuriant growth; that makes a valuable hay; that shoots up quickly after being cut; and affords a fine crop of aftermath for grazing during the late fall and winter months.
The Professor is very anxious that the farmers of Kansas should test this grass during the season of 1883. Still, his advice is not to invest too largely in the experiment. Purchase from five to ten pounds of seed, and give it a fair trial, and he is confident that the experiment will be satisfactory.
The name given to this valuable grass in the State of Michigan is "Evergreen," but this is only a local synonym. Its scientific name is Avena elatior; its common name, "Tall Meadow Oat-grass." Fearing that he might be mistaken in its nomenclature, he sent a specimen to Professor Carruth, State Botanist. This is his reply:
"Mr. J.W. Robson—Dear Sir: Yours mailed on the 22d, I received last evening. I do not get my mail every day. The specimen of grass you sent agrees perfectly with the Avena elatior, of Wood, and the Arrenatherrum avenaceum, of Gray; but I have never seen this grass before. I agree with you in the scientific name, and also in the common name, 'Tall Meadow Oat-grass.'
Yours truly, J.H. CARRUTH."
The ground should be plowed in the fall, and early in the spring, as soon as the soil is in good tilth; sow broadcast two bushels (or twenty-eight pounds) of seed to the acre; cover well with the harrow, both lengthways and across the piece of ground sown. Should the ground prove weedy, cut the weeds down with the mowing machine in June, and leave them upon the surface, and they will afford shade to the young plants.
This grass is extensively grown in Eastern Tennessee, and is very popular in that portion of the State. In some portions of Western Virginia it is largely grown for hay and for grass. It is known as tall meadow oat-grass in each of the States we have mentioned above.
* * * * *
The main building for the New Orleans Cotton Centennial Exposition next year will be 1,500 feet long and 900 feet wide, with 1,000,398 square feet of floor space, including Music Hall in the center, with a seating capacity of 12,000 persons. The design also provides for main offices, telegraph office, newspaper department, fire department, police, hospital, waiting-rooms, and life saving apparatus. The building will be the largest exposition building ever erected, except the one in London in 1862. The design adopted was the work of G.M. Jorgenson, of Meridian, Mississippi. There were ten competitors.
JOSEPH F. GLIDDEN.
The Barb-Wire Industry—Some Facts in its Early History not Generally Known—Its Growth.
Joseph Farwell Glidden, "the Father of the Barb-Wire Business" of this country, is now a hale and hearty man of seventy-one. He was born at Charleston, N.H. When about one year old the family came West, to Clarendon, Orleans county, New York, and engaged in farming. The young lad, besides mastering the usual branches taught in the common schools, gave some time to the higher mathematics and Latin, intending to take a college course, an idea that he finally abandoned. He taught in the district schools for a few terms. In 1842 he came to Illinois and purchased a quarter section of land a mile west of what is now the site of the pleasant and prosperous town of DeKalb. With the exception of three years his life since then has been passed upon this farm and at DeKalb. He has from time to time added to his homestead, his farm now embracing 800 acres. His land is under excellent cultivation, a considerable portion of it having been thoroughly tiled, and his farm buildings are first-class. Mr. Glidden has been twice married. Two children were born of the first union, both dying in infancy. By his second marriage he has one daughter, now the wife of a Chicago merchant.
Mr. Glidden has held several local offices of trust and honor and enjoys in a marked degree the esteem and confidence of the citizens of his neighborhood and county. The rapid accumulation of property of late years, through his barb-wire patents and business, gave him the means to gratify his feelings of public spirit, and in consequence the town of DeKalb has benefited greatly at his hands. Its leading hotel and many other buildings are the work of his enterprise. Mr. Glidden has never lost the simple manners of the farm. He is unostentatious, quiet, genial, and at his hotel makes everybody feel as much at home as though enjoying the hospitalities of his private house. His kindly, firm, and intelligent face is well shown in the accompanying portrait, though, as is usually the case, the hand of the artist has touched his features more lightly than has the hand of time.
* * * * *
Few names are now more widely known among the land holders of the country than that of Joseph F. Glidden, the unpretending gentleman whose life we have briefly sketched. It was his fortune to seize upon an idea, and push it to development, which has not only given him fame and fortune, but which has enriched many others and saved many millions of dollars to the farmers of America. He has not only founded a mammoth industry, but he has revolutionized an economic system of the world. By his ingenuity and perseverance the fencing system of a pastoral continent has been reduced to a minimum of expense and simplicity. Not that he individually has accomplished all this, but as the patentee of the first really successful barb-wire fence, he laid the solid foundation for it all.
* * * * *
The first application for a patent for the Glidden barb was filed October 27, 1873. For some weeks previous to this date Mr. Glidden had had in his mind the idea of a barb of wire twisted about the main wire of the fence, leaving two projecting points on opposite sides. He made some of these by hand with the aid of pinchers and hammer. He strung two wires between two trees and twisted them together with a stick placed between them. A pair of cutting nippers was the next addition to his "kit" of tools. His next means for twisting the two wires together was the grindstone—attaching one end of the wire to shaft and crank, the others being fastened to the wall of the barn. And here, as in most things great and small in this world, woman furnished the motor power. The strong arm of the good helpmeet, Mrs. Glidden, turned the grindstone that twisted the first wire that made the first Glidden barb fence that kept stock at bay in Illinois or the world. Then followed a device for twisting and barbing, and the application of horse power. Business expanded, and steam took the place of the horse, and inventive genius modified and improved the entire machinery, it being estimated that at least the sum of $1,000,000 has been expended in bringing the machinery for barb-wire making to its present state of perfection.
* * * * *
At about the same time that Mr. Glidden was wrestling with his ideas and devices, Mr. I.L. Ellwood was experimenting to accomplish a like result with a thin band of metal, the barbs cut and curved outward from the strip. In the meantime Mr. Glidden had put up a few rods of his hand-made barb-wire along the roadside at his farm. And here again the good genius of woman enters upon the scene. One Sunday Mr. Ellwood and his wife were driving along this road and attracted by the wire fence stopped to examine it. Mrs. Ellwood, much to the chagrin of her husband, remarked: "This seems to me a better device than your own, don't it to you?" It did not then, for the remark disappointed and angered him. But it set him to thinking and before the next morning he was of the same opinion. The two men meeting the next day it did not take long to compromise and unite. Mr. Ellwood dropped his own plans and accepted a half interest in the Glidden patents, and assumed the management of the business end of the concern, in which position he developed ability and tact possessed by few business men in this country.
* * * * *
The barb-wire fence met an unexpected and general demand. We know of few things like it in the history of manufactures. From this small beginning, scarce ten years ago more than fifty large establishments are now turning out this wire to meet an ever insatiate demand. The establishment of I.L. Ellwood (making the Glidden wire) at DeKalb is the most complete and extensive of them all. The building is 800 feet in length, and is supplied with about 200 machines for twisting and barbing the wire. It gives, when running full force, employment to about 400 men, and turns out a car-load of wire each hour for ten hours per day, on an average, though this amount is considerably increased at certain times of the year. These figures, though not given us by Mr. Ellwood, we are satisfied do not overstate the production of this one factory. The progress of the barb-wire industry of the whole country is shown by the following record of the past nine seasons. In
1874 there were 10,000 lb made and sold. 1875 there were 600,000 lb made and sold. 1876 there were 2,840,000 lb made and sold. 1877 there were 12,863,000 lb made and sold. 1878 there were 26,655,000 lb made and sold. 1879 there were 50,337,000 lb made and sold. 1880 there were 80,500,000 lb made and sold. 1881 there were 120,000,000 lb made and sold. 1882 there were about 180,000,000 lb.
The record for 1883 is not yet made up, but will probably show a corresponding increase.
In 1876 Mr. Glidden disposed of his half interest in the concern of Glidden & Ellwood to the Washburn & Moen (wire) Manufacturing Company, of Massachusetts, receiving therefor $60,000 in cash and a royalty on the future goods manufactured, Mr. Ellwood retaining his interest. The new concern began the purchase of prior unused and conflicting patents involving itself in extensive litigation, but, sustained by the courts, soon gained control of almost the entire barb-wire business of the country. Nearly all wire-making companies are now running under license from the parent concern. The following is a list of the licensees of last year:
Pittsburg Hinge Co.—Limited, Beaver Falls, Pa. H.B. Scutt & Co., Buffalo, N.Y. Hawkeye Steel Barb Fence Co., Burlington, Iowa. James Ayers and Alexander C. Decker, Bushnell, Ill. Indiana Wire Fence Co., Crawfordsville, Ind. Cedar Rapids Barb Wire Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Cincinnati Barbed Wire Fence Co., Cincinnati, Ohio. Cleveland Barb Fence Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Ohio Steel Barb Fence Co., Cleveland, Ohio. Edwin A. Beers & Co., Chicago, Ill. Crandal Manufacturing Co., Chicago, Ill. Chicago Galvanized Wire Fence Co., Chicago, Ill. Lyman Manufacturing Co., Chicago, Ill. Daniel S. Marsh, Chicago, Ill. Oscar F. Moore, Chicago, Ill. National Wire Co., Chicago, Ill. Herman E. Schnabel, Chicago, Ill. Aaron K. Stiles and John W. Calkins, Chicago, Ill. Thorn Wire Hedge Co., Chicago, Ill. Baker Manufacturing Co., Des Moines, Iowa. Superior Barbed Wire Co., DeKalb, Ill. Jacob Haish, DeKalb, Ill. Frentress Barbed Wire Fence Co., East Dubuque, Ill. Grinnell Manufacturing Co., Grinnell, Iowa. Janesville Barb Wire Co., Janesville, Wis. Iowa Barb Wire Co., Johnstown, Pa. William J. Adam, Joliet, Ill. Lock Stitch Fence Co., Joliet, Ill. Lambert & Bishop Wire Fence Co., Joliet, Ill. Alfred Van Fleet & A.H. Shreffler, Joliet, Ill. David G. Wells, Joliet, Ill. Southwestern Barb Wire Co., Lawrence, Kan. Arthur H. Dale, Leland, Ill. Union Barb Wire Co., Lee, Ill. Lockport Wire Fence Co., Lockport, Ill. Norton & DeWitt, Lockport, Ill. Iowa Barb Steel Wire Fence Co., Marshaltown, Iowa. Omaha Barb Wire Co., Omaha, Neb. H.B. Scutt & Co.—Limited, Pittsburg, Pa. Missouri Wire Fence Co., St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis Wire Fence Co., St. Louis, Mo. J.H. Lawrence & Co., Sterling, Ill. North Western Barb Wire Co., Sterling, Ill. Novelty Manufacturing Co., Sterling, Ill. Sandwich Enterprise Co., Sandwich, Ill. Robinson & Hallidie, San Francisco, Cal. The Hazard Manufacturing Co., Wilkes Barre, Pa. Worcester Barb Fence Co., Worcester, Mass.
* * * * *
When Glidden & Ellwood first began the sale of the Glidden fence, which was confined to the vicinity of DeKalb, they received 25 cents per pound for the barbed wire. Since then, as production has increased and the facilities for manufacturing have been multiplied and perfected, the price has gradually dropped, until now a farm can be well fenced for forty-five cents, or less, per rod, and to the incalculable advantage of the country over fencing by posts and boards, hedges or rails, as any one may see by a simple dollar and cent comparison of materials at his own door.
* * * * *
Barb-wire has done much for the city of DeKalb. It has built its fine business blocks and residences, and it has peopled it with industrious, thrifty citizens. It has made a home market for many of the products of the country 'round about. It should give a new name, "Barb City," to the bustling, busy town. There are three concerns now making barb-wire at this point. The one spoken of is the largest. Next is that of Jacob Haish, an extensive establishment, turning out an excellent wire, and the Superior, run by Mr. Hiram Ellwood, Mr. Glidden having a considerable interest in it.
* * * * *
Mr. I.L. Ellwood is the owner of some 2,600 acres of land in the vicinity of DeKalb. Much of this land is naturally low and wet. The proprietor, with his accustomed energy and intelligence, has set vigorously to work to reclaim it. To this end he has already laid eighty miles of tile. He last year expended nearly $15,000 in this work. His poorest land is rapidly becoming his most productive. Mr. Ellwood has also turned his attention somewhat to horse-breeding, and he is now the owner of a fine stud of draft-horses, the equal of many better-known establishments of the kind in the State. Of his drainage operations we hope to speak more in detail in a future number.
* * * * *
Mr. Glidden told the writer that his first trial of his fence with stock was not undertaken without some misgivings. But he thought to himself, "It will stop them, at any rate, whether it kills them or not." So he took down an old board fence from one side of his barn-yard, and towards night when his stock came up, turned them into the yard as usual. The first animal to investigate the almost invisible barrier to freedom was a strong, heavy grade Durham cow. She walked along beside the wires for a little put her nose out and touched a barb, withdrew it and took a walk around the yard, approached the wires again and gave the barbs a lap with her tongue. This settled the matter, and she retired, convinced that the new-fangled fence was a success.
* * * * *
Barb-wire is now sent from this country to Mexico, South America, and Australia. It is also being manufactured in England under American auspices.
* * * * *
Mr. Glidden, associating with himself a Mr. Sanborn, a young man of push and enterprise, has opened up an extensive cattle ranch in Potter and Randall counties, Texas. They have fenced with wire a tract thirty miles long by about fifteen miles broad, and have now upon it 14,000 head of cattle. Two twisted No. 11 wires were used for this fence, and the posts are the best that could be procured. The wire was taken 200 miles on wagons. The total cost of the completed fence was about $36,000.
* * * * *
Messrs. Glidden & Ellwood put up the first barb-wire ever used by a railway company—the Northwestern. So great was the caution of the company that the manufacturers built it themselves, agreeing to remove it if it proved unsatisfactory. The railway folks feared it would injure stock, the damages for which they would be forced to pay. It is needless to say that the fence was not removed. More than one hundred railway companies are now using the Glidden wire, and it stretches along many thousands of miles of track.
A RAMBLER'S LETTER.
I would like to call your attention to the fact that there is considerable cholera among swine in Dewey township, Ill., west from Joliet. Mr. Cooter lost about 130 hogs. Other farmers have suffered equally.
I have been looking over the stock in this part of the country and find it excellent, as a general thing. Many of the farmers are breeders of fine Hereford cattle. They also own first-class horses. Some of them whom I called upon would like to know the address of State Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Paaren, and I should be pleased if you will give it in THE PRAIRIE FARMER.[A] I have often thought, Why is it that so many sons of wealthy farmers leave their homes for the purpose of either studying in some classical college, to learn a trade, or to become book-keepers and clerks in mercantile business. I think if farmers would take more interest in agricultural papers, instead of having their children fooling away their time on novels or comic stories and pictures, it would be better for both old and young. Let the parents buy a microscope and let the young folks examine insects and fungi of all kinds, and let them write their experiences down in a book whenever there is leisure time. Or let them write to THE PRAIRIE FARMER something in the line of farming, be it agriculture, horticulture, or about raising and caring for stock. In so doing the boys of our farming country will become proud of their noble profession and of their homes. They will gradually be, as every farmer should be, educated up to the times. There are few farmers who can afford to let their sons study in an agricultural university, but every one can surely afford to subscribe for an agricultural paper, it being one of the most profitable investments for himself and family.
The ground is covered with snow to a small extent, and the roads are in a fine condition. The crops are all good here except corn, which is very poor indeed, even the crop in most cases is small. Farmers are not at all satisfied, and times are not at all encouraging.
H.A.P. WEISSBERGER. WILL CO., ILL.
[A] 355 Western Avenue (south), Chicago.
A FARMER'S LIBRARY.
As this is the season to make up our list of papers and magazines for the ensuing year, I will take a glance around my own cosy room set apart for a library.
It is here that I do the most of my reading, writing, and planning; and although I pretend to be deeply engaged while ensconced in the large willow rocker, strictly forbidding entrance to my farmer office, yet the children and "Spot," my Gordon setter, will intrude, making things lively for awhile, driving my thoughts wool-gathering and breaking many a thread of thought that I had fondly hoped would place my name high on the roll of scribblers. It is a good thing to have the little innocent children and the dog to blame for these shortcomings, as they can not take issue with us on the question.
But I started to talk about a farmer's library; and taking my own for a small sample, let us see how it looks.
For the purpose of keeping my papers in order, I have prepared thin laths of tough wood dressed with the draw knife to a thin edge, the back being one fourth of an inch thick, leaving the lath one and a quarter inch broad; these are cut in lengths to suit the paper they are intended to hold. Take for instance THE PRAIRIE FARMER. I cut the lath just two inches longer than the paper is long, then cut notches half of an inch from each end, in which I tie the ends of a cord; this forms a loop to hang up the file. In this I file each paper so soon as read, by which means they are never lost or mislaid. When at the end of each three months the papers are taken from off the file, the oldest number is laid face down on a broad piece of plank and the number that follows laid face down on the top of the first, then they are squared evenly and a strong awl pierces three holes in the back edge through which a strong twine string is laced and tied firmly; this finishes the job, and the book thus simply and quickly made is placed on the shelf with its mates. This done the file is returned to its hook to await the next number.
This is a simple plan for filing papers of any size, and any farmer can do it, there being no expense or outlay for material. On glancing up from the stand on which I am writing, the first objects that attract my notice are my breach loader, cartridge belt, and game-bag hanging on the wall; then by the side of the stove hangs the file of THE PRAIRIE FARMER, within easy reach of my left hand; next it swings the Country Gentleman, then comes the Forest and Stream, then Colman's Rural World, then the Drainage Journal; next Harper's Weekly, then Harper's Bazar. This is my wife's paper and she persists in hanging it among mine. Then comes Harper's Monthly and the Century, not forgetting the Sanitary Journal. On the other side of the room we find the Inter Ocean, Democrat, and several other political papers fairly representing both sides, also some standard books of valuable information; and last but not least, the PRAIRIE FARMER Map which you sent for my club.
Now, this may be considered a pretty large outlay for a common farmer to make, but outside of life insurance, I consider it my best investment.
In this selection I get the cream of all matters of practical importance to the farmer. From THE PRAIRIE FARMER I get the latest and most reliable information of the great central ruling markets of the West Chicago, which has saved me sundry times from three to five cents per bushel on wheat, sometimes paying the price of the paper twenty times over in one transaction. From the C.G. I get the Eastern markets, while Colman gives the St. Louis; and by a close study of the three a farmer can always make enough to pay for twenty or thirty dollars worth of good current literature for the use of his family. Then the F. and S. is always full of delightful reading for the boys, refining their cruel propensities, and teaching them to be kind to the feathered tribe which are the farmer's friends. By reading it they soon lay aside their traps, nets, and snares, with which they capture whole covies of the dear little Bob-whites, and disdain to touch a feather, only when on the wing, and then with their light, hammerless breach loader. Such reading as that ties the farmer's boys to country life, and makes them contented under the parental roof-tree until they are ready to build up homes of their own. The Journal tells them all about tile making and drainage, a very necessary accomplishment when they get their own homestead.
The pictures in H.W. furnish a fountain of amusement for the little folks, and teach them—with a little help—many things that will be useful to them in life. As a matter of course the "Bezar" is for mother and the girls, and [***] consultations [***] before the fair, a [***] daughters, your [***] good when she insisted [***] be put on the list.
A boy or a girl with [***] the Century in their hands, [***] room, with a bright clear lamp [***] has no thought of city life, or [***] In those bright pages the [***] outer world painted in all its various [***] so interesting and so fascinating [***] have no desire to see it in reality; in [***] they bring the brightest and best thought, [***] historic, and romantic to our hearth and home; furnishing food for the youthful minds, leaving no room for evil or discontented thoughts to enter. Then I say to every farmer who has children, get the magazines for them, they will save you a mountain of trouble.
Then to balance things have one or two spicy news papers, which picture in horrid colors the blackest side of human life. This is necessary to guard the young against the riff-raff of humanity, such as tramps, sharpers, sewing machine and book agents, the lightning rod man, and a dozen other sharp swindlers that prey on the farmer and his family for an existence. The Sanitary Journal treats of health, purity, and cleanliness, and ought to be read and studied by all. Ah, I had almost forgotten THE PRAIRIE FARMER Map which hangs by the door. What can I say about it? that it is a handsome ornament for a living room or library? yes, but that is not all, it is useful. When it arrived I took it to the railroad office and compared it with the best map they had, also with a map made by the U.S. land office. I came away satisfied that it was reliable; it ought to be in the home of every farmer in this great country of ours, so that their children can learn and know what a grand heritage they have got. There is no excuse for being without it, as a few pounds of butter or dozens of eggs will procure it and a paper that will gladden the hearts of both old and young.
ALEX ROSS. CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO.
LET US BE SOCIABLE.
A happy new year to all of the readers of THE PRAIRIE FARMER, and may your labors of 1884 be crowned with success. Mr. Granger, what are you doing these long winter evenings? Can't you find time to write a few lines to the readers of THE PRAIRIE FARMER? You can send a little report from your county, at least. Come, let us be a little more sociable and talk more to each other through the columns of our paper. We can learn something by reading each other's views on different subjects. In my next I shall try and tell some of the careless fellows how to run a farm to make it pay. If I fail to give a little light on the subject perhaps some one else will try it. We are having what you might call winter, now. Snow is about six inches deep, but the weather is not very cold. The thermometer has not been below zero but once. Nearly all of the corn is gathered; only about one-third of the crop is sound enough to keep until next summer. Farmers are feeding their soft corn to hogs and cattle. In that way the soft corn will pay pretty well after all, for fat stock brings a good price. Stock cattle are wintering well, for feed in the fields is good, and most farmers have got plenty of good hay. The weather was so nice the first part of this month that the farmers did a large amount of plowing. Potatoes are plenty and cheap; worth from 30 to 40 cents. Apples are scarce, and good ones bring a big price. Butter is worth from 25 to 30 cents.
S.O.A. KNOX CO., ILL.
SEED CORN AGAIN.
There has been much complaint of soft corn in this section on account of planting foreign seed last spring, but it is all solid since the late cold spell.
Those who planted seed of their own raising and got a stand have fair corn, while much of that which was raised from Kansas and Nebraska seed was caught by the frost when in the milk. Now we will be in just the same "fix" about seed next spring that we were last. This county has lost thousands of dollars this year in the corn crop alone, all of which might have been avoided by going through the fields before freezing weather and selecting seed and properly drying it before it froze.
And now right here I want to say that the great secret of good farming is simply being punctual in attending to the small matters, and I "guess" Fanny Field would say the same about poultry.
Z.L. THOMPSON. IROQUOIS CO., ILL.
* * * * *
REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for THE PRAIRIE FARMER from this date to January 1, 1885; For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER COUNTY MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, FREE! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.
* * * * *
FIELD AND FURROW.
Says the Iowa Register: One hundred bushels of corn will shrink to ninety in the crib, and to an extent more than that, depending on the openness of the crib and the honesty of the neighbors.
The agricultural editor of the New York Times says that no doubt many farmers who are intending to underdrain their farms would save money by employing an expert at the first to lay out the whole system and make a good beginning, and so avoid any possible mistake, which might cost ten dollars for every one paid for skilled advice.
The New York Times says that lime seems to be a preventive of rot in potatoes in the cellar. Some potatoes that were rotting and were picked out of a heap of forty or fifty bushels were put into a corner and well dusted with air-slaked lime. They stopped rotting at once, and the decayed parts are now dried up. There is no disagreeable smell about them.
Cincinnati Gazette: It is remarked that when young hogs are fed mainly on corn they stop growing at an early age and begin to grow fat; but that green food makes them thriftier and larger than dry grain. In fact, it is better to prevent all domestic animals from becoming very fat until they have attained a fair natural size, particularly breeding animals.
A member of the Elmira Farmers' Club recently expressed the opinion that bad results would always be found with wheat sown on land into which the green growth of any crop had just been turned, although it was believed that buckwheat was the worst green manure. All green growth incorporated with the soil near the time of seeding will in all cases be found prejudicial to wheat.
It is announced that Robert Clarke, of Cincinnati will have ready, in February, an extensive work on sorghum, containing the results of the latest experiments and experience of the most successful growers, as to the best varieties and their culture, and also the details of the latest and best machinery used in the economical manufacture of sirups and sugars therefrom. The work is by Prof. Peter Collier, whose name is a guarantee of the value of the book. It will be very fully illustrated.
A Michigan man writes the Michigan Farmer: I have noticed tarred twine and willows recommended for binding corn stalks. I think I can propose a better substitute than either for those who are using a twine binder: save the strings from straw stacks this winter. They are less trouble than grass and never slip. Tie a knot in the end of the twine with your knee on the bundle, then slip the other end through in the form of a bow, take off your knee and the spring of the bundle will draw the knot tight. Pull the bow and use again.
"Human labor," says Dr. Zellner, of Ashville, Ala., "is the most costly factor that enters into the production of cotton, and every consistent means should be adopted to dispense with it." And then the doctor, who has the reputation of having raised some of the finest samples ever grown in the South, describes how, by planting at proper distances, in checks five by three apart, one-half of the after labor of cultivating may be saved. About the same amount of plow work is said to be necessary, but not more than one-fourth as much work with the hoe as is required by cotton in drills.
Prof. J.W. Sanborn: "Deep tillage in times of drought of surface-rooted crops, like corn, is an erroneous practice, founded on erroneous views. 'Plowing out corn' not only involves too deep tillage in drought but adds to the mischief by severing the roots of corn, needed at such times. Our double-shovel plows work too deeply. Our true policy, in drought, for corn is frequent and shallow tillage. For this we now have after the corn gets beyond the smoothing harrow, no suitable implement on our markets, with a possible exception."
Correspondent New York Tribune: Of the use of oatmeal for cows mention is not often made in this country; but when spoken of it is always with praise. That it is better than corn meal there can be no doubt; it is richer in both albuminoids and fat; and the usefulness of these two nutriments, and especially the former, for making milk is shown not only by the results of numerous careful experiments, but by the acknowledged usefulness of oil-cake meal. Where this meal is used freely there would be less use for oatmeal; but under some circumstances it might be advantageously substituted for the bran in the favorite mixture for cows of Indian meal and bran.
The following paragraph appears in an English cotemporary: The introduction of a new industry connected with farming into Ireland will be hailed by everybody, and therefore we rejoice to learn that a company has been formed with the design of purchasing or renting nearly a million and a quarter acres of land in Ireland, and devoting them to beet culture, from which the sugar will be extracted in a manufactory erected on the land. The promoters of the new company expect that from the 120,000 acres which they propose cultivating they will produce 400,000 tons of sugar in the year. Immense quantities of sugar extracted from the beet-root are manufactured on the continent and imported into these countries, and there is no reason whatever why Ireland should not have her finger in the sugar pie.
In a paper before the Oxford (Ohio) Farmers' Club, on the subject "The Morality of the System of Grain Gambling," Mr. Wetmore said: There is a difference between speculation and investment. Putting money into an established industry is an investment. Putting it into a doubtful or untried business, with the hope of gaining much or risk of losing all, is speculation. The latter is infatuating as it increases the risk and yet turns to profit. Investments pay no high per cents. Speculations may pay much or lose all. Hence it is unsafe; and the farmer who makes his gains only by a yearly turn of his crops, should not try speculation, but may judiciously invest his surplus year by year in things of real value, as land or chattels. Invest the last dollar, but speculate only with loose change. No man can safely invest in a business with which he is not familiar.
A lawful wire fence in Georgia is described by legislative enactment as composed of not less than six horizontal strands of barbed wire tightly stretched from post to post. The first wire no more than four and a half nor less than three and a half inches from the ground; the second wire not more than nine and a half nor less than eight and a half inches from the ground; the third wire not more than fifteen and a half nor less than fourteen and a half inches from the ground; the fourth wire not more than twenty-two and a half nor less than twenty-one and a half inches from the ground; the fifth wire not more than thirty-two nor less than thirty-one inches from the ground; the sixth wire not over fifty-five nor less than fifty-three inches from the ground. Posts to be not over ten feet apart, and every alternate post to be securely set in the ground. Provided, a plank not less than ten inches wide shall be used instead of two strands of wire at bottom of fence, it is also required that a railing shall be placed at equal distance between the two top wires, which shall answer the same purpose as a wire, and to extend from post to post in like manner.
Correspondent Country Gentleman: I notice that your journal recently gave currency to the "saltpetre method" of extracting stumps, and W.H. White also recommends it in your columns. His method is to bore a hole in the stump in the fall of the year, fill in the hole with saltpetre, plug up till the following summer, then fill the hole with kerosene and fire the stump. It is alleged that the saltpetre and kerosene will so saturate the stump that it will be entirely consumed, roots and all. This recipe has been floating around the press for years. It is usually credited to the Scientific American, but that paper has several times denied its paternity. The uselessness of the process can easily be learned by trial. There are few more inflammable substances than pitch and turpentine. The roots of pine stumps are saturated with these, but it is impossible to burn them out. The addition of saltpetre would not help much. Yet there are seasons when the soil and air are so dry that hard wood stumps may be burned out without either saltpetre or kerosene. We had such a year in 1881, when corn and clover standing uncut in the field were burned. In some instances the curbing was burned out of wells during terrible forest fires that raged in Michigan. If tried in such a season the recipe would undoubtedly be successful. In any ordinary season it is "no good."
* * * * *
No matter how wretched a man may be, he is still a member of our common species, and if he possesses any of the common specie his acquaintance is worth having.
* * * * *
FARM MACHINERY, Etc.
GREAT SAVING FOR FARMERS.
THE Lightning Hay Knife!
Awarded "FIRST ORDER OF Merit" at Melbourne Exhibition, 1880.
Was awarded the FIRST PREMIUM at the International Exhibition in Philadelphia, 1876, and accepted by the Judges as SUPERIOR TO ANY OTHER KNIFE IN USE.
It is the BEST KNIFE in the world to cut fine feed from bale, to cut down mow or stack, to cut corn-stalks for feed, to cut peat, or for ditching in marshes, and has no equal for cutting ensilage from the silo. TRY IT.
IT WILL PAY YOU.
Manufactured only by HIRAM HOLT & CO., East Wilton, Me., U.S.A.
For sale by Hardware Merchants and the trade generally
* * * * *
SEDGWICK STEEL WIRE FENCE
IT is the only general-purpose Wire Fence in use, being a STRONG NET WORK WITHOUT BARBS. It will turn dogs, pigs, sheep and poultry, as well as the most vicious stock, without injury to either fence or stock. It is just the fence for farms, gardens stock ranges, and railroads, and very neat for lawns, parks, school lots and cemeteries. Covered with rustproof paint (or galvanized) it will last a life time. It is SUPERIOR TO BOARDS or BARBED WIRE in every respect. We ask for it a fair trial, knowing it will wear itself into favor. The SEDGWICK GATES, made of wrought iron pipe and steel wire, DEFY ALL COMPETITION in neatness, strength, and durability. We also make the best and cheapest ALL IRON AUTOMATIC OR SELF-OPENING GATE, also CHEAPEST AND NEATEST ALL IRON FENCE. BEST WIRE STRETCHER AND POST AUGER. For prices and particulars ask hardware dealers, or address, mentioning paper, SEDGWICK BROS. Manf'rs. Richmond. Ind.
* * * * *
CHICAGO SCALE CO.
2 TON WAGON SCALE, $40. 3 TON, $50. 4 Ton $60, Beam Box Included.
240 lb. FARMER'S SCALE, $5.
The "Little Detective," 1/4 oz. to 25 lb. $3.
300 OTHER SIZES. Reduced PRICE LIST FREE.
FORGES, TOOLS, &c.
BEST FORGE MADE FOR LIGHT WORK, $10,
40 lb. Anvil and Kit of Tools. $10.
Farmers save time and money doing odd jobs.
Blowers, Anvils, Vices & Other Articles
AT LOWEST PRICES, WHOLESALE & RETAIL.
* * * * *
FIVE-TON WAGON SCALES $60
All Iron and Steel, Double Brass Tare Beam. Jones he pays the freight. All sizes equally low, for free book, address
JONES OF BINGHAMTON, Binghamton, N.Y.
* * * * *
THE PROFIT FARM BOILER
is simple, perfect, and cheap; the BEST FEED COOKER; the only dumping boiler; empties its kettle in a minute. OVER 5,000 IN USE; Cook your corn and potatoes, and save one-half the cost of pork. Send for circular. D.R. SPERRY & CO., Batavia, Illinois.
* * * * *
FARM IMPLEMENTS, Etc.
THE CHICAGO DOUBLE HAY AND STRAW PRESS
Guaranteed to load more Hay or Straw in a box car than any other, and bale at a less cost per ton. Send for circular and price list. Manufactured by the Chicago Hay Press Co., Nos. 3354 to 3358 State St., Chicago. Take cable car to factory. Mention this paper.
* * * * *
Sawing Made Easy
Monarch Lightning Sawing Machine!
Sent on 30 Days test Trial.
A Great Saving of Labor & Money.
A boy 16 years old can saw logs FAST and EASY. MILES MURRAY, Portage, Mich. writes, "Am much pleased with the MONARCH LIGHTNING SAWING MACHINE. I sawed off a 30-inch log in 2 minutes." For sawing logs into suitable lengths for family stove-wood, and all sorts of log-cutting, it is peerless and unrivaled. Illustrated Catalogue, FREE. AGENTS WANTED. Mention this paper. Address MONARCH MANUFACTURING CO., 163 N. Randolph St., Chicago, Ill.
* * * * *
BEST MARKET PEAR.
99,999 PEACH TREES All best varieties of new and old Strawberries, Currants, Grapes, Raspberries, etc.
New Blackberry, early, hardy, good. Single hill yielded 13 quarts at one picking. Send for FREE Catalogue.
J.S. COLLINS, Moorestown, N.J.
* * * * *
CHAMPION BALING PRESSES.
A Ton per Hour. Run by two men and one team. Loads 10 to 15 tons in car.
Send for descriptive circular with prices, to GEHRT & CO., 216, 218 and 220 Maine St., Quincy, Ill.
* * * * *
"THE BEST IS THE CHEAPEST."
ENGINES SAW MILLS, THRESHERS, HORSE POWERS,
(For all sections and purposes.) Write for FREE Pamphlet and Prices to The Aultman & Taylor Co., Mansfield, Ohio.
* * * * *
NOW READY FOR DISTRIBUTION.
VOLUMES ONE AND TWO OF THE NATIONAL REGISTER NORMAN HORSES
The most reliable, concise, and exhaustive history of the horse in general, and by far the most complete and authentic one of the Norman horse in particular, ever published in the United States.
Volume I.........................................$ 2.00
Volume II........................................ 1.50
When the two volumes are sent in one package to one address, $3.00. Sent, postpaid, on receipt of price.
Address your orders to
PRAIRIE FARMER PUBLISHING CO., Chicago
* * * * *
THE MODERN HORSE DOCTOR.
CONTAINING Practical Observations on the Causes Nature and Treatment of Diseases and Lameness in Horses, by GEO. H. DADD, M.D. Will be sent upon receipt of price, $1.50; or free to any sender of three subscribers to this paper, at $2 each, by
PRAIRIE FARMER PUBLISHING CO., Chicago.
* * * * *
We desire to make the circulation of our paper 250,000 during the next six months. To accomplish which we will give absolutely free a genuine FIRST WATER Diamond Ring, and the Home Companion for one year, for only $2.00. Our reasons for making this unprecedented offer are as follows;
A newspaper with 200,000 subscribers can get 1c. per line per 1,000 of circulation for its advertising space, or $5,000 per issue MORE than it costs to produce and mail the paper. With but 10,000 or 20,000 subscribers, its advertising revenues do not pay expenses. Only the papers with mammoth circulations make fortunes for their owners, DERIVED FROM ADVERTISING SPACE. For these and other reasons, we regard 100,000 subscribers as being of more financial benefit to a paper than the paper is to the subscribers. With 100,000 or 200,000 bona-fide subscribers, we make $100,000 to $200,000 a year clear profit from advertising, above cost of publishing. Without a large circulation, we would lose money. Therefore, to secure a very large circulation, and thus receive high rates and large profits from advertising space, this ONLY EQUITABLE plan of conducting business is adopted.
THE FIRST QUESTION TO BE ANSWERED IS,—is the diamond pure—a genuine stone?
OUR ANSWER IS YES.
The stone is GUARANTEED to be no Alaska Diamond, Rhine Pebble, or other imitation, but a
WARRANTED GENUINE AND PURE DIAMOND.
If it is not found so by the most careful and searching tests, we will refund the money, enter the subscriber's name on our list, and have the paper mailed to him free during its existence. To the publisher of this paper has been sent a guarantee from the manufacturing Jeweler, from whom we obtain these rings, that they are just as represented, so that readers may rely upon the promises being fulfilled to the letter.
The second question is, IS THE PAPER A DESIRABLE FAMILY JOURNAL? YES. It contains contributions from the first writers of the times: fiction, choice facts, intellectual food of the most interesting, instructive and refined character. It is one of the
LEADING PAPERS OF THE PROGRESSIVE WEST.
We are determined to make it the most desirable and reliable paper in the United States; will spare no effort or money to achieve that object. Sample Copies sent free on application. Remit by draft, express, or new postal note, to
THE HOME COMPANION. N.W. Cor. Fourth and Race Streets, Cincinnati, O.
Don't fail to name the paper in which you see this advertisement.
* * * * *
REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for THE PRAIRIE FARMER from this date to January 1, 1884; $2.00 pays for it from this date to January 1, 1885. For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER COUNTY MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, FREE! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.
* * * * *
LIVE STOCK DEPARTMENT.
Stockmen. Write for Your Paper.
MR. GRINNELL'S LETTER.
Last week we briefly noted the fact that Hon. J.B. Grinnell, of Iowa, Secretary of the Committee of the National Cattle-Growers' Convention, appointed to secure legislation for the protection of live stock from contagious diseases, had issued a circular letter to the public. In this letter he discusses with his usual intelligence and ability the important question in hand. As it will form the basis of Congressional discussion and prove an important factor in shaping legislation, we give the letter space in our columns. Mr. Grinnell says:
To find a legitimate market for our surplus products is a question of grave concern. After meeting home demands the magnitude of foreign consumption determines in a large degree the net profits of production. It thus becomes the especial concern of the American agriculturist and statesman to find the best market for meat products. The profits in grain-raising for exportation, which impoverishes the soil, are exceptional, while our animal industries enrich it, augmenting the rural population in the line of true economy, the promotion of good morals, and the independence and elevation of the citizen. Under the laws of domestic animal life gross farm products and rich, indigenous grasses are condensed into values adapted to transportation across oceans and to various climes with little waste or deterioration; thus the brute a servant, becomes an auxiliary to the cunning hand of his master, blending the factors which determine our facilities for acquisition in rural life, and attractions which stimulate enterprise, adventure, individual independence, and contribute to National wealth.
THE MEAT PRODUCTS.
No nation has so large a relative portion of its wealth in domestic animals, and none can show such strides in material advancement during the present century. But what is our foreign trade? The exports of provisions from the United States during the last fiscal year were in value about $107,000,000. Those in 1882 amounted to $120,000,000, equal to a falling off in a single year of $13,000,000. Our exports of manufactured articles for the last year aggregate $211,000,000, against $103,000,000, a gain of $108,000,000 in a single year. It was a reasonable expectation that our animal exports would have increased in like ratio as the manufactures, which would have enhanced the value of all domestic animals and furnished, instead of a mortifying fact, a proud exhibit.
The causes of a decline are not found in high prices at home nor in inferior product; rather in suspicions of diseases, and the clamor of interested parties which led to arbitrary restrictions, oppressive quarantine regulations, and forbidding beeves which were ripened for the highest markets to pass beyond the shambles; and the egress of young immature cattle on the English pastures. Pork products up to the Chicago meeting were prohibited by France, and they are inhibited now from Germany, our long-time valuable customer. It was their whims, caprices, jealousies, commercial restrictions and bans which decreased our exports and led the Commissioner of Agriculture to call the Chicago meeting of November.
The convention developed facts and was fruitful in results: That there were solitary cases of pleuro-pneumonia, and limited to the eastern border States; that Western herdsmen had just cause of alarm on account of the shipment of young stock West from the narrow pastures and dairy districts of the East. It was shown that across the ocean there was a morbid appetite for suspicions and facts which would justify severe restrictions and an absolute inhibition of our products.
The Cattle Commission formed by the Treasury Department gave decided opinions and imparted valuable information, but they were constrained to admit that they were powerless in an emergency to stop the spread of contagious diseases, and that it was a vain hope that there would be an increased foreign demand for our cattle and meat without radical Congressional enactment.
Skilled veterinarians, fancy breeders, political economists, and savants from the East met the alarmed ranchmen, enterprising breeders, and delegations and officials from many agricultural and State associations, representing millions of cattle and hundreds of millions of dollars, resolved that a meeting should be held at Washington, and a committee was appointed to secure appropriate legislation.
In the discharge of duties assigned to the Secretary I at once repaired to Washington for consultation and to gather pertinent facts. The heads of the State Treasury and Agricultural Departments were awake to the necessity of early and radical legislation. President Arthur evinced great cordiality, and gave good proof of his interest by calling attention in the annual message to the approaching meeting in Washington, which I have called the 10th of January.
I have sent out in a circular to the committee the following "head-land" facts of startling import, which should be well considered:
1. That there is an investment of $1,008,000,000 in cattle as estimated by the Department of Agriculture, representing 41,171,000 animals. That of swine is $291,000,000, representing over 43,000,000 animals.
2. That losses annually on exportation of cattle and beef, consequent upon restrictive regulations and the decreased relative consumption of our beef, aggregates many millions of dollars. We reach an approximate estimate by these facts relative to our foreign trade as follows:
The exports of 1880-81 were 368,463 animals. Those of 1882-83 were 212,554—a loss of 155,009 animals, and in value a loss of $11,506,000 in two years.
The exports of fresh beef for two years were less by 40,071,167 pounds, and by a value of $2,191,190. The value of pork products decreased in the same time to the extent of $35,679,093.
This shows a falling off of about $25,000,000 per annum for two years, as compared with the receipts for the two preceding years.
CONTAGION TO BE AVERTED.
It should be known that the pleuro-pneumonia often mentioned as a scare or a myth by the thoughtless and optimist is a stern reality. Its journeys and track of destruction among cattle have been as marked as that of small pox and cholera—contagious diseases which have so tearfully decimated the human family. Lung diseases of the modern type were known before the Christian era, and were considered by Columella and other Latin writers. Australia resigned her great herds to flocks of sheep, as did South Africa, never yet recovered from the blow to her cattle industries.
England has been tardy in the publication of her losses by lung-fever, yet it is a fact which forbids secrecy that calamity has reached the enterprising breeders, and colossal fortunes have been swept away by the cattle-plague. In our own country it has been no more the policy of secretive owners to publish facts than that of city authorities to proclaim the prevalence of small-pox in the town. Still, startling facts have sprung from original sources of inquiry. A town meeting is called in the State of Connecticut, terror-stricken owners in New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania meet for council. Massachusetts had a Governor twenty years ago bold in telling truth, which led to searching investigations by experts and officers of the State. With autocratic power they made a diagnosis of diseases, which led to the stamping out of the infection by law, and a truthful proclamation that the plague was stayed.
The sacrifice of 1,000 brutes at a cost to the Commonwealth of about $70,000 was a trivial sum compared to the perils that beset a State valuation of $7,000,000, for bovines, and the cattle of the Nation, numbering 40,000,000, and worth nearly $1,100,000,000.
The monarchies of the Old World have set us an example; even Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have pioneered for the world by sagacious acts and the stern enforcement of law in prevention.
AN AMERICAN POLICY
worthy of us is not secrecy, but boldness—sacrifice commensurate with exposure. This will lead to the formulation of a bill by the Washington Convention, which Congress will enact in the interest of individuals, the State, and for the National protection. If State-Rights theorists bring objections, the law may be so equitable to the States that its ratification may be asked on the ground of a just National policy and a right which inheres to the General Government under the Constitution in the regulation of commerce between the States. This implies a power to destroy a contagious disease which if allowed to spread would arrest all commerce in bovines between the States. A State may and ought to waive the question of damage if it is fixed by a neutral Commissioner, and the General Government and not the State meets the losses to which unfortunate cattle owners maybe subject. This will be the touchstone—trust by the State and statesmanlike generosity by the Nation—that means courage for the now fearful ranchman of the unfenced domain, and the furnishing of a "clean bill of health" for our products seeking a foreign market. Having evinced zeal in doing justice, it can ask for justice—that the rights of our meat-producers be respected under our
Commerce means a mutual exchange, and having performed our home duty will be in no mood to tolerate a whim or a caprice. Non-intercourse has been proposed in Congress. That may be a final resort when a conference, practical discussion, and even arbitration have failed. A graver subject measured by dollars may yet engage the statesman diplomat than the Geneva arbitration, and we shall have no fair status in discussion or arbitration until our meat and cattle are made healthy by prevention and the best sanitary laws known to civilized countries.
THE TIME IS AUSPICIOUS.
Cattle-raising as an attractive and profitable vocation is now exciting a deep interest. A lull in politics forbids the wants of our agriculturists, numbering 60 per cent of the population, being waived out of notice and their voiced demands drowned by partisan clamor. The treasury has hundreds of millions in its vaults and a fraction of 1 per cent of our surplus will only be required, under a just disbursement, to isolate and destroy the diseases which fetter our commerce and repress home enterprise.
A full and able convention at Washington is assured by the responsive letters received. The State of Iowa will make her requests to Congress by fine-stock meeting and other associations, as becomes the State with $100,000,000 invested in domestic animals.
Who can be indifferent in the face of our great perils, and recounting the losses by foreign restrictions and inhibition? We are emphatically a Nation of beef-eaters, and by the extent of our domain and healthful climate are justly entitled to the honored designation of the first producer among civilized nations.
It is the question of healthful food for the masses, of profitable tonnage for the railways, and of deep concern in cultivating fraternal relations abroad, not less than a question for the political economist in maintaining a good trade balance-sheet. If we can impress our Congressional delegations with the necessity of early and decisive legislation, we shall have accomplished a noble work and have earned the warm commendation of millions of citizens whose interests have been neglected and whose vocation and property have been imperiled.
For the committee by request of the Chicago Convention.
* * * * *
During the first eleven months of 1883, no less than 411,992 animals in Great Britain were attacked by by foot-and-mouth disease. December opened with a greater number of ailing animals than did November.
* * * * *
An Iowa farmer is experimenting with steamed clover hay for feeding hogs.
PRICES OF 1883.
The average price of Short-horns at the public sales in this country in 1883, as reported by the auctioneers, was $205.56. The Breeder's Gazette figures up the number of cattle of the different breeds disposed of at public sales as follows:
Breeds. Number. Totals. Average. Short-horns 3,284 $ 675,057 $205.56 Herefords 112 53,330 476.61 Aberdeen-Angus 300 154,885 516.28 Galloways 263 111,200 422.81 Angus and Galloways 44 16,865 383.13 Holsteins 239 89,290 373.60 Jerseys 1,688 690,405 409.01 Guernseys 52 12,090 232.50 Red Polled 15 4,435 295.70 - Totals 5,997 $1,807,557 $301.41
Of the above Short-horns, 1,609 were sold in Illinois, 541 in Kentucky, and 1,134 in other States. In Illinois the average price received was $222.23; in Kentucky, $271.01, and in other States, $149.73. Of the beef breeds there were sold $4,018, the total receipts were $1,015,772, making the general average $253.80. Of the dairy breeds 1,979 were sold at an average of $400.10.
It will be seen that the average for Short-horns is less than that for either of the other breeds though, of course, the number sold is greatly in excess of the others. In 1882 the average for Short-horns was but $192.10, and in 1881 but $158, so that on the whole the breeders are perfectly satisfied with the way the business is running.
The dairy breeds did remarkably well in 1883, the Holsteins coming up well to the Jerseys, but the latter leads greatly in point of numbers.
The pure bred cattle business of the country as indicated by these sales is exceedingly prosperous.
In Great Britain the Short-horn sales were less numerous than last year, or, in fact, any year since 1869, but the average was better than since 1879. In 1880 the average for 1,738 head was $225, while in 1881 and 1882 the average further declined to $175. In 1883 the average was close upon $230, but, upon the other hand, the number of animals sold fell to 1,400. The highest price paid was 1,505 guineas, for a four-year-old cow of the fashionable Duchess blood, which was purchased by the earl of Bective at the sale of Mr. Holford's herd in Dorsetshire. The Australians purchased largely at the Duke of Devonshire's annual sale in 1878, and this year American and Canadian buyers bid briskly for animals of the Oxford blood. These were the only two sales at which the average reached three figures, the next best being that of a selection from Mr. Green's herd in Essex, when forty-one lots averaged $360 each, or less than half secured by the Duke of Devonshire's Short-horns.
An English veterinary society has lately been discussing the question of docking the tails of horses. The President looked upon docking as an act of cruelty. By docking, the number of accidents from the horse holding the rein under the tail was greatly increased, for the horse has less power of free motion over the tail. If a short dock is put over the rein, the animal has so little control of the tail that he can not readily liberate the rein. The "stump" is sensitive, the same as the remaining part of an amputated finger. In the majority of cases he considered docking entirely unnecessary.
On the contrary, Doctor Axe (rather a suggestive name for an advocate of docking) thought the practice improved the looks of a horse, thus rendering it more salable. His sentimentality did not allow him to argue this question of increased value. He did not think docking increased accidents. Statistics, not assertions, were needed to establish facts of this kind. As to the remark of the President, that the shortened tail could not be so easily freed from the rein, he said it would depend on who was driving; an expert would more quickly disengage the rein from a docked tail. It may be true, he said, that there was more flexibility in an uncut tail because its more flexible portion had not been removed; but the docked tail had not the same power of covering and fixing down the rein that the long tail possessed. The long retention of a certain degree of sensibility after amputation was a known fact, but neither this, nor the operation itself, involved much pain. He detailed the structures divided, and said that they possessed a low degree of sensation. He would be glad to see horses have the free use of all their members, if practicable, and would leave them their tails if the removal of them could not increase the animal's comfort, value, or power of being safely used, but he would not do anything to lessen the value of horses without good reason.
It seems that prosecutions for docking, under the cruelty to[***] common in England [***] convictions are not [***] in the discussion [***] vigorous prosecutions are [***]
We notice that with [***] and docking are on the increase [***] of this country. Fortunately [***] beasts, public sentiment in this [***] against the barbarous act; still [***] is it that fashion has not yet so [***] the taste of the majority of people [***] convince them that docking adds to [***] beauty of the noble animal. But the rage is now to imitate the English in nearly all manners and customs, and it may not be long before the miserable fashion will gain new headway with us.
* * * * *
Too much care can hardly be taken in packing pork so as to have it keep through the season. The chief requisites are pure salt and freeing the meat from every taint of blood. The pieces of pork should be packed as closely as possible. After a few weeks if any scum rises on the surface of the brine it should be cleaned out and the brine boiled so that all impurities may be removed. If pork is to be kept all summer twice boiling the brine may be necessary. For some reason a barrel that has once held beef will never do for a pork barrel, though the rule may be reversed with impunity.
* * * * *
One of the firm of Galbraith Brothers Janesville, Wis., is now in Scotland to make selection for an early spring importation of Clydesdales. While making mention of this we may say that Messrs. Galbraith though disposing of twenty-one head of Clydesdales at the late sale in Chicago, have yet on hand an ample supply of superior horses of all ages from sucklings upward. They will be pleased to receive a visit from intending purchasers of this class of stock, and from all interested in the breed.
* * * * *
The first lot of Dr. W.A. Pratt's Holsteins, from quarantine, recently arrived at Elgin. The Doctor informs us that the animals are in prime condition and choice in every respect. He says he is preparing to open a ranch near Manhattan, Kansas, for the breeding of high grade Holsteins and Short-horns. He will also keep on this ranch a choice herd of pure-bred Holsteins for supplying the growing Western demand for this very popular dairy stock.
The Free Seed Distribution alone of the Rural New Yorker is worth at catalogue prices more than $3.00. This journal and the Rural, including its Seed Distribution, will be sent for $3.00. For free specimen copies, apply to 34 Park Row, New York. The Rural New-Yorker is the Leading National Journal of Agriculture and Horticulture.
* * * * *
The Rural New-Yorker has over 600 contributors, among them the most distinguished writers of America and England. It is the complete Journal for the country home and for many city homes as well. Free specimen copies 34 Park Row, N.Y.
* * * * *
THE RURAL NEW-YORKER
The great national farm and garden journal of America, with its Celebrated Free Seed Distribution, and
THE PRAIRIE FARMER
one year, post-paid, all for only $3.00. It is a rare chance. Specimen copies cheerfully sent gratis. Compare them with other rural weeklies, and then subscribe for the best. Apply to
34 PARK ROW, NEW YORK.
* * * * *
Dairymen, Write for Your Paper.
LESSONS IN FINANCE FOR THE CREAMERY PATRON.[A]
Any business to be permanent must make reasonable returns for the capital employed and give fair compensation for the labor bestowed upon it, otherwise it will be abandoned, or if continued at all it will be done under the protest of economic law. In addition to the ordinary circumstances attaching to business enterprise, the creamery business is essentially and peculiarly co-operative. It thrives with the thrift of all concerned—owner and patrons. It fails only with loss to all. The conditions of success, therefore, to the patrons are included in the conditions of success to the creamery, and vice versa.
The object of this paper is to suggest some of these conditions and some of the instances of violation of them.
It is hardly necessary to discuss the case in which peculiarity of soil or climate, the greater profitableness of some other kind of industry, or other reason, would so restrict the size and number of dairy herds as to make the locality a barren dairy region. Notwithstanding the splendid achievements of the dairy industry it is safe to say that it may not be profitable in any and every locality. Given the soil, the climate, the water, the people intelligent and disposed toward the exacting duties of this business, there are still many questions to be considered and many mistakes to be avoided.
It has been a pet idea in this country that competition is the corrective of all industrial evils. Competition without doubt holds an important place among the industrial forces, but may be carried so far as to defeat the very objects it is adapted to subserve, when intelligently encouraged. Carried to the extent of employing two persons or more to do the work of one, of absorbing capital without the full employment of it, it becomes destructive and expensive. We find, for instance, in many towns, a large number of commercial establishments doing business at an immense profit on single transactions, but the transactions are so few and so divided up among struggling competitors, that neither secures a profitable, nor even a respectable, business. With choice cuts of meat from twelve to eighteen cents a pound and butcher's stock at three and four cents, we often see butcher shops multiply, but the price of meat usually remains the same. Indeed, the very increase of middle man establishments beyond the employment of these to their full capacity, and the consequent full utilization of the capital and labor employed, is a sure loss to somebody, and if it does not all go to the producer it is almost always shared by him.
One of the greatest burdens which the creamery business has to carry to-day is the excessive number of its creameries beyond legitimate demands. The co-operative idea, so far as it enters into this business, implies the most profitable use possible of the resources employed in it both of patron and creamery owner, and a fair and equitable distribution of the profits. Said a large creamery owner to me recently, "I find the comparative value of my butter steadily decreasing from year to year. I have the same territory, the same butter-makers, the same patrons, substantially, but my butter is not up in quality and price as it used to be. I ascribe it to the excessive competition prevailing in it, i.e., it is one of its results. I have lost my influence over patrons in securing the best quality of cream. If I make any criticism of their modes or practices they say to me, 'Mr. ——, if you do not want my cream I will let the other creamery have it. Do just as you like about it; take it or leave it.'" But the loss of one or two cents a pound on the net proceeds of a season means five or ten per cent of its value, or of the entire season's results enough difference to make any community in a few years rich or poor, thrifty or unthrifty, according to the circumstances in the case.
Further: the idea of co-operation implies the doing of equal and exact justice to all included within the co-operative limits. This, an excessive and unprincipled competition greatly interferes with. It can properly be demanded by every fair and honest patron of a creamery that every other patron should be as fair and honest as himself. Indeed, this is an essential part of the implied contract. But in the case of excessive competition no restraints can be imposed and no penalties can be made to follow attempts to violate the principles of equity, except the possible inconvenience of changing from one creamery to another. The straight and honorable patron is powerless; the owner of the creamery is powerless; and the co-operative element is rendered a nullity.
Further: the co-operative element, in the relations of creamery and patrons, requires that the price of milk or cream shall vary with the market price of the finished product. Contracts for the future are mere speculation, as a rule. If the transaction is large and the turn of the market unfavorable to the creamery, ruin is liable to come to the business, and loss and disaster follow to all concerned. If the turn of the market should be the other way, among the numerous patrons there is sure to be more or less dissatisfaction and a more or less breaking up of the condition of friendly reciprocity which should exist between creamery and patron. Patrons may damage their own interest by exacting too much from the creamery as well as by accepting too little, and a greedy grasping after an unreasonable share of the profit on the part of the creamery owner is sure to bring retaliation, disturb cordiality of feeling, and bring loss to all concerned.
The remedy for most of these evils can only come from intelligent and wise action on the part of the creamery patrons of a given locality. They should study to prevent an unseemly and expensive competition. They, as the encouraging source, will surely in the end pay the expense of it. It has been said that no people in the world enjoy paying taxes like Americans, provided they are only indirect, sugar coated, and with some plausible pretense. It would seem, however, that even American dairymen could see that the maintenance of superfluous creameries, superfluous teams for hauling cream and milk, superfluous men for manufacturing and handling the product is an extra expense of which they will surely bear their full share; if not at once, they will do so before the outcome is reached.
Another thing the patrons of creameries may properly take note of is that the expense of manufacturing butter in all well regulated creameries is nearly the same, and the value of the product does not widely differ. When a creamery therefore claims large and peculiar advantages, and offers a price for milk or cream markedly above the ordinary price paid for it by other creameries, you may be sure there is something illegitimate about it. It may be done to drum up business, to beat a rival, or it may be a downright swindle, it surely will not be lasting, and the operator intends at some time to recoup for himself.
It is to be remembered that the dairy business is not one which can be taken up and laid down hastily without greater or less inconvenience, expense, and loss. Like most other branches of agriculture, it must be engaged in with the purpose of a steady, long, strong pull in order to be a success. It has the advantage of springing directly from the earth without fictitious help, props, or governmental protection, so-called. It taxes no other industry for its own benefit, and has expanded to its present magnificent proportions in spite of the burdens laid upon it from outside sources.
But it is written "And Satan came also." Nothing could more aptly describe the full influence of adulteration which has come upon this industry. It has come clothed in deceit and fraud, the very habiliments of the devil. It can be exterminated no more than sin itself. It must be fought by exposing its nature; by stamping upon it its own features. Wise legislation, I believe, will be in the direction of Government inspection and the sure and prompt punishment of fraud. The interest of the creamery patron is more deeply involved in this matter than that of any other class, just as in other branches of production the perils and losses by fraud, deterioration, and adulteration ultimately fall back upon the producer of the raw product. The apathy now existing among the producers of milk and cream is ominous of evil, and discouraging to those who are working in the interest of unadulterated goods. We have no doubt that the time will come when not only the adulteration of butter, but the adulteration of other food products as well, will only be carried on under the stamp and inspection of Government supervision.
The thoughts I have presented are intended to be suggestive rather than dogmatic, and I leave the subject with the hope that the intelligence of the average dairyman may be as active in tracing and comprehending the subtler principles of trade and commerce relating to the products of his labor as he is in comprehending the more immediate facts of his calling, such as breeding, seeding, and the handling of the raw products of his herd.
[A] Paper read before the Illinois Dairymen's Convention by C.C. Buell, of Rock Falls.
Many kinds of horse fevers have been described by antiquated veterinary writers; but most exist only in the imagination of the writers, or have been manufactured out of the mistaken analysis of human fevers. All the real fevers of the horse may be comprised in two,—the idiopathic, pure or simple fever, constituting of itself an entire disease, and the symptomatic fever, occasioned by inflammatory action in some particular part of the body, and constituting rather the attendant of a disease than the disease itself.
Though idiopathic fever is comparatively infrequent in occurrence, it unquestionably meets the attention of most persons who have extensive stable management of horses, and its general tendency to degenerate into local inflammation and symptomatic fever, seems to arise far less from its own nature than from foul air, vicissitudes of temperature, and general bad management. If idiopathic fever is not easily reduced, the blood accumulates in the lungs, the viscera, or some other internal part of the body, and provokes inflammation; or, if a horse, while suffering under this fever, be kept in a foul or ill-ventilated stable, or be exposed to alternations of heat and cold, he speedily becomes locally inflamed from the action of the filth or exposure. The symptoms of idiopathic fever are shivering, loss of appetite, dejected appearance, quick pulse, hot mouth, and some degree of debility; generally, also, costiveness and scantiness of urine; sometimes, likewise, quickness of breathing, and such pains of the bowels as accompany colic. Idiopathic fever, if it does not pass into inflammation, never kills, but is generally always curable.
Cattle are subject to both idiopathic and symptomatic fever, very nearly in the same manner as the horse, and require, when suffering them, to be very similarly treated. The idiopathic fever of cattle has, in many instances, an intermitting character, which may easily be subdued by means of ordinary care; and, in other instances, has a steady and unintermitting character, and is exceedingly liable to resolve itself into pleurisy, enteritis, or some other inflammatory disease. The symptomatic fever of cattle is strictly parallel to the symptomatic fever of horses, and is determined by the particular seat and nature of the exciting inflammation. But besides these fevers, cattle are subject to two very destructive and quite distinct kinds of fever, both of an epizootic nature, the one of a virulent and the other of a chronic character,—the former inflammatory and the latter typhoid. Numerous modifications of these fevers, or particular phases of them, are more or less extensively known among our readers as black-leg, bloody murrain, etc. The fever which in many instances follows parturition, particularly in the cow, is familiarly known as calving fever, or milk fever; and the ordinary fevers of sheep, swine, dogs, upon the whole, follow the same general law as the ordinary fevers of the horse, and are classifiable into idiopathic and symptomatic.
* * * * *
YOUR NAME printed on 50 Cards ALL NEW designs of Gold Floral. Remembrances, Sentiment, Hand Floral, etc., with Love, Friendship, and Holiday Mottoes, 10c. 7 pks. and this elegant Ring, 50c., 15 pks. & Ring, $1.
12 NEW "CONCEALED NAME" Cards (name concealed with hand holding flowers with mottoes) 20c. 7 pks. and this Ring for $1. Agents' sample book and full outfit, 25c. Over 200 new Cards added this season. Blank Cards at wholesale prices.
NORTHFORD CARD CO. Northford, Conn.
* * * * *
Print Your Own Cards
Labels, Envelopes, etc. with our $3 PRINTING PRESS. Larger sizes for circulars, etc., $8 to $75. For pleasure, money making, young or old. Everything easy, printed instructions. Send 2 stamps for Catalogue of Presses, Type, Cards, etc., to the factory.
KELSEY & CO., MERIDEN, CONN.
* * * * *
We will send you a watch or a chain BY MAIL OR EXPRESS, C.O.D., to be examined before paying any money and if not satisfactory, returned at our expense. We manufacture all our watches and save you 30 per cent. Catalogue of 250 styles free. EVERY WATCH WARRANTED. ADDRESS STANDARD AMERICAN WATCH CO., PITTSBURGH. PA.
* * * * *
AGENTS WANTED EVERYWHERE to sell the best FAMILY KNITTING MACHINE ever invented. Will knit a pair of stockings with HEEL and TOE COMPLETE, in 20 minutes. It will also knit a great variety of fancy-work for which there is always a ready market. Send for circular and terms to the TWOMBLY KNITTING MACHINE CO., 163 Tremont Street, Boston, Mass.
* * * * *
500 VIRGINIA FARMS & MILLS
FOR SALE AND EXCHANGE. Write for free REAL ESTATE JOURNAL.
R.B. CHAFFIN & CO., Richmond, Virginia.
* * * * *
THE BIGGEST THING OUT.
ILLUSTRATED BOOK SENT FREE.
(NEW) E. NASON, & CO., 120 Fulton St., New York.
* * * * *
A MYSTERY OF THE SEA.
THE FATE WHICH OVERTOOK THE "CITY OF BOSTON."—CAPTAIN MURRAY'S IDEAS AND EXPERIENCES.
A few years ago, the City of Boston sailed from harbor, crowded with an expectant throng of passengers bound for a foreign shore.
She never entered port.
The mystery of her untimely end grows deeper as the years increase, and the Atlantic voyager, when the fierce winds howl around and danger is imminent on every hand, shudders as the name and mysterious fate of that magnificent vessel are alluded to.
Our reporter, on a recent visit to New York, took lunch with Captain George Siddons Murray, on board the Alaska, of the Guion line. Captain Murray is a man of stalwart built, well-knit frame and cheery, genial disposition. He has been a constant voyager for a quarter of a century, over half of that time having been in the trans-Atlantic service. In the course of the conversation over the well-spread table, the mystery of the City of Boston was alluded to.
"Yes," remarked the Captain, "I shall never forget the last night we saw that ill-fated vessel. I was chief officer of the City of Antwerp. On the day we sighted the City of Boston a furious southeast hurricane set in. Both vessels labored hard. The sea seemed determined to sweep away every vestige of life. When day ended the gale did not abate, and everything was lashed for a night of unusual fury. Our good ship was turned to the south to avoid the possibility of icebergs. The City of Boston, however, undoubtedly went to the north. Her boats, life-preservers and rafts were all securely lashed; and when she went down, everything went with her, never to re-appear until the sea gives up its dead."
"What, in your opinion, Captain, was the cause of the loss of the City of Boston?"
"The City of Limerick, in almost precisely the same latitude, a few days later, found the sea full of floating ice; and I have no doubt the City of Boston collided with the ice, and sunk immediately."
Captain Murray has been in command of the Alaska ever since she was put in commission and feels justly proud of his noble ship. She carries thousands of passengers every year, and has greatly popularized the Williams & Guion line. Remarking upon the bronzed and healthy appearance of the Captain, the reporter said that sea life did not seem to be a very great physical trial.
"No? But a person's appearance is not always a trustworthy indication of his physical condition. For seven years I have been in many respects very much out of sorts with myself. At certain times I was so lame that it was difficult for me to move around. I could scarcely straighten up. I did not know what the trouble was, and though I performed all my duties regularly and satisfactorily, yet I felt that I might some day be overtaken with some serious prostrating disorder. These troubles increased. I felt dull and then, again, shooting pains through my arms and limbs. Possibly the next day I would feel flushed and unaccountably uneasy and the day following chilly and despondent. This continued until last December, when I was prostrated soon after leaving Queenstown, and for the remainder of the voyage was a helpless, pitiful sufferer. In January last, a friend who made that voyage with me, wrote me a letter urging me to try a new course of treatment. I gladly accepted his counsel, and for the last seven months have given thorough and business-like attention to the recovery of my natural health; and to-day I have the proud satisfaction of saying to you that the lame back, the strange feeling, the sciatic rheumatism which have so long pursued me, have entirely disappeared through the blood purifying influence of Warner's Safe Rheumatic Cure which entirely eradicated all rheumatic poison from my system. Indeed, to me, it seems that it has worked wonders, and I therefore most cordially commend it."
"And you have no trouble now in exposing yourself to the winds of the Atlantic?"
"Not the least. I am as sound as a bullet and I feel specially thankful over the fact because I believe rheumatic and kidney disease is in the blood of my family. I was dreadfully shocked on my last arrival in Liverpool to learn that my brother, who is a wealthy China tea merchant, had suddenly died of Bright's disease of the kidneys, and consider myself extremely fortunate in having taken my trouble in time and before any more serious effects were possible."
The conversation drifted to other topics, and as the writer watched the face before him, so strong in all its outlines, and yet so genial, and thought of the innumerable exposures and hardships to which its owner had been exposed, he instinctively wished all Rheumatic Cure which entirely eradicated who are suffering from the terrible rheumatic troubles now so common might know of Captain Murray's experience and the means by which he had been restored. Pain is a common thing in this world, but far too many endure it when they might just as well avoid it. It is a false philosophy which teaches us to endure when we can just as readily avoid. So thought the hearty captain of the Alaska, so thinks the writer, and so should all others think who desire happiness and a long life.
* * * * *
THE PRAIRIE FARMER
ONE YEAR, $3 FOR THE TWO.
It is not required that both papers be sent to one address, nor to the same post-office.
Address PRAIRIE FARMER PUB. CO., 150 Monroe Street, Chicago.
* * * * *
REMEMBER that $2.00 pays for THE PRAIRIE FARMER from this date to January 1, 1885; For $2.00 you get it for one year and a copy of THE PRAIRIE FARMER COUNTY MAP OF THE UNITED STATES, FREE! This is the most liberal offer ever made by any first-class weekly agricultural paper in this country.
* * * * *
Horticulturists, Write for Your Paper.
ILLINOIS HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY.
The ad-interim committee of the Illinois State Horticultural Society for the northern part of the State reported through Mr. O.W. Barnard and Arthur Bryant, Jr. Mr. Barnard had found the orchards thrifty and healthy. The yield of apples had not been large this season, but orchardists generally felt encouraged in regard to the future of their orchards. He had found the high clay soils preferable for the apple. Mr. Bryant reported the apple crop small. Some orchards had borne good crops, especially of the Ben Davis. In others, this variety had failed.
Mr. W.T. Nelson, of the committee on orchard culture, recommended the planting of orchards on high, sloping ground. In the rather low and level country in which he lived (Will county) orchard trees lasted but fifteen or twenty years. But few varieties seem to do well in any locality. He would advise men about to set out orchards to ascertain what varieties do well in their particular locality, and then plant no others. He would not prune young orchards. He recommended the tiling of orchards.
HIGH OR LOW, LAND.
Mr. Nelson's report opened up the subject of high or low lands for orchards. Mr. Robinson got more apples from trees on low lands than from elevated sites. Prof. Budd did not commit himself to either theory, but remarked that some varieties do best on low lands, while others preferred the higher situations. Parker Earle thought that this theory of low lands for our apple orchards was contrary to the past teachings of the society. In his opinion high grounds are preferable. The subject was a complicated one for Prof. Burrill. He had seen many low ground orchards that bore good crops this year. There are many modifications that effect the crop. It is not merely the elevation of orchard sites. It was his belief that high ground, all things considered, is the best. Mr. Robinson was not enthusiastic about the tile drainage of orchards. Our trees need more water than they usually get. They do not suffer from too much water, but from dry summers and rolling land. Mr. Spalding, of Sangamon county, had found his nursery trees poorest when planted on a depressed surface. He tiled extensively. His subsoil was a clay loam. Nine years ago he laid tile 3-1/2 feet deep and 30 feet apart. He did not believe in manuring young trees. Too rapid growth is not wanted. Trees in Illinois grow as much in one year as they do in two years in the State of New York, where they raise more fruit than we do. The most rapid growing trees are the tenderest. He does not force the growth of his orchard trees. He is satisfied nurserymen have manured their young stock too much. The question of high or low land was not settled. It was hard for members to give up the old theory that high lands are best for orchards in Illinois; but it may be set down as a fact that the matter, as first brought to public discussion through THE PRAIRIE FARMER by B.F. Johnson, Esq., of Champaign, is having wide discussion among our fruit men. It will result in close future observation and closer scrutiny of past results. Without doubt this is the leading new horticultural question of the day. It requires a careful collection of facts and a broad generalization. The theories and teachings of the past are nothing if facts are opposed to them.
FRUIT GROWERS AND FRUIT SELLERS.
Mr. Ragan, of Indiana, read a suggestive paper upon the relation of the fruit-grower to the commission man and the transportation companies. The paper led to considerable discussion. Mr. Earle always sells his fruit through a commission house. Without the commission men market-fruit growers could not do business. He found no difficulty in getting honorable men to do business with. When he got a good man he stuck to him. The commission man is just as important a factor in the fruit business as the grower or consumer. He believes in a liberal percentage for commissions. Dealers can not do an honest business for nothing. He is willing to pay ten per cent to the man who sells his fruit to the best possible advantage, and who makes prompt and honest returns. The cheap commission man is to be avoided. The proper handling of fruit by intelligent dealers at fair rates is what we want. He ships small fruits in full quart boxes. Uses new boxes every time. Wants no returned crates. To get best returns we must have neat packages. Stained drawers, baskets, old barrels, and the like do not help to sell fruit. He would advise shipping black and red raspberries in pint boxes; blackberries and strawberries in quart boxes. He picks his berry plantations every day during the ripening season. Sundays not excepted. No man who is not prepared to work seven days in the week during the picking season, or who can not get help to do the same, will succeed in the raising and marketing of small fruits. He has this year paid two cents per quart for picking blackberries and strawberries, and the same for pints of raspberries. It requires from five to ten pickers to the acre. He likes women or grown-up girls to do this work. As to varieties he likes Longfellow and Sharpless. They ripen slowly and everyday picking is not so necessary. Mr. Pearson said the apple growers in his locality find that judgment must be used in marketing apples. The Lord made little apples and we must do the best we can with them. A neighbor had small apples and the shippers grumbled at them. The neighbor would not stand this and shipped his apples to Chicago and had them sold on their merits. The result was satisfactory. An Iowa buyer came down there and offered 50 cents per bushel for apples without regard to size, etc., and he got them and shipped them in boxes to Muscatine where they were made into jelly, dried fruit, etc. We can have no cast iron rules in regard to marketing, but must be governed by circumstances. This year it was better for his people to sell as they come, without the trouble of hand picking, sorting, and careful packing. We must act like intelligent men in this business as in all others. Circumstances alter cases. Good common sense is a prime requisite. Mr. Miller agreed with Mr. Earle about packages for marketing fruit. He uses white wood boxes from Michigan.