Australia. Dept. of Agriculture New South Wales.

The agricultural gazette of New South Wales online

. (page 111 of 118)
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this fungus acts more energetically.

Bemedies and Preventives.

Here I can only repeat my advice of last season, calling attention to a few
-additional words concerning the burning of trash.

1. Sets. — First in rank among tbe measures to be taken against gamming
is care in the selection of sets. All other precautions will be in vain u
gummed sets are planted. *' Anything is good enough for seed" — ^that is
one of tbe banes of potato-growing. I fear that it has not been without its
penlicious effect on cane plantations. " No sugar-boiler will buy that
piece there, — better cut it for plant-cane." Has the cane-farmer ever been
;guilty of this thought ? Let him answer for himself. In some cases I fear
his crops answer it but too plainly for him.

In treating of this matter last year I showed conclusively the evils resulting
from planting gummed sets. My arguments were drawn from observations
on tbe crops and experiments of farmers, but were none the less reliable on
that account. Most conclusive of all, the presence of microbes in the tissues
of tbe eyes of gummed sets was demonstrated. To enforce this I selected
sets gummed in various degrees— slightly, badly, and very badly — and these
were planted, with the inevitable result, namely, the resulting canes were

* Plant Diseases and their Remedies.— Diseases of the Sugar Cane. Sydney : Charles
Potter, Government Printer, 1893.



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The Cau%e of Gumming in Sugar-cane. 687



gummed in proportion to the gum in the sets. This experiment was tried
also by a number of others, always with the same result. Through the
kindness of Mr. Knox, general manager of the Colonial Sugar Befining
Company, I am able to publish the following illustration, taken from a
photograph forwarded to him from the Eichmond River.



Fig 2.— Three stools of cane, gfrown from selected sets. The stool on the left grown from a healthy
set, that on the right from a badly-gummed set, while that in the centre grew from a
moderatelv-gummed set This figure is accurately reproduoed from a photograph. The stools
grew side by side as shown, and were of the same age.

Sound sets are easily procured. Any cane-farmer can easily qualify
himself to select them. Let him simply familiarise himself with the appear-
ance of healthy cane, and then use no other for plant-cane. Of course
selected sets will cost more labour or more money ; but both will be wisely
spent, and will be returned manifold at harvest time.

To select sets free from gumming proceed as follows: — Select a clean
place and use a sharp knife (as sharp as a razor), and cut the cane into sets.
Cut the stalks into two-eyed sets from the top downward, and endeavour to
cut nearer to the joint of the set further away from the hand. I make
this recommendation because the shock of cutting shatters the cane on the
side away from the cutter, as can easily be seen on examining some cuttings.
This shattering injures the resulting sets less if the cut is made as here
directed. The inspection will be much easier and more thorough if the stalk
is given a half turn with the left hand aft^r each cut ; both ends of a set
can then be inspected easily, as both will face up at the same time. As the
sets are cut they should be stacked in long piles with the cut surfaces facing
upwards. After half an hour or so, or more if in the shade, the sets may be
inspected, and any gummed sets easily spotted and picked out. The inspec-
tion will be unsatisfactory unless the cuts are clean, and it will be found
almost useless to attempt this operation with anything but a thin specially-
sharpened knife. By following this method any farmer who has a fairly
food crop may get sets fairly free from gum. I am inclined to think,
owever, that cane-farmers will find it more to their advantage to encourage
a competent person to make a specialty of furnishing cane for plants. There



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688 The Cmtu qf Gimnmimff f» Suffm^(Mie.

we from. 700 to 1,000 tM» of attecUcana le^uirvd unmiwJIj ea t&e Low
OlsreBce. If & pbukt^dyie ipeeialist had aee«08 to aJl the hima on. tfieiinei^
asd had tho priTilcige of baying at the market rate — that ist the Bo i ^e gwHwl I
rate — he eonld affonl to pat a good deal of time into sde^ing heali^ OBBft
for plants, and make a good liTing out of the bcunneea at from 25e. tor Mil
per ton, providing, of course, he received the patronage of the majority of
the farmers. A man, to make a success of this business, would have to be
a good judge of cane and its diseases, and possess the confidence of the
farmers, and at the same time have business alnlitj. He should have control
of a launch and several punts, and a gang or two of cutters. At planting
time his capacity would be taxed to its uttermotrt; at other seasons he
should be on the look-out for fields from which to seeure his plants for the
coming season. Yerj likelj thia boainess coold be eombmed with some
other to advantage^

2. Drainage,— Good, (bainage decreases the Yoea due to gumming as well
as those due te other diseaae^w The drainage on. many o£ the &rmB on the
Lower Clarence ia not so good as it on^ to be.

8. Bmrmng the Trtuh. — ^Whes land is kept ca n t inn onsly under ease it is
highly desirable to tkoroog^y bum. tiie traah after eacsh cutting. This
destroy* a vaat mtmber of germa — ^not only those of gumming; but of many-
other diaeaaee^ m watt aa the egge and grubs of destruetive insects. This is
the common practiee in the Anatrafian cane distncts, and to it bo doubt they
owe their eomparaftive freedon from dit^ease. Where ero^s are ^ite free
from diseaae it is of course safe and profitable to ^dough in the trash as
manure, but as soon as any considerable amount of disease appears trash-
burning should begin.

4. Land itself contains many of the germs of disease— that is to say,
after the crop has stood on it for a length of time. Coneeqnently, if one
crop is followed by another of a different sort not subject to the same
diseases, there will be less loss from disease than where land is left con-
tinually under the same crop. Whether this rotation of crops is advisable
depends on the markets that are available. In the absence of rotstioB, a
hare fallow oo^ce every few years does much good, botii in renewing the
strength of the soil and allowing diseases to run out.

5. Seedlings, — Where a crop is derived from cuttings from a previous exep,
and not from seed, unless great care is used there ia a gradual deeadenee in
the qualitjr of the crop ; the variety runs out, as the saying is. This running
<mt of varieties is much more noticeable in crops like cane and potatoes than
hi l^t of crops derived from seed.

Of late years considerable attention has been given to producing new
vaarieties ot cane by raising seedlings. Though the sugar-cane as it grows in
New South Wi^s produces, when allowed, a great quimtity of seed-fiowera^
it produces very little fertile seed,, so that considerable trouble has to be
tjkken to produce a seedling. ThaJb it can be done, however, wa» showit
by Mr. M. H. Stunson, of the Colonial Sugar Company, who has produced one
such seedling. It was a thrifty-looking plant, which seemed unumially robaat»
as is usual with seedling cane. It seems probable that varieties that have
run out may be renewed or improved by raising seedlings from them. Thia
in a line of experim^it that is within tne power of any cane^farmer^ and one
which is promising enough to be worthy of attention.

It is difficult to tell young seedling canes from grass-seedlings. On ihia
account I would recommend that the seeds of cane be first sown in boxeaof
carefully baked soil. The baking will kill all grass-seed and other aaed
contained in the soil, so that whatever comes up after sowing cane^aeed oa



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The Came €0 €hmmmfr m Stuptr-cane. 006

' ■ — — V

such soil may be set down at once as cane. The seed should be sown on the
surface, or be but slightly covered, and the soil should be kept moist and
shady.

6. Improving hy Selectimn, — ^While it is teue that undet ordinary care
yarieties of cane tend to run out^ it is trae t^ait by extraordinary care the
same varieties may not only be kept up to their standard, but improved upon.
By systematically growing the same variety year after year, and caremlly*
selecting only the yery best for planting, a ^ven Tari«rty minr be gi ^ ally-
improvei, and so finr as we know there is no limit to this kma of improve-
ment. This should excite endeavour to use this simple method of making
progress, and in fact does do so. The matter is mentioned here only because,
m spite of the obviousness of the plan^ it seems to be almost entirely over-
looked by Australian cane-growers.

By selection cane can be slowly improved in almost any direction we like —
made to yield more to the acre, made richer in suear, made hardier, made
taller or shorfier, softer or harder, in fact, as said, improved in anyway we
Wi»h.

T. New Sarfr. — ^There are plenty of sorts of cane grown in otb«r comifrieff
ihart are miknown in Australia. The advisability of their introdselaon hf
beyond question, and the Gov^emraent of !N"ew South Wales, t&roag!k tte*
Department of Agriculture, has done a good thing in importing many of
these varieties. It is quite probable that the majority of the varieties intro-
duced may prove inferior to those already grown here, but it is possible that
some of them may prove superior, and this possibility should move every
cane-grower to be not only willing, but anxionsi to give them a trial on a
small scale.

8. Ifttneries. — A number of Australian cane-growers have establtsfaed,
near their houses, nurseries, in which they carry out reeommendations-
5, 6, and 7. The plan is highly to be commended.

d. S^eetian of I)i9ea99'^resistant Sorts, — ^This is a subject that needs a&
away by itself. I am convinced that one of the greatest improvements
destined to be made ia agriculture is in th» line of securing pest^sesratiiig
varieties. We stand as yet but on the threshold, yet we can clearly see tk«
alluring prospect. What we now possess in a few cases, having obtaioed
them a^nost by accident, shows how on the alert w& should be to discover
ivadeties as little subject to diaeaa& as possible.

Diatribntion of Ghumittnig^.

In the report on the diseases of sugar-cane the following words oecnr :—
*^ A farmer on the Lower Clarence told me that he saw gummed cane sixteen
years ago on his farm; I have no doubt of it* The disease is probably
nothing new, in fact, is very likely as old as the sugar-cane plant itself. I
think it very likely that the disease occurs wherever cane is grown. It is
altogether improbable that it is con&ied to a small district in Australia."

This opinion has been verified. The report,, in spite of its length, was
reprinted extensively in official public journals as w^l as private periodicals
denFoted to the sugar industry in all parts of the world, and, as one result,, it
has been shown that cane in Java^ New Guinea, Brazil, Mauritius, «fcc., &c^
does either now or has in the past suffered from what is beyond reasonable
doubt the same disease — gumming.



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690 The Phylloxera in Etirope.



The Phylloxera in Europe.

Annual Official Beport hy the Ohief^ Andbes Blatia, of the Central Oovem-
ment Station of Viticulture in Spain, at Oette.



[Translated from the Spanish by HENRY CAMBRIDGE,
Sydney.]

"With the exception of Prance, wbere the reconstitution of the yinejards
gains ground every year, the phylloxera continues to advance in all the vine-
growing districts of Europe. In several countries the inroads of the evil
are such, and the efforts for its eradication so badly organised, that the
future of the vine culture seems to be seriously threatened.

Spain.

The progress made by the phylloxera in our country is constant, and in
some places rapid, threatening seriously the existence of some of tlie bast
of the vineyards of this country. The last reports of the Agricultural
Surveyors state that out of 1,706,472 hectares (2 '4711 ac.) of existing vine-
yards over 230,000 are infected, and of these 193,418 can be considered
as entirely lost.

K we take the basis of the medium yield of 17 hectolitres (2*7512 bus.)

¥Br hectare, the deGciency in the production is nearly 4,000,000 of hectolitres,
his estimate is quite reasonable, and it may be that the actual loss will
greatly exceed this limit. The situation then is truly alarming, and a strong
effort is necessary to stop the evil. Fifteen provinces are badly infested —
Lugo, Orense, Leon, Zamora, Salamanca, Malaga, Sevilla, Cordova, Jaen,
Oranada, Almeria, Gerona, Barcelona, Tarragona, and the Balearic Islands
In the province of Tarragona over 1,C00 hectares are already affected. The
districts of Vails and Vendrell, which are essentially wine-producing, suffer
chiefly. In Qalicia the attack is more to be feared, it being proved also
that spots where phylloxera exists are known in the provinces of Lerida and
Valladolid.

To sum up, the havoc caused by the phylloxera ia seriously increasing, and
the means adopted so far for its eraoication, and for the reconstitution of
vineyards, do not unfortunately cope with the intensity of the evil.

Portugal

The situation of this kingdom with regard to the phylloxera is at least
critical. There are no known statistics of the invasion, but it is known that
the plague is making such rapid progress that the means that are being
used to combat it are almost void oi effect.

Italy.
In Italy the fight is more energetic, but the invasion even then does not
make less headway, for which reason the viticulturists are seriously alarmed.
The places where its propagation has extended to with great increase are



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The Phylloxera in Europe. 691

Sicily, Cerdenia, Calabria, Lombardy, Liguria, and Piedmont, which comprise
the provinces of Catania, Botona, C6me, Borne, Pisa, Bavenne, and Sarmnia.
Twenty-seven provinces, with 581 towns, are infested. The Isle of Sicily is
the greatest simerer. The phylloxera is combated (reated) by means of the
Balbeani system.

Anstro-Hnngary.

By reason of the gradual decrease of its harvests, owing to the havoo
caused by this plague, this empire has been obliged to revert to foreign im-
portation, and to the coming in of Italian wines. The Hungarian vineyards,
above others, are undergoing a terrible crisis ; the production, already in^
sufficient for the national consumption, tends to cease altogether. The pro-
posed reconstitution does not fill the vacancies caused. Tokay, Szegezard,
the region of Lake Balaton, Ermellek, Buda, Eger, all the renowned vine-
yards do not exist, excent in name. FinaUy, Hungary, that some ten ^rears
ago harvested eight million hectolitres of wine, has descended successively
to six, then four, and at present the return hardly reaches 800,000 hectolitres.
In Austria and the other countries of the empire the progress of the insect
is less rapid, but, for all that, they do not cease from being serious.

Germany.

The phylloxera has shown itself on various occasions lately in the
renowned vineyards in the vicinity of St. Goard, on the Khine. Various
infected spots have been discovered during the past year. The official
investigations have been prosecuted from the Bhine to Caub, and are to be
extended this year to Bemghan, beginning at Larchhausen. The German
vineyards are, therefore, compromised ; in fact, a spread of the evil is noted
in Saxe, "Wurtemburg, and in the principal vinicultural territories of the
empire.

In Alsace-Lorraine the phylloxera does not appear to have made progress
this year, but the year before new centres of infection were discovered,
among these an insignificant one in Alsace-Lorraine, at Bou&ch, which has
been successfully destroyed, and another of a more serious character in
Lorraine, near Metz.

Switzerland.

The number of affected spots has diminished in the Cantons of Zurich and
IN'euchatel, but has increased in those of Taud and Geneva. We give
below a summary of the operations, gathered from recent data : —

Area destroyed.
2,250 metres (square.)*
6,495 „
8,372 „ „
80,221 „

* A square metro = 1,196 sq. yds.

One infected spot, which comprises from thirty to forty vines, has been
discovered between Qelly Tarleyems ; another of 110 vines has been similarly
pointed out in Souyettes, near Saint Prix (Lucerne).

In Switzerland the situation tends to a modification of the evil, owing to
the vigorous efforts to subdue it. The Commission on phylloxera in Geneva
has caused an analysis to be made of the soils in the Cantoo, proposed to be
planted with vines, in order to ascertain if there exists among them sufficient
essential difference to make it necessary to increase the number of the trial
stations. Samples of soil have been taken from different types of geological
formation of the country, and the analyses have shown that even in the soils



Cantons.


Infected spots.


Vinei.


Zurich ...


... 57


244


Vaud ...


6


839


Neuchatel


... 195


1,499


Geneva...


... 170


10,129



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089 T»0 myihcarm im Strife.



#s Mignuwiimf^ ntMtttstv Mtt as an- hUuibaju ^Miofpsu. i ng y iii ^csjr i
diffinowes bftw b«en iw#»i, it I»fair ben deckled Idb^ tba YitieaitDnl
Ilepuimaat i« CUfiera shovkL ind; to tt«e ti^
pfamtiv ^Mi* ••dk oasi a^y ea p e rimg ai oil Ut m«: lioldiiii^



In Buasia, since 1891, the phjibxen had inyaded a vaat tract in the
Bepsrtment of Kutair. Li 1892 and 18^ new infected spots wero ofaaerfcd;
sinnlsrij various looalitiea round Odessa.



The pro^iresrof phjllozers is rerj rapid in Branunor. S!nee I9Mf A0
munbev oz iiifioef eiL rmejBrdt has been cEonbled.

8«nria.

Thcntnstieirieiiotmni^ bettarin Serbia; Tbtftolal am of ▼imyapis is
that kinsdom aoHMnrtv ie IfS^SM heetares, of whidi 9,960^ ean be eoiiBidined
absohrtsHfy dedap^^, 11,259 ase a&eteek, and 22-^66!^ only remani free fiEon
the evil.

Bulgaria.

Bulgaria is no less affected than Serbia and other small principalities of
the Balkans.

Turkey.

In Tui^ej the progress of tiie phylloxeift is tecrible, while the measa o£
arresting its progpesa ace not nnm^pana, son slow, and diffieult of operation.

With the hope that measores for its esadieation mi^t be takm^ a- Cmxh-
miasioD, instituted by the Minister &>r Agriculture 1^ Constantinople^ »
engaged preparing regulations that will tend to the destruction of thia
deetruetive insect. Notwithatanding, the swarms are produced with ewy
f feedom, and the infection extenda from vinejaraL to vineyard. In certain
Localities they recoBnaend and use AFulphurated carbon, but they do not go
beyond this. In Bmjraak also there exists a Conuniaeion for ike purpose ofi
exterminating the pest, which has imposed a tax on the grapes produced ; is
fact, in that country the vine cultivator baa to pay in advance. The pre-
liminary charges, as well as those incurred in the replanting of the vineyards,
causes the boldest to hold back. Some prefer to root up all their vines and
to plant onions. It must be acknowledged that the Government of the
Sublime Porte has just decided to establish nursenes in various places where
the American stocxa may be grown.

France.

France, although barely mentioned by Mr. Guiraud in hw traatiae on tbe
phylloxera, has oificially declared sixty-eight d^artments a» iiActed, which
comprise 252 districts, the names of which we gave in our report of last year.

The methods adopted here for the destruction of the ioaeeik ave i iimawio n
where it ie not feasible to use sulphurated carben or sulpho-carbomate of
potash. We should mention that in localitiee dedicated to- the growtii ol
gi?ape8 to produce the commoner wines the rinee are not Bubje«tod< taany
treatment, but the European vines are allowed to die out, aid are- re^aaaa
by American vines grafted or otherwiee on that not alfected, the Li ' iia ft aiun*
before referred to being only resorted to in the caee of yi ne y ar da pn
the choicer wines, and where it is necessary that tiie old stoeka ba pr
at any cost, as it has been found their the grafting psoeeeedetenoratea i
or less the qnalitiee of the renowned wines.



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JB^e^iMjfkiif. fM



Bee-keepmg,



Bt ALBERT GALE.



Chaptbu IL

The Imnsteff and Sconomj of &6 Eye— The Htms.

BuoSBt, or mde beei^ bs will be neo, diiiBr ^nacj murifc from Ae quc«& oir
otlur inniAtefl of tize hiTt.* Indeed, sa mudi bq^ u to lead caaual ot
iuioi>8erTaat beekeepenr into iiia belief tiiat th^ beLong to a di&smt imakf
oi.^e aaaoe Bpecias patker tban being mule
membeis of the aaonr &iiiily in wbieh tfaej
are found. On thia accoait dronA9 bave^
been very greatly maiigped and looked upon
as interlopers rather tnan factors equal in
importance to that of the queen bee. That
they exert a pernicious inffuence in the
colony to which they have uninvitedly
attached themselves ; are dangerous to the
well-being of the swarm; militate against
its inexease and prosperity ; and operate
against the financial succesB of beekeepers^
are- opinions still held by far too many bee-
keepers. The word drone is assodftted with
idleness, worthlessnesa, and a. sponger on^
or a vampire of society. It has been
borrowed from the supposed uselessness of
the drone-^bee. A quaint old writer (Butler)
says : — " The drone is a gross, stingless bee,
that spendeth his time in gluttony and idle-
neaS) for howsoever he brave it, with his
lomnd velvet cap, his nde gown, bis full "'°^'

paunch, and his loud voice^ yet is he bat an idle conxpanion, living by the
sweat of others' brows. He wovketh not at all, either at home or abroad,
and spendeth aa mneb as two labourers ; you shall never find hia vam
without a drop of the purest nectar. In the heat of the day he fiiethi
abroad, aloft, and about, and that with no small neise, as though he wmild. do
some great act, but it is only for his pleasure, and to get him a stomach, and
then. leturos he presently to his cheer."

That drones have '* loud voices," and that in the heat of the day they fty
" abroad, aloft, and about/' is a part of the economy of their nature, and is
a factor in the perpetuating of the fittest of their race.

The external anatomy of the male bee (drone) differs very greatly from
that of the females (queen or workers). In cell aecommodation he oecupiea
a greater space. I>rone*cells are only four to the lineal inch, whilst tite
worker-cells go five to that measurement.



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694 JBee-keeping.



The capplngs of droneB'-cells are more convex than those of workers, and as
in the case of both queen and worker, are porous. They contain not nearly
80 many pores as those of the former, but far more thiui that of the lattra*.
When the inmates of these cells have completed their larval stage and are
entering upon that of the chrysalides, they are sealed or capped over with
a mixture of wax and pollen. The shape and texture of the cappings are
such that they are easily thrust off by the mature inmate. The inmates of
the cells spin the cocoon by which they are enclosed, but the construction of
the cappings is the work of nurse bees. The cappings of brood-cells differ
greatly from those of honey cells ; these latter are not nearly so convex, — in
£Ekct, are in the centre slightlv concave, so as to more easily resist the pres-
sure of the honey within ; they are, moreover, formed entirely of wax, and
are therefore air-tight.

In developing, the drone goes through the same metamorphoses as the other
inmates, but the time occupied therein is longer. From the laying of the egg
to its hatching occupies three days, he remains six and a-half days in a larv2
form, then changes into a chrysalis and becomes a perfect insect in from
twenty-four to twenty-five days. During his larval stage he is fed for about
the first four days on 55*91 albumen, 11*9 fattv substances, and sugar 9'57
parts, but as the larva advances in age the two lormer are decreased and the
sugar increased, the average being 43*79, 8*82, and 24*08 respectively.

In the wing he is more expansive, as the following measurements of
Cheshire will show : —

Worker

Queen

Drone

These measureoientB are given in one-hundredths of an inch. From this
it will be seen that the expansion of a drone's wing is nearly twice that of a
worker, and one-third that of a queen. Therefore his aerial locomotive power



Online LibraryAustralia. Dept. of Agriculture New South WalesThe agricultural gazette of New South Wales → online text (page 111 of 118)