Copyright
California. Legislature.

Appendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) online

. (page 72 of 83)
Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 72 of 83)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


proper presentation in the course. To this view, however, I should
interpose an emphatic demurrer. I am satisfied that at the present
time, the experiment station work is the most, if not the only, effectual
way open to us to fulfill the mission of the College of Agriculture to
promote " the liberal and practical education of the agricultural class "
in their life pursuit. It is abundantly obvious that in their present
state of mind, farmers will only exceptionally send their sons to the
College of Agriculture. It is, therefore, to the farmers, directly, that
we must address our efforts, in order to show them by tangible exam-
ples, appealing to that most sensitive of organs, the " pocket nerve,"
that it is worth their while to send their sons where they can acquire,
not only the absolute knowledge of the science and practice involved
in agriculture, but also the ability to use their five senses and a trained
head, not only in rendering agriculture more rational and thus in
the end more profitable, but also in elevating it, as a life pursuit,
both in their own estimation and in that of the people at large.

Heretofore the results of the experiment station work have only
been given to the public in annual or biennial reports, through which
they were circulated only to a limited extent, and remained unknown,
and therefore unappreciated, by the majority of the agricultural popu-
lation. In order, therefore, to render the work more generally known
and useful, we have followed the lead of the New York State experi-
ment station, in issuing at brief intervals — ranging from one to three
weeks — short "bulletins" of completed work, which are mailed to the
newspapers of the State for publication of the whole, or of such por-
tions as may be of" interest to their immediate region. As parts of the
annual report required by the original Acft of Congress, they are also
mailed to all the Agricultural Colleges and experiment stations in the
United States, and to some of the more prominent domestic and foreign
agricultural periodicals. A small proportion only are sent to indi-



46

vidua! addresses, although it would be very desirable to do so in many
cases. But even as it is, the question of postage is quite serious,
and although the expense of printing is reduced to that of press work
and paper only, by arrangement with the Rural Press, and the fold-
ing and mailing has thus far been done by the hands of volunteers,
yet the aggregate expense is not a small burden upon the appropria-
tion. Since, however, the publication and circulation of these bul-
letins has proved of the most unquestionable value in increasing
public interest and cooperation, I trust that the continuance of this
policy will be rendered practicable by a special provision therefor, as
recommended by the Regents' committee. Twenty-live bulletins
have been issued up to this date, but before the end of the year the
number will probably reach twenty-eight. The average expense of
each issue has been from six to seven dollars, including postage.

Mr. Dwindle has for the last two years added to his work as Lec-
turer on Practical Agriculture, the superintendence of the field culture
experiments, and the correspondence relating to these and cognate
subjects, an elementary course in entomology, clearly called for by
the dangers that threaten several of our most important cultures from
the increase of noxious insects. As this is no specialty of his, he
earnestly desires to have the subject placed in charge of a competent
specialist as soon as possible. This, of course, is dependent upon a
proper endowment of a chair of entomology, or a State appropriation
for the purpose, which would very pertinently include the appoint-
ment of the incumbent as State Entomologist, charged with the
investigation of the kinds and habits of the several noxious and
beneficial insects existing in, or coming into the State. Much interest
has been manifested in this subject by several associations and public
bodies in the State, and a subscription for the purpose of raising an
endowment fund has been started, headed by Mr. Dwindle himself,
with a handsome sum, conditioned upon the raising of an adequate
amount. It is to be hoped that this movement may be successful, for
the subject of economic entomology is one of unusual interest in this
State, exposed as it is on all sides to the importation of new pests from
all quarters of the globe by the most direct routes. Mr! Dwindle's
report gives a fuller presentation of the subject, and I commend it to
your earnest consideration.

Mr. E. J. Wickson has, during the present session, again delivered
his highly acceptable course on Dairying. It is greatly to be regretted
that this course is not as widely and numerously attended as is war-
ranted by the importance of the subject and the excellence of its
presentation.

EXPERIMENT STATION WORK.

I include under this now well understood designation that part of
the work of my department intended to serve for the elucidation of
ciuestions relating to agriculture in its widest sense. It can hardlj^
be necessary to repeat in the present report the general discussion of
this subject already given in previous ones. The growing apprecia-
tion of such work by those practically interested in agriculture is
abundantly attested by the establishment, within the last two years,
of a number of State experiment stations, as well as by the proposi-
tion now before Congress (and indorsed by a resolution passed at the
late session of our Legislature), to establish, on behalf of the United



47

States, sucli stations at each one of the agricultural colleges; while
the latter themselves have, with few exceptions, now officially recog-
nized the necessity of supplementing the educational work specially
designed for the rising generation, by that which addresses itself
directly to the farmers themselves; and which, by affording to them
the aid of scientific investigations in determining the solution of
practical questions and difficulties, tends to render the parents more
appreciative of the advantages which a professional education may
bestow upon their sons. This I believe to be a truer path toward the
"liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the sev-
eral pursuits and professions of life," than that which leads to the
filling of the college halls by lowering the standard of instruction to
that of a mere school of handicraft. It is of the most especial and
obvious importance in this State, where the rude culture of the grain
grower, exhausting the soil without regard to the future, is fast being
superseded by those cultures of which the successful exercise imper-
atively requires the possession and use of knowledge and judgment.
As the progress of the fruit industries increases the area given to the
orchard and vineyard, a corresponding increase of a certain degree
of professional qualification therefor must needs take place. For in
the case of fruits and vines, the proper selection from and treatment
of the numerous varieties is the condition precedent of financial suc-
cess, and skill determines the question of profit and loss to a degree
unknown in general farming. In addition, the permanency and
liigh value of investments of the former kind tends to a greater sta-
bility, both in the abodes and pursuits of the population; and the
"turning out" of exhausted fields ceases to be a feature of the agri-
cultural system whenever the land is occupied by trees and vines
expected to endure from thirty to fifty years. The questions of
manure supply, drainage, and many others usually relegated to the
dim future of coming generations by the general farmer, now assume
the guise of vital points to be immediately considered; and errors in
the selection of soil and location, otherwise implying merely the par-
tial failure of one or two field crops, are sedulously sought to be avoided
because involving the loss of from five to ten years' time and of cor-
respondingly heavy investments. The field cultures themselves
involve a greater exercise of knowledge and judgment where irriga-
tion forms a necessary part of the farmer's practice, continually call-
ing into play the exercise of professional qualifications which the
farmer must either himself possess or pay for.

In ail these points of view, California stands preeminently in need
of experiment station work of the broadest character, including, as
it does in her case, the solution of problems never thus far approached
under similar natural and social conditions. The irrigation question
is here complicated by that of alkaline waters and soils, in a manner
not heretofore dealt with by western civilization. The same question
is now being grappled with by the British Government in some por-
tions of India; but there the economic conditions are so widely
different that what is feasible in one country may be utterly imprac-
ticable in the other. The problem must be worked out here indepen-
dently, and that as quickly as possible, before costly mistakes are
indefinitely multiplied. Again, the varied climatic conditions of this
coast call for a diligent search, in similar climates elsewhere on the
globe, for culture plants adapted to all these varied conditions.

All these points have been kept in view in the prosecution of the



48

experimental work; but the very multiplicity of the problems before
us renders progress in each one necessarily slow when the means are
so limited. Our policy has been to bestow most of the means at com-
mand in those directions where the need seemed greatest and most
immediate, as manifested by the demand for information. For some
years past the rise of the viticultural industiy has been so rapid, and
has engrossed so much of public attention, while offering so many
undetermined questions of vital importance, that it has seemed proper
to give it as large a share in our investigations as was compatible with
the demand for other information.

THE WORK IN THE GENERAL LABORATORY

Has been diligently carried forward by Mr. F. W. Morse, who, how-
ever, has been repeatedly detailed to make field examinations relating
to the phylloxera, and has also taken active part in the work in the
viticultural laboratory whenever extra pressure rendered it needful.

As will be seen from the record of work given in Appendix No. 1,
unusual attention has been given to the examination and sometimes
elaborate analysis of waters, whether designed for irrigation or domes-
tic use. The development of the "artesian belt" of Tulare and
adjoining counties, and the extreme interest attaching to the availa-
bility of this important source of additional supply, has occasioned
the transmission of numerous samples from that region for examina-
tion, and the publication of the results has been followed by similar
applications from other parts of the State. While some portions of
this work might more properly fall under the cognizance of the State
Board of Health, its connection with the settlement of the State is so
intimate that it seemed invidious to discriminate against such sam-
ples as were sent for examination as to their medicinal value, since
such waters are a direct index of the probable character of the pota-
ble waters of the region concerned. The rule adopted has been that
only such as were of obvious public interest should receive the benefit
of a quantitative analysis, while others were only examined qualita-
tively to the extent of determining whether or not they would be
likely to prove of importance from a sanitary point of view, Avhen
the farther investigation was left to be done at the expense of inter-
ested parties.

Concerning the artesian waters of the San Joaquin Valley, it is
abundantly obvious that a fuller and more systematic determination
of their character and distribution is urgently called for. It appears
from the examinations already made that there are at least two water-
bearing levels or regions, furnishing waters of entirely different prop-
erties: in some cases of excellent quality, in others dangerous to
health as well as to lands upon which they may be used for irriga-
tion, on account of the mineral salts present. The State Engineer's
office has courteously furnished a list of bored wells now existing,
the examination of whose waters would, in all probability, go far to
solve the main question of distribution. It is intended, should time
and means permit, to request the owners of these wells to furnish
samples of the several waters for the purpose of analysis.

The examination and analysis of soils has again received consid-
erable attention, in pursuance of the general plan, heretofore outlined,
to collect as rapidly as may be the materials for a detailed soil map
of the State. Requests for such examinations have of late become



49

so frequent as to seriously interfere Avith the systematic pursuit of the
main object; yet naturally, as the knowledge of the several soil areas
becomes more accurate, it is more frequently the case that definite
information concerning the nature and adaptations of samples sent
can be given by simple identification with others previously examined.
Ultimately, of course, this will be the rule instead of the exception.
In Appendix No. 1 will be found the results of the work on soils,
including some which, on account of the immediate need of informa-
tion, were made at private expense, the established rule being that
samples sent are examined in their regular turn as received. Some
of the soil analyses here given have also already been published and
commented upon in the "Report on the Physical and Agricultural
Features of California," which forms part of the Tenth Census Report
on cotton production. As this report will be reprinted for general
distribution through members of Congress, and has also been some-
what extensively distributed through the extra edition secured by the
proprietors of the Pacific Rural Press, I omit from the present report
a certain amount of matter relating to the soils of the State that
should otherwise have found a place therein. It may, however, not
be irrelevant to suggest that when in the course of a few years material
additions shall have been made to our knowledge of the agricultural
features of the State, a second and revised edition of this, or a similar
w^ork, to serve as a " handbook of the State," may be in order as an
authentic source of information for both the present and the incoming
population.

Apart from the main work on soils and waters, miscellaneous
examinations of various materials of agricultural or commercial
value have passed under our hands. Those relating to tanning
materials are, perhaps, of the widest interest, as the question of an
adequate supply of these is becoming more serious, in consequence of
the rapid encroachments upon the forests of the native tanbark oak.
Examination has shown that the bark of the black wattle, of Australia,
as grown on the University grounds, is fully as rich in tannin as that
imported from Australia; and as the tree is perfectly adapted to the
coast climate, at least it should form a prominent ingredient of forest
planting on the coast range. Similarly the European tanner's sumac,
from which the Silician high priced article is derived, has been found
to be as rich in tannin here as in its native country, and will, doubt-
less, occupy a place among our cultures. Hereafter both plants will
be extensively tested by distribution of seed or plants from the Uni-
versity, as stated in detail in Appendix No. 3.

VITICULTURAL LABORATORY.

The almost total loss of the work of one vintage season (1882), in
consequence of the exhaustion of the legislative appropriation, has
been a serious drawback to the systematic progress of the compara-
tive study of the grapes and wines of the State. Yet this loss is, in a
measure, compensated by the conviction it forced upon the minds of
viticulturists, that such investigations are necessary to the develop-
nientof their industry; and by the greater and more directly helpful
interest since taken in the work of the viticultural department. Last
year eighteen wines were made, during the vintage season, from grapes
partly contributed by persons desiring to have them tested, partly pur-
4"



50

chased for experimental purposes. Besides, a considerable number
of wines, ready made, were sent in for examination, considerably
outrunning the working capacity of the laboratory. At the approach
of the vintage season just passed a request was received from the
Natoma Water and Mining Company, of Folsom, for the experi-
mental treatment of the first crop of about forty varieties of grapes,
recently imported from Europe, and mostly fruited for the first time
in this State; the results to be made public for the general benefit.

As our means were altogether inadequate for treating so many
wines at once, the company off'ered to supply the needful caskage,
while also defraying expenses of transportation. At the same time
Mr. F. Pohndorff, the noted wine expert, offered his services, with
those of his son, to carry out these tests, involving the all-important
question of "the best grape varieties to plant," toward the solution
of which this work would supply very essential data. Important
contributions of grapes and wines were in the course of the vintage
also received from sixteen other parties. The details of the work
will be given in the " Viticultural Appendix" to the present report,
to be issued later; but it should here be stated that even with the
most effectual and valuable assistance thus rendered us, and with
the assignment of the assistant in the General Agricultural Labora-
tory (Mr. Morse) to the viticultural work during the vintage, it has
required the utmost exertions (including frequently work at night
and on holidays) to carry through the amount of work involved.
When, toward the end, it became apparent that without additional
assistance the wine samples would not be in readiness for exhibition
at the Viticultural Convention, held at San Francisco during the first
week of December, I invoked the aid of the Viticultural Commission,
which was responded to by the appointment of a special assistant (Mr.
George E. Colby) for one month from December twelfth. We were
thus enabled to submit to the Convention, as the outcome of the sea-
son's work, ninety-six samples of new wines, of which sixty-seven
were made from single varieties, and nineteen were blends made by
fermenting together the grape varieties concerned; the rest being
wine blends made after fermentation. There was not time to analyze
more than a small proportion of these wines before the meeting; and
the full report of results cannot be given until February or March.
The importance of even the partial results communicated was, how-
ever, fully appreciated by the Convention, as manifested in the reso-
lutions passed by that body on the last day of its session, and a copy
of which is herewith transmitted. The committee to whom the
subject was referred fully recognized the inadequacy of the present
arrangements for the requirements of the industry in the State, and
upon its report the Convention recommends, as you will perceive, a
very considerable enlargement of our facilities.

It is scarcely necessary to say that in order to enable us to continue
the work on any similar scale during the coming two seasons, the
amount of the appropriation for this purpose, as decided upon by the
Regents' committee some time ago, should be materially increased.
Not only must the cost of additional labor and assistance in the
laboratory work be provided for, but also that of an addition to the
viticultural laboratory building, for the purpose of storage. The work
of the past season having already been seriously impeded by the want
of adequate working room, it will be almost impracticable to carry on
the next season's operations without removing elsewhere the large



51

tidditions made this season. The absolutely needful addition to the
present building could be made for the sum of about 11,000, M'hile the
necessary additions to appliances, caskage, and laborers' wages,
would require, in addition to the sum of $3,000 heretofore estimated,
the additional sum of at least $250 for each of the two years to be
provided for. Altogether, therefore, including needful additions to
apparatus and caskage, the appropriation for the viticultural work
should not in any case be less than $4,500 for the two coming years.
It need hardly be said, however, that the accommodation afforded by
the addition of a single room to the present establishment will, in the
course of two years at farthest, also become inadequate; and as the
present laboratory is also unsatisfactory, in that it affords room for
only one worker where during the vintage season at least two must
constantly be employed, and while as a matter of fact, two active
workers would find abundant employment during the entire year:
the question whether a wise economy would not suggest the erection
of a suitable building, with room sufficient for the obviously immi-
nent needs of this branch of the experiment station work, must be
seriously considered. A building, such as could be erected and prop-
erly furnished with laboratory appliances at a cost of $10,000, as sug-
gested by the resolution of the Viticultural Convention, would provide
for all that will be necessary for many years to come. Any less sum
could be best utilized in additions to the present building, but should
in any case include a material enlargement of laboratory facilities.
It should also be kept in mind that with the progress of the work a
demand for practical instruction in this speciality will doubtless
arise, and that would call for all the room likely to be aff'orded by a
building of a story and a half, covering the cellar space.

The increased facilities for work must, of course, be accompanied
by a corresponding one of the working force, both permanent and
occasional, if the increase of efficiency is to be realized. A principal
and a sub-assistant would always find abundant work on their hands,
and during the vintage season extra help would have to be called in,
as was done during the season just past.

EXPERIMENTAL VINEYARD.

The experimental, vineyard plot assigned to the University for
experimental purposes, by Mr. John T. Doyle, on his property on
Cupertino Creek, and which was already planted with vines two
years old, w^as last spring grafted over to forty varieties of grapes, a
few of which actually came into bearing the present season. Authen-
tic scions for the purpose were obtained from various parties in the
State, partly by donation and partly by purchase; and among these
are some new kinds only lately imported, and scarcely as yet fruited
for practical trial in the State. During the coming season these
grafted vines will already bear sufficiently for comparative experi-
ments on the same scale as those made this year with grapes supplied
by the Natoma company. But it already appears that the number
of varieties should be materially increased in order to serve the pur-
pose intended, and it may be best, with Mr. Doyle's consent, to regraft
a portion of the plot to the new varieties now coming into promi-
nence as the result of the season's work at the viticultural laboratory.

The vineyard near our propagating houses, which was found to be
badly infested with the phylloxera when it came under my charge,



52

has continued to be devoted in the main to the study of the liabits
of this pest in this climate. Important observations on this subject
have been made by Mr. Morse, as will be seen in the Viticultural
Appendix to the present report. The native California vines, Cali-
fornicas, planted in the very holes from which infested stocks had
been taken up, have continued to flourish, although to some extent
infested, and several of them have borne abundant fruit from the
grafts made on them two years ago. We must therefore consider the
resistance of this stock to the phylloxera as well established, and also
that the fear prematurely expressed by some, viz., that the grafts on
Californicas will not bear well, is entirely without foundation. It is
possible to plant any vine on soil on which it will fail to produce,
whether from being too poor or too rich; and the examples that have
been quoted to support the adverse supposition are probably due to
the last mentioned cause. It may not be irrelevant to state that I
have acted upon my personal convictions in the matter by planting,



Online LibraryCalifornia. LegislatureAppendix to the Journals of the Senate and Assembly of the ... session of the Legislature of the State of California (Volume 1885v.1) → online text (page 72 of 83)