Charles Plumb William Frear.

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large majority of them were old time offenders a few were novel-
ties to us.

From two sources in southern Wisconsin, nearly a hundred
miles apart, came specimens of Oxybaphus nycta^iiieus. One
party wrote that this pest grew so rank in a large corn-field that
one could hardly make his way through the field because of it.
I had always thought this plant rather rare in our flora and had
never before heard complaints of its proving troublesome.

From three counties came specimens oi Cyperus phymatodes -with
the complaint that this sedge had gained a foot-hold in cultivated

* Analyst, January, 1889.

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84 Agricultural Science. Vol. IIL No. 4.

fields and promised to make a persistent stand. I had supposed
that our northern sedges only held in moist lands where cultiva-
tion of ordinary crops was out of the question. Gray speaks of
the plant as '* in low grounds along rivers, etc.'' Our reports are
from upland cultivated fields. The numerous small nut-like
tubers attached to the underground stems make it possible for the
plant to spread through cultivated lands as rapidly as Quack-
grass. Gray reports Cyperus roidundusv^x. Hydra, an allied form,
growing in sandy fields of Virginia and southward.

On the great plateau along the eastern flank of the Rocky
Mountains, grows So/anum rostratum, a homel}', harmless sort of
plant. The naturalist knows it to be the original food plant of
che Colorado potato beetle, Doryphora lolineata. In the year
.1872 or thereabouts the beetle, coming across the uncultivated
strip of eastern Colorado and western Kansas, found a new food
plant in the common cultivated potato and spread with marvelous
rapidity over the country. Solatium rosiratum also comes into the
fields to conquer and has spread on cultivated lands in Texas
and Missouri where with greatly increased size it proves a trouble-
some weed. Last summer Mr. L. H. Pammel, one of our agri-
cultural graduates, now profeSvSor of botany in Iowa agricultural
college, found this plant growing at Watertown in this state. It
is following up the potato beetle ; will it spread over as large an
area as its old congener ?

Cichorium Intybus appears as a weed in the vicinity of Madison
along road-sides, and has been reported troublesome from one
other point in the state.

Squirrel-tail grass, Hordeum jubatum, is entirely too common
along the road-sides and in old meadows. The numerous long
awns which bend the heads of grass as they sway in the wind are
very beautiful with a purple irridescence, at flowering time and
are much sought for boquets but the ripejiing heads are very un-
sightly since the awns twist into all sorts of shapes and destroy
the former symmetr3^

The Canada thistle, Cnicusarvensis, is pretty well disseminated
over the state, having been brought to us with grass and grain
seed and also in packing-straw. In the interior of the state
patches of this thistle can be found which vary from a few feet to
acres in area. Skirting the shore of Lake Michigan is a strip sev-
eral miles in width where this plant proves a terrible pest, and
spreads rapidly. In this section the cooling influence of the lake
is so marked that Indian corn does very poorly, and on many
farms no attempt is made to grow it. Passing inland from the
lake it would seem that the seeds of the Canada thistle do not
usually ripen, or rather, are abortive. I have never seen a seed
head of the Canada thistle in this vicinity that contained any per-
fect seeds and have similar reports from others. This important
fact is probably due to our great mid-summer heat, TJiou^i pnes-

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ent in many localities the spread of the plant from each center is
very slow since it only goes on through the creeping root-stalks.

W. A. Henry.

Wisconsin agricultural experiment station, March 9.


I should be sorry to have the words * ^colleges and' ' dropped from
the name " association of American agricultural colleges and exper-
iment stations" and to have the body made up, as you suggest,
** simply of station directors and their assistants." The close re-
lationship established by law between the colleges and the stations
in most States makes it desirable, as it seems to me, to have an as-
sociation in which both the colleges and the stations shall be repre-
sented in name and in reality. There were good reasons for giv-
ing almost exclusive attention to the stations, at the recent meet-
ing ; reasons which will probably not apply to the next meeting.
The plan proposed by Dr. Armsby by which sections should be
created within the present association I think much to be preferred
to any one looking to dropping either the colleges or the stations
from the association. With you, I regretted that so little was heard
from some agricultural workers at the Knoxville meeting, but there
was no college president there whom I would have wished ''should
remain in the background." To me, some of the most instruct-
ive and helpful words, and wisest suggestions of the meeting, were
from men "known, if you please, as ' literary fellows.' "

G. E. Morrow.

Illinois agricultural experiment station, Champaign, Feb. 27.


* ' Agricultural science " is a scarce article. The stations are
more occupied in applying known science to agriculture, than in
attempting to discover anything new. Few station workers have
the skill or application necessary for original work. The public
also is imperious in its demands, and most of the station officers
are disposed to please the public, even at the sacrifice of work of
permanent value. An editorial urging the importance of really
scientific work and also showing what may be appropriately pub-
lished in your journal and what in the regular bulletins might do
good. A. A. Crozier.

Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station, Ames, March 12, 1889.

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86 Agricultural Science. vol. iii. No. 4.


WHAT should the experiment station report be ? is an in-
teresting question, and one yet to be solved. Two forms of
report are at present being issued from the stations, one giving a
brief account to the governor, much on the same plane as a finan-
cial report, the other offering a detailed record of work in hand or
accomplished. The former plan is to render the results of experi-
mental work, in bulletin form, and issue the annual report as a
mere statement. Technically speaking, this is perfectly legal.
However, is this the most creditable and satisfactory way of pub-
lishing the results to the public ? Heretofore, the bulletin has
been called a "report of progress," and has served to satisfy a
demand of the public, in informing them of what was being ac-
complished, and did not, as a rule, consist of technicalities. Now,
it is proposed by some to make the bulletin the final report of the
work in hand. If this is to be the case, then many bulletins will
be likely to become the subjects of ridicule from farmers who,
though anxious to learn, are unable to comprehend abstruse sci-
entific detail. And yet the support of these farmers is desirable.

If interesting and valuable experimental results are published
in bulletin form, in clear, brief, instructive language, they will
carry weight and influence with them, but scientific detail of an-
alytical work and multitudinous figures will not.

The annual report, we believe, should be a comprehensive ac-
count of the station work for the year, wherein all reported ex-
periments may be discussed with as much fulness as the data will
allow. If one is to be guided at all by precedent and practices of
the most eminent station directors of this country, and so far as
we know of Europe, he must concede that the annual station re-
port embraces more than a brief statement to the governor, cover-
ing only a score of pages. It is not so much as to how narrowly
we can construe the law, but rather, how broad is its application.

To go further, there should be experimental work done at
stations, involving principles and producing results that from ne-
cessity would require elaborate study and discussion. While the
facts deduced from such work should be presented to the public,
the details, and their discussion, ought to be published in sci-
entific journals, for the special benefit of investigators. In such

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1889. Agricultural Science. 87

contributions the author would feel perfectly free to be technical
in his writing, being well aware that his audience were capable of
comprehending his language. The very scientil&c reports of cer-
tain experiments in some station reports, outside of a few scien-
tists, read like so much Choctaw to the possessors of the books.
And yet there are station directors in the country who object to
the subordinate officers publishing elsewhere than first in the
station bulletins or reports, such scientific papers as we refer to,
notwithstanding it does not make an iota's difference to the station
or state.

The man of sense will approve of the most scientific work at our
stations, but if he has to report upon it himself, he will endeavor
lo so frame his words and draw his conclusions that they may be
intelligible to his audience whether scientific or practical.


The Book of the Pig : its selections, breeding, feeding and
management. By James Long. London : L. Upcott Gill, 1886,
pp. 360, fig. 42, plates, 25. Large octavo.

Written by an Englishman, and published in England, this book
is in no sense local in its application, for the author has mu ch to
say concerning the pig in America, and in commendation at that.
The book is finely illustrated by Harrison Weir, R. M. Wood
and other artists, and a series of unusually good plates give plans
of piggeries, among which are several of American breeders.

Such a volume as this should be better known in America, for
it is plain, practical, comprehensive, knd to the best of our knowl-
edge, the most complete work on the pig in the English language,
and furthermore is a beautiful piece of typographical work in
large clear type.


Arkansas industrial university, First annual report of the agricultural experiment
stations of the. Fayetteville, Ark., 1889, pp. 134.

Auburn, Ala. Bulletin No. four. New series. Agricultural experiment station of the
agricultural and mechanical college, February, 1889, pp. 12. Strawberry culture.
Grape culture and pruning. Raspberry culture.

Cook, A. J. The silo and silage, 1889. pp. 31. I^ansing : D. D, Thorp, printer and binder.

Dakota agricultural college and experiment station^ Brookings, Dak. Bulletin
No. 9, pp. 8. January, 1889. Department of agriculture. Com. Bull. No. 10, Feb-
ruary, 1889. Department of forestry, horticulture and botany. The germination of
frosted grain, pp. 8.

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8» Agrigultural Science. vol. iii. No. 4.

Dbi^awarb coi^LEOE, First annual report of the agfricultutal experiment station of.
Newark, Del., 1888, pp. 16.

GOODBLL, Henry H. Reminiscences of the Orient, 26 pp.'

Kentucky agricultural experiment station, ot the state college of Kentucky.
Bulletin No. 16, pp. 22. Potato experiments. I/Cxington, Ky., December, i388. No.
17, February, 1889, pp.21. Corn experiments.

Kew, Royal gardens. Bulletin of miscellaneous information. No. 27, March, 1889, pp.

Massachusetts state agricultural experiment station. Bulletin No. 32. Febru-
ary, 1889, pp. 12.

Minnesota, University of Agricultural experiment station. Bulletin No. 6. February,
1889, pp. 28, plates 2. Experiments with Irosted, rusted and stack-burned wheat.

Nebraska, University of Second annual report of the agricultural experiment station o
Nebraska, pp. 43.

New York agricultural experiment station. Peter Collier, director. The utility
of experiment stations. Past and present work and future prospects of the Geneva
station . An address delivered by Hon. W. W. Wright, member of the board of control
of the New York agricultural experiment station, at the farmers' institute held in
Geneva, Feb. 8-9, 18^, pp. 14.

New York agricultural experiment station, Peter Collier, Director. Bulletin No.
15, new series. November, 1888, pp. 103- 116. Methods adopted for the systematic test-
ing of new fruits. A circular to the originators or proprietors of new fruits. A list of
fruits now under trial at the station. Geneva, N. Y.

North Carolina agricultural experiment station. Bulletin No. 61, pp. 53-84.
December, 1888, January, 1889. XI. Composts-Formulas, analyses and value.

Ohio agricultural experiment station. Bulletin No. 7. Second series, December,
1888, pp. 91-110. Corn-Fertilizer experiments.

Storrs' school agricultural experiment station, Mansfield, Conn. Bulletin No. 3.
February, 1889, pp. 8, Roots of plants as manure. Meteorological observations.

Sturtevant, M. D., E. lycwis. Paramount fertilizers, pp. 19.

Texas agricultural experiment station. Bulletin No. 4, December. 1888, pp, 18.
Root rot of cotton or *' cotton blight."

Wisconsin, University of Agricultural experiment station. Bulletin No. 18, pp. 35.
Madison. Wis., January, 1889. The constitution of milk, and some of the conditions
which affect the separation of cream .


(By B. Frank: Landw. Jahrbuchet, xvii, pp. 421-552.)

Among the sources of loss is the volatilization of ammonia from
the soil. In some experiments in which ammonium sulphate
solution was added to samples of soil, the author found that the
ammonia thus added soon disappeared, being to a small extent
converted into nitrates, while the greater part volatilized. A light
and pure sandy soil does not expel the ammonia, and has only a
feeble nitrifying power, 'so that the ammonium salt is retained
nearly undiminished for a long time. Of the individual constitu-
ents, quartz grains and clay are inactive, while calcium carbonate
causes both slow nitrification and also partial liberation of
ammonia. Another source of loss was mentioned by Boussingault,
viz., that when nitrates were given to plants growing in the dark,
there was a liberation of free nitrogen, which he attributed to the
action of some organic substance excreted by the roots. The
author experimented on the point, growing bean seeds in the dark
in nutritive solutions, both with and without nitrogen compounds.

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1889. AgriculI^ural Science. 89

As in every case there was a loss of nitrogen, it could not be due
to reduction of nitrates, and he attributed it to the loss of nitro-
gen consequent on the decay of those parts of the seed not made
use of by the germinating plant.

Next, treating of the gain of nitrogen, he combats Hellriegel's
view, that the root nodules of the I^guminoseae are concerned in
rendering free nitrogen available to the plant. His own experi-
ments lead him to the conclusion that the land gains in combined
nitrogen in some way besides that caused by lightning discharges,
which at present is the only one undisputed. He found that the
presence of vegetation raised the amount of this gain, that this
could not be accounted for by the ammonia of the air, and that it
must be derived from the free nitrogen of the air. The gain rises
with increased plant development, and both the kind of soil and
species of plant have an influence. I^upines are very effective as
compared with non-leguminous plants ; but the difference in the
powers of increasing the combined nitrogen is one of degree, not
one of kind ; hence it cannot be ascribed to the nodules. Further,
nodules did not occur in lupines grown in sterilized soil, yet the
plants developed better than in a parallel experiment with unster-
ilized soil, where the plants had nodules, and besides the nodules
the legumes have no other organs to supply nitrogen which other
plants do not also possess.

The next question is, how soil unoccupied by a crop gains in
combined nitrogen. This gain takes the form chiefly or entirely
of organic nitrogen compounds, thus agreeing with Berthelot's
experiments, and is explained by the gi-owth in the soil of the
cryptogamic plants, algae containing chlorophyll and allied forms
which the author discovered there.

He next discusses the question whether these plants avail them-
selves of free nitrogen or of nitrogen oxidized in the soil by an
inorganic process. He asserts that, under the influence of cal-
cium or magnesium carbonates, free nitrogen can be oxidized to
nitric acid, the action being distinct at ico°, still apparent at
45°-5o°, and no longer apparent at 15^22°, but thinks that in the
German climate this action can only very rarely occur.

He concludes that it is not an inorganic process that makes the
free nitrogen available, but that the combined nitrogen is due to
a development of plant cells containing albuminoids, which is not
to be connected with any process occuring in the soil. This power
of assimilating free nitrogen is very different for different plants ;
the result is smallest in fallow land, where only the lower plant
forms are at work; it ,is larger with higher plant forms, and
among these the lupines and probably other Leguminoseae pro-
duce the greatest result.

Ab,: Jour, diem, soc, Jaimary^ '8g, pp. 7I-^2.

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90 Agricultural Science. Vol. iil No. 4.



(By H. Droop Richmond: The Analyst^ Jan., 1889.)

The process of preserving milk for analysis, by addition of al-
cohol as proposed by Allen, is objected to on account of the large
amount of preservative necessary to be added. Bisulfide of car-
bon, ether, dichlorphenol, chloroform, terpenes and hydrofluoric
acid were all tried ; chloroform was least reliable, and hydrofluoric
acid was wholly satisfactory ; 0.5 per cent, of the acid or one drop
to 10 c.c, of milk proved to be sufficient. The effect is to coagu-
late the milk, but a vigorous shake brings it again to a condition
admitting of correct sampling.

Analyses are given in which total solids and fat were determined
in the original sample and again in the preserved sample after
periods ranging from 32 to 347 days. The average of 12 samples
thus tested, gave 0.02 per cent, less total solids and 0.04 less fat
in the preserved milk than in the original samples. Another set of
10 samples, to which the hydrofluoric acid was added, after three
days, gave an average of 0.165 per cent, less total solids than the
original, after standing 32 days. In this case decomposition had
begun before the addition of a preservative. In a third test, a
sample of milk was preserved fresh ; a portion of the same was
allowed to stand three days, and then preserved ; after a fortnight
the fresh preserved milk gave 0.08 per cent, more solids than
the original natural sample : the sample preserved after three
days gave 0.37 per cent, less solids.

The author regards this reagent as a perfect preservative when
added to fresh milk : if decomposition has already commenced it
is of little use.



(By Werner Schmid : Zeitschtift f. Anal. Chem.^ 1888, p. 464.)

Five cubic centimeters of cream or 10 c.c. of milk are placed in
a test tube of 50 c.c. capacity, graduated to 10 c.c. Ten cubic cen-
timeters of concentrated h. cl. are added and the mixture boiled,
with agitation, until it becomes dark brown. Cool and add 30 c.c.
of ether ; shake, allow the ether solution to separate and measure
the saiiie. Withdraw by means of a pipette, an aliquot part (10
c.c.) Evaporate on water bath, eventually in an air bath at 100° and
weigh. When rightly conducted, the ether separates from the watery
solution absolutely clear. The results are accurate, varying
within i-io per cent, from ordinary methods. With proper ar-
sangements the whole process requires hot more than one-half

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1889. Agricultural Science. 91

(By A. W. Stokes : The analyst, Feb., 1889.)

The author sought analytical data with regard to the accuracy
of the above method and reports some 20 analyses in which the
methods of Wanklyn, Adams and Schmid were compared on sam-
ples of whole, skimmed, stale and condensed mill^s, as well as
cream. The results were in every case satisfactory, agreeing very
closely with those obtained by the Adam*s method, both being
somewhat higher than by the Wanklyn method.

The acid acts to destroy casein and milk sugar almost entirely,
setting free the fat. The ether does not extract all the fat since
traces are always present in the acid solution. The ether solution
is always acid. A slight contraction of volume follows the ad-
dition of the ether. Results were the same whether the mixed
fluids were shaken for a longer or shorter period, and whether al-
lowed to stand five minutes or 2^ days. The method seems to
possess the advantages of accuracy, speed, simplicity and cheap-
ness, w. E. s.

(By L. Raulin : Comp, rend., 1888.)

The author gives the results of experiments conducted at the
Rhone agricultural experiment station, on a soil very rich in
humus and calcareous matter, in noting the action of different
phosphates upon wheat and maize. The experiments ran through
1887 and 1888. In 1887, the tests were with maize, and it was
found that with 50 kilograms of phosphoric acid per hectare the
fossil phosphates, coprolites, and phosphorites arid phosphate
slag were much less active than the industrial phosphates contain-
ing soluble phosphoric acid, such as the superphosphates [and
precipitated phosphate.

In 1888 wheat was employed instead of maize, on the same
plats, and the same conditions followed out, excepting that 40
kilograms of phosphoric acid were used. The following table
gives the result :

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Vol. III. No. 4.

Plat. I

Kind of phosphate.



Excess of crop of

makse, in 1887 over

the crop without

phos. acid.
Straw. Grain.

Excess of crop of

wheat in 1888 upon

plats without phos.


Straw. Grain.



Coprolites in


Phosphorites in

Phosphate preci.
Poudre d'os in
Creusot slag in
Slag in

in 1887..







in 1887,..




40 kg.
40 "

1750 kg.

2300 kg.;

200 *' I3400 "
40 *' 1 ** '^
40 ** 11820 *'

1700 •*
<> it

1000 "

40 ''

i» i<

»C <(

200 "
40 •'
40 "

200 "

2300 " 1400 '• 1

" - ! - - 1
3240 " 3640 "

200 " ,170 " 1 970 **

40 •*

«« *( ,

.. " 1

1580 kg.

2010 *'

tt 11

1340 •'

1 180 "

ti (<

830 "

780 "

730 kg.

1580 •*

510 "

(< tt

680 **

<( tt

660 •*

<I tt

560 *'

The author concludes from the experiments of these two years,
that, phosphatic manures, containing insoluble phosphoric acid,
such as the fossil phosphates, may be used, as the superphosphates
and the industrial phosphates, with the condition that the first
year an application equal to five or six times the usual quantity,
be used.

Ad: Le ProgrH agricole et vUicole^ vi, p. /j8,

(By Ei^i^KNBERGER and Hofmeister : Pfluger's Archiv, xli, pp. 484-89 )

Seegen has commented on the small quantities of sugar found
in the stomach and intestines, and considers that this may be ex-
plained by its rapid absorption immediately it is formed.

The authors state that although a similar state of things may
occur with peptone formed from albuminous food, it is certainly
not the case in horses and pigs ted on starchy food. The quantity
of sugar in the alimentary tract of these animals varies, but they
have found from one to 3.5 per cent, of sugar in the
stomach of the horse, and from 0.6 to 0.8 in the stomach of the pig.

The conditions on which the varying amount of sugar depends
are: — (i) Length of time after meals: the highest amount is
present one to one and a half hour after a meal ; (2) abundance
or otherwise of hydrochloric acid in the gastric juice, which stops
the conversion of starch into sugar ; (3) condition of the starch
in the food, whether cooked or uncooked, com or potatoes, etc. ;
(4) another condition which must not be overlooked is the dif-
ference of reaction in different parts of the stomach, and if the con-

Online LibraryCharles Plumb William FrearAgricultural science, Volume 3 → online text (page 11 of 44)