Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station.

Bulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) online

. (page 28 of 77)
Online LibraryMassachusetts Agricultural Experiment StationBulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) → online text (page 28 of 77)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

When a desirable balance of various land uses is present in anj' community
the main problem is to assure the stability of that condition and to prevent
serious disturbance of the existing pattern of land utilization. Such disturbance
may take place with the knowledge and encouragement of the local government
and people, if they do not sufficiently appreciate the necessity of maintaining
the established balance among the existing land uses. Some towns, for instance,
go out of their way to attract new industries or to foster the development of
residential or intensive types of recreational land uses. Even if the new enterprise
is of great benefit to the town at the time of introduction, this does not necessarily
mean that it will be beneficial in the long run. As a matter of fact, the experiences
of some towns with hastily projected new industries or residential and recreational
schemes, clearly indicate the necessity of applying a rigid test to any such under-
taking from the standpoint of the influence it may have on the economy of the
town and the utilization of its natural resources.

Some undesirable developments, however, take place in spite of the opposition
and resistance of local communities. A case in point is the recent experience of
certain communities, especially in the eastern part of the State, with land occu-
pancy for part-time farming and residential purposes by the unemployed and
other families in distress. In most cases such people have added heavily to local
expenditures for social services without contributing anywhere near the equivalent
to the town treasury. The results may be disastrous to the town economy and
to the established balance in the utilization of local natural resources. The
case of these people is a grave social problem to challenge our best effort. It can
hardly be left to the responsibility of individual communities with its threat of
total disruption of healthy and thriving rural towns.



1. The classification of land on the basis of soil and topography indicates
that half the total area of the State is suitable for agricultural utilization.

2. The percentage of agricultural suitability varies from nearly one-third in
Barnstable County to slightly less than two-thirds in Worcester County.

3. In 1880, before the decline in the agricultural land area set in, 41 percent
of the State area was represented by improved farm land. In 1940 this proportion
had declined to 15 percent.

4. The major local land-use factors responsible for the decline of improved
farm land relate in varying degrees to changing types and systems of farming;
soil erosion and deterioration; non-resident land ownership; disappearance of
town industries; and growth of residential, recreational, commercial, and other
more intensive uses of land.

5. Non-resident ownership of about one-third of all land in rural towns has
contributed to the increasing amount of land under wooded cover.

6. Of the total State area, nearly two-thirds is under wooded cover. The
highest proportion (nearly three quarters) is in Barnstable and Berkshire Counties;
the lowest (slightly more than half) in Essex and Middlesex Counties.

7. In the towns below 10,000 population, 89 have no existing local industries.
In 87 of the remaining 184 towns, local industries provide employment for less
than 100 persons in any one town.

8. The demand for more intensive uses of land has affected farming through
higher land values and taxes.

9. The average value per acre of farm land and buildings is $37 in the lowest
third of the towns below 10,000 population; in the highest third, the average is
$284 per acre.

10. From the standpoint of land-use pattern and land-use adjustments needed,
five types of rural towns are indicated in Massachusetts:

A. Towns characterized by predominantly poor land, declining population,
limited agricultural land utilization, and extensive areas under wooded

Major adjustments needed: Extension of public ownership of forest land,
elimination of isolated settlement, development of recreational facilities,
possible discontinuation of the town as an independent political unit.

B. Towns with a fair agricultural background experiencing recent dislocation
in local industries.

Major adjustments needed: Realignment of town expenditures, fuller utiliza-
tion of land resources for agriculture and other uses, rehabilitation of
industrial opportunities.

C. Towns with favorable physical background and with well-rounded agri-
cultural land utilization.

Major adjustments needed: Conservation of soil, better adaptation of
crops, and better care of woodlots.

D. Towns with declining agricultural land utilization as a result of expansion
in more intensive uses of land.

Major adjustments needed: Prevention of increase in area of idle land held
for speculative purposes, primarily by more equitable taxation of land
used in agriculture.

E. Towns with a balanced system of agricultural and other land uses.
Major adjustments needed: Maintenance and improvement of local condi-
tions through farsighted policies of local people and their planning agencies.

agricultural experiment station


Annual Report

For the Fiscal Year Ending November 30, 1941

The main purpose of this report is to provide an opportunity for presenting
in published form, recent results from experimentation in fields or on projects
where progress has not been such as to justify the general and definite con-
clusions necessary to meet the requirements of Jbulletin or journal.



Trustee Committee on Experiment Station

Term Expires

Malcolm, Dav(d J., Charlemont, Chairman 1946

Casey, William, Commissioner of Agriculture

MoNAHAN, William C, Framingham 1943

McNamara, Mrs. Elizabeth L., Cambridge 1944

Hubbard, Clifford C, Norton 1946

Whitmore, Philip F., Sunderland 1943

Experiment Station Staff, December 1941

Hugh P. Baker, President of the College
SiEVERS, Fred J., Director Hawley. Robert D., Treasurer

Gaskill. Edwin F., Assistant to the Director Felton, F. Ethel, Editor

O'Donnell, Margaret H., Technical Assistant Church, Lucia G., Secretary

♦Alexander, Charles P., Entomology

Archibald, John G., Animal Husbandry
§ Bergman, Hfrbert F., Cranberries

Bourne, Arthur I., Entomology
*Bradley, Leon A., Bacteriology
*Cance, Alexander E., Economics

Colby, William G., Agronomy

DoRAN, William L., Botany
*Eisenmenger, Walter S., Agronomy
*Fellers, Carl R., Horticultural Man-
*Frandsen, Julius H., Dairy Industry
t*FRANKLiN, Henry J., Cranberries

Freeman, Monroe E., Chemistry

Fuller, James E., Bacteriology
♦Gaskill, Edwin F., Station Service
tGuBA, Emil F., Botany
*Gunness, Christian L, Engineering

Haskins, Henri D., Agricultural Chem-
istry (Professor Emeritus)

Hays, Frank A., Poultry Husbandry

Holland, Edward B., Chemistry
§Kightlinger, Clifford V., Tobacco-
Disease Investigations
t*KooN, Ray M., Horticulture

Kuzmeski, John W,, Fertilizer Law
*Lentz, John B., Veterinary Science
♦Lindsey, Adrian H., Agricultural Eco-
nomics and Farm Management

McKenzie, Malcolm A., Botany

Morse, Fred W., Chemistry (Professor

Olson, Carl, Jr., Veterinary Science
*Osmun, a. Vincent, Botany
*Parkhurst, Raymond T., Poultry Hus-
*Rice, Victor A., Animal Husbandry
♦Ritchie, Walter S., Chemistry

Rozman, David, Economics

Shaw, Jacob K., Pomology

Sibling, Dale H., Chemistry
♦Smith, Philip H., Dairy, Feed, and Seed

♦Snyder, Grant B., Olericulture
♦Thayer, Clark L., Floriculture
♦Van Meter, Ralph A., Pomology

Van Roekel, Henry, Veterinary Science
JWhitcomb, W.A.RREN D., Entomology

Wood, Basil B., Library

Bailey, John S., Pomology

Bennett, Emmett, Chemistry

Brown, Alfred A., Agricultural Economics
and Farm Management

Bullis, Kenneth L., Veterinary Science

Creek, Charles R., Agricultural Econo-
mics and Farm Management
tCROSS, Chester E., Cranberries
JDempsey, Paul W., Horticulture

DeRose, H. Robert, Feed and Fertilizer

EssELEN, William B., Jr., Horticultural

Flint, Oliver S., Veterinary Science

France, Ralph L., Bacteriology

GuTowsic\, Marie S., Nutrition

Jones, Carleton P., Chemistry
Jones, Linus H., Botany
Levine, Arthur S., Horticultural Manufac-
McLaughlin, Frederick A., Seed Law
Mueller, Willi.\m S., Dairy Industry
Spelman, -Albert F., Feed and Fertilizer

JTiffany, Harold S., Nurseryculture

JWhite, Harold E., Floriculture

tYouNG, Robert E., Olericulture

Anderson, Edward E., Horticultural Man-
Anderson, Jessie L., Seed Law
Becker, Willi.\m B., Entomology
JBemben, Peter, Olericulture
Clarke, Miriam K., Veterinary Science
Cooney, Marilyn R., Home Economics
Crosby, Earle B., Veterinary Science
Crowley, Leo V., Feed and Fertilizer Laws
{Donnelly, Edward B., Floriculture
JGarland. \Villi.\.m, Entomology
JGiLGUT, Constantine J., Botany
Howard, James T., Dairy, Feed, and

Fertilizer Laws
Jewett, Felici.\, Veterinary Science
tKELLEY, Joseph L., Cranberries
KuciNSKi, K.\ROL J., .Agronomy
Lubitz, Robert S., Horticultural

Martell, Joseph A., Dairy, Feed, and

Fertilizer Laws
McCoNNELL, John E. W., Horticultural

Miner, Gladys I., Botany
Moore, Edwin L., Horticultural Manufac-
N.\iR, John H., hi, Dairy Industry
Neville, John D., Animal Husbandry
Pack, A. Boyd, Agronomy
Parkinson, Leonard R., Station Service
Powers, John J., Jr., Horticultural Man-
Russell, Sargent, -Agricultural Ex:onomic3

and Farm Management
Sanborn, Ruby, Poultry Husbandry
Sherburne, Ruth E., Economics
Smith, C. Tyson, Feed and Fertilizer Laws
SouTHwiCK, Lawrence, Pomology
Spear, Arthur J., Station Service
Theriault, Frederic R., Horticultural

Tischer, Robert G., Horticultural
tToMLiNSON, William E., Jr., Entomology
Weir, Clar.\ E., Home Economics
Wenzel. Frederick W., Jr., Horticultural

Wertz, Anne W., Home Economics
White, W. Henry, Botany
JWiLSON, Harold A., Horticulture
Yegian, Hrant M., .Agronomy
YouRGA, Frank, Horticultural Manufactures
Zatyrka, Irene E., Pomology

*In charge

tAt East Wareham

jAt Waltham

§With U. S. D. A.



Agricultural Economics and Farm Management 4

Agronom\- 7

Cooperative Tobacco Investigations 15

Animal Husbandry 18

Bacteriology 19

Botany 21

Chemistry .• 29

Control Service 34

The Cranberry Station 37

Cooperative Cranberry- Investigations 40

Dairy Industry 43

Economics 47

Engineering 49

Entomology 50

Floriculture 67

Home Economics Nutrition 69

Horticultural Manufactures 71

Horticulture 75

Olericulture 79

Pomology 85

Poultry Husbandry 95

Veterinary Science 99

VValtham Field Station 103

Publications 104



STATION - 1941


A. H. Lindsey in Charge

Competitive Factors Influencing tlie Supply of Market Milk and Cream in
Massachusetts. (A. A. Brown and Alabelle Booth.) The manuscript on the
Production and Price of Milk in the Springfield-Holyoke-Chicopee Milkshed
has reached the final stages of editing. This report is the third in a series per-
taining to the shed and represents a tentative appraisal of the forces aifecting
the crigin of the milk supply. The principal one appears to be the system of
pricing f. o. b. the market. In secondary markets this type of pricing underlies
the inefficiencies in transportation which in turn are probably a cause of the non-
economic pattern of milksheds. A reasonable correction would seem to be a shift
to pricing f. o. b. the farm.

An Analysis of Selected Merchandising Practices in the Fruit and Vegetable
Industry. (A. A. Brown and Mabelle Booth.) A record of the operations on the
Boston Regional Produce Market in 1941 has been secured in addition to that of
1940. Cursory examination indicates that conditions were similar in both seasons.
Most of the farmers using the market are small operators. The majority of them
used it only a few times during the season. A few of them, however, are large
operators who supplied the bulk of the produce.

The financial situation of the market corporation is its chief obstacle to growth.
Because of this, the fixed plant remains undeveloped. Until a greater degree of
permanency is assured, improvements such as store and storage facilities are not
probable. Lack of these facilities keeps wholesalers and jobbers away from the
market; shipped-in produce is not generally available; buyers go to other markets
where complete supplies may be had.

Crop and Livestock Enterprise Relationships to the Farm Business in Massa-
chusetts, (C. R. Creek.)

Vegetable Growing in Bristol County, Massachusetts, in 1940. Records of the
farm business were obtained on 22 specialized vegetable farms and on 10 livestock-
vegetable farms for 1940. Since the season was more nearly normal than in 1939
in regard to yields and prices for vegetable crops, the 22 specialized farms showed
a net cash return over cash operating expenses ranging from a gain of $8,022 to
a loss of $270 per farm.

Average returns for the livestock- vegetable farms were lower than for the
specialized vegetable farms in 1940. The livestock enterprises showed a return
over costs but the important crops — potatoes, sweet corn, and cabbage — were
relatively unprofitable in 1940. On many farms income from the livestock enter-
prises prevented a loss in net returns.

Recommendations for improved practices and management were made on the
basis of results obtained from this study. Many small farms have incurred un-
necessary losses in recent years chiefly because of poor management and lack of
adjustment to changing conditions in vegetable growing and marketing.

Results of this study were published in Mimeograph FM8 in October 1941,
under the title, "Vegetable Growing in Bristol County, Massachusetts, in 1940."


Two Years of Vegetable Growing in Bristol County, Massachusetts — 1939 and
1940. The farm records for 1939 and 1940 on the specialized vegetable farms
were studied to determine the reasons for the increased returns in the latter year.
Net cash return averaged $1777 per farm in 1940 compared to a loss of $4 in 1939.
Records were obtained for 20 of these 22 farms in bath \ears.

Higher yields and higher prices for four important crops were chiefly respon-
sible for the higher returns. The acres of crops per farm were practically equal,
cash farm expenses increased only 20 percent over 1939, but sale? of produce
increased 60 percent. Yields and prices increased greatly in 1940 over 1939 for
iceberg lettuce, cucumbers, green beans, and early tomitoes. Yields were main-
tained for sweet corn, late tomatoes, cabbage, and potatoes, but prices were
lower particularly for cabbage and tomatoes.

Net cash returns for the livestock-vegetable farms were slightly lower in 1940,
with an average of $1399 compared to $1453 in 1939. Number of cows and acres
of crops for sale were the same in both years, but the average size of poultry
flocks increased slighth'. Unprofitable crops such as potatoes, cabbage, and
sweet corn were responsible for the lower returns in 1940.

Budget analyses were made for a small and a large specialized vegetable farm
and for a livestock-vegetable farm to show e.Kpenses, income, yields, and prices
for the two years. Diversification of the farm business on the latter farm was
discussed in relation to the more uniform returns in both years. Preliminary
recommendations for improving the farm business were made onthe basis of this
two-year study.

Results of this study were published in Mimeograph FM9 in October 1941
entitled, "Two Years of Vegetable Growing in Bristol County, Massachusetts-s-
1939 and 1940."

Diversification of the Farm Business. In response to a request from the Sub-
committee on Diversification, of the Essex County Rural Policy (Land Use
Planning) Committee, a summary was made of farm recorde from previous
studies to show the effect of various types of diversified farm businesses on farm
organization and net returns.

Diversity by the processing and distribution of farm products was shown to
be very profitable in the case of retail dairy farms from the 1936-37 study of
dairy farm management. With the same number of cows per herd, but receiving
7 cents per quart extra for milk, the retail farms had net cash returns four times
greater than the specialized wholesale dairy farms. In the case of poultry farms
for 1937 this method of diversification was not so profitable. The retail farms
had larger flocks, and more eggs were sold at a price 6.5 cents per dozen higher;
but net cash returns and farm income were almost equal to those on the spe-
cialized wholesale poultry farms. Cash operating expenses were too high and the
spread from wholesale to retail price was too narrow for extra profitable operation
of these retail farms.

Wholesale dairj- farms with a fruit or vegetable enterprise were generally more
profitable than the specialized dairy farms. Because of unfavorable price rela-
tionships in 1936, the combination of dairy and poultry enterprises was less

Another method of diversification on poultrv farms was the selling of hatching
eggs or baby chicks in addition to market eggs, broilers, and fowl. The more
intensive of these hatchery farms with 30 percent of cash receipts from the sale
of baby chicks and pullets showed the highest net returns of any group in the
1937 study. The wholesale egg farms with some hatching egg and baby chick'
business were the next most profitable, although the price received for market
eggs was lowest. Largest size of laying flock, highest egg production per hen,


and a balanced farm business in the growing of flock replacements were con-
tributing factors to high farm returns.

A balanced or diversified farm business will tend to produce a net return year
after year in contrast to high returns and losses on specialized farms. In general
a diversified farm business is to be desired, although not all farms of this type
are profitable.

Labor Saving Methods and Practices on Massachusetts Farms. (C. R. Creek.)

Harvesting and Packing Iceberg Lettuce. The results of this stud}' on vegetable
farms were published in Mimeograph FM5, February 1941. Diagrams of packing
shed equipment and layout were included as well as descriptions and discussions
of various methods of harvesting and packing.

Harvesting and Packing Tomatoes. This stud>- was published as Mimeograph
FM6 in March 1941 and contained descriptions of methods and practices in har-
vesting and packing tomatoes in dififerent types of containers for ^■arious markets.
Diagrams of packing equipment such as conveyor belts, tables, and trays are in-
cluded, plus time data on the efficiency of dififerent methods.

Harvesting and Packing Celery. This study was published as Mimeograph
FM7 in May 1941 and supplements a previous description and analysis of packing
operations on farms producing celery. Information on equipment and practices
in the field work of harvesting celery and a diagram of the packing shed layout
for the handling of celery and carrots was included.

Rural Credit in Massachusetts. (A. H. Lindsey and Sargent Russell.) Dur-
ing the year, 273 survey records of 1940 farm operations were taken covering 10
towns in 5 counties of the State. Analysis has not been completed but pre-
liminary conclusions are as follows: (1) The best incomes can be obtained by
farmers when they combine non-farm work, such as retailing of their produce,
selling grain or machinery, or working off the farm, with their farm operations;
(2) In 1940 poultry paid better than dairy, and dairy better than vegetable; (3)
Farmers on the whole know where to borrow money at reasonable rates; (4)
Farmers borrow as little as possible and although many could use more capital
they have restricted their borrowing, not because the money isn't available, nor
because their credit standing isn't satisfactory, but because difficulties of repay-
ment outweigh the advantage of increased income due to the investment; (5) In
spite of what appears to many as a chronic lew income for farm operators, farmers
do continue to accumulate an estate in Massachusetts; (6) Tenancy (100 percent
rented farms) is low, part ownership and part rent occurs on more than a third
of the farms; (7) About two-thirds of the farms have mortgages, and on about
one out of every three mortgaged farms the mortgage amounts to over half of
what the farmer estimates his farm is worth; (8) The ability of the operator is
probably the most important variable in farm operation. The better operators
achieve greater success primarily because they have: (a) Good size of business,
(b) efficient use of labor, (c) above average crop and livestock production, and
(d) good balanced use of all resources (diversity).

Land Tenure in Massachusetts. (A. H. Lindsey and Edward Collins.) The
United States Census does not give a complete picture of land tenure in Massa-
chusetts. The 6 percent of tenancy reported by the Census refers to leased
whole farms. Our survey shows that another 31 percent of farm owners rent
land in addition to their own. This may be properly termed "field renting."

Six percent of the farms available for lease is not sufficient to provide oppor-
tunity for prospective owners to use farm tenancy as a "rung" in the agricultural
ladder in achieving ownership. The most popular way of earning an equity for
the purchase price of a farm was to work as an industrial laborer.


The practice cf field renting enables Massachusetts farmers to enlarge their
farm business and thus to increase their family income. A loss of these areas
would reduce individual farm business to an uneconomic size. Rented fields
which are under cultivation usualK- are satisfactorily maintained but practices
are not equal to those on owned land. Conservation practices on rented hay and
pasture land were m^uch poorer than on owned land. Eighty-five percent of
rented fields were used for hay or pasture. Nine out of ten of the field-renting
leases were oral as compared to two out of three where whole farms were rented.
Of the part owners who were renting fields. 97 percent received no supervision or
direction from the land owners regarding the use of the land.

Walter S. Eisenmenger in Charge

Tobacco Projects. (Walter S. Eisenmenger and Karol J. Kucinski.)

Brown Root-Rot of Tobacco. Experience has shown that the presence of high
amounts of lignin in the crop preceding tobacco 's generally associated with the
presence of brown root-rot of tobacco. It is w-ell known that the lignin content
of plants increases from the seedling stage to maturity. With this in mind,
twelve crops — tobacco, artichoke, corn, oats, buckwheat, barley, rape, millet,
rye, wheat, sudan grass, and sorghum — were all sown at the same time, and one
third of the area of each was plowed under at three different stages of maturity
of the plants. Tobacco was planted on all areas the following year.

W hen those plants having a relatively high lignin content, such as sudan grass,
sorghum, corn, millet, rye, barley, and oats, were plowed under at maturity, the
tobacco grown on these plots the following year had lower yields and lower crop
indexes than tobacco grown following the same plants plowed under before they
reached maturity, ^^'ith those plants low in lignin, such as tobacco, artichoke,
and rape, the stage of maturity of the plant did not produce the same effects
as in the case of the high-lignin plants.

The Effect of Additions of Plant Tissue to Tobacco Land. A corn crop preceding
tobacco is injurious to the following tobacco crop. In order to find out whether
this injurious effect is due to the presence of abnormal amounts of fibrous tissue
or to the removal of nutrients consequent on the growth of the corn, corn stover,
in pieces about one inch long and in amounts comparable to that usually grown
on a given area, was applied to soil which was to be planted to tobacco. A de-
crease in both yield and quality of the tobacco crop resulted.

These results are no doubt traceable to the high lignin content of the corn
stover applied, because it is generally known that organic matter of this sort has

Online LibraryMassachusetts Agricultural Experiment StationBulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) → online text (page 28 of 77)