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on the sprayed plot. Brown Rot, another serious disease of the beach plum,
and blights were fairly well controlled.

In cooperation with Dr. H. J. Franklin and Dr. C. E. Cross, a planting of
improved selections was made at the Cranberry Station at East Wareham.
These selections were supplied by Mr. J. M. Batchelor, plant explorer of the Soil
Conservation Service, and are considered, by him, to be the best beach plums to
be found anywhere along the east coast.

Other phases of the work are reported by the Departments of Botany and
Horticultural Manufactures.

Ethylene Dichloride Emulsion. (J. S. Bailey.) Experiments to test ethylene
dichloride emulsion for the control of peach tree borers were started in the fall of
1940 and continued through 1941 and 1942. Three cases of injury to trees were
observed, all of which resulted from over-dosage or faulty application. No
injury has been observed where applications were properly made.

Applications made September, October 1, and October 15, 1941, were very
effective in controlling peach tree borers. Those made November 1 and Novem-
ber 15, 1941, were not so effective.

The Use of Peat in Planting Apple Trees. (L. Southwick.) In the 1940 Annual
Report, a progress report was made on this experiment which began in the spring
of 1939. It was reported at that time that, after two growing seasons, there was
no significant difference in growth between the check and the treated trees. After
two more years of growth, with scanty fertilization, the same conclusion holds.

Killing Woody Weed Plants. (J. S. Bailey and L. Southwick.) Ammonium
sulfamate at three-fourth pound per gallon of water was very effective in killing
chokecherries. The black cherry is much more resistant. Sprays of this material
were used at several concentrations and the speed of killing of the leaves was pro-
portional to the concentration. It is too early to determine the effectiveness of
the various concentrations in destroying the whole plant.

On July 29, 1942, poison ivy in an apple orchard was thoroughly sprayed with


ammonium sulfamate at dosages of one-fourth and one-half pounds per gallon
of water. By August 1 the younger leaves were considerably browned and dried
out and the older leaves showed some injury. During the following week, most
of the ivy appeared to be dead. The carry-over value of the treatment remains
to be determined. Experience showed that care must be exercised not to get
this poison ivy eradicant on apple trees.

Magnesium Deficiency in Massachusetts Apple Orchards. (L. Southwick.)
In September 1939, medium to severe intervenal leaf scorch was observed on
individual Mcintosh trees in two experiment station orchards. These trees also
showed excessive preharvest drop of truit. A test for potassium showed a high
level of this element in the leaves from afifected trees. In August 1941, the same
deficiency symptoms became prevalent in these and other orchards, particularly
in a young orchard set in May 1939. In 1942, the trouble was evident in many
commercial orchards. Other typical symptoms besides leaf scorch included
occasional yellow banding and mottling and usually abnormally early leaf fall
commencing near the bases of current shoot growths and progressing upwards.
The symptoms suggested magnesium deficiency and chemical analyses of leaves
in the late fall of 1941 tended to support this hypothesis. At that time, soil was
collected from the young orchard mentioned above and Mailing rootstocks were
set in 2 and 3 gallon crocks and forced into growth in the greenhouse in February.
Typical deficiency symptoms became evident in all pots where magnesium was
not added and the trouble was most severe in the potassium-fertilized pots.
Chemical analyses of the leaves showed low amounts of magnesium wherever
deficiency symptoms were prevalent and high amounts where symptoms were
not present.

In August 1942, leaf samples were obtained from many apple trees. Chemical
analj'ses of unburned leaves from trees showing variable degrees of foliage scorch
and leaf fall showed that there was consistent correlation between symptom sev-
erity and the magnesium and potassium leaf contents. Magnesium was always
low and potassium always tended to be high in trees showing deficiency symptoms.
Most of the afifected orchards were on acid soils.

Just why the trouble has been more prevalent and severe in the past two
years is not easy to explain although several factors may be significant. Increased
use of potassium in recent Aears may have caused a build-up to such a point as
to accentuate the need for magnesium. Increased use of mild sulfur sprays and
sulfur dusts has tended to increase soil acidity. Weather conditions, particularly
rainfall, may have influenced the amounts of magnesium available to trees. These
are surmises only. Of course, it is probably true that magnesium deficiency in
apple orchards is not new but that It had not been recognized as such.

Magnesium deficiencies may be overcome either through the use of adequate
applications of high magnesium (dolomitic) limestone or, where quicker results
are desired, by applying some soluble magnesiuni compound such as magnesium

Temperature of Orchard Soils. (J. S. Bailey.) Thermographs were placed in
the soil under two Mcintosh trees in the Clark Orchard, one under a mulched
tree, and the other under a tree growing in sod. The following observations were

1. The soil temperature under mulch was lower than that under sod from
March to August; from August to late January the temperature under
mulch was higher; from late January to March the soil temperature under
sod and mulch was about the same and nearly constant.

2. Soil under sod warmed up faster In the spring and cooled of? faster in the


R. T. Parkhurst in Charge

Broodiness in Poultry. (F. A. Hays.) Results of crossing strains over a 10-year
period confirm the h^'pothesis that two dominant complementary autosomal
genes, A and C are necessary to produce the broody instinct in Rhode Island Red
females. Extreme care in crossing strains is necessary to avoid bringing together
these two genes.

The attempt is still being made to develop a non-broody strain of Rhode Island
Reds through progeny testing. The major objective yet to be accomplished is to
discover whether or not both genes A and C can be completely eliminated by this

A Genetic Study of Rhode Island Red Color. (F. A. Hays.) Two lines of exhi-
bition-bred Rhode Island Reds are being developed; one selectively bred for early
sexual maturity, and the other for late sexual maturity. Complete plumage
color records are made on all birds, and females are trapnested for a full year to
get their performance record. Feather samples are also taken at sexual maturity
from all birds and these are being studied for pigment distribution.

Crosses between Rhode Island Reds and Buff Orpingtons indicate that the
extension factor E for melanin pigment is not present, but that Buff Orpingtons
are essentially the same as Rhode Island Reds in that the e factor permits the
development of some black pigment in neck, wings, and tail. Fi hybrids are
intermediate in general plumage color, but the lipochrome pigment in skin, beak,
and shanks is inhibited so that the color is white.

The Effectiveness of Selective Breeding in Reducing Mortality in Rhode
Lsland Reds. Cooperative Project with the Regional Poultry- Research Labora-
tory of East Lansing, Michigan, and the Department of Veterinary Science.
(F. A. Hays.) Seven generations have been carried through to the age of 18
months to study the effectiveness of selective breeding in reducing mortality in
one line and increasing mortality in another. The loss from cannibalism in the
females of the low mortality line was double that in the high mortality line.
Such losses distort the results, but there was no indication that selective breeding
with small numbers is effective In reducing the mortallt}- rate of males and females
from the ordinary diseases and disorders.

Losses during this period were produced by a number of disorders but there
were no acute outbreaks of disease. In many cases more than one disorder ap-
peared In the same individual and the primary cause of death was not determined.

Genetic Laws Governing the Inheritance of High Fecundity in Domestic
Fowl. (F. A. Hays and Rubj- Sanborn.) At the present time particular attention
Is being given to the establishment of genetic uniformity in Intensity of laying.
Intensity Is a complex character which has an important relation to egg size.
Egg size has reached a satisfactory level, but Intensity is still highly variable
and there Is considerable difficulty In combining large egg size with high intensity.
The incidence and duration of winter pause have also received special attention.
In other characters affecting egg production there Is a satisfactory degree of
uniformity In the flock.

A Study of Fertility Cycles in Males. (F. A. Hays.) In addition to the histo-
logical study of stages of spermatogenesis In males of different ages and at differ-
ent seasons, still under way, attention has been given to fertility tests of males in
natural matings throughout the summer. During this period the oldest male
(36 months old) declined In fertility from 81 percent to 45 percent. The 24-


months-old male began with 100 percent fertility, declined to 74 percent in mid-
June, but returned to 100 percent fertility in late July. The young male (12
months old) showed consistent fertility throughout the 10-week period, but his
record was never equal to that of the 24-months-old male. On the female side,
yearling hens were consistently higher in fertility than either old hens or pullets.

Miscellaneous Genetic Studies. (F. A. Hays.) Linkage studies between
genes for shank feathering, comb form, and mottled ear lobes in Rhode Island
Reds will soon be concluded. The dominant sex-linked gene has been eliminated
so that stocks of crossbreds that carry only the autosomal gene E' are being
developed. Progress is being made on a new method for separating the sexes in
Rhode Island Red Chicks on the basis of down color. A gold-barred strain is
being developed for auto-sexing chicks. The effect of ultra-violet irradiation on
mutation rate is being studied. Selective breeding for abnormal sex-ratios is
being carried on.

Alkaline Phosphates and Egg Shell Formation. (Marie S. Gutowska and
R. T. Parkhurst, with the cooperation of E. M. Parrott and R. M. Verberg of
the Chemistry Department.) Studies were conducted to throw more light on
the question whether or not alkaline phosphatase is a factor in egg shell forma-
tion. It was found that:

1. The physiological mechanism of the deposition of calcium in the egg
shell was independent of a local phosphatase activity factor in the shell gland
(uterus) of the hen.

2. The phosphatase activity in the blood plasma of the laying hen seemed to
be related to a definite genetic constitution of the hens вАФ high productivity and
good egg shell strength.

3. The deposition of calcium in the egg shell was based on a different mechan-
ism than the calcification of the bones.

4. Phosphatase activity was very low in the shell gland, in the oviduct, and
in the ova of the laying hens as well as in their bones at the tmie of shell forma-
tion. It was considerably higher in the blood plasma, coming within the lower
range found in human blood.

5. The necessary transformation of the colloid compound containing calcium
and phosphorus, and yielding calcium for the egg shell, appeared to take place
in the blood itself; the shell gland acting, probably, only as an excretory organ
for calcium.

Crab Meal as a Replacement for Fish Meal in the Laying and Breeding Ra-
tions. (Raymond T. Parkhurst and Emery J. Jefferson with C. R. Fellers of the
Department of Horticultural Manufactures cooperating.) In further studies in
which crab meal replaced fish meal on an equal-protein basis (4 pounds for 2.5
pounds) in the Massachusetts complete all-mash laying ration, corn dried dis-
tillers grains with solubles, corn distillers dried solubles, and fermentation sol-
ubles (with soybean oil meal) also replaced all the dried skimmilk in the ration.

The results confirmed previous conclusions that crab meal can replace all of
the fish meal in the ration used, in which adjustment was made for the higher
mineral content of the crab meal. Comparable egg production, egg weight, body
weight, feed consumption, feed efficiency, egg quality, hatchability and chick
quality were also obtained when the distiller^' and fermentation by-products
replaced the dried skimmilk.

In the groups with Red-Rock crosses, the percentage hatchability of fertile
eggs was higher for the rations containing skimmilk than for those containing
distillers dried solubles, whether used with fish meal or crab meal and, in both
cases, was higher for fish meal than for crab meal. For Rhode Island Reds, the


percentage hatchability of fertile eggs was higher for fish meal than for crab
meal when used with distillers grains with solubles; but was higher for the crab
meal when used with fermentation solubles and soybean oil meal.

Corn Dried Distillers' By-products in Laying Rations. (R. T. Parkhurst, C.
R. Fellers, and J. W. Kuzmeski.) Complete or unsupplemented all-mash diets
were fed to Rhode Island Red pullets in laying cages. All the dried skimmilk
(2.5 percent) was replaced by an equal amount of dried distillers' by-products
from mashes containing a high percentage of yellow corn. The by-products tested
were the "screenings" or conventional light grains; the "grains," which were the
grains with solubles or dark grains containing the residue (screenings) with which
were dried the screened condensed stillage (solubles); and the "solubles", ob-
tained by drying the stillage, after removal of the alcohol and "screenings."

The rations containing these by-products, each supplemented with meat-
scraps, gave as good production results as meatscraps and dried skimmilk, as
indicated by percentage egg production, egg weights, body weight gains and
egg qualit3^ Mortality was low in all groups. Similar production results were
obtained when fish meal replaced meatscraps as a supplement to "grains" and
to "solubles". Hatchability was better when the "solubles" were fed. With
either fish meal or meat scraps, "solubles" were comparable to milk in results
obtained. With fish meal, "grains" also gave good hatchability.

Dried Cereal Grasses in Starting Rations. (R. T. Parkhurst, J. H. X'ondell,
and J. W. Kuzmeski.) Dried cereal grasses at levels of 1.25 and 2.5 percent
adequately replaced dehydrated alfalfa meal at a 5 percent level in a meatscrap
basal ration in which the vitamin D was obtained from D-activated animal
sterol. In a similar comparison involving the 1942 (revised) New England Col-
lege starter, equally good results were obtained with a low cost ration containing
15 percent soybean oil meal, dry vitamin D, and both dried cereal grasses and
alfalfa meal, provided both fish meal and meatscraps were used. Results were
not satisfactory when meatscraps were the only animal protein concentrate
included in the ration.

J. B. Lentz in Charge

Poultry Disease Control Service. (H. Van Roekel, K. L. Bullis, O. S. Flint,
and M. K. Clarke.)

1. Pidlorum Disease Eradication. During the 1941-42 testing season 366
chicken flocks and 31 turkey flocks were tested for pullorum disease. The results
from this service are reported in a separate bulletin issued for that purpose.

2. Diagnostic Service. A total of 2,180 specimens in 498 consignments were
examined. Personal delivery of specimens was made in 252 cases. The speci-
mens may be classified as follows: J ,932 chickens, 190 turkeys, 11 foxes, 9 mink,
8 each of goat feces and pigeons, 4 each of pheasants and rabbits, 3 each of
canine feces and geese, 2 each of dogs and quail, and 1 each of equine feces, feed,
parrakeet, and sheep.

It is encouraging to note that avian tuberculosis and fowl typhoid were not
encountered during the year. The former has not been widespread in recent
years, but fowl tj'phoid began to reach serious proportions until 1939, when educa-
tional activities by the County Extension Services and the Massachusetts Divi-
sion of Livestock Disease Control were apparently effective in checking further


spread. Pullorum disease Is rarelj' encountered in chicks where owners have
adopted effective measures for the eradication and prevention of this disease.
Twelve new foci of fowl cholera infection were identified during the year. Fowl
cholera has been found on 53 premises during the past 10 years. This disease
continues to become more widespread and of greater economic importance.
Listerellosis was identified in one chicken, but apparently was not a source of
great trouble in the flock in which it was encountered. The 69 tumors encoun-
tered were classified on the basis of gross examination as lymphocytoma 35,
embryonal nephroma 9, myelocytoma 7, fibrosarcoma 5, hemangioma 4, fibroma
2, not identified 2, hematonia 1, leiomyoma 1, and myxoma I.

The 190 turkej's were received in 48 consignments. The diseases encountered
most frequently were coccidiosis, paratyphoid, ulcerative enteritis, and entero-
hepatitis. Four cases of pullorum disease were poults shipped in from outside
of the State. Swine erysipelas was detected in September in two flocks which
were being reared in confinement. Limited observations suggest that this in-
fection is apt to be encountered earlier in the season in birds reared in confine-
ment than in birds reared on range; also that such an outbreak may be controlled
by lettmg the birds out on range. This reduces direct contact between birds and
stops much of the feather picking.

3. Flock Mortality Studies. Morbid and dead birds from the flock main-
tained at the College for genetic studies have been examined to determine the
causes of mortality and to furnish information for experiments in genetics. This
is a continuation of work similar to that conducted in former years. ^ During the
fiscal year, 340 birds were examined. Since these represent birds hatched over a
period of five years, major emphasis is placed on the group which finished its
first la^'ing \ear during the past fiscal year. From the birds hatched in the spring
of 1941 , a total of 331 , representing 242 females and 89 males, have been examined.
No extensive outbreak of any particular disease w^as noted during the year, but
the recognition of 13 cases of aspergillosis was unusual. Fowl paralysis was
noted in an increased number of birds, despite efforts to effect a reduction through
elimination of families showing a high incidence of the disease. Over three-
fourths of the cases of fowl paralysis noted were in birds which had not reached
sexual maturity. Fowl paralysis was noted more frequently than any other
disease. Other conditions noted in order of frequenc\' were kidney disorders,
tumors, reproductive disorders, and cannibalism. Pathological conditions in
birds more than 18 months of age were quite similar to those in the jounger birds,
except that the percentages of leiomyoma and carcinoma increased markedly.

4. Salmonella Types Isolated. Paratyphoid organisms isolated from diseased
specimens were identified as to t>pe. A total of 15 strains was recovered from
consignments received from 10 different flocks. Twelve strains were S. typhi-
murium, two w^ere 5. newport, and one was 5. derby. The 5. typhi-murium strains
w-ere isolated from two pigeons and ten turkeys (five poults and five mature birds).
The 5. newport and 5. derby strains were recovered from poults. In one instance
5. typhi-muriii7n and 5. derby were isolated from the same flock, but the stock
originated from two different sources which may account for the presence of the
two types.

We are greatly indebted to Dr. Philip Edwards, Department of Animal Path-
ology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, who identified these strains
as to type.

5. Avian Encephalomyelitis. Duirng the past year studies of avian encephalo-
myelitis were continued. Serial passage of this virus in young chicks has reached
the 128th transfer. No perceptible change in the nature of the virus has been


observed. -Chicks hatched from eggs laid by laboratory breeding stock revealed
evidence of avian encephalomyelitis at hatching time. This observation further
substantiates previous findings at this laboratory that this infection may be

6. Infectious Bronchitis. During the past year investigations in the control
of infectious bronchitis were continued with the cooperation of the Extension
Service and the Massachusetts Division of Livestock Disease Control. The 14
flocks inoculated with a laboratory strain of live infectious bronchitis virus in
the summer of 1941 passed through the laying season without contracting the
disease. In two instances evidence of respiratory infection was observed, but
infectious bronchitis was not definitely diagnosed.

The results of these field investigations were received with great enthusiasm
by other flock owners whose flocks had experienced this disease. During 1942
the program was extended to additional flocks, in which the infection had previ-
ously been observed. Susceptible birds were inoculated or exposed to infection
before reaching sexual maturity. In most instances post-inoculation reactions
were favorable. However, it was noted that concomitant infections or diseases
and climatic and management factors play a definite role in the response of the
flock to infectious bronchitis virus. Mature birds which were regarded as im-
mune to the infection due to previous exposure failed in every instance to con-
tract the disease from the inoculated young stock. The results of the field trials
appear encouraging, but before a practical control program is inaugurated fur-
ther critical tests should be conducted.

Investigations have also been continued to develop a reliable method of de-
tecting birds that ha\'e been exposed to infectious bronchitis infection. Such a
method will serve as a guide in using this virus only in flocks that have had the

7. Farm Department Brucellosis Control and Eradication. The laboratory
cooperated in this work by testing 639 bovine blood samples by the standard tube
agglutination method.

Studies of Neoplastic and Neoplastic-like Diseases. (Carl Olson, Jr.) Prog-
ress under this study was interrupted by Dr. Olson's enlistment in military
service and therefore no conclusive report is possible at this time.

Waltham, Massachusetts
Ray M. Koon, in Charge

The members of the research staff of the Waltham Field Station are assigned
to the unit by the Departments of Botany, Entomology, Floriculture, Horti-
culture, and Vegetable Gardening. Reports of these departments give results
of investigations conducted at this station.

Soil Testing Service. Testing soil for commercial vegetable growers, mush-
room growers, florists, nurserymen, greenkeepers, arborists, vendors of loam, and
home gardeners has long been regarded as an important service which the Field
Station has rendered. More recently this program has been extended to include
service to the State Department of Public Works, the Metropolitan District
Commission, Works Project Administration, U. S. Army Engineers, and town
and city administrations. There is no doubt that this effort is effective, partic-
ularly when the soil test is followed by a personal interview between the client
and the technician. The total number of soil samples tested in 1942 was 6134.


Field Day. Because of the shortage of gasoline and tires, and the lack of farm
machinery for demonstration purposes, this annual meeting, which would have
been the twenty-fourth, was not observed. Special groups and individuals,
however, interested in certain particular experiments and trials visited the Station
at opportune times. Among them were the New England Carnation Growers
Association, Boston Market Gardeners Association, Greenkeepers Club of New
England, Society of American Florists and Ornamental Horticulturists, Massa-
chusetts Fruit Growers Association, U.S.D.A. Club, New England Seedsmen's
Association, and the New York-New England Fruit Spray Specialists.

Online LibraryMassachusetts Agricultural Experiment StationBulletin - Massachusetts Agricultural Experiment Station (Volume no.379-398) → online text (page 76 of 77)