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of undried grass from like areas were as follows (see Fig. 3) :

Limed plot 177.9 pounds.

Unlimed plot 122.3 pounds.

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Lime Requirement of Rhode Island Soils. 177

The gain from liming in this instance amounted, therefore, to
45.5 per cent.

It is hoped to continue this experiment mth the purpose of
testing the relative yields in coming years, but more especially to
see if the unlimed plot will become occupied by other grasses
sooner than the limed one.

Near Narragansett Pier, as in other places where there is a de-
mand for a superior quality of hay for feeding to horses, it is of
material value if the land can be so treated as to make it more
retentive of timothy to the exclusion of redtop, Rhode Island
bent, and other grasses.

Cooperative Experiments with Beets, hegun in 1898,
These experiments were conducted upon the following farms :

Edwin A. Mason, Warren, R. I.

Benj. F. Smith, North Scituate, R. I.

Isaac C. Ellis, Wood River Junction, R. I.

Jason Newell, Arnold's Mills, R. I.

W. King & Son, Kenyon, R. I.

Theo. B. Stork, Jamestown, R. I.

Chas. H. Potter, Tiverton Four Corners, R. I.

The plots upon the farm of Benj. F. Smith, of North Scituate,
were 27 x 13^ feet ; all of the others, excepting those on the farm
of Mr. Mason, were 12 x 30 feet. Mr. Mason's plots were but half
as large as the others. The manures applied to all of these plots
were identical in kind. The limed plot in each experiment was
dressed at the rate of 41 pounds for each plot twelve feet by
thirty, or, in other words, at the rate of about 2^ tons per acre.
The rate of application of the other manures per acre was the same
in all cases, requiring per plot, 12 x 30 feet, the following :

2.5 pounds muriate of potash.
2.5 " nitrate of soda.
7.5 " acid phosphate.

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178 R. I. Agl. Expt. Sta. Rep., 1898.

liable Showing the Effect of Air-dadced Lime Upon the Grmeth of Beets in Varioue
Sections of Bhode Idand. {See Figs, 6 to 11, indumve.)










75.5 1










Bd win A. Mason, Warren

Benjamin F. Smith, North Soltnate I

Itaao C. EUls, Wood BlFer Jnnotlon

Jawm Newell, Arnold*! Mills !

W. King A Son, Kenyon i

Theo. B. Stork, Jamestown <

Charles H. Potter, Tiverton Four Comers

Owing to periods of extremely hot weather and accompanying
drought, the beets in some instances made a very poor growth.
This was much more severe upon the newly tinned sward than
upon other land, it being especially marked at Arnold's Mills and
Kenyon. Nevertheless, unmistakable benefit from liming was
noticeable in both instances. The wonderful benefit from liming
in connection with the Wood River Junction and Jamestown soil
gives every indication that the character of those soils and their
adaptability for certain crops may be entirely transformed by

Mr. Mason, of Warren, was desirous of testing his soil as to the
effect of lime upon the growth of lettuce and spinach. For this
purpose he tried both crops under like jconditions as regards
manuring and other particulars, running the rows across both the
limed and unlimed plots. He states that '^The weight of dry
lettuce stalks was 1} pounds on the unlimed, and H pounds on
the limed plot." In regard to the spinach, he says : " Both rows
came up all right, but on the unlimed plot it soon began to turn
yellow and die, and on October 3d there was but one plant left.

*Red table beets,
t Mangel* worzels.

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Lime Requirement of Rhode Island Soils. 179

This plant was about four inches high and looked bright, but did
not throw up any seed stalk. On the limed plot every plant lived
and grew from twenty to twenty-four inches tall, ripening its seed."


The experiments of this season fully confirm the opinion that a
need of lime is much more universal in Rhode Island than has
been generally supposed.

NoTB.— Slnoe ordinary builders* lime oan be Blaoked and used for liming land, Jast as well as
•air-slaoked lime, there Is no reason why all who wish to try it In a small way at first should not
4lo so. Some plants are Injured by it ; so in making a test one should use some crop like beets
which responds readily to its application. Any person wishing Bulletin 40, on Lime and
Liming, in which full directions for such tests and for the use of lime may be found, can ob-
tain a copy free by forwarding a request for the same, accompanied by his post-office address,
to the Rhode Island Agricultural Experiment Station, Kingston, R. I.

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Plot 41, of the experimental grounds, which had preyionsly re-
ceived uniform treatment in every way, was selected for the trial.
The soil is a rather heavy loam, with a small admixture of sand.

The following fertilizer was used, three-quarters being applied
broadcast and harrowed in, the other one-quarter siprewn in the
furrow and thoroughly mixed with the soil : Nitrate of soda, 105
lbs. ; tankage, 750 lbs. ; dissolved phosphate rock, 397.06 lbs. ; fine
ground bone, 120 lbs. ; and muriate of potash, 300 lbs. ; a total
application of 1,672.06 lbs. per acre.

With the exception of four varieties of Oerman salad potatoes,
which, being very small, were planted without cutting, the sets
were cut to two eye pieces, placed fifteen inches apart in furrows
three feet apart, and covered to a depth of four inches. The cul-
tivation was the same for all of the varieties^

To protect from beetles and blight they were sprayed with Paris
green and Bordeaux mixture on July 1st, 14th, 25th, and August
1st. At the latter time it was noted that some of the German
varieties, especially the Prof. Dr. Maercker, showed great resistance
to the action of the blight ; very much more than any of the Ameri-
can varieties.

The trial of these varieties will be continued, to ascertain, if
possible, whether or not the blight resisting power will be retained
when grown for several sucpessive seasons in our soil and climate.

A part of each early variety was dug on August 3d. (See Table I.)
The remainder and the later varieties were dug on September
30th. (See Table II.)

Tubers weighing over two ounces are classed as large, except-
ing the four last named salad varieties in 7able II, which are of
small size, a characteristic and most desirable feature of potatoes
grown especially for salad purposes.

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TRiAiiS OF Varieties of Potatoes.






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R. I. Agl. Expt. Sta. Rbp., 1898.










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«-i vi^ f-i i-« «-< r« <M f-« ^^co«M v^M Aeeeo












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Trials of Varibtibs of Potatoes. 183

Description of Varieties.

The following named yarieties were selected to test again, from
among the best varieties grown in 1897, and a full description of
them will be found on pages 387 and 388 of the Annual Beport for
that year : Yigorosa, Joseph, Enormous, Hampton Beauty, Boyee,
and Early Six Weeks.

New Varieties, 1898. — Early Michigan. Tops medium size,
vigorous, slightly spreading. Strong stems, standing up well.
Little blight. Tubers oblong, white, smooth and handsome. At
first harvesting, this variety gave the largest yield of marketable
tubers and the greatest total yield.

Early Market Tops erect, fairly vigorous and large leaved.
Slightly affected by blight. Tubers oblong, dun colored, with
small russet spots, and of good size.

Early Andes, Tops somewhat spreading, fairly vigorous.
Leaves large. Blighted considerably. Tubers light dun color,
slightly oblong to round, rather uneven in size. Eyes shallow.

Early Fortune. Tops wide spreading, branches large and very
leafy. A very green thrifty growth, but blighted easily. Tubers
light dun color, oblong, flattened. Shallow eyes, and quite even
in size and shape.

Paulson's Juli, Tops medium size, somewhat procumbent, very
even in general appearance. Less easily affected by blight than
some of the other early varieties. Tubers white, oblong, slightly
flattened. Small size. Eyes shallow. Seed tubers imported from
Gottingen, Germany.

Early Dawn. Tops rather small and spreading. Leaves large.
Considerable blight. Tubers dun color, round or slightly oblong.
Eyes rather deep. Size medium.

loogoods Ashleaf. An early English variety. Tops very small,


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184 R. I. Agl. Expt. Sta. Rep., 1898.

slender, and light in color. Very little affected by blight. Tnbers
white, oblong, flattened. Eyes very shallow. Size medium. Seed
tubers imported from England.

Toogoocta Tremendous. A late English variety. Tops fairly
vigorous, erect, medium size, though somewhat uneven in growlli.
Quite free from blight. Tubers white, oblong or kidney shaped.
Medium size. Eyes shallow. Seed tubers imported from England.

New Main Crop, Tops fairly erect, thrifty, dark green, and
very even in appearance. Blighted very little. Tubers bright
dun color, round to oblong, slightly flattened, and of good size.
Eyes rather deep.

Dr, Von Lucius. A German variety. Tops tall, strong, and up-
right. Bather light in color. Blossoms, many in number, white,
and above medium size. Did not blight easily. Tubers white, round
and rather uneven in size and shape. Eyes deep. Seed tubers
kindly donated, as were also some of the Prof. Dr. Maercker, by
Augustus von Doerr, Smilkau, near Woltitz, Bohemia.

Prof. Dr. Maercker. Top very strong and vigorous. Upright,
strong stems. Blossoms quite plentiful, color light purple. Tubers
white, round, slightly flattened, yellow-fleshed. Classed as medium
early in Germany, though it should probably be considered a later
variety here. Seed tubers of this variety were obtained from both
Germany and Bohemia. Little difference could be discerned,
except that those from Bohemia produced a somewhat larger
growth of tops, and a more even size of tubers. This variety
showed much greater power to resist the attacks of blight than
any of the other varieties tested.

Gloria^ Mduschen^ Nieren Marjolin^ and Nieren rdthliche are
varieties of salfiul potatoes. The seed tubers were obtained from

The tops are very small and spreading, and withstood the blight
well during this, their first season's trial here. The tubers are

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Trials of Varieties of Potatoes. • 185

small, long in shape, and the flesh yellowish. In cooking they do
not become "mealy" but retain their form as prepared, thus
making them particularly suitable for salad use.

In a cooking test in which they were compared with the small
tubers of the New Queen variety, the (German salad varieties
proved far superior in every respect for salad purposes.

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It is well known that leguminous plants have the power to
gather nitrogen from the air, through the agency of minute
organisms which develop upon the roots.*

If these organisms, known as bacteria, are not present, the
legumes have not the power to gather nitrogen from the air for
their own use, and also for other plants which succeed them.

Fields in which a certain leguminous plant has failed to thrive^
owing to a lack of the necessary bacteria, have sometimes been
inoculated by strewing upon them soil from some other field
where that particular variety of legume has been found to

When inoculated in this way with soil, it should be worked in
at once to a depth of three or four inches, to prevent drying,
which would be fatal to the bacteria. This method is, how-
ever, somewhat expensive, and to easily and cheaply inoculate
fields deficient in these organisms, pure cultures of bacteria, de-
signed for the various leguminous plants, are prepared, according
to the plan of Prof. Nobbe, and placed on sale under the name of

* Ville claimed many years ago that certain plants were capable of assimilating atmospheric
nitrogen. Sabseqoent experiments, by Bonssingaalt and others, appeared to disprove Ville's

More recently Atwater obtained results with legumes apparently confirmatory of Ville's
results. But it remained for Hellriegel and Wilfarth to fully demonstrate the ability of
leguminous plants to assimilate atmospheric nitrogen, and to show that this takes place oaly
through the agency of a bacterium, or bacteria* having their seat upon the roots of tbe
plants. These minute organisms cause the nodular development often observed upoD the
roots of many kinds of leguminous plants, as peas, beans, clover, Ac.

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Pea V isEf*. —FirH Crop.

The vines on the left were from a plot not treated with "nitragin."
But few nodules were found on the roots of the plants from the un-
treated plots, only one large one having been noticeable upon the plani
at the left. The roots of the plants on the extreme right, which came
from the plot inoculated with "nllragin," were, on the contrary, prac-
tically covered with very small nodules, which may be readily seen.

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Trial of Nitragin. 187

The results of a trial of this material, prepared especially for
peas, are given below.

On June 11th, four plots, containing 100 square feet each, were
laid out upon soil of even quality, and where leguminous plants
had not previously been grown for 20 or more years. Each plot
received broadcast per acre :

Muriate of potash 800 pouDds.

Acid phosphate 800 pounds.

Plots 8 and 4, air-slacked lime 8,000 pounds.

The fertilizer and lime were thoroughly worked into the soil.
The culture, after being warmed according to directions, was
divided into two equal parts, each part being thoroughly mixed
with one gaUon of water of suitable temperature.

One portion was sprinkled upon plot 1, and the other upon plot
3, and immediately worked into the soil.

The morning selected for the application was cloudy, and thus
the culture was not exposed to the direct rays of the sun, which
prove fatal to the organisms.

Every precaution possible was taken to prevent plots 2 and 4
from becoming inoculated in any way, either at the time of plant-
ing or in the after cultivation.

Four rows of American Wonder peas were planted on each
plot, using equal weights of seed on each.

On July 29th, the peas having made their full growth, and being
just at the point of ripening, were cut close to the ground. The
weights, taken green, were as follows :

Plot 1 (nitragin) 12.25 pounds.

Plot 2 (no nitragin) 15.15 pounds.

Plot 3 (nitragin, lime) 12.55 pounds.

Plot 4 (no nitragin. lime) 12 95 pounds.

The roots were then carefully loosened, by means of a fork, and

Upon plot 1 (nitragin), the roots were thickly covered with
small nodules.

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188 R. I. Agl. Expt. Sta. Rbp., 1898.

Upon plot 2 (no nitragin), although the vines were of larger
growth and weighed more, yet, upon a careful examination of
the roots, but 21 nodules were distinguishable, and these were
much larger and very irregular in shape as compared with those
upon the roots of the plants where nitragin was applied.

Upon plot 3 (nitragin and lime), many nodules were found upon
the roots, and very little, if any, difference could be discerned in
this respect between this and the unlimed nitragin plot.

Upon plot 4 (no nitragin, lime), while the yield was about the
same as upon the other plots, a careful search failed to reveal any
discernible nodules upon the roots of the plants.

To still further test the effects of the nitragin, the plots were
immediately planted in exactly the same manner with Shropshire
Hero peas, a medium early variety, and the same care was exer-
cised in every way to prevent plots 2 and 4 from becoming inocu-
lated with the bacteria from the other plots.

The second crop of peas made an excellent growth, and on Sep-
tember 29th many of the pods were well filled.

On this date they were harvested in the same manner as the first
crop, and weighed green with the following results ;

Plot 1 (nitragin; 17.75 pounds.

Piot 2 (no nitragin) 24.25 pounds.

Plot 8 (nitragin, lime) 17.(K) pounds.

Plot 4 (no nitragin. lime) 20.50 pounds.

The roots were then carefully loosened and pulled. Nodules
were found in large numbers on all of the plots. There were
apparently more on plot 2 than on plot 4 (both without nitragin),
yet on neither of these were they quite so abundant as on plots 1
and 3, which had received it.

The very even yield of the first crop upon all of the plots, with
the exception of plot 2, which, for some reason, gave slightly lai^r
yields in both cropa, would indicate that the crop on this particu-
lar soil, obtained sufficient nitrogen to supply its needs without
reference to any effect of the nitragin.

In the case of the first crop no essential difference in yield was

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Trial, of Nitragin. 189

noticed between plot 3 (with nitragin) and plot 4 (without nitra-
gin) ; but in case of plots 1 and 2, a greater yield was obtained
from plot 2 without than from plot 1 with nitragin.

In the case of the second crop, the plots treated with nitragin
gave smaller yields in both cases than those to which it was not
applied. The least difference was noticeable in the case of 3 and
4, which gave practically identical yields with the first crop.

Owing to the fact that no reasonable ground for injury from the
employment of nitragin suggests itself, it seems probable that the
smaller yields upon the plots to which it was applied were inci-
dental and due to naturally existing inequalities in the soil which
could not have been foreseen, and which were not manifest before
the experiment was begun.

For the reason that leguminous plants can draw their supply of
nitrogen from compounds of that element already existing in, or
artificially applied to, soils, it would not be surprising if, in the
presence of an abundance of the same, they should not form
many nodules nor assimilate any considerable quantity of atmos-
pheric nitrogen. This may explain why more nodules were found
upon the roots from the inoculated plots in the second than in the
first crop, particularly in view of the fact that the first crop may
have utilized most of the directly assimilable nitrogen compounds
pre-existing within the soil.

Assuming that there were some of the organisms already ex-
isting in the soil, it would not be surprising if the roots of the
second crop should have been thoroughly infested with nodules,
while but a few incidental ones on either of the plots were
observable upon the roots of the first crop.

In order to prevent, if possible, the transferring of the organ-
isms from the inoculated to the uninoculated plots by natural
means, paths two feet wide were left between the plots. If, there-
fore, the soil of the plots not treated with nitragin became inocu-
lated from those that were, there is strong evidence of a much
greater and more rapid lateral movement in the soil of these
organisms than would seem probable.

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190 R. I. Agl. Expt. Sta. Rep., 1898.

It was observed, furthermore, that vast numbers of nodules
were distributed uniformly upon the roots from all parts of the
plots not treated with nitragin.

Had inoculation of the untreated plots taken place through a
lateral movement of the organisms within the soil, it would hare
seemed probable that the plants upon the edges of the plots
nearest to the point from which inoculation was supposed to
proceed would have possessed more nodules, or have developed
more rapidly than those farther removed therefrom. In considera-
tion of all these points it seems probable that the failure of the
nitragin to show any benefit may have been due solely to the
fact that enough of the organisms were present in the soil so that
any further addition of them became unnecessary and useless.

The large number of nodules found upon the roots of the plants,
in the first crop upon the plots which were inoculated wdth nitra-
gin, might be considered as an indication that there were not at
the outstart a large number of the organisms naturally existing
in the soil. Even if this were the case, it is not improbable
that where no nitragin was applied their numbers might have in-
creased before the second crop was grown to such an extent as to
insure an abundance of nodules upon the roots of the second
crop, and, as previously mentioned, there was doubtless enough
readily assimilable nitrogen present so that the first crop was able
to attain full development without their intervention and the as-
similation of atmospheric nitrogen.


It seems probable that the absence of any particular benefit in
the case of the first crop was due to the presence of sufficient
combined nitrogen in an assimilable form to supply the needs of
the plants.

The lack of apparent benefit in the case of the second crop was
probably due in part to the cause just mentioned, and to the fact
that the organisms naturally present had multiplied to such an

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Trial of Nitragin. 191

extent as to insure an abundant assimilation of atmospheric nitro-
gen without the intervention of those suppUed by the nitragin.

That the nitragin would have been efficacious in a soil which
did not contain the organisms seems unquestionable, in view of
the fact that in the first crop the roots of the plants where it was
used were infested with immense numbers of nodules, thus show-
ing, in contrast with the untreated plots, that infection by its^
means had doubtless been produced.

The efficiency of these nitragin preparations upon soils where
the organisms are absent has been repeatedly demonstrated in
yarious parts of Europe, striking examples of which were seen by
one of us in the summer of 1898, upon the peat (hoch Moor) ex-
perimental grounds of the Bremen Experiment Station, at Hude,
in North Germany.


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This experiment was begun in 1896, and continued for three
years. The work of 1895 and 1896 was under the direction and
charge of C. O. Flagg and G. M. Tucker; that of 1897, of C. O.
Flagg and J. A. Tillinghast.

Although considerable work has been done and published on
this subject, yet we find comparatively few farmers who, in actual
farm practice, treat their seed for the prevention of smut.

It is hoped that the results of this experiment will call attention
to the decided benefits arising from the use of treated seed, and
tend to make the practice more universal throughout the State.

The loose smut of oats ( UstUago avenae), like all smuts of
cereals, is caused by minute parasitic fungi, of wliich the spores
form the black, dusty matter which is found in place of the
kernels or the entire head.

These minute spores are blown about by the wind and often
adhere to the kernels and remain upon them until planted. Then,
as the grain germinates, the spores also germinate, sending deli-
cate threads into the young plants, and follow the growth of the
plant until the head forms. A mass of spores is then developed
instead of kernels.

Another form of this smut ( Ustilago avenae levis) is much harder
to detect, as it only destroys the kernel, leaving the outer chaff

Fields of oats should be examined at or soon after the time of

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Online LibraryMassachusetts. Metropolitan Water and Sewerage BoaAnnual report of the Director of the Agricultural Station ... → online text (page 48 of 52)