Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Physical requirements
 Soil and health
 Soil fertility and human nutri...
 Health from the ground up
 Experiment station research on...
 Soils and food
 Soils mineralization
 The minor elements play no minor...
 Pasture grass improved by adding...
 Notes on animal nutrition
 Some symptoms of citrus malnutrition...
 The effect of agricultural practices...
 Soil fertility and its health...
 Producing more beef from phosphorus-deficient...
 Biological assays of soil...
 Studies on the interrelation of...
 Corn and wheat embryo
 Vitamins from grass and alfalf...
 Are we starving to death?
 As the soil, so the man
 Research project started by Dr....

Group Title: New Series Bulletin - Florida State Department of Agriculture ; no. 123
Title: A symposium on the effects of soil elements on food
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00002288/00001
 Material Information
Title: A symposium on the effects of soil elements on food this volume traces some of the discoveries of science in the study of the soil elements as they affect humanity through diet
Series Title: Florida. Dept. of Agriculture <Bulletin> new ser.
Alternate Title: Effects of soil elements on food
Physical Description: 175 p. : ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Brooks, T. J ( Thomas Joseph ), b. 1870
Publisher: Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee
Publication Date: [1945?]
Subject: Soils   ( lcsh )
Nutrition   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by T.J. Brooks.
General Note: "A compilation of the results of experimenters seeking knowledge"--P.10.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00002288
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001725208
oclc - 19423678
notis - AJD7735
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Table of Contents
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Physical requirements
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Soil and health
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Soil fertility and human nutrition
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Health from the ground up
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
    Experiment station research on the vitamin content and the preservation of foods
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Soils and food
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
    Soils mineralization
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    The minor elements play no minor role in Florida
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
    Pasture grass improved by adding minor minerals
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Notes on animal nutrition
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
    Some symptoms of citrus malnutrition in Florida
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    The effect of agricultural practices on health and disease
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    Soil fertility and its health implications
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
    Producing more beef from phosphorus-deficient ranges
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Biological assays of soil fertility
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
    Studies on the interrelation of fats, carbohydrates, and B-Vitamins in rat nutrition
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
    Corn and wheat embryo
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
    Vitamins from grass and alfalfa
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
    Are we starving to death?
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
        Page 169
        Page 170
    As the soil, so the man
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
    Research project started by Dr. Ouida A. Abbott grows
        Page 174
        Page 175
Full Text


New Series Number 123



f f' "CT Sr .-`" "



By T. i. BHUOK S
Assistant Commissioner of Agricultull

NATHAN MA YO. Commissioner







Assistant Commissioner of Aqriculture

NATHAN A Y.O, Commissioner




This Department cannot furnish
analysis of soils or the foods you
grow on the farm. The state chem-
ist is authorized and equipped to
analyze fertilizers, gasoline, drugs,
stock feeds and canned goods.
This service is for the protection
of the public from fraud in trade.
If you want to know the mineral
and vitamin content of the food
you grow you will have to apply
to a commercial analyst. A balanc-
ed fertilizer is the surest guaran-
tee of balanced food.


This is not a treatise on dietetics, agronomy or soil anal-
ysis. Our subject is the relationship of these sciences to the
health of mankind.
Agronomy and soil analysis have to do with the utiliza-
tion of soils for production. Dietetics relate to the utiliza-
tion of foods for the nourishment of the body. It takes all
three to complete the relationship which they bear to hu-
man welfare. The importance of insuring a balanced diet
by providing the required elements in the soils is just be-
ginning to dawn on the public and to hasten interest con-
cerning this subject is the purpose of the authors.
The source of physical being is in the soil ingredients
no matter where one lives or his occupation. The ruins of
ancient civilizations are solemn warnings of what will
follow in this country if we neglect or abuse the soil.
The erosion of millions of acres apparent on every hand
point to the inevitable if we persist in destructive methods
of cultivation, and indifference to the required elements
which soils should contain.
There is another phase of this subject which is as
important as volume production, and that is quality pro-
duction. The same crop from the same seed and cultivation,
but grown on different soils, will have different minerals
and vitamins and therein lies the new science with its revel-
ation of the connection of soil chemicals and human health.

Acknowledgements are given wherever quotations are
made. A wide range of authorities have been consulted and
liberal selections were made. Thanks are hereby tendered
to one and all who have contributed to this symposium. May
their tribe increase.






. .. .. ... .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ... .
Soils ..........................
Physical Requirements of Man....
Soil and Health .................
Soil Fertility and Human Nutrition
Health from the Ground Up......
Researches on Vitamins.........
Soils and Food ..................
Soil Mineralization ..............
Minor Elements Important .......
Mineralizing Pastures...........
Animal Nutrition ...............
Soil Builders ...................
Citrus Malnutrition .............
Agriculture, Health and Disease..
Soil and Health Implications......
Ranges and Beef Cattle..........
Soil and Biology ................
Interrelation of Food Elements...
Human Food Lost...............
Vitamins in Grass and Alfalfa....
Are We Starving to Death? ......
As the Soil, So the Man..........



Many acts in the human drama have marked the progress
of mankind. Definite ideas have had their day and nothing
is so powerful as an idea well-conceived and concerning
human welfare. When its dawn is heralded there is al-
ways those who are ready to accept and those reluctant to
be influenced by it.
The last act in a certain part of the drama is just being
unfolded. The idea back of it is: The Tremendous Influence
That Soil Elements Have On Health.
This is an age of exploration, not of unknown seas and
savage lands but of unknown realms of the physical uni-
verse. It took more penetration to reveal the secrets of en-
ergy in nature than to discover the new continent. It re-
quired greater skill to explore the atom than to explore the
Dark Continent. Science is a severe taskmaster and requires
strict devotion. Inventions and discoveries have sprung
from ideas that took possession of those who built modern
civilization. Progress is carried on by those who do the
Reformers had more than selfish aims that caused them
to enter the arena of social needs and proclaimed readjust-
ment against apathy, ignorance, superstition and sordid
desires. The reformation now going on in this country is a
practical application of science to everyday living. It is
neither political, military nor religious but purely scientific.
Science probes mysteries but is nothing more or less than
classified knowledge. It does not matter how that knowl-
edge is obtained or by whom. He who is unlettered but

thinks may invent a complicated machine. A man does not
have to be credited with a string of degrees to discover cer-
tain effects and by thinking trace effects back to causes.
This volume is a compilation of the results of experiment-
ers seeking knowledge-and found it. Some were men of
degrees and some were not. This symposium is sent forth on
its mission by one who lays no claims to being a discoverer
but believing in the discoveries others have made.



Without soils nothing could live on this planet except
whatsoever could subsist on the foods from the sea and
air. That part of the surface of the earth suitable to the
growing of plants is soil. The elements contained in the
various types of soil determine its suitability for the thou-
sands of varieties of plant life. These elements combined
with the physical conditions and the climate determine the
zones of adaptation and productivity. Soils may be fertile
and yet be too wet, too dry, too high, too cold, too warm to
be favorable to growth and maturity of the myriads of
vegetable growths. In turn these have much to do with the
kind of animal life that is possible in the different parts of
the earth. There must also be a certain equilibrium or bal-
ance of the soil constituents in order to supply the needs
of plants that require varying amounts of mineral elements
and in available form for the roots of the plants to take
them up into the plant and its fruit. All this is true whether
or not the plant is in any way beneficial or detrimental to
man or other creature.

The mastery of soils in production and conservation de-
termine the success or failure in agriculture. The commer-
cial prosperity of agriculture is largely a question of the ex-
pertness in farm management and the marketing of the
farm's output. Under modern civilization people in the re-
motest parts of the earth exchange with each other the pro-
ducts of their respective climes. This prevents the suffering
that once occurred when a drouth, flood or other calamity
overtook the people in one part of the world. Modern com-
merce and means of communication bring the ends of the
earth to close proximity.


Agriculture is no longer a haphazard vocation, subject
to the whims of stupidity or of accidents. It has its science
the same as other vocations. It brings into service chem-
istry, agronomy, conservation, farm management and mar-
The teeming millions of the earth must be fed from the
bounties of the soil if they are to exist. It behooves each gen-
eration to leave the soil as fertile as it found it. For thou-
sands of years this was not done and migrations were im-
perative. Now that the whole earth has been settled this
running from the ruins we have wrought is impossible. We
can use science in soil management or suffer the conse-
quences. Scientific farmers will be the successful farmers
of the future. He who knows best how to fertilize, conserve,
cultivate and choose the crops best adapted to the soil and
climate will succeed where others fail.
Another feature of agriculture is the planning and rais-
ing of crops that furnish in proper form the nutritive ele-
ments necessary for the proper feeding of the human body.
Mere food is not sufficient. The elements in food are the
important thing. All these must come from the soil through
plants direct to man, or through plants to animals and then
to man-and from the waters.
Scientific agriculture is the only hope for man's con-
tinued support, comfort and enjoyment of the glories of


Physical Requirements

The human body is made up of elements which it ap-
propriates from Food, Drink, and Air. Whatever nourish-
ment is required must be supplied from these sources. Un-
less they are to be had in the right quantities and proportion
the physical organism is not properly nourished.
During all the aeons of time since man has inhabited
this planet he has been unawares that the elements in the
soil determined his physical welfare. Quantity of yield has
been the sole basis of judging the value of soil. The quality
of the product was never appreciated. When wild animals,
birds and fish constituted the animal food, and a plot of
ground was cultivated with sticks to grow a few vegetables
and the wild fruits which grew and berries and nuts
which were gathered, these constituted his diet All of these
were seldom present at once.
Modern civilization has changed the whole problem of
making a living. By referring to the tables of requirements
for the human body it will be seen that diet is indeed a com-
plicated problem. It also shows that there is a direct con-
nection between food elements and health. These elements
are determined almost wholely by the soil from which food
comes either directly through plants and their fruits or
through the animals which are used for food. Animals must
secure them from plants and their fruits.
As will be seen by perusal of this volume that a coterie
of scientists and experimenters have risen to proclaim the
importance and the benefits of understanding the proc-
esses of nourishment in all animal life and the effects of
different diets on the different species--including man.


It has been discovered that very few soils contain all the
ingredients needed to furnish a balanced ration to the deni-
zens of the earth. It is up to man to devise methods that will
insure balanced foods, with all the good results sure to fol-


Soil and Health

It has only recently been discovered that human health is
closely related to the plant-food elements in the soils from
which food is obtained.
Fact 1. It has been ascertained that the human body
should contain different mineral elements in varying pro-
portion, and various vitamins. These are derived from food
and drink;
Fact 2. Plants get their food from the soil, water and air,
and can get only that which they contain.
Fact 3. Plants will grow from soils lacking some of these
elements and from soils that contain elements which the
plant does not need.
Fact 4. Some Plants draw from the soil unneeded ele-
ments to far greater extent than others. Grains do not load
us with the unnecessary elements but may lack some of
them; many fruits and vegetables do; such as sugarcane,
cabbage, potatoes, melons, etc.-also tobbaco.
Fact 5. Human beings can live on a diet that is lacking
some of the elements needed and can live in spite of taking
into the system things not necessary and even deleterious.
No one needs nicotine, morphine, caffeine or pepper in his
system as an accumulated residue. Nevertheless people live
with all these in their system, due to habit in their use. We
need lime, calcium, iodine, magnesium, etc., but lack of
these in the food does not readily starve the individual but
renders him less vigorous.
Fact 6. A balanced ration for human beings is dependent
on a balanced ration for plants in the soil. Long life is de-


pendent on health, health on food, food on soil. Even meat
diet comes from land animals which get their food from
plants and water animals which get their food from crea-
tures they find in fresh or salt waters.


Soil Fertility and Human Nutrition


It is recognized that there are soil deficiencies and oc-
casionally toxic elements, notably selenium, in the soil
which, through the medium of food and feed crops, have
important effects on the nutrition and health of man and
animals. It is also clear that these effects are sometimes
operative under conditions where the soil fertility is such
as to result in excellent yields of crops. More frequently,
however, the nutritional effects are associated with low
yields of crops and a generally low level of nutrition. Never-
theless, in terms of the soil's ability to meet nutrition and
health needs, yields per acre may be, in certain situations, a
poor measure of its capacity to supply all of these needs.
This is the case when the nutritional deficiency is associated
with the lack of a minor element, such as cobalt or iodine,
which is essential in animal nutrition but apparently is not
essential for the growth of higher plants. In addition to the
known essential or harmful mineral constituents, there may
well be undiscovered factors, probably influenced by the
nature of the soil on which the crops are grown, which
may have important significance. In general, however,
crops produced by recognized good soil fertility practices,
including the use of lime and fertilizers, usually have good
nutritive properties.
It seems apparent that mineral supply in soils has much
less influence on certain vitamins in plants than have
variety and climate. It has been found, for example, that
tomatoes grown in soils or in sand culture at various loca-
tions throughout the country varied significantly in ascor-
bic acid content. However, at any one location there was


little correlation of ascorbic acid with the supply of either
macro- or micro-nutrients, even though the supply of these
nutrients affected growth and fruitfulness of the plants
markedly. One must not generalize, however, from these
results that the soil has no influence on vitamins or other
organic nutrients in food crops. It has been shown, for
example, that boron supply influences the thiamin content
of turnip greens.
It is clear that good nutrition in man is dependent, to a
large degree, upon the production of animal products. This
involves problems of quality of feeds. Here the relationship
to soil is more direct and clearly defined than is true in the
case of human nutrition. It has been adequately demon-
strated, for example, that the content of mineral elements
in plants is markedly affected by the fertility of the soiL
In addition there is evidence that a changed mineral status
in the plant affects its nutritional quality.
In the United States certain nutritional disorders in ani-
mals have been associated with soil deficiencies. Most fre-
quently the deficiency is calcium or phosphorus, but also
one or more of the minor elements is often involved. Re-
cently it has become evident that the use of an improper
balance of plant nutrients may be responsible for an actual
lowering of the nutritive value of a crop with respect to
certain minerals needed in "traces" only. Intensive use of
the major plant foods may call for a greater use of minor
elements than has been the case heretofore.
One of the important contributions fertilizers can make
to improved nutrition, particularly of animals, is to make
possible the growth of legumes and other nutritious crops
instead of crops of low nutritive value. Without lime and
fertilizer many soils will only produce timothy or less nu-
tritious pasture or hay crops. Liming and fertilization
would certainly improve the quality of timothy but it would
also make possible the production of alfalfa instead of tim-


othy. It is such a change that would be a great forward step
in the improved nutrition of livestock and indirectly of man.
It is clear that until more facts are gathered through re-
search and their significance properly assessed, it is rather
hazardous to speculate regarding the extent of the influ-
ence of soil fertility on human nutrition. The public interest
in this general problem is increasing and indicates that the
present need for adequate research to clarify the questions
involved will be supported. A start has already been made.
Five years ago, the U. S. Department of Agriculture estab-
lished a Plant, Soil and Nutrition Laboratory to investigate
the interrelationships involved. Such research requires
painstaking efforts of highly trained scientists, and it can-
not be expected that we will arrive at answers overnight;
but we can look forward hopefully to a time when we will
have a correct appraisal of the place of soil fertility and
fertilizers in human nutrition.*

The National Planning Association's Joint Committee on National Nutrition
Policy will release shortly a statement of Its recommendations for a nutrition
program for the United States.


Health from the Ground Up

Condensed from Heat's Intrnbal-ondlComopolmanM

Do you know that most of us suffer from dangerous diet
deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the depleted
soils from which our foods come are brought into proper
mineral balance? No man today can eat enough fruits and
vegetables to supply his system with the mineral salts he
requires for perfect health, because his stomach isn't big
enough to hold them!
One carrot may look and taste like another and yet lack
the particular mineral element carrots are supposed to
contain. Vegetation grown in one part of the country may
assay 1100 parts, per billion, of iodine, as against 20 in that
grown elsewhere.
Any considerable lack of essential mineral elements, and
we sicken, suffer, shorten our lives. And the alarming fact
is that our fruits, vegetables, grains and meats are now
being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer con-
tains enough of these minerals.
The first man to demonstrate this was Dr. Charles North-
en, an Alabama physician who had specialized in nutritional
disorders. He became convinced that we must make soil
building the basis of food building if we are to use foods
intelligently in the treatment of disease.
"We know that vitamins are indispensable to nutrition,"
says Dr. Northen, "but it is not commonly realized that
vitamins control the body's appropriation of minerals, and
in the absence of minerals they have no function. Lacking


vitamins, the system can make some use of minerals, but
lacking minerals, vitamins are useless! We have been sys-
tematically robbing soils of the very substances necessary
to growth and resistance to disease. Up to the time I be-
gan experimenting, almost nothing had been done to make
good the theft."

Dr. Northen retired from medical practice to devote him-
self to this subject. By putting back into soils the stuff that
foods are made of, he raised better seed potatoes in Maine,
better grapes in California, better oranges in Florida, and
better field crops in other states-better not only in im-
proved food value but also in increased quality and quan-
tity. He doubled and redoubled the natural mineral content
of fruits and vegetables. He improved the quality of milk
by increasing the iron and iodine in it. He caused hens to
lay eggs richer in the vital elements.

At least 16 mineral elements are indispensable for nor-
mal nutrition. Of these, calcium, phosphorus and iron are
perhaps the most important. Calcium affects the cell forma-
tion and regulates nerve action. It coordinates the other
mineral elements and corrects disturbances made by them.
Among the actual diseases that may result from calcium de-
ficiency are rickets, bony deformities, bad teeth and ner-
vous disorders. Phosphorus is also exceedingly important.
Dr. McCollum of Johns Hopkins says that when there are
enough phosphates in the blood there can be no dental de-
cay! Iron is an essential constituent of the oxygen-carrying
pigment of the blood; but iron cannot be assimilated unless
some copper is contained in the diet. And if iodine is not
present, goiter afflicts us.

So each mineral element plays a definite role. The human
system cannot appropriate those elements to the best ad-
vantage in any but the food form. So we must rebuild our
soils: put back the minerals we have taken out. It isn't
difficult or expensive. By re-establishing a proper soil bal-


ance Dr. Northen has shown he could grow crops that con-
tained enough desired minerals.
I met him because I was harassed by soil problems on my
Florida farm which had baffled the best experts. "A healthy
plant," he told me, "grown in soil properly balanced, can
and will resist most insect pests. You have germs in your
system but you're strong enough to throw them off. Simi-
larly, a really healthy plant will take care of itself against
insects and blights-and will also give the human system
what it requires."
When Dr. Northen restored the mineral balance to part
of the soil in an orange grove infested with scale, the trees
in that part became clean while the rest remained diseased.
By the same means he had grown healthy rosebushes be-
tween rows that were riddled by insects. He had grown
tomato and cucumber plants, both healthy and diseased,
where the vines intertwined. The bugs ate the diseased
plants and refused to touch the healthy ones! He showed me
analyses of citrus fruit, the chemistry and the food value of
which accurately reflected the soil treatment the trees had
I took his advice and fed minerals into land where I was
growing a large acreage of celery. When the plants from
this soil were mature I had them analyzed, along with
celery from other parts of the state. My celery had more
than twice the mineral content of the best grown else-
where; and it kept much better, proving that the cell struc-
ture was sounder.
In 1927, W. W. Kincaid, a "gentleman farmer" of Niagara
Falls, heard an address by Dr. Northen and was so im-
pressed that he began extensive experiments. He has suc-
ceeded in adding both iodine and iron to soil so liberally that
one glass of milk from his cows contains all of the minerals
that an adult requires for a day.
"It is neither a complicated nor an expensive undertaking


to restore our soils to balance," says Dr. Northen. "Any
competent soil chemist can tell you how to proceed. First
determine by analysis the precise chemistry of any given
soil, then correct the deficiencies by putting down the miss-
ing elements. The same care should be used as in prescribing
for a sick patient, for proportions are of vital importance.
"A nutrition authority recently said, 'One sure way to
end the American people's susceptibility to infection is to
supply through food a balanced ration of iron, copper and
other metals. An organism supplied with a diet adequate to,
or preferably in excess of, all mineral requirements may so
utilize these elements as to produce immunity from infec-
tion quite beyond anything we are at present able to produce
artificially. You can't make up the deficiency by using
patent medicine.'
"Happily, we're on our way to better health by returning
to the soil the things we have stolen from it. The public can
hasten the change by demanding quality in its food, in-
sisting that health departments establish scientific stand-
ards of nutritional value. The growers will quickly respond.
They can put back those minerals almost overnight.
"It is simpler to cure sick soils than to cure sick people.
Which shall we choose?"

The original article was reprinted as a government bulletin. Senate Docu-
ment No. 264, 74th Congress, Second Session.


Experiment Station Research
on the Vitamin Content and the

Preservation of Foods

By GEORGIAN ADAMS, home economist, and SYBIL L SMITH, principal experi-
ment station administrator. Office of Experiment Stations.
Agricultural Research Administration
Miscellaneous Publication No. 536. Washington. D. C.
March, 1944

The previous custom of reviewing the results of research
at the State agricultural experiment stations of particular
interest to all aspects of home life has been suspended in this
report in order to present a rather detailed review of the
greatly expanded program of research on the nutritive
value of foods as affected by various factors.
The new significance attached to food as an implement
of war as well as peace has served to stress the fact that nu-
tritional quality must be considered along with yield, ap-
pearance, and other factors in evaluating the importance of
a food crop and its priority in a food production program.
Furthermore, it is realized as never before that every effort
should be made to prevent to the greatest possible extent
losses in the nutritive value of foods during all the manipu-
lative processes between production and final consumption.
At a time when the food supplies for the armed forces, lend-
lease shipments, and rehabilitation work are being allocated
on the basis of their nutritive value, when nutrition pro-
grams for industrial workers are being established, and
when throughout the country Victory Gardens are pro-


during a variety of crops for home consumption, the con-
servation of nutritive values of foods assumes equal im-
portance with the production of foods of the highest pos-
sible inherent nutritive value.
Organization early in 1942, within the framework of the
State agricultural experiment stations and the Department,
of a National Cooperative Project on the Conservation of
the Nutritive Value of Foods served as an impetus to a
decided expansion of research in this field. A greater unifi-
cation of methodology has been effected through technical
committees with regional representation; the organization
of the State groups under the leadership of an experiment
station director in each region as regional coordinator is
affording an opportunity for an exchange of ideas in the
assembling of material on a regional basis; and an arrange-
ment for issuing preliminary progress notes by the in-
dividual station makes it possible to obviate long delays
in releasing data. At the time of writing, July 1943, no less
than 43 stations and the Bureau of Human Nutrition and
Home Economics are participating in this program. In-
cluded in the present report are some of the preliminary
findings in projects set up as a part of the National Co-
operative Project, although the greater part antedates the
organization of the work in this field on a cooperative
basis. The entire period reviewed extends from 1941 to as
late as July 1943. Summaries of earlier studies are to be
found in previous reports of experiment station research,
the last two of which cover the periods for 1939-40 (137) x
and 1940-41 (138).
Factors Affecting Vitamin Values of Foods
With recognition of the fact that the dietary vitamin
intake is governed not only by the foods included in the
diet but also by variations within individual foods, many
investigations have been carried out to determine the
source and the magnitude of the variations. The studies
Numbers in parentheses refor to Literature cited.


indicate that there are several stages in which the vitamin
content of a food is subject to variation. The first of these
is during growth, with the result that a crop as harvested
shows certain natural variations in vitamin content. After
harvest there are often changes during storage. If the
food is processed, as in milling or in preservation by freez-
ing, canning, or dehydration, its vitamin content is further
changed, and in the cooking of a food, whether in the fresh
or any of its preserved states, there is opportunity for still
further change in vitamin content. In the pages that follow
an account is given of the studies concerned with these
numerous influences.

Natural Variations

Natural variations in the vitamin content of a food as
harvested were shown to result from the effects of various
factors in operation as the crop was growing. The factors
operating included climate and soil, variety, degree of ma-
turity, and selective concentration in different parts of the
plant. In foods of animal origin, the vitamin content was
influenced by the feed of the animal and the ability of dif-
ferent tissues to store the vitamin.

Effect of climate and soil.-Large variations in ascorbic
acid content reported within varieties of strawberries led
Burkhart and Lineberry (21) to a study of the conditions
affecting the vitamin C content. An improved method of
extracting the ascorbic acid was employed. This involved
emulsification of the sample for 1 minute in a mechanical
blender with a metaphosphoric acid mixture. The deter-
mination was completed by titrating the centrifuged ex-
tract immediately with an electrometric titrimeter, accord-
ing to the method of Kirk and Tressler (73). In checking
possible causes of such variation, using North Carolina
berries of known history, it was found that the ascorbic
acid content of sun-ripened berries was greater than that of
berries ripened in the shade, and that similarly sampled


berries from different fields varied appreciably in ascorbic
acid content.
This difference between fields, associated with the effect
of soil variation, was observed in Klondike strawberries
from six fields, two experimental and four commercial, all
receiving the same fertilizer treatment. The ascorbic acid
in the berries by fields ranged from 36 to 52 milligrams per
100 grams although close agreement was found between
duplicate quarts sampled under the same conditions as to
location, time, degree of maturity, exposure to sunshine,
and size of fruit. This range showed that different environ-
ments markedly affected the ascorbic acid content. From
these results it was apparent, in the case of strawberries
at least, that any comparison of the ascorbic acid content
of different varieties, or any study of the effect of different
treatments on ascorbic acid in a single variety, must involve
considerable care to eliminate other sources of variation.
Montana-grown strawberries analyzed for ascorbic acid
by Mayfield and Richardson (94) showed the same wide
variations within varieties that were found in the North
Carolina berries. Again, the variations appeared to be as-
sociated with differences in environmental conditions ex-
isting within a given field, on the one hand, and between
seasons, on the other hand. Thus, berries of the Dunlap va-
riety, always obtained from the same plot in Gallatin Valley,
showed somewhat different ascorbic acid values for two
seasons, and berries of the Gem variety, always obtained
from the same plot in the Bitterroot Valley, showed evidence
of decline in the values as the season progressed. Even at
a given harvest there was a wide range in the values ob-
tained for different lots of both the Dunlap and the Gem
varieties. The values obtained are given in table 1.


Table I.-Ascorbic acid values of Montna-rown Dunlap and Gem
strawberrle teted when freh
Ascorbic acid per 100 grams
Tests Average Range
Variety Season No. Mg. Mg.
Dunlap ....................... 1940 ... ........................ 10 79 65-89
Dunlp ............ ...... 1941 .......................... 8 64 52-86
Gem Everboaring ........1941, first crop' ............ 8 80 69-89
Gem Efrbearing .....1941. first crop ............ 16 67 56-91
Gem Everbearing -.1941, second crop* ...... 11 61 49-77
'Picked July 1. at height of fist bearing period.
'Picked July 29, at end of first bearing period.
'Picked August 26. at height of second bearing period.
The influence of locality and season on ascorbic acid con-
tent was apparent in the case of tomatoes of four varieties
grown in 1938 and 1939 in four widely separated localities
in Maine. The data obtained in this study by Murphy (108)
showed that varietal differences were similar in the 2 years,
with Penn State Earliana having the lowest ascorbic acid
value and Bestal the second lowest in all four localities,
and with Comet highest at Orono and Kennebunk and Best
of All highest at Aroostook and Highmoor. In 1938 the
majority of samples from Orono, Highmoor, and Kenne-
bunk were higher in ascorbic acid content, by more than
6 milligrams per 100 grams, than those from Aroostook.
The favorable effect of a given location as observed in the
first year did not persist over the second year, however, for
in 1939 tomatoes grown at Aroostook, while again lower in
ascorbic acid than those grown at Orono, were, on the other
hand, higher than those grown at Highmoor and Kenne-
bunk. An analogous experiment in which four varieties of
cabbage were used for the test crop confirmed the evidence
obtained with tomatoes.
These findings indicated that environmental agencies in-
fluenced the synthesis of ascorbic acid in tomatoes and cab-
bages and that geographic situation was not a contributing
factor except insofar as environmental conditions were
characteristic of that situation. An analysis of available
weather data suggested that sunlight, rainfall, and prob-
ably temperature might have been causal agents in the vari-
ations in ascorbic acid content. As the tissue matured there



was a definite rise in ascorbic acid concentration in the to-
mato and a decline in the cabbage. These phenomena were
related to geographical situation to the extent that maturity
rate was hastened or delayed by the climatic condition pre-
vailing throughout the growing season.
In tests at the South Dakota station to determine the
effect of cultural practices on the yield and quality of gar-
den vegetables, McCrory and Snyder2 grew the vegetables
under lath shade and in the open. Three fertilizer treat-
ments were used. Although the fertilizer influenced the
yield-plots treated with Vigoro yielded highest, followed
by those treated with manure, superphosphate, and the
check plots-it caused no consistent variations in the vita-
min content of the crops. In this particular season, which
was cold and wet, the yields were consistently higher in the
open than under shade. As for the vitamins, carotene was
a little higher under shade, while ascorbic acid was con-
siderably lower.
The effect of environment on the content of ascorbic acid
was also observed in rhubarb grown at the Washington sta-
tion. In this case, two varieties were grown over two sea-
sons, both in the hothouse and in the field, and stalks har-
vested at prime maturity were analyzed. The analyses of
each lot were made on composite samples of center sections
from several stalks. A summary of the data from these de-
terminations, made by Todhunter (144), showed the field-
grown rhubarb to be consistently richer in ascorbic acid
than the corresponding lots grown in the hothouse. The
values obtained are reported by range in table 2.
Table 2.-Ascorbic add in hothouse- and field-grown rhubarb
Variety Ascorbic acid per 100 grams
Hothouse-grown Field-grown
Fresh mature rhubarb: Mg. Mg.
Victoria ......................................................... .. 3.5-5.8 6. 8- 8.0
W ine .............. ............................................ .. 5.8-6.7 6.5-16.7
'McCrory, S. A., and Snyder, L. C. Progress Report on Research Project
118. Improving Vegetable Yields and Quality by Cultural Practices. S. Dak.
Agr. Expt. Sta. Hort. Pam. 26, [4] pp. 1943. [Processed.]


Effect of variety.-The preceding studies have indicated
that environmental, soil, and climate factors all influence
the nutritive value of a food crop. Although variations ef-
fected by environment may be of sufficient magnitude to
mask varietal differences, this does not lessen the import-
ance of varietal values in assessing the nutritive content
of a food crop. A number of investigations of varietal dif-
ferences in ascorbic acid content have been carried out. In
these studies the several varieties of the crop were grown
under comparable soil and climatic conditions so that the
differences observed represented essentially those due to
Varietal differences in Fairmore, Missionary, Massey,
and Blakemore strawberries were studied by Burkhart and
Lineberry (21) with careful attention to sampling in ac-
cordance with their observations as noted above. These
varieties, grown at Willard, N. C., in the same field at the
same fertility level and harvested when ripe, averaged, res-
pectively, 66, 46, 42, and 33 milligrams of ascorbic acid per
100 grams. A similar study of other kinds of berries grown
under comparable conditions in this North Carolina region,
and sampled when ripe, was made by Lineberry and Burk-
hart (83). Varietal differences existed in regard to ascorbic
acid values, as is evident from the average values tabulated
below (table 3).
Table 3.-Varietal difference In ascorbic acid content of berries
Fruit and variety Ascorbic acid Fruit and variety Ascorbic acid
per 100 grams per 100 grams
Blueberries: Mg. Dewberries: Mg.
Cabot ........................ 18.6 Young ............................ 32.5
Rancocas ............... 18.4 Lucretla .......... ........... 27.0
Scammell .................... 16.5 Boysen ....................... 25.9
Concord ...... ................ 16.0 Raspberries:
Blackberries: Dixie ......................... 32.5
Early Wonder ......... 23.5 Latham ..................... 23.5
Brainard _........... 12.9 Newburgh ... .......... 20.5

The ascorbic acid content of seven varieties of muscadine
grapes was investigated by Bell et al. (8). All varieties were
grown in North Carolina in 1937, 1938 and 1939 on the
same type of soil and with the same fertilizer treatment.


The fruits analyzed were firm and ripe and of characteris-
tic size for each variety. The ascorbic acid content, as deter-
mined by the method of Mack and Tressler (89), averaged
6.8 milligrams per 100 grams of the edible portion of ripe
scuppernong grapes and from 4.1 to 5.5 milligrams per 100
grams of the Labama, Eden, Thomas, and James varieties.
The Mish and Hopkins varieties contained negligible quan-
tities, averaging 1.8 and less than 0.2 milligrams per 100
grams, respectively.

In the studies just discussed, ascorbic acid has been shown
to vary characteristically with different varieties. This in-
fluence of variety has been reported also in recent studies
on the vitamin A content of fruits. Determinations by Rey-
nolds and Cooper as reported by the Arkansas station (3,
p. 19), showed that peaches may be a good or a poor source
of carotene provitaminn A), depending largely on the va-
riety. Among the 17 varieties of Arkansas-grown peaches
examined, the carotene content ranged from approximately
20 to 500 micrograms per 100 grams of peach, or the equi-
valent of 33 to 833 International Units. The average caro-
tene content of Elberta peaches, the variety most widely
grown in Arkansas, was 290 micrograms per 100 grams of
peach. Chilow, Leona, Rochester, Halehaven, Elberta Cling,
Anabel, Ideal, Fair Beauty, and Golden Jubilee varieties did
not differ significantly in carotene content from Elbertas,
ranging in the order named from 350 to 210 micrograms
per 100 grams of fruit. Two varieties, Early Crawford and
Wilma, were significantly richer in carotene than Elberta,
and five varieties, Golden Elberta, Mikado, St. John, Belle,
and Lola Queen, were comparatively low in carotene. Of
these low-carotene varieties, the three latter were white-
fleshed and could not be considered significant as sources
of vitamin A, since their carotene contents were less than
24 micrograms per 100 grams.

According to Schroder et al. (132), the ascorbic acid con-
tent of peaches does not show the marked variation by va-


rieties that was observed by Reynolds and Cooper in caro-
tene. In the eight varieties of peaches obtained from a res-
tricted area near Raleigh, N. C., and with individual fruits
selected for similarity of size and degree of ripeness, ascor-
bic acid varied only from 3.84 milligrams per 100 grams for
the Augbert to 12.86 milligrams for the Hiley. The extreme
difference between varieties was only 9.02 milligrams per
100 grams of fruit, whereas the average difference within
varieties was 4.29 milligrams per 100 grams.
Six varieties of avocados grown at the subtropical station
at Homestead, Fla., were analyzed by French and Abbott
(60) for carotene and ascorbic acid. In this fruit also, vita-
min differences by varieties were evident (table 4), al-
though the order with regard to ascorbic acid level was not
the same as that for carotene content. In the former case
the earlier varieties were higher in vitamin C, but this
factor did not consistently affect the carotene content.
Table 4.-Varietal differences in ascorbic acid and carotene contents
of avocados
Ascorbic Carotene
Variety acid per per
100 grams 100 rams
Mg. Mq.
Pollock ... ........................ ......... ............ 37 510
Trapp ................................................ ...... .......... .................. 31 140
W aldin ........... ......................................... .. ... ..... 28 410
Lula .. .................................... .............................. ...... 13 130
Booth 8 ... ............................................. .......................... 10 240
Collinson ................... ............................... ..... .. .. ..... 7 280
The ascorbic acid content of mangoes grown in Hawaii
was found by Miller and Louis to vary greatly with the
variety. Their data, as reported by the Hawaii station (65,
p. 134), showed that of the samples tested, the common
mango (Manini) had the highest value, or 114 milligrams
per 100 grams of fruit, followed by the Wootten with 90
milligrams, Bishop with 33 milligrams, and the Haden and
Pirie with 14 milligrams. The Pirie mangoes, although of
superior flavor and texture, showed consistently low as-
corbic acid values in samples collected from three locations
in two seasons.
Among vegetables, an example of variation in vitamin


level associated with varietal differences was found in the
data obtained by Murphy (107) on the ascorbic acid con-
tent of Maine-grown onions. These values are summarized
in table 5. In one phase of the study the inner central part
of mature onions, consisting of the younger smaller leaves,
was analyzed separately from the outer part, made up of
physiologically older tissue. In each of 10 varieties the
ascorbic acid of the central part exceeded that of the
periphery, and differences between varieties were caused
principally by variations in this central part.
Table 5.-Ascorbic acid in different varieties of fresh raw onions grown
at Orono. Maine
Asccrble arid per
100 grams in-
Mature and
Variety immature Mature
samples' samples'
Mg. Mg.
Early Red Globe 40
Yellow Globe Danvers .......... ... ... ..... 36
Sllverskin White Portugal 34
Brighamn Yellow Glob ................ .............. .... 33
Early Yellow Globe ..... .............. ..... ....... 31
Southport Rod Glcbe ... ...... .......... 30 22
Mountain Danvers ... ... 30
Southport Yellow Glcbe ... 27 18
Earliest White Ouee ...... 22 17
Riverside Sweet Spanist .......... .... .. .......... 21 17
Southport WhitA Glolh ........ 21 16
White Sweet Spanish ... .... .......... ............. 20 14
Extra Early Yellow .............. 20 13
Ebenezer .......-... ... ........ 19 13
Yellow Bermuda .. 19 18
Crystal White Wax .... ... .. .17 15
'The values include data on immature and mature onions harvested at inter-
vals from Aug. 1 to Sept. 23, 1938.
2Onions at least 1 inch in diameter.
Effect of maturity.-These results with onions suggest
that stage of maturity may often be a factor influencing
the vitamin content of a fruit or vegetable sample. Thus,
in the study by Murphy, the small immature onions, har-
vested early in the season while still small and straight,
were higher in ascorbic acid content than larger onions
harvested later in the season. In the comparison of the
younger smaller leaves, constituting the central part of the
bulb, with the older outer leaves, the former were found


to contain from 0.14 to 0.73 milligram per gram, while the
latter contained from 0.04 to 0.13 milligram.

Although onions apparently decreased in ascorbic acid
content with increasing maturity, peppers were found by
Lantz (82, 111) to increase markedly in ascorbic acid as the
fruit matured. This increase in vitamin value as the peppers
ripened was still more pronounced in the case of carotene,
amounting in the variety Hungarian Paprika, for example,
to as much as a fiftyfold increase in concentration between
the immature green and the red ripe samples analyzed.
These changes in vitamin concentration with increasing
maturity are shown by the data taken from the study by
Lantz and summarized in table 6. Here varietal differences
in peppers were evident, although pungent varieties as a
class apparently were not different from the sweet varie-
ties. Maturity differences, however, were so much greater
than varietal differences that any comparison of the vita-

Table 6.-Carotone and ascorbic acid content of peppers (sweet and pungent
varieties) grown at the Now Mexico Agricultural Experiment Station.



White Casaba ..........Yellow
Florida Paprika ......Green

Long Red Paprika Green
Green side
Red side
Hungarian Paprika Green
lubilee of Honor .....Yellow
Bell ......................... Green
Chile No. 9 ........... Green

Anaheim Chile ........GreerL


Carotene per
100 grams
In- Partly




















Ascorbic acid per
100 grams
Im- Partly
mature ripe Ripe
Mg. Mg. Mg.

99 ........ ........
... .. 251
........ 278
115 ........ ........
...... 202 ........
........ 261
....... ........ S60

248 ........ ........

........ 308 ........
........ ........ 326


.min content of different varieties would seem to necessitate
great care in the matter of sampling.
Carrots of six varieties grown in Colorado were found by
Pyke and Charkey (124) to increase rapidly in vitamin A
(carotene) value during the growing season. Harvested as
baby carrots, these varieties, planted early in the season,
averaged 74 micrograms of carotene per gram of sample
(range by varieties, 70 to 85 micrograms); corresponding
samples harvested as mature carrots of at least 2 inches
crown diameter averaged 180 micrograms per gram (range,
146 to 255). In other trials the same varieties planted later
in the season averaged 84 micrograms per gram (range,
65 to 102) when harvested as baby carrots and 215 micro-
grams (range, 161 to 282) when harvested as mature sam-
ples. These maturity differences in carotene content were
much more pronounced than the varietal differences ob-
served. In the case of ascorbic acid, varietal differences
were slight, and from bunching size (3/ to 1 inch in dia-
meter) onward the stage of maturity of the carrots did not
seem to influence the ascorbic acid content of the tissue.
Increase in ascorbic acid content with increasing matur-
ity was observed in strawberries by Burkhart and Line-
berry (21) and in blueberries and blackberries by Line-
berry and Burkhart (83). These fruits were grown in
North Carolina. In Klondike strawberries the ascorbic acid
content increased from 59 milligrams per 100 berries (244
grams) in the case of green berries to 280 milligrams per
100 berries (605 grams) in the ripe fruit. This represented
a twofold increase in concentration-from 24 to 46 milli-
grams per 100 grams-and almost a fivefold increase in
the amount of ascorbic acid elaborated as the" berries grew
and matured. Blueberries of the Scammell variety contained
but 3.3 milligrams of ascorbic acid per 100 grams when
green, as compared with 16.5 milligrams when ripe, and
Brainerd blackberries increased from 11.6 to 12.9 milli-
grams of ascorbic acid per 100 grams as the berries prog-
ressed from the red to the ripe stage.


Cantaloups grown at the Arizona station were analyzed
for ascorbic acid content by Smith, Burlinson, and Grif-
fiths,3 who employed the analytical method of Morell (99).
As part of this study, the effect of stage of maturity on
vitamin C-in Arizona strain No. 45 was investigated. The
results obtained showed that in this fruit also the ascorbic
acid content increased as the fruit matured. Green melons
of the first harvest averaged 29.6 milligrams of ascorbic
acid per 100 grams of edible portion; this amount increased
with successive harvests until at the time of the fourth
harvest, when the cantaloups were fully ripened, the edible
portion averaged 40.6 milligrams per 100 grams. In an-
other group, melons received in an overripened, almost rot-
ten, stage showed a sharp reduction in ascorbic acid to the
point of containing only about one-half as much vitamin as
did the mature edible melons.
Honeydew melons analyzed as part of this study showed
the same tendency as did the cantaloups, namely, to increase
in ascorbic acid as they matured but to decline as they passed
the prime ripe stage. When picked green they averaged
only 16.7 milligrams of ascorbic acid per 100 grams of edible
portion (range, 14.2 to 20.7 milligrams) ; when picked "field
ripe" but not full ripe and analyzed after shipping they
contained 25.6 milligrams per 100 grams (20.8 to 27.6);
but when picked fully ripe and then shipped the shipped
samples averaged but 18.8 milligrams per 100 grams (range,
14.4 to 20.9).
The influence of the stage of maturity on the ascorbic acid
content of peaches was investigated by Schroder et al.
(132). In seven of the eight varieties grown in commercial
orchards near Raleigh, N. C., peaches picked at the hard
(green) stage were lowest in ascorbic acid. Successive
samples picked through the various stages of ripeness
classified as firm (hard ripe or shipping stage), ripe, and
"Smith, M. C., Burlinson, L. 0.. and Griffiths. A. E. Cantaloup-an excel-
lent source of vitamin C. Ariz. Aqr. Expt. Sta. Mimeographed Rpt. 53. 8 pp.
1943. [Processed.]


soft (overripe) showed a continuous increase in ascorbic
acid concentration. This variation is indicated by the data
in table 7.
Table 7.-Relation of ascorbic acid content to ripeness of peaches
Average ascorbic acid content per 100 grams
Variety Peaches Hard Firm Ripe Soft
No. Mg. Mg. Mg. Mg.
Early Wheeler .................... 28 4.05 5.35 7.36 8.28
Golden Jubilee .................... 23 3.78 4.25 6.13 7.71
Elberta ... ....... ... .......... 22 4.39 4.45 5.25
Hiley .................................. 21 b.84 8.56 12.86 14.05
Mayflower ............................ 20 ........ 4.59 5.34 5.57
Early Rose .......................... 20 5.31 5.36 7.18
Carman ................................ 14 ........ 6.06 8.82 10.53
Auqbert .................. .......... 8 5.36 4.55 3.84 ...
Of the several fruits just considered, it was apparently
characteristic for the vitamin content, ascorbic acid in
particular, to increase with increasing maturity. This was
not the case, however, with mangoes grown in Hawaii and
analyzed by Miller and Louis (65). According to their
analyses, green mangoes of the five varieties tested con-
tained more ascorbic acid than the ripe ones.
Effect of part sampled.-As pointed out in the discus-
sion of onions, the ascorbic acid content was not
uniformly distributed throughout the bulb but was present
in higher concentration in the inner than in the outer part.
The red side of the partly ripe pepper, as analyzed by Lantz
and reported by the New Mexico station (111), was found
to be richer than the green side in ascorbic acid. These dif-
ferences in vitamin content were apparently associated with
the fact that not all parts of the food sample were developed
to the same degree of maturity.
In other cases this lack of uniformity of vitamin concen-
tration throughout the sample was associated with selective
distribution of the vitamin in different structural parts of
the grain, fruit, or vegetable. Thus, in the cereals, Kik (72)
(Arkansas) found thiamine of rice to be concentrated in the
outer bran layers and the germ; and Teply et al. (143)
(Wisconsin) also found nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, and
pyridoxine to be concentrated in the bran and the germ of


wheat. In fruits the vitamin concentration was often high-
er in the outer than in the inner parts. For example, the
concentration of ascorbic acid in scuppernong grape skins
was about three times as high as in the edible portion, ac-
cording to Bell et al. (8) ; and nicotinic acid concentration in
apple skins analyzed by Teply et al. (142) was about twice
that in the flesh. Outer parts of strawberries and peaches
were richer than the center portions in ascorbic acid accord-
ing to analyses by Burkhart and Lineberry (21) and Schro-
der et al. (132), respectively. Among vegetables, the par-
snips used by Brown and Fenton (18) (New York (Cor-
nell)) did not have the ascorbic acid uniformly distributed
between tip and upper parts or between medulla and cor-
tex; the buds of fresh broccoli analyzed by Barnes et al.
(5) (New York State) were richer in ascorbic acid than
were the stalks; and leaf blades of various greens were
found by Sheets et al. (134) (Mississippi) to be richer than
the petioles in carotene and ascorbic acid.
These examples of variable distribution of vitamins with-
in a food are in many cases chiefly of interest to the analyst
who is charged with the responsibility of selecting the ana-
lytical sample in such a way that it will be representative of
the food as eaten. In other cases these variations are of im-
portance in selecting and preparing foods with a view to
obtaining maximum food value compatible with good culi-
nary practice.
Effect of feeding practice.-The influence of the ration
of the animal on the nutritive quality of food of animal ori-
gin is illustrated by the results obtained at the North Da-
kota station by Christensen, Knowles, and Severson (27),
who investigated the effect of the ration on the nicotinic
acid content of pork. They analyzed the livers, loins, and
hams of pigs from different lots fed, for 113 to 138 days,
the same basal feed mixture but supplemented in the diff-
erent groups with 100, 300, or 500 milligrams of nicotinic
acid per head daily. The nicotinic acid content of the tissues
of these animals and of two control groups receiving no nico-


tinic acid supplement was compared with that of tissues
from control pigs analyzed at the beginning of the experi-
ment. The data, summarized in table 8, showed that the liver
was much richer than the muscles in nicotinic acid, but that
the amount stored in the liver bore no relation to the amount
in the ration. In the loins and the hams, however, the nico-
tinic acid stored reflected the increase in the amounts of
nicotinic acid fed. Neither the basal feed mixture alone nor
this supplemented with alfalfa pasture increased the nico-
tinic acid in the loins and hams.

Table 8.-Influence of ration on the nicotinic acid content of pork.


Nicctmic Liver
a:id fed Mois-
pu, heludFresh ture-
daily basis free
S basis
Mg. Mg. Mg.

Check group'.. .. ................... Ncne 15.7
Couliol groups:!
Feed mixture alono. ..... do...... 13 5
Feed mixture+alfalfa pasture........do...... 13.7
Test groups:2
1. Food mixture-1 nicotinic acid 100 15.1
2. Feed mixture+nicotinic acid 300 14.5
3. Feed mixture+nicotinc acid 500 14.8
Analyzed ct beginning of experiment.
SAnalyzed at end of experiment.


ic acid per 100 granr.s
Loin Ham
Mois- Mols-

Fresh ture-
bnsis free
Mg. Mg.
4.3 17.8



it re-

50.9 4.7 18.5 5.7 24.2
49.2 4.7 17.6 5.2 20.7

53.9 7.4
52.7 8.1
54.8 8.9

A similar study, designed to show
thiamine content of pork is influenced

28.3 7.4
32.5 7.8
36.3 8.8

to what extent the
by the thiamine in-

take of the pig, was carried out at the Pennsylvania station.
In these tests, reported by Miller et al.,' pigs in three lots
were fed for 118 days, during which time they all consumed
essentially the same amount of the basal feed mixture, but
received in their feed thiamine supplements amounting to
7, 18, and 29 milligrams per pig per day in the three lots,
respectively. Analyses of various tissues of the pigs slaugh-
tered at the end of the experiment showed that the thiamine

Miller, R. C., Pence, J. W., Diutchr, R. A., and others. The influence of the
Thiamine Intake of the Pig on the Thiamine Ccntent of Pork. Pa. State Col.
Natl. Coop. Prol., Conservation of Nutritive Valun cf Foods. Prog. Notes, 3 pp.
[1943.] [Processed.]


tended to deposit in the muscle tissue, and that there was a
positive relationship between the thiamine intake and the
thiamine content of the pork muscle. Thus, increasing the
thiamine intake from 7 to 18 milligrams per day resulted in
an increase of approximately 100 percent in the thiamine
content of the pork shoulder and loin (the thiamine content
of the shoulders was from 20 to 30 percent lower than that
of the loins). A further increase of intake to 29 milligrams
per day resulted in a further increase of 15 to 20 percent in
the content in pork muscle. In the case of the liver the same
relationship existed but was not as striking as in the case
of muscle tissue because of the relatively low thiamine con-
tent of pork liver. The values obtained are summarized in
table 9.
Table 9.-The thiamine content of pork as influenced by the content of the feed
Item Thiamine
Thiam r.e in feed ............................. u per lb 5.76: 3447 1 31'
Average daily thiamine intake............. .mq ......... .. 29 18
Average thiamine content of pork: ..... u. per qm.
Fresh basis ........... ..... .... .............do......... 17.3 15.: 7.0
Moisture-free basis ............... .do ... ... 64 8 53.. 28 9
Center loin:
Fresh basis ............ .....do ..... 23 1 20.0 3.5
Moisture-free basis .... ....... ....do.. ........ 83.5 72.8 32.8
Ham end of loin:
Fresh basis ............. ... ..... o .. ....... 23.9 20.1 10.3
Moisturo-free basis .. .........................do. .. 88. 72.0 36.6
Fresh basis ..... ........ ................do.. ........... 5.3 4.5 3.3
Moisture-free basis ............. .....do............ 17.5 14.5 10.8
Incidental to this study the riboflavin values of the pork
were determined. The results indicated that the riboflavin
was concentrated in the liver rather than in the muscle and
that the riboflavin content of the various tissues bore no
particular relationship to the riboflavin in the feed, at least
at the levels fed (1,669-2,468 micrograms per pound of
feed). The livers contained from 40.5 to 43.8 micrograms of
riboflavin per gram of fresh tissue, and the shoulders and
loins from 2.2 to 3.5 micrograms per gram (fresh basis).


Soils and Food

General Manager, Mid-South Cotton Growers Association
(Read at Meeting of The Egyptians, Feb. 17. 1944)

Food is a pleasant subject of conversation when it is
plentiful, but a very serious subject when it is scarce. From
the cradle to the grave, it is on our minds three or four
times a day. Men work and labor for many wants, but their
primary goal is enough food. We can do without clothes,
shelter and other wants of civilization, but we must have
The Lord's Prayer expresses only one material desire-
"Give us this day our daily bread." No doubt, other modern
and ancient religions have a similar appeal to their divine
The use of ration books and regulations in this war have
given our city folks a forcible education on the cost, supply
and distribution of the things we eat. Thousands of our
people, for the first time, have been growing Victory gar-
dens. Here they have learned that it takes skill, labor and
patience to produce food, and the experience has increased
their respect for the farmer who tills the soil for a living.
We have all been concerned over the sudden and surpris-
ing shortage of many of the foods we like. It has been
especially confusing because for ten years past, the prob-
lems arising from a surplus of food supplies have been
hanging over us and disturbing our whole economic system.
The basic reasons for present food problems are im-
portant, but not commonly understood. For twenty-five
years prior to the present war, food production did not


keep pace with population. For the four years just previous
to the present war, the per capital food production was less
than during the corresponding period prior to World War
No. 1, and from 1930 to 1940 food production was the low-
est of this century. Yet, during that time we accumulated
enormous farm surpluses, and the real reason for this
trouble was not overproduction but inability of consumers
to buy.
There was, and is, an unbalance between agriculture and
industry. The bulk of agriculture is carried on by millions of
farmers. The bulk of industry is carried on by a few large
corporations. A few large corporations exercise powerful
control over industrial production and prices. When they
have to meet a drop in consumer purchasing power, industry
does not lower prices of their product, but curtails produc-
tion, which reduces employment. This rigidity of prices still
further lowers consumer purchasing power and aggravates
the situation of the farmer.
Farmers usually make one crop a year and they cannot,
like a factory does, shut down or reduce their production
any Saturday night, or the first of the month. They have to
mature the growing crop and accept market prices for their
products. Whatever the farmer's individual views may be,
he cannot escape the hard fact that the returns from his
farm are directly affected by the income of the great mass
of industrial workers who are the consumers.
During those years of reduced consumption, great sur-
pluses of cotton, wheat, corn, hogs, cattle, and other crops
accumulated, although production was really below normal.
The market prices of many crops were lower than the cost
of production, and it became necessary for the government
to take some drastic action to prevent large sections of our
agricultural territory from bankruptcy. Secretary of Agri-
culture Wallace advanced his sensible idea of a "normal
granary," and Congress passed legislation to take over
these surpluses through actual purchase and by commodity


loans, and also to control the future acreage of some crops.
Uninformed and critical men did then, and do now, oppose
those regulations, but the fact remains that farmers voted
for and approved the restrictions placed upon themselves,
and believe they have been benefited by them and so have
the rest of the population.
There has been a lot of loose talk about the policy of
"scarcity," and it comes, usually, from people who seem to
have the philosophy that a farmer can, and should, produce
plenty of cheap food and fiber for the other people, regard-
less of his costs, or labor, or returns. Following the practice
of industry to meet "reduced consumer demands" by cut-
ting production, producers of basic crops asked for govern-
ment restrictions on their acreage, and gladly accepted
With a ten million bale surplus on hand and a very limit-
ed demand at low prices in sight, cotton farmers plowed up
part of their planted cotton crop in 1933, reducing the prob-
able crop four million bales, and yet definitely received
more returns for the amount they harvested than they
would have received had they finished and marketed the
whole crop. The United States Supreme Court decided that
the Bankhead Act, which authorized these regulations, was
unconstitutional and, in consequence, in the year 1936 regu-
lations were removed and we made a nineteen million bale
crop instead of a thirteen million crop, as had been planned.
That six million bales have been on our hands ever
since and it is here even now. Its effect has depreciated the
price of every bale of cotton grown since 1936, and has cost
the government, as well as the cotton farmer, many, many
times the value of the original six million bales.
There have been shed many crocodile tears about the
government "killing the little pigs." The story is interesting
and worth telling, as it has been misrepresented from the
start. In January, 1933, the farm price of hogs was the
lowest in fifty years, and less than three cents per pound.


The buying power of a farmer's return from one hundred
pounds of live hogs was only 36.5 per cent of what it had
been during the 1909-14 period, or what is Known as the
base parity price period. The value of hogs had been run-
ning over one billion dollars a year, and dropped to four
hundred million dollars. Corn, which governs the price of
pork, was selling for less than twenty cents per bushel, as
compared with sixty-four cents during the parity price
period. Beef cattle were selling for less than four cents, and
sheep around two cents per pound. The two principal rea-
sons for this price decline were the reduced employment
and earnings in the United States, and the violent fall in
the hog and lard exports. Exports dropped from an annual
figure of two billion pounds to six hundred million, or from
24 per cent of the total production to 2 per cent. Payrolls
and employment had dropped 60 per cent. The hogs, how-
ever. kept breeding and growing and had to be fed or allow-
ed to starve.
With those prices, hog and corn farmers faced certain
bankruptcy and, with no purchasing power to buy the
products produce in the city, could only aggravate the de-
pressed situation of industry. In an effort to relieve the
distress which existed in all lines of agriculture, the new
administration passed what is known as the Agricultural
Adjustment Act, and the hog legislation is part of that act.
Under this program, there were purchased from farmers
in forty-one states, six million four hundred thousand pigs
at a cost of thirty million dollars. Every animal was proc-
essed by an authorized butchering plant. All edible prod-
ucts were turned over for relief distribution. Pigs which
could not, on account of small size, be processed into dry
salt pork, were rendered into grease and fertilizer tankage.
In addition to the ninety-seven million pounds of dry salt
pork, they obtained twenty-one million pounds of inedible
grease, and ten million pounds of fertilizer.
While the pigs were killed, they were not destroyed. We


raise pigs for the purpose of killing them and not for their
society, so these six million did not suffer any worse fate
than all the other pigs in the world-and they were no more
innocent. Had these pigs been allowed to grow and be sold
on the market the following year, they would have not only
consumed sixty million bushels of corn and other feed, but
would have reduced and held down the price of all pork so
that the gross income of the farmer would have been less
with those hogs than without them-to say nothing of the
labor and effort thrown away, as hogs have to be fed every
Inside of two years, by 1935, prices advanced from three
cents to eight and one-half cents per pound, and farmers'
purchasing power increased accordingly, to the benefit of
industry, as well as themselves. Had the action not been
taken, hog farmers could not have continued and the num-
ber of brood sows and fine breeding stock would have been
so decreased that it would have taken several years to put
us back into proper production. Consumers, naturally, want
cheap food, but they can force the price down to a point
where the producer cannot survive, and then there will be
either a scarcity or no food at all.

Those agricultural surpluses were an economic headache,
but when the war came along they were the greatest asset
we had. Plenty of cotton, tobacco, wheat, corn, rice, cattle
and hogs were on hand. From the higher prices received,
the farmer was soon back on his feet financially, prepared
to produce to the limit, and for the past two years he has
made the largest crops ever grown.
We were struggling during that period with a price prob-
lem, not a surplus problem, and when employment increased,
consumption rose and the so-called surpluses disappeared
quickly. Besides the largest home consumption of food, the
result of this stepped-up buying power caused by the in-
creased employment and increase in wages for the past two
years, we are feeding ten million soldiers who eat twice as


much as in civilian life, and are also sending unbelievable
quantities of food to our Allies. These shipments are going
to the Arctic Zones and to the Tropics, and the very best
qualities of foods have to be used, and be perfectly pre-
served and packed.
Seventy per cent of the business of the world is the pro-
duction, transportation and sale of food, so it deserves our
attention and respect. We go to our corner grocery and are
easily displeased to not find exactly what we want on the
shelves. There is an extensive and important business be-
tween the farmer and the consumer, but let me give you a
few figures of what the farmer must produce, gather and
market in order to please you.
We all use milk, butter and cheese. Did you know there
are twenty-seven million milk cows in the United States,
one for every five people? They produce fifty-six thousand
million quarts of milk per year, enough to give us each four
hundred quarts. Don't forget cows have to be fed and milked
two or three times a day, and that some farmer is attending
to your family cow.
We all use citrus fruits. This year we will produce:
219,000 carloads of oranges.
123,000 carloads of grapefruit.
37,000 carloads of lemons

367,000 carloads-Total.
That means one thousand carloads are consumed every
day and twenty trainloads of fifty cars each must leave
California, Florida or Texas every day. A carload contains
seventy thousand oranges, or one hundred twenty-one thou-
sand lemons, so that we consume over forty million oranges
every day and fifteen million lemons.

We don't seem to eat very much bread, but the wheat
acreage in the United States is forty-nine million acres,
over twice as large as our entire cotton acreage, and the


production equals about six bushels for each of us, or the
equivalent of one and one-third barrels of flour.
The corn acreage is ninety-four million acres, over four
times as large as our entire cotton acreage. The production
amounts to three billion bushels, which equals over twenty
bushels for each one of us. We don't have to eat that much
directly, because a large amount of corn goes to feeding
cattle and hogs.
We all love meat-so the farmer must grow about twelve
million head of beef cattle, and we consume a million head
every month. Remember, it takes two or three years to grow
a steer, and it takes a lot of feed and attention.
Pork furnishes one-half of the meat eaten by America
and thirty per cent of the oils and fats. We butcher around
seventy-five million head per year, which is over half a hog
for each of us. The total consumption of meat this last year
was equal to sixty-five million pounds each day.
These staple crops mentioned are only a part of the tre-
mendous volume of food consumed by one hundred thirty
million people, each eating three meals a day. The farmer
doesn't deserve any special credit for manufacturing this
supply, as it is his business and method of livelihood. His
long-time success depends upon the treatment he gives his
factory, which is his farm, and as we are all vitally interest-
ed in the productive condition of that land, we should be
willing and anxious that he receive returns from his labor
which will enable him to keep that factory in good condition.
Every particle of vegetable or animal food is composed of
minerals and chemicals that can only come from the soil, air
or water, helped by the sunshine, and it follows that these
necessary ingredients will, in time, be exhausted if not re-
placed in some manner. They will run out just as your bank
account will if you only use checks. Agricultural practices
will either preserve or destroy civilization. Regardless of
the attainments of men, the quality and quantity of their
food will decide their destiny.


China was once a fertile country, but the crops, and the
rain, and winds have left only enough for existence of the
people who, as a nation, have gradually become weak physi-
cally, mentally and morally. North Africa was once a rich
country-now most of it is a great desert. The Holy Lands,
with the Garden of Eden, have gone the same way. India
and other lands and peoples have gone through the same
history. People deteriorate with the land on which they live.

Only in recent years have our people waked up to this
danger facing us as a nation, and great strides are being
made now to conserve and build up our soil. Terrible losses
have already occurred which can never be replaced. There
was a feeling until a few years ago that we had plenty of
land and if we wore out one farm we could buy another.
The agricultural scientist who spends his life studying
the soil sees it as the fundamental thing in all human
activity. He knows that certain kinds of soil give rise to
certain kinds of civilization, that men living in temperate
zones growing crops on broad units will have different
economic problems and have different attitudes of mind
from men growing crops on smaller farms of poor land. The
ingredients of the soil, a lack of this element, or an abun-
dance of another element, affects the bodies of men, influ-
ences their glands, and, therefore, their psychology. Many
human activities, not ordinarily associated with the soil,
may be traced back to its influence. A stable, healthy and
vigorous civilization demands a proper adjustment of men
to the soil, and the soil resources should be so used as to
maintain permanently the highest possible living standards
for its inhabitants.
Recent legislation indicates that there is growing slowly
a belief that the government should exercise its power and
influence to preserve the fertility of our lands for posterity,
on the theory that land is not just a commodity to be ex-
ploited by the current proprietor and owner, but should be
preserved for future generations. The greatest physical


damage to this earth has been from erosion of our lands and
was caused by either wind or water. The normal geological
erosion that has gone on for ages under natural conditions
is a part of the whole complex soil-making process. When
man stepped in and cultivated land, he created conditions
that resulted in an enormous acceleration of erosion, and
this has brought about the most disastrous of evil things
that could happen to our land.
Water erosion occurs chiefly on sloping land, but wind
erosion on both level and sloping land.
The principal damage has resulted from rainfall on lands
which have been plowed and cultivated. This applies partic-
ularly where the crop has been gathered and the land has
been left with no cover protection at all. With no vegeta-
tion to hold the rain, every drop of water that runs off car-
ries with it a little soil in solution and some of the valuable
chemicals and minerals in the land, which gave the land its
value. Raindrops are always clear and clean, but notice what
they look like when they are running down the turn rows
and the ditches, the creeks and rivers. Rainwater falling on
a bare soil changes the structure and causes a compact sur-
face layer which prevents penetration of the rain, which is
then lost in the run-off. When water runs off, it not only
does not deposit the valuable chemicals of the air and water
in the soil, but carries off in solution the soil itself and
chemicals which were already there. The extent and rapid-
ity of this damage in the loss of the soil itself, as well as
the chemicals and minerals it contains, depend upon the
topography of the land, character of the soil, kind of culti-
vation, and the amount of the rainfall. The South is very
unfortunate in that there is no snow to cover the lands in
the winter as in the North. Snow protects land from erosion,
and as it melts slowly, adds to the fertility.
Methods of measuring these losses of soil and fertility
have been devised by the agricultural workers and the re-
sults are rather astounding. What is known as a lysimeter


is used to make these measurements. They are of various
forms of construction, but are arrangements which, on
definite areas, trap the soil washed off and the water run-
off, both of which are analyzed and measured. These ex-
periments are being conducted on all kinds of soils, with
various crops, cover crops and bare land. The information
obtained is so clear that our agricultural experts are able
to tell fairly accurately how many tons of soil will be wash-
ed off per acre under certain conditions, and to give us the
annual loss of the valuable chemicals and minerals which
disappear in the water run-off. The outstanding and im-
portant fact developed is that on many farms where there
are no cover crops, they are losing more fertility during the
winter rains than were used up by the harvested crop.

In one series of experiments, the results indicate that on
fine sandy loam land, the time required to strip seven
inches of the more productive top soil would be from three
to four thousand years, where properly covered with thick
growing crops, whereas the same land cultivated without
coverage and kept clean, would last from sixteen to fifty
years. These figures were derived after actual measure-
ments of the annual loss of soil. It is guesswork, of course,
but experts estimate that it would take nature two thousand
five hundred years to deposit or build up one inch of soil on
land just from the rain, snow and dust in the air. Professor
Russell, professor of Physical Geography at the University
of Louisiana, places the silt discharge at the mouth of the
Mississippi River at two million tons per day, or seven hun-
dred thirty million tons per year. This is only one river. Au-
thorities generally estimate that three billion tons per year
are washed off our lands into rivers, creeks and bottoms.
The scientists say this wasted soil contains sixty times the
nitrogen and other elements of plant food used in commer-
cial fertilizers in any recent years. At Dan River, Virginia,
a dam was constructed in 1904 for power purposes, and the
silt has already reduced the capacity eighty percent, and
this experience is common over the country. Authorities


estimate that in the past one hundred years, our farming
methods have resulted in the destruction of twenty percent
of our land values.
In northern Mississippi, during a rain storm, measure-
ments showed that land covered by forest lost seventy-five
pounds of soil per acre. On adjoining, identical type land
and which had been in cultivation with no cover crop, in the
same storm, the loss was sixty-eight thousand pounds of
soil per acre. Alfalfa land will absorb from four to five
times as much water as the same land in open cultivation.
Cultivated land, covered with straw enough to hide it, will
absorb two to six times as much water as bare land.
In 1934, when the Soil Conservation Act was passed, the
United States government made a survey and exhaustive
study of the land situation of the whole country which
covers one billion nine hundred million acres. This survey
showed that-

3 % or 57 million acres of original soil completely destroyed.
12% or 225 million acres of original soil three-fourths des-
41% or 775 million acres of original soil !,/ to :3's destroyed.
37% or 700 million acres of original soil less than 1/4 des-
7% or 143 million acres of original soil mountains, canyons,
bad lands, etc.

1,900 million acres.

The cropland area of the United States was about four
hundred fifteen million acres. Of this, sixty percent, or two
hundred fifty million acres, is of such poor quality that it
returns only small income, or is subject to continued ero-
sion, leaving forty percent, or one hundred sixty-five mil-
lion acres, which can be safely cultivated under present
practices. Department of Agriculture experts feel that
around seventy-five million acres should be retired as not


suited for production. With proper and improved farming
methods and practices, a large percentage of the land now
being damaged each year can be added to the good, safe
land, and this total raised to three hundred or three hun-
dred fifty million acres. These figures do not include about
one hundred million acres now in woods, pastures or im-
provable by irrigation and drainage, and which constitutes
a great production reserve.
What are we doing to stop this damage? The most preva-
lent and important method is the use of cover crops to pro-
tect and enrich the soil. The next important method is the
use of terraces, and contour farming, to hold the water
and, third, in the country damaged by the winds, the use of
windbreaks. Of course, in addition to these, there is diver-
sification and growing of special crops fitted to the lands
and territory.
Summer grown crops, when gathered in the fall, usually
leave the surface bare and subject to the action of the rain
and winds, and most erosion occurs at this time. Farmers
are learning fast the value of cover crops, both as fertilizers
and to protect the land from erosion, and the use of clovers,
vetch, rye and other green winter crops is increasing year-
ly. Non-legumes furnish a large amount of foreign matter
but use some nitrogen, but legume crops not only add foreign
matter, but add the important element of nitrogen which is
taken out of the air by the bacteria of the roots. Nitrogen
phosphorus and potassium are the elements of greatest im-
portance in the soil and can be lost by leaching, erosion and
by crop plants. They can all be replaced by fertilizers or the
growth of plants which collect and deposit these elements.
Farmers are spending over two hundred million dollars per
year for commercial fertilizer, in addition to the farm pro-
duced manure, cover crops, terraces and other methods used
to hold the fertility of their lands.
Another successful and important method of fighting ero-
sion of lands is the use of terraces and contours. On land


that is not level, these winding ditches and furrows, called
terraces and contours, not only stop the erosion caused by
the run-off of water, but collect and hold the water to en-
rich the soil. This practice is saving many farms which
otherwise would soon be valueless. The government, through
the Extension Division, is furnishing credit to groups of
farmers to purchase and operate large terracing machines,
as small farmers cannot afford to own them. Wherever you
travel now in the country, you will see these curving, twist-
ing furrows, winding around the hilly fields, and you may
know that a good farmer is trying to save and hold his land.
Wind erosion is next in importance to water erosion, and
affects millions of acres of our lands, particularly in the
Western plains. Just a few years ago we had here in Mem-
phis several sand storms originating in the Western plains
that deposited a good layer of dust in our offices and homes,
as well as outside. Our newspapers reported that one of
those storms carried the dust over New York City and out
into the ocean. The Department of Agriculture, in 1937, re-
ported a sand storm which originated in the Panhandle and
extended Northeast into Canada. Chemical analysis showed
that the fine dust deposited on the snow in Iowa contained
ten times as much organic matter, nine times as much nitro-
gen, nineteen times as much phosphoric acid as remained
in the coarse dune sand which had been piled up and left
behind at the source of the storm. So you can see that the
good stuff was blowing away.
The greatest damage is not from these high cloud storms,
but from the low blowing winds that carry the real soil
away and pile it up where it causes damage and destruction.
We have all seen little and large whirlwinds with a stream
or clouds of dust going up into the air and apparently not
coming down. Millions of acres of light land in the West
which are only fit for grasses and pasture were put in cul-
tivation in past years. When a storm and wind thousands of
times in size and intensity to our little whirlwinds strike
those bare acres of light, thin land, you have what are call-


ed sand storms. Wind erosion control depends upon setting
up obstructions that will slow down velocity of the wind and
covering the surface of the soil, so that fine particles of dust
cannot be picked up and carried away.
Ten years ago the government proposed what seemed to
most people an impractical plan to protect these Western
lands by planting trees. I confess I thought so, but the re-
sults have been startling and I think the success of the pro-
gram makes it interesting and instructive.
In 1934, the President, by Executive Order, allocated one
million dollars from the five hundred twenty-eight million
dollars appropriated by Congress for the relief of the in-
habitants of the drought-stricken plains, for initiating the
Shelterbelt Project, under the direction of the Forest Ser-
vice. The primary purpose of the Shelterbelt Project was to
develop wind barriers on farms in the plains to protect the
soil and the crops. The first trees were planted in the spring
of 1935 under a plan of leasing the planting sites. Beginning
during the spring of 1936, the work was set up as a co-
operative undertaking with the individual farmer, and the
public has invested in this project, over fourteen million
dollars. This program continued under emergency appro-
priations through the spring of 1942.
The project was operated over a large part of the six
states of North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Ok-
lahoma, and the northern portion of Texas. As of June 1,
1942, a total of two hundred twenty-two million eight hun-
dred twenty-five thousand two hundred twenty trees had
been planted on thirty-three thousand one hundred eighty-
five farms. These figures include eighteen thousand five
hundred ninety-nine miles, or two two hundred thirty-eight
thousand two hundred twelve acres, of field shelter belts.
On July 1, 1942, emergency funds formerly used to prose-
cute this project were virtually eliminated, but the Soil
Conservation Service has retained most of the trained field
personnel available on the project at the end of the 1942 fis-


cal year. Operating on soil and moisture conservation ap-
propriations, this personnel is being used to direct and ef-
fectuate shelter-belt planting in soil conservation districts
as an integral phase of complete farm conservation pro-
gram. About ninety percent are expected to grow into ac-
ceptable windbreaks. After only three years, the protective
influence was very noticeable. Lands and crops are being
protected as well as livestock, feed buildings, game, birds,
etc. The Soil Conservation Division feel that the program
has been a success.
How to use land better than we have is a national prob-
lem. The physical well-being of future generations must be
secured if the nation continues to live, and one of our great
national objectives should be to pass on to our descendents,
the soil as unimpaired as possible.
The national interest and the individual interest often
conflict, as farmers sometimes find it necessary to do things
to the soil that are not for their own long time interest, or
in the interest of posterity. Some types of farming conserve
the soil naturally. Tenant systems tend to destroy fertility
as the tenant hasn't the same incentive that the land owner
has. He has rent to pay and his own living expense, so he,
naturally, digs all he can out of the land and puts little back.
Low prices for farm products also force farmers to violate
the good rules of farming, because of lack of funds.
Submarginal lands, unfit for farming, should be taken
out of cultivation and be allowed to grow up in timber or
grasses for pasture. These lands compare to city slums and
can never support farm families in a decent manner.
Even with the shortages of labor, lack of fertilizer and
insufficient machinery, the farmers of this country have, in
the past two years, exceeded the quotas set by the Depart-
ment of Agriculture. The job ahead is to properly feed this
country and help feed the millions of people in the Allied and
occupied countries, and we must plan and make every ef-
fort possible.


All told, last year the United States produced enough food
for three times our population, if crops had been fed direct-
ly to human beings. It takes about seven pounds of corn to
produce one pound of pork and eighty-four percent of the
energy of grain is lost when turned into meat, so the number
of people we can feed, depends on willingness to do without
On March 30, 1943, the President of the United States,
sent through diplomatic channels, to all the United Nations
and nations associated with them, an invitation to a con-
ference on foods and essential agricultural products, which
was held in Hot Springs, Virginia, in June, 1943.

The text stated it was the opinion of the United States
Government that it was very desirable now for the nations
associated together to begin joint consideration of the basic
economic problems with which they and the rest of the world
will be confronted after the close of the war. Each nation
was invited to send a small number of appropriate technical
and expert representatives.
The purpose of the conference was to provide for an ex-
change of views and to seek agreements in principal as to
most desirable and practical means and methods of dealing
with the following problems:-

1 Plans and prospects of the various countries for the
post war period regarding production, import requirements
and exportable surpluses of foodstuffs and other essential
agricultural products, with a view of improving in each
country the levels of consumption within the framework of
the opportunities and possibilities of an expansion of its
general economic activities.

2 Possibilities of setting up international agreements
and institutions designed to promote efficient production
and insure for the world, adequate supplies at equitable
prices from the viewpoint of both producer and consumer.


3 Commercial and financial arrangements necessary to
enable countries to obtain agricultural products and also
maintain adequate markets for their own surplus produc-
4 Possibilities of stimulating by international action,
national policies for the improvement of nutrition and con-
sumption in general.
The conference was attended by representatives of forty-
four nations and there was set up a permanent organiza-
tion. The newspaper fraternity felt that the conference di-
rectors had slighted them and treated them discourteously,
and became greatly offended. In retaliation, they belittled
and ridiculed the proceedings and have never given it the
publicity which its importance deserves.
The conference and the possibilities from it can result in
great help to the whole world. An interim commission was
appointed and is now sitting in Washington gathering and
tabulating information about food supplies and food needs
of all nations. With all the facts before them, the several
nations can more efficiently and economically trade and
distribute their food supplies when the war is over. Re-
member, we import a lot of foods, so it is not just a plan to
give away our own food.
In conclusion-I believe our great national problem is to
so adjust the use of our lands, that the needs of civilization
may draw on them continually and that the land in turn be
preserved and enriched as nature demands. Costs of food
must be such that the farmer can prosper and that people
in industry can be protected and provided with sufficient
healthful food.
Always we must remember that our form of government,
our freedom and our future of tomorrow rests in the soil of
the United States, and that the crops from the harvested
acreage will determine employment, prosperity and expan-
sion of our nation.


Soil Mineralization
Parks' Soil Servia, Keene, Kentucky
Implies a new Era in the use of scientific knowledge, and
intelligent and diligent work in restoring our depleted soils
to their maximum productiveness, then using them as a
vital force to restore health to the human race, first-by
analyzing our soils for the kinds, amounts, and preponder-
ances of the mineral elements found in them, and then striv-
ing to build them to the highest known standard, by locat-
ing, moving, grinding and mixing the twenty-five or more
mineral elements taken from Nature's own resources and
applying them to your soil and food source for each in-
dividual need.
It is applied to the depleted soils of our gardens by scien-
tifically giving each a careful synthetic test, and recom-
mending the use of the many mineral elements found defi-
cient, and prepondering those elements most needed by the
vegetables commonly used for human consumption. All
other depleting crops and grasses are given the same in-
dividual attention by prepondering those elements which
the plants are capable of using most effectively and storing
as nutritious food.
All life-atoms, bacteria, plant, animal and human-is
now controlled accidently, but can be controlled intelligently
by the kinds, proportion, preponderance and physical ar-
rangement of the many mineral elements contained in our
soils as available plant food. Therefore if any of the essen-
tial mineral elements are continuously deficient in our daily
diet, we are forced to live without them until some human
deficiency developed namely Hidden Hunger, which is in-
curable, except by Nature's own way of using the plant as
the source of organic minerals, which acts as preventative
measures at all times.


It has passed the experimental stage, has already proven
practical, and can now be obtained at "Parks' Soil Service,"
Keene, Ky., by sending us your soil sample, accompanied by
the size of the area to be treated and the use to be made of
the treated area, after which Parks' Soil Service will give
you a free estimate, then furnish you a complete mineral
mixture as recommended. Also available now are many
mineral standard foods of various kinds, which are especial-
ly recommended for the use of doctors and dietitians. And
those we do not have we will glady give reference to the
producer of same.
A few of the limiting factors in the production of this
Standard Soil Builder are: the urgent need of capable and
experienced soil chemists, who can test our soils for the
twenty or more rare elements and make the required recom-
mendations; the increased demand has necessitated the im-
mediate need of a more modern mixing plant; the varied
sources from which the raw materials are gathered, re-
quiring more labor, equipment and capital; and the need
of a more extended publicity campaign to encourage the
production of Mineral Standard Foods, and to urge the mar-
ket gardeners to have an adequate supply available at all
times for the consuming demand.
We also sponsor a "Live More at Home" program and live
better because of life sustaining foods used in the daily diet
and gathered from a Mineral Standard Garden. And we urge
the need and importance of every diligent gardener to have
his Soil tested and Mineral treated, or else rotate that gar-
den plot to avoid unfavorable conditions that most often
We also discourage the excessive use of rich barn-yard
manure and commercial fertilizer without a balance of other
rare Elements to safeguard ourselves from many of the
most common afflictions. Let us keep in mind that we are
all human machines, created in the image of God and fash-
ioned from the kind of material elements that we get from


Mother Earth through our food intake. In other words, we
are what we are, because of what we eat, and the manner
we prepare and eat it.
In accord with latest methods of scientific soil building,
and under the supervision of the most experienced soil
chemist, Parks' Soil Service is attempting to gather from
all parts of the world the many elements most needed, and
striving to get them from natural resources so far as pos-
sible. Much more is yet to be discovered and we are hoping
to find all of the twenty-five or more elements used, stored
somewhere in nature, which can be obtained at less cost.
At the present time we are using the most useful ground
rocks, organic from the vegetable kingdom, the major
elements contained in commercial fertilizer and several of
the concentrated chemicals, which are used in smaller quan-
Parks' Soil Service is sparing no effort in erecting the
most modern mixing plant in the world today, for the sole
purpose of more effectively serving the many needs of
humanity. Especially by offering a substitute for Hidden
Hunger and also supplying the Hereditary requirements at
the root of all Nutritional plants. Therefore we are render-
ing a special service in restoring the most depleted soils to
their former productiveness, and also supplying to the needs
of suffering humanity the many elements most needed to
restore them to normal health through their food source.
All persons interested in the new possibilities of their
soils, by the creation of a new wealth to meet the present
emergency in the consumption of better Mineral balanced
foods or in restoring to good health those who have fallen a
victim to some deficiency disease may write or call, and we
will gladly furnish free any information in regard to any of
the above statements. Also a good General Purpose diet
(80 percent- 20 percent) will be given those persons in-
terested in keeping healthy or aiding the afflicted to be-
come normal.



A term which comprises all the good practices of the most
exact Soil builder, the use of the seven or eight essential
elements recommended by both Soil building Experts and
Fertilizer manufacturers, and in addition: recognizing the
presence or absence of, admitting to the importance of, and
recommending the use of twenty other rare elements in
minimum quantities.
All life is controlled through the Soil, and can be intelli-
gently controlled by a liberal use of plants grown on Soil,
which has been tested and supplied with the many essential
elements that build bone, muscle, cell, gland and other vital
organs of the body.
The application of this term, if applied in specific cases of
deficiency disease, will result in a permanent cure, or a
prevention against other serious troubles that might de-
DEN" and avoid the liability of falling prey to many com-
mon diseases, which exact a large death toll.
Share in an Educational and Live More At Home campaign
sponsored by PARKS' SOIL SERVICE, Keene, Ky.


The Minor Elements Play

No Minor Role in Florida

Director, Florida Agricultural Experiment Station in Farm for Victory
The Citrus Industry. August, 1945

Florida's soils, although quite varied in type, are consid-
ered deficient to a greater or lesser degree in one or more
of the elements necessary for optimum growth in cultivated
plants. While the requirements for nitrogen, phosphorus
and potash have long been known and the need supplied in
the regular fertilizer program, the use of the so-called minor,
trace or secondary elements is a signal development of re-
cent years.
The minor element deficiencies vary in kind and amount
and their diagnosis has been anything but simple owing to
the wide diversity of soils and crops and the variation in
requirement for the several elements by the different plants.
Recognition of the many deficiency symptoms and develop-
ment of corrective practices constitutes an interesting and
significant chapter in the State's agricultural research his-
tory and has resulted in the widespread adoption of a new
conception of plant nutrition under field conditions. Until
the past few years, our fertilizer recommendations included
only N-P-K requirements. For many crops, these programs
were subjects of wide experiment and diversity of opinion
owing to the lack of stability and uniformity in results.
Despite ample application rates there were unsatisfactory
growth responses and with some crops and in some areas, a
decline or partial failure in vigor and productive capacity.


Widespread and varied abnormal growth conditions indica-
tive of a lack of thrift, which were non-pathological and on
the whole uncontrolled by N-P-K fertilization, were de-
scribed as "physiological"-cause unknown! Various ratios,
sources and application rates were both praised and con-
demned, there being no generally uniform or continuing
wholly satisfactory response.
The vital role of the minor elements under field condi-
tions was not suspected and it was not until their need and
values were determined that the limitations of N-P-K ferti-
lizer were demonstrated. It is not that N-P-K requirements
are reduced by the use of the other elements; but rather
that the efficiency of the major fertilizer elements is en-
hanced in ratio to the reduction of limiting factors induced
by minor element deficiencies. Normal utilization by the
plant of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash appears to be de-
pendent in no smarl measure upon the satisfaction of the
associated requirement for other nutrient materials. While
the interrelationship of the functions of the several ele-
ments in plant nutrition is far from being completely under-
stood, the increased yields, vigor of growth and disappear-
ance of "deficiency symptoms" have established the essenti-
ality and practical values of many elements in the fertilizer
program which only a few years ago were given no con-
siderat ion.
It is not to be taken that all plants on all soils require
supplementary fertilization with all minor elements. Many
of the cultivated plants under most conditions may show no
measurable response to any of them; some may respond to
one or more but only on given soils; while others require
from one to several on a wide range of soils.
Deficiency symptoms and application rates and methods
have been determined for one or more of the six elements-
copper, zinc, manganese, magnesium, boron and iron-on
citrus, tung, corn, pecans, peaches, avocados, mangoes, cel-
ery. beans, tomatoes, potatoes, pasture plants and numerous


ornamentals, with the list increasing. Few crops would be
grown on the organic soils of the Everglades without copper,
and the tung tree is a failure in many areas without zinc.
Heavy annual celery losses due to "crack-stem" were en-
tirely overcome with boron, while carpet grass sod with a
single application of a combination of copper, zinc and man-
ganese was established in a few months where ordinarily two
years would be required. Citrus nutrition practices have
undergone a pronounced transformation and now include
zinc, copper, manganese and magnesium and occasionally
boron and iron. This program has been adopted generally
and has resulted in markedly greater production and im-
provement in tree appearance and growth as well as in-
creased resistance to cold damage and improvement in fruit
quality. On a wide variety of fruit and nut trees, vegetables
and ornamentals, minor element deficiencies are the direct
cause of "physiological diseases" which were marked by a
baffling lack of thrift and chlorotic or'malformed foliage
and, with some, low or alternate bearing.
Appreciation of the values of the minor elements and of
research on their use may be gauged by the magnitude of
application. During the 12-month period ending June 30,
1944, Florida consumed for agricultural purposes some 19
million pounds of copper sulfate, nearly 23 million pounds
of manganese sulfate, some 3 1/3 million pounds of zinc
sulfate, and large quantities of magnesium, the last in the
forms of sulfate of potash-magnesia, magnesium oxide, and
dolomitic limestone. When the small application rate re-
quirements per acre are considered, these poundages give
some idea of the extent of the treated acreage involved. Last
season, Florida produced over 260,000 carloads of quality
fruits and vegetables. While by no means wholly respon-
sible, the minor elements played no minor role in that ac-


Pasture Grass Improved

by Adding Minor Minerals

[Editor, The Orlando Reporter-Star]
The Sunday Sentinel-Star, Orlando
August 13, 1944

The value of minerals in the diet of cattle, and the im-
portance of adding the minor minerals as fertilizer to the
soil as a pasture builder is being interestingly brought out
in experiments on the Range Cattle Experiment Station,
15 miles southwest of Wauchula under the direction of Drs.
W. G. Kirk and E. M. Hodges.
In 1935, persons interested in cattle husbandry started a
movement to provide a range and experiment station in
Hardee County to promote the raising and breeding of cat-
tle as well as to learn more about improving pastures. This
group advanced funds which were added to by the County
Commissioners and later an Act of the 1937 Legislature
made it eligible for Federal assistance by making the work
a WPA project.
Actual work on some 2,000 acres of land got underway
Jan. 12, 1941. As the land was the typical lowland flatwood
it was necessary to dig a canal and do other preparatory
drainage work. A few buildings were constructed including
a home for the Kirks, and a soil survey made on the 1,000
acres of the land under fence.
In October native and grade cattle were procured and the
work began in earnest. However, the war has greatly handi-
capped its operations due to a scarcity of labor, funds and


But Drs. Kirk and Hodges have done an excellent job
working under their handicap. Charts of the work have
been kept and furnish an excellent record of the response
cattle and grasses have made to the methods used.

One of the most interesting facts developed in the experi-
ments is the varying amounts of additional minerals re-
quired by cattle in their diet during the different seasons.
For example, when the native grasses were succulent in May
the cattle consumed but a half pound of minerals in the salt-
lick mixtures. This amount increased as the pastures be-
came older and the grasses dryer until in January the con-
sumption was 5.38 pounds per cow. This amount then began
to diminish until June. The total consumption for the year
amounted to 24.65 pounds per cow.
While all cattlemen know their stock loses weight during
the Winter months, few know exactly how serious this loss
Cattle are weighed at the station every 28 days and an
accurate account of their condition is ascertainable at all
times. Reaching their peak weight at the end of the Summer
months after Spring grazing, the loss in weight to midwin-
ter in many instances ran to 300 pounds, while an average
was around 200 pounds.
This means that cattle must gain 200 pounds or more after
going through a Winter before there is a net gain over the
high weight of the previous season.
However, it was demonstrated that a small addition of
feed fed in connection with the pasture cut the loss to a
minimum. Experiments wherein 4.9 pounds of blackstrap
molasses per cow was fed produced a gain from December
to April of 35 pounds; 10.5 pounds of fresh sugar cane put
52 pounds on the cattle but 1.72 pounds of cottonseed pellets
added 82 pounds per cow over the same period.
The value of breeding native and grade cows to pure-bred


bulls was demonstrated in the results of a cross between a
Hereford bull and a grade Devon cow. The offspring
weighed 400 pounds at four months. A cross from an ordi-
nary Jersey milk cow and a Brahma bull produced an off-
spring of 175 pounds at six weeks.

Approximately 2,000 cattle have been acquired by the
station, which includes purebred Brahmas. Most of the
breeding will be to the Brahma bulls in the future.

Also of value to the cattleman is the information being
gathered about pastures.
In this respect the experiments of Drs. Kirk and Hodges
are proving the degrees of value certain fertilizers are to
different types of grasses.
The pastures which are showing the most response at the
present to fertilization are those sown to digitaria and car-
pet grass.
The soil used in the experiments is the Emmokolee much
the same as the Leon soil found in most of Florida's flat-
woods. Although the soil tested extremely low in zinc, the
addition of an application of that mineral based on 15 pounds
to the acre showed little results. However, an application of
copper sulphate showed excellent results and when the cop-
per and zinc were combined with manganese each on a basis
of 15 pounds to the acre, the results were remarkable. The
Digitaria, which is much like crab grass, sent out runners
as long as 12 feet and grew waist high.
The carpet grass did not respond as readily as the digitaria
to the minor elements treatment without the added applica-
tion of commercial fertilizer, but with the addition of a
3-16-8 fertilizer a five acre pasture two seasons old had
reached almost a lawn sod, while other pastures, prepared
and seeded in the same manner but on which either no ferti-
lizer had been used, or only rock phosphate, the grass was
spotty and in very sparse quantities.


The differences between the fertilized pastures and those
not treated demonstrated most conclusively that the one
application of food to the soil will bring in pastures two to
three years ahead of unfed soils and with far greater carry-
ing capacities.
Other grasses experimented with at the station are the
Pensacola bahia, the ordinary bahia and lespedeza. The
bahia types show promise but are not as encouraging as
either the carpet or digitaria, while the lespedeza seems un-
able to successfully combat the natural growth, but ex-
periments with this legume are still going on.
Such Winter grasses are dallis, para and sugar cane are
also being tested with varying degrees of success.
The work being carried on at the station is most interest-
ing and should provide cattlemen with definite information
on pasture cultures.


Notes on Animal Nutrition

board's Dalymam, August 10, 1945

"We are simply trying to unravel the story of ani-
mal life from the nutritional side. We do not expect
to get very far but we hope it will encourage others
to work in the same direction in order that we may
have more fundamental understanding of the princi-
ples of animal nutrition than we now possess."
These words were spoken to us thirty years ago by Pro-
fessor E. B. Hart when we visited him at the Wisconsin
Agricultural Experiment Station. We used this quotation
as the introduction to a report under the above title that we
made of that visit to the readers of Hoard's Dairyman. It
was essentially a story of important researches that had
recently been completed.
Briefly, it included the findings that rations fully bal-
anced according to chemical analysis might not properly
nourish the animal. It showed that the variety of proteins,
as well as the amount, was highly important. Based on
these investigations and the report of new ideas was the
then recent discovery of fat soluble A and water soluble B,
which were the names originally given to vitamins as then
known. This represented a new era in the investigation of
livestock nutrition and was a startling promise of further
research that has accumulated in the some thirty years since
that time.
We now make a report of another visit with Professor
Hart that we made a few weeks ago. Before making this
report, however, we might add that Professor Hart came to
Wisconsin from the Geneva Station in 1906 and succeeded
the veteran Babcock as chairman of what is now known as


the Biochemistry Department of the University of Wiscon-
sin. This may seem like a rather formidable title but the
man is the same practical, farm-minded scientist today that
he was when he came to Wisconsin. Biochemistry is simply
the chemistry of plant and animal life. Professor Hart has
recently retired as head of his department but the Univer-
sity has been fortunate in keeping him as chairman of the
Research Committee for the entire University.
The following notes are not intended to be complete or
even brief discussions of the several topics covered or to
assess their relative importance. They are merely introduc-
tory and are given to indicate the breadth of research that
is going on today, not only at the University of Wisconsin
but at all the universities maintaining agricultural depart-
While these notes are based on our conversation with
Professor Hart, he would be the first to be emphatic in
saying that the results achieved were the work of many
men in the department which he has supervised for thirty-
two years, and were often secured by the cooperation of
other departments at the University.

New research has added new laurels to butterfat. Feeding
trials concerning vegetable oil and butterfat indicate that
the latter has a certain beneficial effect on the efficiency
with which intestinal bacteria can synthesize the B com-
plex vitamin. This is particularly true where the carbo-
hydrate portion of the ration is supplied by lactose as is
true with children living largely on milk. This finding
serves as a warning against the use of filled milk in which
the butterfat is replaced by cheaper vegetable fats.
People for years have talked about the value of proteins
in the diet, but the real need is now disclosed to be for cer-
tain amino acids of the proteins in adequate amount and in


suitable balance. The protein of milk is, perhaps, the finest
and best balanced source of the amino acids of protein, but
other excellent sources are found in the red meats. Grains
generally are low in certain of these essential amino acids.
It is held by some that the animal proteins are valuable
additions to the ration of the dairy cow, fish meal being
one of the most commonly used for this purpose. In the
feeding of hogs the superiority of milk, tankage, and meat
scraps has been recognized for many years. Indeed, they
are recognized as practically essential if hogs are to be
grown most economically.
Manganese is normally found in the stems and leaves of
plants, but is low in such grains as corn. Two groups of
calves were fed identical well balanced rations except that
one group's ration was low in manganese. For a time both
groups grew well and all were bred at normal time. The
group fed the ration containing manganese produced full
time calves and milked well. The other group produced pre-
mature calves and were not thrifty. The indications were
that one difference in these two lots of calves was due to
the fact that the manganese enabled these heifers to pro-
duce a larger amount of the essential vitamin C. These
trials also indicated that the feeding of manganese seemed
of some help in controlling acetonemia. When additional
manganese is indicated as desirable, it is fed at the rate of
approximately seven ounces of manganese mixed with one
hundred pounds of salt.
It is only in recent years that it has been found that in a
few limited sections of our country young cattle suffer from
the lack of the mineral cobalt in their ration. The animals
go off feed, become gaunt, may be sexually under-developed,
and suffer from anemia. This has been particularly notice-
able in some sections of New Zealand, Florida, Michigan,
and along the upper eastern shore of Wisconsin where dolo-


mitic limestone underlies the surface soil. It should be not-
ed that if cobalt is added to the ration, it is injurious to use
it carelessly or in too great amounts, although cattle seem
to tolerate moderate overdoses better than some other ani-
A simple way to give this mineral where it is indicated as
desirable is to add one ounce of cobalt sulphate to each one
hundred pounds of salt given cattle. It should be remem-
bered that the cobalt will not be of any value if the trouble
affecting the calves or cattle is due to the lack of good feed
or the lack of other minerals.
Blood Building
It takes six to eight weeks to regenerate human blood
after hemorrhage or even after a one-pint blood donation.
Work with animals shows that a week or less is time enough
provided the diet is suitable. This is true even when as
much as a quarter of the blood has been lost. Riboflavin
(vitamin B2) is highly important in determining the size
and rate of formation of new blood cells. While this is the
newer approach to the question, previously known re-
quirements for efficient blood regeneration are the intake
of ample protein, iron, copper, and one of the B complex
vitamins known as pyroidoxine.
Early Cut Silage
When cows were fed corn ensiled late in the season it
was found that the vitamin content was about half what it
was when they were fed grass silage. Later trials indicated
that the vitamin content of the silage was improved if the
corn was ensiled when the majority of the kernels were
past the milk stage but were not in the hard dough stage.
In a comparative trial with this newer silage one group of
cows was fed 40 pounds of corn silage and the other 40
pounds of alfalfa silage preserved with corn meal, other
feed being the same for both groups.
Assays of the feed showed that cows in the alfalfa silage


group received about two and one-half times as much caro-
tene as those on corn silage, but the milk they produced
was only 25 per cent higher in vitamin A and 20 per cent
higher in carotene. The higher carotene content of the alfal-
fa silage produced a higher vitamin milk but the vitamins
in the milk were not in proportion to the carotene content of
the silage.
It was also noted in this trial that the superiority of the
early cut corn silage as a source of high vitamin milk was
much better than in the previous trials when corn that was
much more mature was the source of the corn silage.

Anti-Scours Vitamins
Pharmaceutical concerns are now marketing vitamin cap-
sules for use in preventing scours in young calves. This is
a difficulty that is experienced quite frequently in calves
born after the first of the year when the vitamin A content
of the milk and the hay is probably at its low point of the
year. The formula provides for the use in each capsule of
5,000 international units of vitiman A, 50 milligrams of
niacin, 250 milligrams of ascorbic acid (vitamin C), and
200 international units of vitamin D.
It is to be remembered these vitamins are not cures for
scours but are essentially preventive to use before the
calves become sick and, preferably, immediately after birth.
They may be of some help if given promptly at the very
first sign of scours, and should be used when the trouble has
been occurring with other new born calves. Young calves
cannot utilize carotene in hay as well as vitamin A, which
may explain the prevalence of the opinion that at times it
is harder to raise calves from breeds producing high color
milk than from other breeds.

Sulfa Drugs and Vitamins
Experimental trials have shown that vitamin C has been
helpful in controlling nutritional calf scours. Other trials


have indicated that certain sulfa drugs are useful in treat-
ing infectious "white scours." It has now been shown that
these certain sulfa drugs tend to increase the vitamin C
content of the blood which indicates that it may really be
the vitamin C that is the controlling factor.



Florida Finds 'Trace' of Minerals Put New Life In
Old Citrus Trees
Magnesium Builds Green Leaves: Manganese, Boron
And Zinc Increase Fertility
Orange, Grapefruit Crops Up

Special Correspondent of The Wall Street Journal

Seven common minerals added to Florida's soil have
brought the state a three-fold increase in its biggest cash
crop, citrus fruits.
Five of these minerals are used in such tiny amounts that
a chemist couldn't calculate their proportion to the soil; he
would have to put down "trace."
The trace elements are copper, iron, manganese, boron and
zinc. With sulphur and magnesium they make up the seven
minor elements whose praises are sung by all the firms that
sell fertilizers in Florida. Plant-life must have all seven of
these elements to thrive, although they have been ignored
for nearly a century in formulating the so-called "complete"
artificial fertilizers.
In 1932-33, with production of citrus fruit below 30 mil-
lion boxes, some growers feared their industry was almost
done for. Traditional fertilizing with nitrogen-phosphorus-
potassium mixtures, even on a lavish scale, was powerless to
build up yields beyond 100 pounds a tree. Growers accepted
the theory that citrus land mysteriously "played out," and
that there was nothing to do but move onto new land and
plant more trees.


Finding Capital Not Easy
Finding capital for such an operation wasn't very easy, for
the depression was at its worst. The state had taken heavy
financial and physical blows from the land boom of 1922-26
and the September hurricanes of 1926 and 1928.
In the 1944-45 season, the citrus crop totaled over 90
million boxes. The grapefruit pack, 23 million boxes, passed
the combined packs of Texas and California. Most of the
fruit came off the same acres that had been despaired of 12
years before. And the industry's comeback led to the plant-
ing of 50,000 acres to new trees last fall and winter.
Much of the credit for the citrus industry's rebirth goes
to Dr. A. R. Camp, vice director of the State Citrus Experi-
ment Station at Lake Alfred, Fla. He came to Florida in
1935 from California, where he had worked on citrus ferti-
lizing, and began building up the Florida groves with the
trace elements.
Magnesium gets at the very heart of the citrus grower's
problem. It makes possible the formation of chlorophyll, the
substance in green leaves that captures sunshine and trans-
mutes it into orange juice and halves of grapefruit.
Iron is another essential component of green leaves.
Manganese, boron and zinc increase the fertility of a
plant; more individual fruits are formed.
These minor elements are not needed in quantity. One
part of boron in 10 million of soil is about right; one part in
5 million may be toxic.
Sulphur, becoming greatly diluted sulphuric acid in the
soil, helps the soil bacteria to digest organic matter for the
plant's roots to absorb.
Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the big three, are
still vitally needed; to them calcium is added, making a big


Nitrogen builds foliage and retards ripening. The plant
seeks to get as big as it can before it reproduces itself.
Encourage Boot Growth
Phosphorus encourages root growth. It speeds the storage
of nourishment, and thus hastens the ripening the nitrogen
seeks to delay. Magnesium comes back into the picture
here. Somehow it moves the phosphorus from the old cells
where it has done its work, into new cells that need its help.
Potassium gives a plant stamina. A potassium-poor plant
is the first to be blighted or attacked by parasites.
Calcium strengthens stem and root cells, the frame of the
plant, just as it builds sturdy bones for human beings.
The suspicion that the big three elements-nitrogen, po-
tassium, phosphorus-of "complete" fertilizers were not all
the foods that plants needed is almost as old as the artificial
fertilizer industry itself. In 1866 two Germans grew wheat
in well-water solutions of artificial fertilizers and natural
manures, and concluded that plants couldn't thrive by chem-
istry alone.
Exprimnts by U. S. Agency
Between 1900 and 1910 the U. S. Department of Agricul-
ture carried on a series of experiments on organic and in-
organic plant foods. These experiments established the
limitations of inorganic fertilizers, and gave new emphasis
to the factors in soil improvement quite aside from any nu-
trient material-soil bacteria and the fertilizing factors we
have come to call auxins, hormones and enzymes--that help
the plant to utilize what nutrients are there for it.
Reading accounts of those 40-year-old experiments, it is
easy to see today that the Department of Agriculture re-
searchers crossed the trail of the trace elements, probably
more than once, and lost it again through the difficulties of
soil analysis. Soil analysis through purely chemical means
is tedious drudgery, prone to error when the components


sought are very small. Chemical analysis has now been re-
enforced by spectroscopy. The spectroscope unerringly spots
unbelievably small concentrations of any element in a solu-

As long as the sources of artificial fertilizers were na-
tural rock, it didn't make a great deal of difference whether
anyone knew about the trace elements or not, in the case
of most soils. North African rock phosphate, turned to su-
perphosphate, carried calcium and sulphur as well as phos-
phorus into the ground. Chile nitrate contained boron as
an impurity.

But when ammonium phosphate began to be made from
atmospheric nitrogen and metallic phosphorus, neither
boron, calcium nor sulphur went along as an extra dividend.

Much soil contained the trace elements in sufficient quan-
tities, carried there as dust by the wind. Florida was un-
fortunate. A 500-mile peninsula between the Gulf of Mex-
ico and the Atlantic Ocean, it could only receive dust when
the wind blew from one point of the compass.

After Dr. Camp and his co-workers taught the Florida
citrus growers how to get the essential minor elements into
the soil, the next thing to do was to help the trees get it
back out. There is a 50- to 70-inch annual rainfall in the
Florida citrus country, but little of the rain remains in the
sandy soil. So now extensive irrigation systems keep the
trees growing through the dry spells of spring and fall. A
survey of 1,200 groves in 1942-43 showed an average return
of $3 an acre on non-irrigated groves, $45 an acre on irri-
gated ones.

Last year Florida bought 23 million pounds of dolomite-
calcium magnesium carbonate from Texas, 22 million
pounds of copper sulphate from the Southwestern mines,
and 3.5 million pounds of zinc sulphate from Missouri smelt-
ers. The other minerals were applied in lesser quantities.


Some were sprayed onto the trees. Tennessee Eastman Corp.,
a subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Co., is a supplier of mag-
nesium sulphate for spraying.
As an object lesson for any citrus grower who might for-
get what he has been rescued from, the 120-acre experi-
mental grove at Lake Alfred has been divided by a road.
On one side traditional care has been applied to the trees.
Their yields range from 50 to 100 pounds of fruit to a tree.
On the other side, trees generously fed with magnesium,
iron, copper, manganese and boron by the Camp formulas
are weighted down with from 600 to 1,000 pounds apiece.


Some Symptoms
of Citrus Malnutrition
in Florida

y A. r. CAMP ad X. L FUD
Isp~sd hem Uedm Mk a he md sm m, Cam&ahM N. c.
Vol~u 10, No. IL Neosbr, 144

One of the outstanding recent developments in the field of
citrus nutrition has been the utilization of the symptoms
found on leaves, twigs, and fruits as guides in fertilization.
Research which has revealed the specific relationship be-
tween nutritional requirements and certain symptoms ex-
hibited by the citrus tree has furnished the basis for this
development. Thus it has been found that zinc is a specific
remedy for "frenching" and copper for diebackk" and that
neither will fill the role of the other. Likewise, deficiency
of either manganese or magnesium will give rise to certain
definite symptoms in the citrus tree, whereas an excess of
boron will produce equally specific symptoms which are
characteristic of the toxic effects of this element. These
symptoms have proved much more specific than at first
supposed and serve as excellent indicators of the tree's
nutritional needs. The idea of using an element as a specific
remedy for a particular set of symptoms is not entirely new,
since copper has been used as a specific for diebackk" for
many years.
In Florida nitrogen deficiency has been generally ac-
cepted in the past as the cause of practically all yellowing
of citrus leaves and it is only recently that the various
types of yellowing have been adequately classified with the
result that magnesium deficiency is now recognized as the
case of the commonest type of yellowing. Much of the


progress made has resulted from more detailed and critical
observation of the trees themselves; and the practical utili-
zation of symptoms as a guide in citrus nutrition requires
equally careful observation, particularly when symptoms
of several different types are combined in such a way as
to mask partially one or more of them.

Work In Citrus
The great citrus industry of Florida is gradually being
given the benefit of this scientific, fool-proof data. The
rapidity with which results may be obtained will be astound-
ing. The results seem revolutionary, yet no one class is
suffering at the expense of another. This is one thing just
as important to the consumer as the producer.
Zinc. magnesium and copper are most widely deficient
in most of the grove soils in Florida. This is combatted with
corrective fertilizers, and in some cases, with proper sprays.
Of course, only the surface of this practice has been
scratched, knowledge has not yet been spread around like
the daily news.
Where partial knowledge is applied, the results can be
partially injurious. Increasing the amount of potash will
not replace the zinc and magnesium absent in the particular
plot. Increasing the nitrogen, will not insure a balanced
growth and development, or a proper flavor, where these
minor elements are absent. On the other hand, once the
zinc, magnesium, and Copper have been added in suffi-
ciency, the great amount of nitrogen, mistakenly applied
formerly, may prove excessive.
The proper information is waiting to be used, used for
the benefit of the consumer throughout the nation.
Minerals That Turn The Wheels Of Life
Minerals play a role without which motor force and con-
nection between the glands would break down. Physiolo-
gists can not conceive a body without the mineral elements
making bone, nerve, blood and brain, nor psychologists a


conscious mind without mineral elements. Even poetry can-
not find its material without the proper combination of
mineral elements, or art its shape, form, essence and color;
actually there is nothing we can conceive, from trees to
plants to animals, building material to evening gowns, that
does not depend on a proper combination and amounts of
the various kinds of elemental minerals. Whether alive or
dead, in many things the difference depends on the pro-
portionate amount of the elements, and the resultant radio
As the mineral salts are the controlling elements in or-
ganic life, so are they in glandular life, therefore in psycho-
logical life. They are potent factors to be considered in all
sociological and eugenical development.
From MINERALIZATION-by Albert Carter Saaqe.
Surely the great body of organized science that developed
Radar, the Clycotron, Dark Light and Spectroscopic analy-
sis and released the atomic energies in the form of the LIFE-
destructive atomic bomb can give us speedy quantitative
and complete tests for the amount, kind and concentration
of the mineral elements in the total soil and water food
sources of the world, so that the standardization of this
primary source point of Life's development, healthy well-
being and genetic possibilities can be speeded up with the
increasing and vital need for lightening needless burdens
in man's race against time for betterment NOW.
By-Abert Carter Savage.


The Effect of
Agricultural Practices on

Health and Disease*

Assistant Professor of Neuropsychlatry, Medical College of Virginia
Neuropsychiatrist, Tucker Hospital

It is the purpose of this paper to correlate some recorded
observations, and interpret them, in terms of possible etio-
logy, of the health and some of the ills of man. Minot states:
"It has been proved that certain diseases reflect the char-
acter of the social and economic as well as the geographic
environment." Snapper indicates that every phase of clini-
cal medicine in Peiping is influenced by the peculiar food
situation. One might add that health, too, reflects the char-
acter of the social, economic, and geographic environment.
The correct diagnosis and therapy in deficiency diseases
has been one of the advances of medicine. However, our de-
sire is the prevention of these deficiency diseases. Although
much has been accomplished, there are still many unknown
factors in the field of nutrition and its relation to sickness
and health.
The medical journals have many papers telling of re-
cently acquired knowledge on almost every variety of de-
ficiency--avitaminosis, hypoproteinemia, and mineral im-
balance, with therapeutic response when therapy is based
on the proper rationale. There are perhaps no doctors more
aware of the value of rational vitamin, mineral, and food
concentrate therapy than we in neuropsychiatry. However,
*Presented to Tri-State Medical Association of the Carolinas and Virginia.
meeting at Charlotte, Feb. 28th-29th, 1944.


the absence of the progressive degenerative disease of the
blood vessels-arteriosclerosis; or the progressive degenera-
tive disease of the nervous system-multiple sclerosis-
among the Northern Chinese, whose diet is inadequate in
those things we can determine by laboratory analysis;
namely, calcium, vitamins, calories, suggests that limited
\ itamin, mineral, and caloric value is not etiological of these
diseases. They have their avitaminoses, their hypocalcemia
even to the extent of osteomalacia, but not arteriosclerosis
and multiple sclerosis as do their better-fed friends in Con-
tinental Europe, England and America. When their food
is biologically assayed, who are better off-the Orientals
or the Occidentals?
Are the agricultural practices of the Orient and those of
Germany, for instance, the reason that multiple sclerosis is
unseen in the Orient and so common in Germany? Natural
manures have been used in the Orient for centuries, while
chemical fertilizers have been championed by the German
school of agriculture since 1840. Is this type of soil fertility
a factor in giving a food to the population, which, in turn.
tends to give them an immunity to arteriosclerosis, throm-
bophlebitis, multiple sclerosis, Gaucher's disease, renal cal-
culi and gallstones-an immunity which the Chinese seem
to have. Does the Oriental agricultural practice give an x
value to food that makes its biological assay high in spite of
the Chinese diet being low in chemical assay?
Does it follow that people who have an adequate diet will
not have deficiency diseases, and, furthermore, may have
better natural immunity to disease? The question that pre-
sents itself is-what is an adequate diet? Until the present
the emphasis has been on the quantities of vitamins, miner-
als, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and not on the quality of
foods. We may be instructing our patients to ask the ques-
tions-how fresh is this food? From where did this food
come? What was the nature of the soil fertility that grew
this produce? Were natural manures or commercial ferti-
lizers used on the land? What was the fungus and bacteria


growth in the soil that grew this food? Was this vegetable
grown on a mycorrhizal or non-mycorrhizal soil? What was
the quality of the food fed this veal or that beef?
This question of food quality was brought to my atten-
tion by Colonel Henry W. Anderson, a lawyer by profession.
a scholar by nature, and an agronomist by avocation, when
he told me of his observations and presented me with a re-
cent book, An Agricultural Testament, by Sir Albert How-
ard, C.I.E., M.A.. formerly Director of the Institute of Plant
Industry, Indore, and Agricultural Advisor in Central India
and Rajputana. Sir Albert's discussion of the agricultural
practices of the Orient caused me to recall that multiple (or
disseminated) sclerosis is practically unknown in Japan and
China (Miura, Pfister) ; that there is some question whether
one sees genuine pernicious anemia with its severe neuro-
logical complications in Northern China: that, although
syphilis is as frequent as the common cold in Korea, tabes
was not once diagnosed by Wilson, who practiced there
thirty years; that there is a remarkable scarcity in China
of arteriosclerosis, Gaucher's disease, kidney stones, gall-
stones and perhaps even thrombophlebitis. (Snapper)
Is it not possible that Nature has presented us with a
great many more pertinent facts in the geographic distribu-
tion of disease and health? The reasons for the presence and
absence of certain diseases among the population of various
parts of the world present a complicated and involved ques-
tion. These natural experiments that are being made all over
the world, due to a multiplicity of local circumstances, cus-
toms and habits, or changes forced on a people by war or
poverty, make available a wealth of material for study and
What are some of the natural experiments that present
material which we may use as indices of health and disease
found here and there? And what are the agricultural prac-
tices of these respective locations, which may affect the
quality of their food?
Heard states: "Dental caries is rare in the town of Here-


ford and the County of Deaf Smith, Texas. ... After
twenty-eight years of interrogating my patients, together
with my experience and observation, I am of the opinion
that this phenomenon is due to our soil's richness in miner-
als and vitamins. The growing of plant foods has depleted
the soil in most areas of the world of essential mineral ele-
ments; and our system of fertilization has failed to restore
these elements in adequate quantities." He also comments:
"Both physically and mentally this area furnishes superior
zoological specimens."
McCarrison records an observation: "My own experience
provides an example of a race, unsurpassed in perfection of
physique and in freedom from disease in general.... I refer
to the people of the State of Hunza, situated in the extreme
northernmost point of India. Amongst these people the span
of life is extraordinarily long; and such service as I was
able to render them during some seven years spent in their
midst was confined chiefly to the treatment of accidental
lesions, the removal of senile cataracts, plastic operations
for granular eyelids, or the treatment of maladies wholly
unconnected with food supply. Appendicitis, so common in
Europe, was unknown. ... It becomes obvious that the en-
forced restriction to the unsophisticated foodstuffs of nature
is compatible with long life, continued vigor and perfect
McCarrison carried out in India some experiments on
rats. He mentions first the many different native races of
which the population, 350 million, is composed. After de-
scribing the experiments he concluded: "What I found in
this experiment was that when young growing rats of
healthy stock were fed on diets similar to those of people
whose physique was good, the physique and health of the
rats were good; when they were fed on diets similar to
those of people whose physique was bad, the physique and
health of the rats were bad; and when they were fed on diets
similar to those of people whose physique was middling, the
physique and health of the rats were middling."


I would like to mention two observations during World
War No. 1-first, Hindhede states: "In Denmark the people
received a sufficiency of potatoes, whole-rye bread (contain-
ing wheat bran and 24 per cent of barley-meal), barley
porridge, grains, milk, abundance of green vegetables and
some butter. In consequence of this enforced alteration in
the dietetic habits of the Danish people, the death rate
dropped as much as 34 per cent, being as low as 10.4 per cent
when the regimen had been in force for one year." Hindhede
concludes that "the principal cause of death lies in food and
drink." The second observation was by Demoor and Slosse,
who noted: "Despite the food restrictions imposed upon the
people of Belgium during the late war. the infant mortality
and infantile diarrhea have decreased greatly;" a circum-
stance, according to this article, which was "due to organized
propaganda encouraging mothers to nurse their infants and
to the establishment of national canteens which provided
prospective mothers, from the fifth month of pregnancy on-
ward, with eggs, milk, meat, and vegetables."

The Local Medical and Panel Committee of Cheshire.
England, representing 600 doctors, reviewed their 25-years
experiences, stating: "There has been a fall in fatalities and
this was all the more noticeable in view of the rise in sick-
ness. This illness results from a lifetime of wrong
nutrition." They point to the high incidence of bad
teeth among English children in the British Isles, but this
condition does not exist among their cousins on Tristan
da Cunha; also, rickets is still common in England, while in
Holland it is relatively rare; there butter, milk and cheese
are plentiful. They further point to nutritional anemia and
defective diet constipation." They go on to say: "It is far
from the purpose of this paper to advocate a particular
diet." They remark on the health and the diet of the Eskimos
and the Hunzans and the English on Tristan da Cunha and
say: "There is some principle or quality in these diets which
is absent from, or deficient in, the food of our people today
... to decry some factors common to all of these diets is


difficult, and an attempt to do so may be misleading since
our knowledge of what those factors are is still far from
complete; but this at least may be said-that the food is,
for the most part, fresh from its source, little altered by
preparation, and complete; and that, in the case of those
based on agriculture, the natural cycle:
Animal and) (Animal-)
Veqetable ) Soil Plant Food ( Man
Wast ) ( )
is complete: no chemicals or substitution stage intervenes."
This committee refers to the work of Sir Albert Howard,
stating: "He has shown that the ancient Chinese method of
returning to the soil, after treatment, the whole of animal
and vegetable refuse which is produced in the activities of
a community, results in the health and productivity of crops
and of the animals and men who feed thereon."
In this article it is indicated, not only how bad teeth,
rickets, anemia and constipation may be helped, but the
observations of the family doctors revealed that the nutri-
tion of expectant mothers was closely supervised in a
Cheshire village, the diet being raw milk, butter, Cheshire
cheese, oatmeal, eggs, broth, salad in abundance, green leaf
vegetables, liver and fish weekly, fruit in abundance, meat
and whole-meal bread made of two parts of locally grown
wheat and one part of raw wheat-germ, the bread being
baked within 36 hours after the milling of the flour. It was
noted that mothers were usually able to feed their infants.
The nursing mother's food continued as in pregnancy. The
children were described as splendid, with perfect sets of
teeth common; pulmonary diseases were almost unknown;
they slept well, and one of their most striking features was
their happy personality. The opinion was expressed: "The
human material was entirely unselected, the food was not
specially grown but that in spite of these imperfections, the
practical application of McCarrison's work should yield
recognizable results shows that in a single generation im-
provement of the race can be achieved."


Sir Albert Howard points out: "Soil fertility is the con-
dition which results from the operation of nature's round,
from the orderly revolution of the wheel of life, from the
adoption and faithful execution of the first principle of
agriculture-there must always be a perfect balance between
the processes of growth and the processes of decay. The
consequences of this condition are a living soil, abundant
crops of good quality, and livestock which possess the bloom
of health. The key to a fertile soil and a prosperous agricul-
ture is humus. Humus in the soil affects the plant directly
by means of a middle man-fungus-producing the mycorr-
hizal relationship. Nature has provided an interesting piece
of living machinery for joining up fertile soil with the

Does it follow that the agricultural practices of the Orient
account for the seeming absence of some of the degenera-
tive diseases that we are more prone to have in America and
Europe? Is the produce of our farmers using artificial ferti-
lizer lacking in quality because the chemicals are not suffi-
cient to give food quality? Is there a relationship between
food produced on a soil rich in fungus and the absence of
susceptibility to diseases of those who live on this food?

In agricultural literature the importance of these fungi
in promoting growth and aiding nutrition has been empha-
sized. Dubois (Rockefeller Foundation) cultured from the
soil his gramicidin-producing fungus. Would there be any-
where near as much need for gramicidin and penicillin if
our food were derived from a humus-rich soil prolific in its
fungus growth? Has the Occidental agricultural practice
of using commercial fertilizers been inadequate and des-
troyed the bacteria and fungus in the soil and, in turn, given
us an inferior produce that has reduced our natural im-
munity to infections?
This paper is presented as a preliminary discussion, and
the thoughts are merely suggestive. The scientific investiga-
tion of the sources of food supply in this country and the


after effect upon health and disease, especially, as we have
pointed out, degenerative diseases, has not gone far enough
to justify definite conclusions. The observations are cer-
tainly indicative of possible fact, and stimulate us in our
studies of this x quality factor in food. The studies and re-
sults of experiments already made by distinguished scien-
tists, some of which have been mentioned, strongly indicate
that efforts toward the prevention of diseases, especially of
deficiency diseases and diseases of a degenerative character,
and the consequent improvement of the health and happi-
ness of the human race, demand a more thorough study of
the sources of food supply, the methods of production, and
the soils from which foods are produced. Nutrition is not a
question of quantity only but of quality also.


Soil Fertility and Its

Health Implications

printed from American Journal of Orthodontics and Oral Surgery, St Louis.
VoL 31. No. 5. Orthodontics. Pages 279-286, May. 1945.

It is scarcely necessary to say that dentists have more
than a passing interest in soil fertility, since they know that
strong, healthy teeth contain a high concentration of cal-
cium and phosphorus-nutrient elements that head the list
of minerals drawn from the soil for sustenance of plant and
animal life. Of the total gross weight of the teeth as part of
the human skeleton, one-fourth is calcium and one-eight is
phosphorus. Of the tooth enamel, one-third is calcium and
one-sixth is phosphorus.
As cardinal requisites of a fertile soil, calcium and phos-
phorus in the form of limestone and superphosphate are the
two foremost fertilizers or soil treatments used by well-
informed farmers. Too frequently, however, these treat-
ments are regarded merely as a means of obtaining greater
tonnage or more bushels of crops per acre.
But when shortages in bulk of foods confront us, it is all
the more essential that we improve the quality of that bulk.
It is the soil on which, after all, the health qualities of foods
depend. When teeth are calling for much calcium and phos-
phorus, defective teeth are not far removed from crops that
are calling in vain on the soil that is deficient in these two
mineral constituents of man's skeleton and teeth.
Read before the M.d-Continent Dental Meeting, St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 2. 1944.
*Department of Soils, College of Agriculturo, University of Missouri.


The Dental Profession Has a Real Stake in Soil Fertility
In addition to calcium and phosphorus, there are about
ten more growth-promoting, body-building nutrients on the
list of fertility elements that soils must provide for vigorous,
healthy bodies and sound teeth. Shortages in any one of these
elements needed in body construction, or in catalytic service
in body or plant growth, will reappear in the human family
as health deficiencies. We cannot therefore afford to tolerate
shortages in the soil's store of these truly "grow" foods.
Besides these dozen so-called "grow" foods, or elements
coming from the soil, every growing body and every grow-
ing plant must have what can conveniently be called energy
providers or "go" foods. The elements constructing such
compounds are, in the main, carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen.
They come from the air and water. Nitrogen also comes
from that source, so that as much as 95 per cent of plant
mass or animal body weight is combustible. It serves in pro-
vision of energy and in giving bulk and weight.
Photosynthesis and Biosynthesis
Because the recognition of mass is a simple mental im-
pression, the concept of bulk is always easily and quickly
caught. So commonly are crops measured by weight that
we are just now coming to realize that the "growth" quality,
or the nutritional value of herbages is not the same as the
tonnage value. A bushel of corn is always 56 pounds, but
one bushel may be nourishment while the other is not, as
judged by livestock growth. Plants attain mass of growth
through the service of sunshine as it makes carbohydrates
through use of the sun's energy in the chlorophylous leaves.
This process of chemical synthesis of carbon, hydrogen, and
oxygen into carbonaceous products gives tonnage, but sure-
ly this photosynthetic behavior does not guarantee animal
or human nourishment when it results in trunks of trees
consisting only of just so much woodiness. Sunshine, fresh
air, and water-processed through the suprasoil activities
by plants-may be responsible for 95 per cent of plant bulk,
yet contribute nothing to nourishment of higher life forms.


Nutritive values of herbages result from the synthesis of
compounds within the growing plants, as for example, those
that give rise to the seed and will feed our animals. These
values are dependent on the calcium, phosphorus, mag-
nesium, etc., that come from the soil. Animal life finds plenty
of bulk for consumption. Recall hastily, if you will, the many
plants which animals refuse to eat, or the many we call
weeds. Nutritional deficiencies result from the failure of
that vegetative bulk to have within itself the products of
synthetic activities by the plant quite aside from products
directly from photosynthesis. We need to appreciate what
may well be called the "biosynthesis" or the synthesis by the
life of the plant that depends not on air and water, but un
the delivery by the soil of its complete list of soil fertility
elements to be constructed by the plant into what is truly
food substance.
In considering plants as phenomena of growth, we may
well think of them first as a photosynthetic performance.
This builds the woody frame of the plant, uses only limited
amounts of soil fertility, mainly potassium, as catalytic
agents, to set up the factory and provide its fuel supply. In
the second place, plants are a biosynthetic performance, into
which the soil fertility enters more directly to have its phos-
phorus, sulfur, nitrogen, etc., synthesized into proteins, vita-
mins, and other compounds truly valuable for body con-
struction rather than for fuel only. It is the soil fertility
much more than the sunshine and fresh air that determines
how well the plant really gives us nourishment. It is this
biosynthesis and not the photosynthesis whereby soil fer-
tility takes on its significant implication in your health, in
my health, in your teeth and in my teeth.
Virgin Plant Growth Concentrated the Soil Fertility in the
Surface Soils for Help to Man
That the entire land surface of the earth cannot be gen-
erous in its provisioning of human and animal life becomes
almost axiomatic when it is known that the soil must de-
liver about a dozen chemical elements. Soils constructed


under good physical conditions, and stocked with such a
large number of nutrient elements, must of necessity be the
exception rather than the rule. Plant life in virgin condition
has been sending its roots down and searching through
large volumes of soil to collect and assemble in the surface
layer as organic matter or humus, these many elements
needed. Hundreds of years of virgin condition have kept
within the plant life, as a cycle of growth, death, decay, and
re-use, these nutrient mineral elements from the soil. It is
this feature that makes surface soil so valuable while sub-
soil is so unproductive.

Soil Construction and Soil Destruction
Naturally, soils vary widely as to their fertility since soils
are temporary rest stops of rock en route to the sea and to
solution. In lower rainfall areas the soil is finely ground
rock. It is mainly mineral, with little clay and little water
for plant growth. The plants grown there are mineral-rich,
however. More rainfall gives more clay, more plant growth,
more organic matter to decay. It also leaves a rock reserve
to supply the clay as it gives up its nutrients to the plants.
In central United States with its prairie areas, we have
soils now in the stage of maximum of construction of clay
that is in balance, or equilibrium, with a generous reserve
of rich minerals to maintain productivity. With no more
than 30 inches of rainfall along approximately the 97th
meridian of the United States, we have the Midlands, where
the animals raise themselves and human health is good as
indicated by the fact that seven out of ten draftees pass in-
spection in Colorado while only three out of ten do so in a
southern state.
With higher annual rainfalls and higher temperatures,
the rocks are so highly weathered and the clay is so changed
that it represents soil destruction. This is the prevailing
condition in eastern and southeastern states. In terms of
this degree of soil development we can see the basic prin-
ciples of nutritional troubles in the southern states, of limit-


ed populations in the tropics, of population concentrations
into limited areas of the temperate zones, of customs where-
by aborigines survive while the white man fails utterly, and
numerous seemingly uncanny situations where the influ-
ence of soil fertility upon the human species is not yet ap-
Crop Juggling Disregards Soil Fertility
An ecological survey with tabulations of plant species is
not needed to locate the forests in the northern regions, in
the tropics, and in eastern and southeastern United States,
nor to locate the prairies in central United States, and the
barrens in the West, excluding the western coast. Under-
lying this seeming agreement of greater vegetative pro-
duction in forests with higher rainfall, and vice versa, there
is the soil fertility. We have not been connecting the differ-
ent crops, their tonnage production per acre, and their
chemical composition in terms of nutritive value for ani-
mals with the soil fertility. That the scantily growing buf-
falo grass of western Kansas was more nutritious because
of more fertile soils than the lush bluestem of eastern
Kansas on the less fertile, more leached soils was recognized
by the buffalo. This brawny beast stayed on his scant graz-
ing because it meant growth, muscular and bony body, and
good reproduction. There was no natural obstruction to
prevent his coming eastward, had he desired to move to get
more bulk per acre.
More protein in the wheat as we move westward across
Kansas follows the same course, with the less leached soils
in central and western Kansas giving high protein in wheat.
But in place of recognizing soil fertility as the controlling
factor, we have been ascribing the difference to rainfall or
to plant pedigrees. Plant breeding has been credited with
wonders when we think of hybrid corn. But to date no
geneticist's creation has yet come forward that can tolerate
starvation or the lack of soil fertility.
Crops have been introduced, moved from place to place


and pushed to the very fringes of starvation, while we have
kept our attention fixed on the pedigree in place of the
plant's nutrition. During this crop juggling, the chemical
composition of the plant has shifted. Photosynthesis has
come into prominence while biosynthesis has almost dis-
appeared. The crop has retained its service in giving energy
values but lost much of its service as a growth food and
carrier of soil minerals elaborated into organic complexes
of nutritive value. We have gone from proteinaceousness
and high mineral contents in plants grown on soils under
construction through lower rainfall to carbonaceousness and
mineral deficiencies in plants grown on soils under destruc-
tion through higher rainfalls. Nutrition at the same time
has rescended from a level of bone-building, brawn-making,
and fecund reproduction to hydration, obesity, fattening
performances and other excesses of weights with weakened
bones and flabby muscles, to say nothing of carious teeth,
alveolar bone disintegration, and other oral troubles.

Declining Soil Fertility Brings the 'Sweet Tooth'
Declining soil fertility has been pushing out of the agri-
cultural program those crops drawing heavily on the soil
fertility, and naturally of high nutritive values. As such
crops failed to produce tonnage, we have sought other crops
maintaining the tonnage production per acre but failing to
provide the nutritive equivalents per acre and the nutritive
concentration or food value per pound. Carbonaceousness,
consequently, has come into prominence, while protein-
aceousness and high mineral contents have dwindled.
Declining soil fertility has been provoking the shift to
feeding our animals on fattening feeds, and our own shift
to soft wheats, and to starchy and saccharine elements in
our diet. Our "sweet tooth" in a dietary sense has become
a carious tooth in a dental sense as a result of the unobserved
and unappreciated exploitation of the soil fertility, and shift
in dominant plant composition.


Failing Skeletons Go With Failing Teeth
When the simplest expression of the chemical composi-
tion of bones and teeth puts these two together in the same
category with their ash containing 894.6 parts of calcium
phosphate per thousand parts, these two soil-borne elements,
calcium and phosphorus, are lifted into prominence. This
dare not, however, crowd out the 15.7 parts of magnesium
phosphate, the calcium fluoride, the chloride and the car-
bonate of calcium as 3.5, 2.3, and 101.8 parts, respectively,
and the 1.0 lone part of iron oxide. That this complexity in
chemical composition of the teeth is no mere accident is well
worth considering, and that it is a specific combination
which makes for sound teeth only by good metabolism to
maintain its specificity is also worthy of serious considera-
tion. Shifts in the fluorine content, that makes up less than
.013 per cent of the enamel of the teeth, are known for the
troubles they cause. Can we not then appreciate the inevi-
table incidence of tooth and skeletal troubles when the sup-
plies of calcium and phosphorus in the foods fluctuate wide-
ly in amounts and in chemical combinations ingested, while
we keep our eyes fixed on food bulk only?
Animal studies are pointing out the widely variable thick-
ness, size, strength, and other properties of bones of ani-
mals according as they are fed different hays, the same hays
from different soils, or the same hays from the same soil
given different soil treatments, such as limestone and phos-
phate. Hidden away as it is within the animal's body, the
skeletal structure may be undergoing drastic shortages in
calcium and phosphorus that are readily passed over with-
out concern. Surely the jaws carrying the teeth cannot
escape registering these same irregularities taking place in
the other skeletal parts.
To the Drugstore for Cure Rather Than to the Soil for
Even though the practice of salting domestic animals has
been with us for scarcely a century and a half, we have
taken readily to the belief that the deficiency in any essential


element in the diet can be met by its ingestion as a simple
chemical salt in its ionic and molecular forms. With sodium
and chlorine, both of which are monovalent and extremely
soluble, accepted in the common salt form by domestic ani-
mals and searched out in the "salt lick" by wild animals,
there may be serious error in concluding that deficiencies of
calcium phosphates in the diet may be met by ingesting the
salts of tricalcium phosphate or calcium and phosphorus in
one or the other acid phosphate forms. Calcium is a divalent
and phosphorus is a pentavalent ion. The two are closely
associated or combined chemically wherever phosphorus is
found in Nature. They serve such important roles in plant
life where sodium and chlorine are not considered essential
that it should seem fallacious even to postulate that calcium
and phosphorus as salts can serve as effectively in both
processes as when they are part of the compounds elaborated
by plant synthesis.
The eating habits of the animals themselves offer sug-
gestions. The eating of bones by cattle is not common. It
occurs only after the animal arrives at certain stages of
emaciation resulting from feeds deficient in phosphorus.
This is quite different from their behavior relative to sodium
chloride of which the consumption does not suggest itself
as an act of desperation.
The behavior of rachitic bones suggests that the advent
of calcium and phosphorus into the digestion via the plant
as it has taken them from the soil is more effective when
these come through this route whereby it is synthesized as
organo-complexes rather than simple mineral salts. When
a rachitic bone is cut longitudinally and immersed in ionic
calcium phosphate solutions, the calcium and phosphorus
are not readily deposited in the unmineralized bone parts.
However, when such a bone is placed in a solution of calcium
hexose monophosphate or calcium glycerophosphate, it ab-
sorbs the calcium and phosphates, to deposit them as min-
erals in the zone of the rachitic bone prepared for calcifica-
tion. Such behaviors suggest that the organo-calcium phos-


phate may be a much more efficient means of introducing
these bone-building ions into the skeleton and teeth than are
calcium and phosphorus ingested simply as ionic salts.
Yeasts, as fermenters of sugars, require phosphates in
order that this reaction giving off carbon dioxide may pro-
ceed. The phosphate acts seemingly as a catalyst. It enters
into combination in one step in the process, but is not a
part of the product. Thus, the phosphate is not serving in
construction of the body of the yeast cell, or as a part of it.
Rather it is serving in the chemical reaction that provides
the energy for the life of the yeast. Calcium phosphate, as
it serves in the energy reactions or metabolism of higher
life, is still not a known phase of its behaviors in nutrition.

Here is the suggestion that the calcium and phosphate ions
do not use the plant merely to hitchhike from the soil to the
stomach of the animals. Rather it suggests that while these
nutrient elements are helping in the biosynthetic perform-
ances within the plant, they are functioning in its metabolic
performances and putting themselves into some unique
organic combination through which they can move into the
construction of the bones and teeth so much more effectively.
Then, too, when calcium gluconate, another calcium or-
gano-complex injected into the blood stream, is an effective
cure for milk fever, it emphasizes the plausibility of the be-
lief that calcium and phosphorus in the blood stream in non-
dialyzable or colloidal form may be playing far more es-
sential roles than we have been inclined to appreciate while
focusing attention on them mainly in their ionic behaviors.
Much about the physiologic activities of these two nutrient
elements remains to be learned, but surely there are strong
suggestions that as they play these roles we can aid their
functions more from the soil forward by using them as
fertilizers in the plants and thus for prevention, than from
the drugstore backward and thereby as cures for nutritional
troubles by which havoc has already been wrecked in the


Other Aspects of Soil Fertility
Your attention has been focused specifically on but two
nutrient elements of the dozen (possibly more) essential
ones coming from the soil for human sustenance. If recogni-
tion of the deficiencies of these two in the soil has led us to
understand the irregularities in plant physiology of the food
crops we eat, and deficiencies in our teeth, our skeleton, and
our own body physiology as all these provoke bad health, we
need to prepare ourselves for more troubles arising as the
remaining nutrient elements are being drawn from the soil.
Potassium has long been registering its shortages for crops,
but fortunately is so bountifully supplied by food plants
that our bodies excrete rather than hoard it. Magnesium,
however, which is the next on the list, cannot be viewed with
so little concern. Shortages of this element in the soil are
already impending. Heavy limings with calcium limestone
only and soil conservation activities without attention to
magnesium may throw a panic into body physiology and
sound teeth. Elements no more plentiful than fluorine re-
quired in drinking water by quantities as low as one part
per million and coming in milk in from 5 to 25 parts per ten
million are only beginnings in our thinking about several
elements to which quantitative attention for health's sake
has not been directed. We are soon to face the health prob-
lem linked with all the dozen (possibly more) nutrient ele-
ments contributed by the soil as we have just begun to con-
nect rickets, teeth decay, and other troubles with calcium
and phosphorus. With such a large list to be compounded
into medicine by the drugstore, surely in desperation we
ought to turn away from medicinal concoctions for cure and
learn to put fertility into the soil so as to give help to Nature
to nourish us for disease prevention instead.
Public Health Calls for Conservation of Soil Fertility
The importance of the soil as the basis of our nutrition
has not yet been appreciated. For too many of us, food comes
only from the grocery and the meat market in paper bags,
fancy cartons, glass bottles, and tin cans. We are measuring


it only by weight or cost per plate. Milk is still sold by the
gallon and by its fuel value in terms of fat content, when
milk may be so deficient as to give rickets even to the calf
taking it, uninjured by aeration and pasteurization, direct-
ly from the mother cow. Milk, which is closely connected
with reproduction, is lowered in its quality even as the func-
tion of reproduction, itself, is impaired by nutritional de-
ficiencies resulting from neglect of the soil. Reproductive
cells, both as egg cells in the female or sperm cells in the
male, are a physiologic output by the body for reproduction
-just as milk is food for service to the young in the same
reproductive process. Egg cells and sperm cells defective
because of deficient soil fertility and malnutrition are just
as possible physiologically as is defective milk.

To the observant dentist, teeth and the mouth as a whole
reflect the nutritional plane of his patient and thereby re-
veal not only the irregularities in the quality of his food, but
should point much farther back to the plane of soil fertility
in the region where the patient's food was grown. With
that extension of the view of your mind's eye as you look
into the mouths of children, we trust you will catch some
suggestion that you in an office on the paved street have
some share in conservation of the soil that is owned and
managed by the man of the country who may seemingly be
miring in the mud. That mud is becoming more precious
for health's sake.

The following is from Dr. Wm. A. Albrecht, Chairman,
Department of Soils. College of Agriculture, University of
Man is going to be controlled in his behavior by the ex-
tent to which there is mobilized in the soil about a dozen
simple chemical elements commonly found in mineral and
rock combinations. Consequently, we want to see man in his
behavior in that ecological picture with all other life forms
wherein the fertility of the soil is at the controls. Those
who are in the limestone industry are dealing with one of

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