• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Credits
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Main
 The velvet bean
 Velvet bean culture
 Uses of the velvet bean
 Velvet bean as a soil renovato...
 Velvet bean as forage
 Time for cutting velvet bean...
 Velvet bean as a fertilizer
 The bean as food
 Velvet bean as a cover crop
 Velvet bean as an ornamental
 The illustration














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station ; no. 60
Title: Velvet bean
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00005171/00001
 Material Information
Title: Velvet bean
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: p. 445-468, 4 leaves of plates : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Miller, H. K
Publisher: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Lake City Fla
Publication Date: 1902
 Subjects
Subject: Velvet-bean   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by H.K. Miller.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station) ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00005171
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000921011
oclc - 18156009
notis - AEN1451

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 445
    Credits
        Page 446
    Table of Contents
        Page 447
    Introduction
        Page 448
    Main
        Page 449
    The velvet bean
        Page 450
        Fig. II
    Velvet bean culture
        Page 451
        Page 452
    Uses of the velvet bean
        Page 453
    Velvet bean as a soil renovator
        Page 453
        Page 454
        Fig. III
        Page 455
        Page 456
    Velvet bean as forage
        Page 457
        Page 458
        Fig. IV
        Page 459
        Page 460
        Page 461
    Time for cutting velvet bean hay
        Page 462
        Page 463
    Velvet bean as a fertilizer
        Page 464
    The bean as food
        Page 465
        Page 466
        Fig. V
    Velvet bean as a cover crop
        Page 467
    Velvet bean as an ornamental
        Page 467
    The illustration
        Page 468
Full Text






FLORIDA

AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION.



VELVET BEAN.


By H. K. MILLER.


The bulletins of this Station will be sent free to any address in Florida upon appli-
cation to the Director of the Experin ent Station, Lake City, Fla.


DELAND, FLA..
E. 0. PAINTER & COMPANY .
1902.


BULLETIN NO. 60.


JANUARY 1902.












BOARD OF TRUSTEES.


GEO. W. WILSON, President................ Jacksonville.
F. E. HARRIS, Vice-President. ................... Ocala.
J. D. CALLAWAY, Secretary .................. Lake City.
C. A. CARSON, Chairman Executive Committee, Kissimmee.
J. R. PARROTT. ............... ........... Jacksonville.
E. D. BEGGS .............................. Pensacola.
L. HARRISON ............. ................ Lake City.



STATION STAFF.


T. H. TALIAFERRO, C. E., Ph.D ............... Director.
H. E. STOCKBRIDGE, Ph.D ................ Agriculturist.
H. K. MILLER, M. S......................... Chemist.
H. A. GOSSARD, `M. S ..................... Entomologist.
H. HAROLD HuME,B.Agr.,M.S. Botanist and Horticulturist.
CHAS. F. DAWSON, M.D., D. V. S ............ Veterinarian.
A. W. BLAIR, M.A ................... Assistant Chemist.
W. P. JERNIGAN ................ Auditor and Bookkeeper.
MINNIE HELVENSTON ........ Stenographer and Librarian.
LUCIA MCCULLOCH ..... Asst. Biologist and Asst. Librarian.
JOHN F. MITCHELL ............. Foreman of Station Farm.
JOHN H.JEFFERIES.. Gardener in Horticultural Department.
















CONTENTS.

Page.
Introduction .................... ............... 448
The Velvet Bean ................................ 450
Velvet Bean Culture ............................. 451
Uses of the Velvet Bean ........................... 453
Velvet Bean as a Soil Renovator ................... 453
Velvet Bean as Forage ........................... 457
Time for Harvesting Velvet Bean ....... ........... 462
Velvet Bean as a Fertilizer ........................ 464
The Bean as Food ............................... 465
Velvet Bean as a Cover Crop ...................... 467
Velvet Bean as an Ornamental .... ................ 467
The Illustrations .......................... .. 468







BULLETIN NO. 60.


INTRODUCTION.



It is well known that a very large portion of the money
received by the farmers of Florida, from the sale of their
staple crops, is sent out to the states north and west of us
for hay, cattle foods, meat products, and nitrogenous fertili-
zers. The market prices of the staple crops produced in Flor-
ida for a number of years past have been so low that those
engaged in producing them have been forced to exercise rig-
id economy along certain lines in order to keep their ex-
penses within their income:. As a result many, and I may say
the majority, of those producing cotton, corn, and tobacco
are relatively in a much poorer financial condition than the
farmers of the west, who give their time to growing wheat,
corn and hay. This condition has, to a large extent, been
brought about through the practice acquired by our farm-
ers of spending their cash for those products above mention-
ed. This has contributed to the prosperity of the western
farmers as well as to the poverty of the Florida farmers, for
the things purchased can, for the most part,be more econom-
ically produced in this state than .elsewhere, to say noth-
ing of the additional cost of transportation, which alone is an
enormous tax on our resources as well as those of the entire
south. It has been conclusively demonstrated that foods for
cattle can be more abundantly produced in Florida in greater
variety and at less expense than in the states from which we
have been purchasing these supplies for a quarter of a cen-
tury. This being true it stands to reason that meat, from both
swine and cattle, may be produced at home with less labor
and smaller outlay than in the west where the severe winter
weather must be provided against.







VELVET BEAN.


The farmers of this state are in a position to be the most
independent of any in our country. The excellent condition
of a few of our farmers attests the correctness of this state-
ment so that it is not mere theory but a demonstrated fact.
Another burden which has weighed heavily upon our farm-
ers has been the injudicious expenditure of their money for
commercial fertilizers. The most expensive constituent of
these fertilizers is nitrogen, and the necessity of those en-
gaged in general farming for purchasing this costly element
does not exist. This nitrogen costs from twelve to eighteen
cents a pound while potash and phosphoric acid cost only
about five cents a pound. For every pound of nitrogen elim-
inated from a fertilizer three pounds of potash or phosphoric
acid may be substituted without altering the cost. Every
farmer in Florida has it in his power to make this substitution
and to produce all the nitrogen at home which his farm re-
quires at little or no expense. This may be accomplished by
growing some of the leguminous crops such as melilotus,
clover, winter and hairy vetches, alfalfa, beggar-weed, cow-
peas, and velvet beans. Those best adapted to our needs are
cow-peas, hairy vetch, beggar-weed and velvet beans. It is re-
assuring to notice that many of our farmers are becoming in-
terested in the merits of these plants and are beginning to
take advantage of them for restoring the fertility of their
farms.
If our farmers are to better their condition they must
combine brains with their labor and take advantage of every-
thing which nature furnishes so that they may diminish the
outgo and increase the income. A great many letters are, re-
ceived at the Station asking for information regarding the
velvet bean, and since this plant is one of the many which will
help the Florida farmer to become more prosperous, it has
been through well to make it the subject of this bulletin.







BULLETIN NO. 60.


THE VELVET BEAN.

While this plant has been known in the State for 'more
than twenty-five years it received little attention prior to
1895. Until this time it had been used in Florida to a lim-
ited -extent as an ornamental vine. The attention of this Sta-
tion was directed to the plant in 1895 by Mr. W. P. New-
heart, of Ocoee, who stated that it had been used in his
neighborhood about twenty years as a covering for trellises
and unsightly places. He was so impressed by the enormous
growth the plant made that he decided to try it in his orange
grove as a soil renovator and was very much pleased with the
results. (Bulletin 35, page 343 Florida Experiment Station.)
A short article was written on the plant, after growing
one crop at the Station, by Dr. O. Clute and published in
Bulletin No. 35.
Since its introduction at the Station in 1896 it has been
planted each succeeding year and a number of field and lab-
oratory experiments have been conducted in connection with
it. In the meantime, knowledge of it has become quite general
in Florida and at present many farmers in the state make
use of it.
The following description of the plant has been furnish-
ed me by Mr. H. Harold Hume, of the Station Staff.
Mucuna utilis (Wallich) Velvet Bean.-A twining vine
frequently upwards of 75 feet in length, stem branching.
smooth and rather slender. Leaves trifoliate, leaflets rombic-
ovate or broadly ovate, acute at the apex, rounded at the
base, 4 inches long, 2 I-2 inches wide. Lateral ones inequilat-
eral, pedicle 4 inches in length, stipules and stiples inconspic-
uous; inflorescence axillary racemose, drooping, frequently a
foot or more in length; flowers in groups of three at a point,
groups arranged spirally, three to thirty flowers in the ra-
ceme; pedicles short, calyx greenish, changing to gray in

































FIG. II.


A I


I 1


ri







VELVET BEAN.


fruit, corolla deep purple, standard short and blunt, wings
about twice as long as the standard, narrow and blunt, keel
whitish purple, closely surrounding the stamens; Legumes 3
inches long, 5-16 inch thick, 5-8 inch wide, falcate, roundish
and constricted slightly between the seeds, blunt covered
with a dark velvety pubescence, whence the common name;
seeds 9-16 to, 5-8 of an inch in length, 5-16 inch thick, 7-16
inch wide, rather oblong in outline, marked and spotted with
brown and dirty white, hilum about 1-4 inch in length, ele-
vated and distinctly marked. The plant is a native of India,
introduced into America by the United States Department
of Agriculture about twenty-five or thirty years ago.
Nodules 1-8 to I 1-4 inches in diameter, brownish black,
tuberculat-e broad, flat, about 1-8 to 1-4 inch in thickness, in-
terior greenish or pinkish green.

VELVET BEAN CULTURE.
The velvet bean requires a long season in order to ma-
ture the seed; therefore, its cultivation will be confined to
sections where the growing period is fully eight months. It
will do well and mature the seed in Florida and the southern
part of the Gulf States. The plant grows well as far north as
Tennessee, but beyond southern Georgia it is necessary to
purchas-e seed each year for planting.
In Florida the planting should be done in March or
April. The quantity of seed to be used for planting an acre
may be varied from one to two bushels. The planting may be
broadcast yet it is better to plant in rows about four feet
apart leaving a space of from one to two feet in the row. This
admits of cultivation until the plants are well established and
aids in freeing the land from objectionable weeds and grass.
and so the resulting forage will be much better than other-
wise. After the velvet bean obtains possession, of the soil
it shades the ground so completely that other plants are.






BULLETIN NO. 60.


crowded out. If the soil is very thin it is well to supply some
potash and phosphoric acid; the quantity to be added de-
pends upon the condition of the land and the crop which is
to follow the velvet bean. Ohe hundred pounds of sulphate
of potash and two hundred pounds of acid phosphate should
prove ample in most cases.
Since the bean is a leguminous plant it is not necessary
to add any fertilizer containing nitrogen, but unless the land
has been previously planted with velvet bean the following
procedure should be carried out, where possible, in order that
a good crop may be obtained the first year. Secure a quantity
of soil, equal to the amount of seed to be planted, from a field
which has recently produced a crop of velvet bean, and just
previous to planting moisten the seed and mix it with this
soil. In this way the field is supplied with the micro-organ-
isms which are necessary for the normal development of the
velvet bean. Harvesting the vine is attended with some dif-
ficulty on account of the great mass of matter and the tangle
caused by the extreme length of the vine. A mowing machine
with the blade directly in front of the machine between the
wheels has been used at the Station with satisfactory results
yet this may be further improved by placing a colter just in
front of the blade on each side of the machine.
In curing the hay the same process is followed as in pre-
paring hay from pea-vines. Let the vines wilt on the ground
about forty-eight hours, then place in small cocks and let it
cure for several days. The danger from heating is somewhat
less than in the case of pea-vines as the mass does not pack
down so closely though it is well to take precaution in the
matter and not make the piles too large while curing. Care
must also be exercised to avoid the leaves dropping off and
to accomplish this the vines must be placed in the cocks be-
fore the leaves become withered. After a little practice one
can determine when the vine is sufficiently wilted.







VELVET BEAN.


USES OF THE VELVET BEAN.

We will briefly mention the uses to which this plant may
be put and afterwards consider these more in detail.
The first and most important use to which the velvet
bean may be applied is perhaps that qf soil renovation. In
Florida much of our land is abundantly supplied with humus
or organic matter, and nitrogen, though it is equally true
that the greater portion of the Florida soils is very deficient
in these important substances. The velvet bean can accom-
plish for these poor soils-of Florida what the cow-pea can do
for all th.e southern states. For us, however, the velvet bean
has greater advantages and is to be preferred. Under the, head
of culture it has already been indicated that the plant is an
excellent one from which forage may be obtained. It may be
used as green pasturage; harvested and converted into hay,
or cattle and hogs may be turned in after maturity and the
crop thus converted into meat at low cost. It has been used
by some as a cover crop and'as such proved satisfactory. The
pods after grinding furnish a food rich in protein that is
relished by poultry, cattle and hogs. This food is now on the
market in some parts of the state. For many years it has been
used as an ornamental and as such is still in high favor.

VELVET BEAN AS A SOIL RENOVATOR.

The velvet bean derives its nitrogen from the air. This
power is not common to all plants but is confined to the,
plants known as the legumes, and is made possible through
the agency of micro-organisms which live on the, roots of
these plants and by some obscure process convert the nitro-
gen of the air into a form available to the plant in which it is
stored up. Nodules varying in size are produced on the roots
of these plants bythese bacteria. The cuts, II andIVare typ-


453







VELVET BEAN.


USES OF THE VELVET BEAN.

We will briefly mention the uses to which this plant may
be put and afterwards consider these more in detail.
The first and most important use to which the velvet
bean may be applied is perhaps that qf soil renovation. In
Florida much of our land is abundantly supplied with humus
or organic matter, and nitrogen, though it is equally true
that the greater portion of the Florida soils is very deficient
in these important substances. The velvet bean can accom-
plish for these poor soils-of Florida what the cow-pea can do
for all th.e southern states. For us, however, the velvet bean
has greater advantages and is to be preferred. Under the, head
of culture it has already been indicated that the plant is an
excellent one from which forage may be obtained. It may be
used as green pasturage; harvested and converted into hay,
or cattle and hogs may be turned in after maturity and the
crop thus converted into meat at low cost. It has been used
by some as a cover crop and'as such proved satisfactory. The
pods after grinding furnish a food rich in protein that is
relished by poultry, cattle and hogs. This food is now on the
market in some parts of the state. For many years it has been
used as an ornamental and as such is still in high favor.

VELVET BEAN AS A SOIL RENOVATOR.

The velvet bean derives its nitrogen from the air. This
power is not common to all plants but is confined to the,
plants known as the legumes, and is made possible through
the agency of micro-organisms which live on the, roots of
these plants and by some obscure process convert the nitro-
gen of the air into a form available to the plant in which it is
stored up. Nodules varying in size are produced on the roots
of these plants bythese bacteria. The cuts, II andIVare typ-


453






BULLETIN NO. 60.


ical illustrations of these nodules. No. III is from a photo-
graph of a root of the velvet bean that was carefully removed
from the soil so as not to break off the nodules. No. IV is
from a photograph showing the actual size of some of these
nodules. These nodules are found on the same plant in vari-
ous stages of development from the size of a bird shot to
that of the one shown in the illustration.
The roots and stubble contain a considerable portion of
the nitrogen obtained from the air and as they are left in the
soil decomposition gradually takes place and the nitrogen
thus becomes converted into a form that is available to those
plants which do not have the power of obtaining supply
directly from the atmosphere. The whole of the nitrogen ob-
tained from the air by a crop of velvet beans is by no means
left in the roots but the greater portion of it is stored up in
the leaves, vine, and seed, though the soil gains much of this
from the leaves which are shed by the plant. If so desired the
entire plant may be left to decay on the surface and turned
under the following spring, but, it is not advisable to turn un-
der the green vine as it will cause the land to become sour
and this will have to be corrected by an application of lime.
It is not even profitable to let the plant die down on the sur-
face and subsequently turn it under, inasmuch as the hay
which may be made from the vine is much more valuable as
a food than the vine is worth as a fertilizer. Besides, if prop-
erly managed the fertilizing constituents of the hay may, to
a large extent, be saved in the form of manure. In order to
form an estimate of the quantity of nitrogen which may be
procured from the air through the use of the velvet bean, the
root from a vine was carefully removed from the soil, dried,
weighed and analyzed. The results were then calculated to
the basis of one acre. It was found that on one acre six hun-
dred and ninety pounds of dried root would be produced.
This root contained 1.41 per cent of nitrogen, so from the



















l.,, .


:11=i


SI


. ,zv


FIG. NI


F r


I


"WF ,---I







VELVET BEAN.


root alone 9.7 pounds of nitrogen would be added to an acre
of ground.
This could not be considered a fair index to the weight
of nitrogen added, in as much as, most of the nodules had al-
ready decomposed when the root was collected and the ni-
trogen from these is not included in the estimate. The quan-
tity of nitrogen was also estimated which was removed in the
hay from an acre.
Weight of green vine on an acre ...........21132 pounds.
W eight of dry hay ......................... ... 5953 pounds.
Percentage of nitrogen in hay ............... 2.21
W eight of nitrogen in hay ................. 131.5 pounds.
In this way it is shown that a crop of velvet beans on one
acre, after yielding three tons of hay, supplies 9.7 pounds of
nitrogen to the soil, a quantity which is usually sufficient for
the following crop. If on the other hand the hay is turned
under after drying, an acre of land would have its nitrogen
increased by 141.2 pounds. It would then be unnecessary to
add nitrogen to land so treated for several years. The entire
amount of nitrogen saved in this manner represents a cash
value of from fifteen to eighteen dollars. Similar investiga-
tions have been carried out by Dr. W. C. Stubbs and C. E..
Moores at the Louisiana Station; also by J. F. Duggar and
Dr. J. T. Anderson of the Alabama Station. The results ob-
tained in the three different states are given here in tabular
form, and while considerable variations exist this is to be
somewhat expected since the conditions must have been
very different. These results show very conclusively that the
velvet bean is a valuable plant for restoring nitrogen and hu-
mus to our impoverished soils.







BULLETIN NO. 60.


Weight of green material from an acre ...........
Weight of dried material from an acre ..........
Weight of dried roots from an acre..... ........
Weight of ritrogen in vines from an acre......
Weight of nitrogen in roots from an acre .....
Total nitrogen in crop from one acre...........

A most striking example


ALA. LA. FLA.

................. 19040 22919 21132
.. ............. 8240 7495 5953
...... 1258 191 690
....... ...... 201.3 170 131.5
.... ........ 12.6 2.9 9.7
...... .. 13.9 172 9 141.2

of how the soil may be reno-


vated through the use of the velvet bean is seen from the re-
sults of a field experiment made by J. F. Duggar at the Ala-
bama Station. Oats were planted on a plot following velvet
bean stubble, on a plot following velvet bean turned under,
and on a plot following crab grass hay. Only potash and phos-
horic acid were used as fertilizer. The cultivation and
fertilizing of the plot, being alike in each case. As a result the
plot on which the vines were turned under yielded oats at the
rate of twenty-eight bushels an acre, that on which the oats
followed the velvet bean stubble yielded at the rate of thirty-
eight bushels an acre, while the plot on which the oats follow-
ed the crab grass yielded only seven bushels per acre. (See
Bulletin No. 95 Alabama Experiment Station).
Two facts are brought out by this experiment: first,
it is better to utilize the velvet bean as hay than to turn it
under for fertilizer; second, by following velvet bean with
oats more than five times as much grain was produced with
the same outlay of labor and fertilizer. One objection to this
method of soil improvement is that it requires two years to
produce the desired crop, yet it will prove much more profit-
able to raise a crop of hay one year, which is worth far more
than the cost of making it, and then obtain a heavy yield of
grain one season than get small returns two years or else re-
sort to purchasing nitrogen. It will pay to give up a part of







VELVET BEAN.


the farm to velvet bean each year and by proper rotation
build up the soil to a high state of productiveness. It must
be remembered that the velvet bean supplies nitrogen only,
and if the land is deficient in the other plant foods these must
be supplied from artificial sources.

VELVET BEAN AS FORAGE.
Attention has been called to the fact that velvet bean
hay contains a large quantity of nitrogen for which it is val-
uable for restoring this element to the soil, though, as before
stated, it is not economical to turn the crop under for this
purpose. The percentage of nitrogen multiplied by 6. 25 gives
the percentage of crude protein in the hay. The feeding value
of the hay then is much greater than its fertilizing value, be-
sides a very large portion of the fertilizing elements may be
saved as manure, while the hay at the same time may be con-
verted into meat, milk, and butter. In this way two values are
utilized, while if the hay is turned under only the lesser value
is turned to profitable account.
In making use of the velvet bean as a food for animals
three methods may be followed: the vine may be fed green
or the field converted into a pasture; the vine may be con-
verted into hay and saved for winter feeding; the beans may
be gathered and prepared for use as a concentrated food. In
making use of velvet beans as food care should be exercised
not to start an animal on a full feed either of the green vine
or the bean meal, as the result may prove injurious and pos-
sibly fatal. The value of a food depends to a great extent on
its composition though it is not possible to arrive at this value
by an analysis alone. We must know not only the constitu-
ents in the food but must also know the digestive coefficients
of these constituents. Fobd is for the purpose of building up
waste tissues, that is, for the production of flesh, muscle,
blood, nerves, etc., and for supplying energy and heat.







BULLETIN NO. 60.


In a food there are two classes of compounds which are
important, the proteids, or albuminoids, which tend to pro-
duce flesh, muscle, blood, nerve, etc., and the carbohydrates,
which produce heat, fat and energy. Most foods also contain
fats which like the carbohydrates are heat producing sub-
stances though one pound of fat is equivalent to about two
and one-fourth pounds of carbohydrates. The carbohydrates
consist of the sugars, starch, fiber, etc., while the proteids
are nitrogenous compounds, the most expensive constituents
of a food. While it is possible for the carbohydrates to supply
only fat, energy, and heat, protein will supply both flesh and
energy, yet to convert protein into energy or fat is not eco-
nomical as these may be obtained at much lower cost from
the much less costly carbohydrates. For the best and most
economical results the quantity of digestible protein should
bear a certain ratio to the digestible fat or heat forming con-
stituents in a ration. This ratio varies within certain limits, de-
pending upon the kind of animal and the character of work
the animal is engaged in, though in general the ratio, should
be about one of protein to six of heat or fat producing constit-
uents. In order to find the digestive coefficients of the differ-
ent constituents of a food it is necessary to feed an animal
a weighed amount of the food in question (the composition
of which has been determined by analysis), to collect all the
.excrement from this, weigh it and determine its composition.
The difference between the amount of any constituent fed
and the amount excreted represents the amount digested by
the animal. The amount digested divided by the amount fed
gives the digestible coefficient of that constituent in the food
under consideration.
An -experiment of this nature was conducted by the
Chemical Department of the Station to ascertain the nutri-
tive ratio of green velvet bean vines. By nutritive ratio, we
mean the ratio of digestible flesh forming constituents to the
digestible fat forming substances.













'%I


FIG, IV.







VELVET BEAN.


Two healthy young steers were. selected for the experi-
ment. They were confined in stalls and were fed. on the green
vine seven days before the collections were begun, in order to
allow the excrement from other food to pass out of the ani-
mals. The -experiment was started October 29, 19oo and con-
tinued six days. The animals were fed three times daily, the
vines being weighed for each animal. A small sample of the
vine was selected each day, these were afterwards mixed and
analyzed. All the waste vine was collected after each feeding,
weighed and analyzed. In addition to this oil-cloth bags were
secured to the animals in such a manner as to collect all the
excrement, which was removed twice daily and weighed. All
the material thus obtained was kept separate for each animal
and prepared for analysis.
In the table below the results obtained from this experi-
ment are given in condensed form:
TABLE NO. I. DIGESTION OF GREEN VELVET BEAN VINES;
SHOWING THE WEIGHT IN OUNCES OF THE MATERIAL AND
CONSTITUENTS FED, WASTED, AND EXCRETED, TOGETHER WITH
THE PERCENTAGE OF EACH DIGESTED, AND THE NUTRITIVE
RATIO.
STEER NO. I



7'


Ounces fed.............. ....... ... .............. .. 3568 935.5 138.8 22.1 302.2 58.5 413.9
Ounces wasted .... ................ .......... 548 177.4 18.0 3 4 71.9 9.6 74.5
Ounces consumed. .: .. ... .. ........... ..... 3020 758.1 120.8 18.7 230.3 48.9 339.4
Ounces excreted ......... .. ..................... 1152 250.9 31.6 4.2 96.1 52.5 66.5
Ounces digested......... ...... .... ......... ...... 507.2 89.2 14.5 134.2 -3.6 272 9
Percentage digested ................................. 66.9 73.8 77.5 58 2 ... .- 80.4
Nutritive ratio ....... .................... 1: 5.3







BULLETIN NO. 60.


STEER NO. 2.


S 5


Ounces fed ..:.......... ........ ........ ........... 3232 847.4 125,7
Ounces wasted................... ....... 416 134.0 13.7
Ounces consumed...... ......... ...... ....... 2716 713.4 112.0
Ounces excreted......... ......................... ... 1208 201.6 30.5
Ounces digested........ .... .................... 511.8 81.5
Percentage digested .......................... ...... 71.6 72.8
Nutritive ratio............................ 1 :5.7


20.0 273.7 530 375.0
2.5 54.3 7.3 56.2
17.5 219.4 45.7 318.8
2 6 85.7 32.8 50.0
149 133.7 12.9 268.8
85.1 60.9 28.2 84.3


The results obtained with the two animals are fairly con-
cordant, the nutritive ratio in one case being I :5.3, while in
the other case I :5.7. If we accept the average of these results
for the nutritive ratio of green velvet bean, the ratio will be
that which is considered best for a horse at hard work or for
fattening a steer during the middle period.
The ash constituents which are digested form the bone
and mineral matter of the animal body, but this is not includ-
ed in the calculations when finding the nutritive ratio. It will
be noticed that with steer no. I more ash seems to have
been excreted than consumed, this, however, is the, result of
being unable to get the sand, which was in the sample, uni-
formly distributed, so the ash content is too low as represent-
ed in the analysis of the food. For the sake of comparison it
may be stated that the nutritive ratio of green cowpea vine
is 1 :5. .
Another experiment similar to the one just described was
begun January 7, 1901, in which velvet bean hay was used.
The hay was gathered in October and was of inferior quality
as it as collected too late in the season. This was the only








VELVET BEAN.


material available at the time of starting the experiment,
though it was not known until after the experiment was com-
pleted that the hay was so inferior as the analysis showed it
to be. In this experiment the period continued only five days
as one of the animals began to develop abnormal symptoms
on the fifth day. Below are given the results:

TABLE NO. 2. DIGESTION OF VELVET BEAN HAY; SHOW-
ING THE WEIGHT IN OUNCES OF THE MATERIAL AND CONSTI-
TUENTS FED, WASTED, CONSUMED AND EXCRETED, TOGETHER
WITH THE PERCENTAGE OF EACH DIGESTED, AND THE NUTRI-
TIVE RATIO.
STEER NO. I


Ounces fed... .................
Ounces wasted .
Ounces consumed.............. ....
Ounces excreted ... ..............
Ounces digested.. ... .. ................
Percentage digested ......................

Nutritive ratio...............


S1128 1046 89.9
........ 28) 251.2 14.3
848 794.8 75.6
840 246.2 28.0
.... 548.6 47.6
69.0 63.0

........ 1 : 12


Ounces fed.......... ........
Ounces wasted ...............
Ounces consumed ..........
Ounces excreted. ..........
Ounces digested.............
Percentage digested .........


STEER NO. 2.

........... .... ... 1148 1064.5 91.5 17.8
.............. .... 340 309.9 18.9 4.3
.. .............. 808 754.6 72.6 13.5
...... ..- ... 668 1551 18.4 2.4
.. .. ... ... ......... .. 599.5 542 11.1
...... .. .............. 79.4 74.6 82.2


N utritive ratio .......................... I 11.4


452 8 36.9
120.4 8.0
332.4 28.9
86.3 25.9
246.1 3.0
74.0 10.4


~







BULLETIN NO. 60.


The hay used in the above experiment had the following
composition:
W ater........ .... ...... ..7.27 per cent
Protein.... .. ............ 7.97 per cent
Fats.... ........ ........... .55 per cent
Fiber....... .... ..... .... 40.14 percent
Ash...... .... .... .... .... 3.28 per cent
Nitrogen free extract........39.79 per cent
It will at once be seen that this hay is much inferior in
composition to hay cut at the proper season by comparing
the above figures with those given later under laboratory
number 1113. It will be observed that the digestive, coeffici-
ents obtained with the two animals differ considerably, which
is not entirely unexpected since the condition of an animal
has much influence on its digestion. The experiment was clos-
ed one day earlier than intended on account of Steer No. I
developing abnormal symptoms. The results obtained with
Steer No. 2 perhaps more nearly represent the digestive co-
efficients of the hay. The nutritive ratio as found with Steer
No. I of the hay used is 1:12 while with Steer No. 2 it is
I:11.4. By using the digestive coefficients obtained in the
above experiment and applying them to a better hay such as
No. 1113 the analysis of which follows, the nutritive ratio be-
comes 1:6.2 according to figures from Steer No. I, and I :5.9
according to figures from Steer No. 2. We may safely act on
the assumption that the nutritive ratio of good velvet bean
hay is :6. We hope to repeat this experiment with a good
grade of hay some time in the near future. The nutritive ratio
of good cow pea hay is 1:4.7.

TIME FOR CUTTING VELVET BEAN HAY.
In order to form some idea as to the best time to harvest
velvet bean vines for hay eight samples were collected at dif-
ferent stages of growth, dried and analyzed.








VELVET BEAN.


Laboratory No. IIII, cut September 22, 1899, in bloom.
Laboratory No. I 112, cut September 29, 1899, pods
forming.
Laboratory No. 1113, cut October 9. 1899, pods well
formed.
Laboratory No. III114, cut October 13. 1899, pods swell-
ing.
Laboratory No. 1115, cut October 20, 1899, pods half
matured.
Laboratory No. 116, cut October 27, 1899, pods nearly
matured.
Laboratory 1117, cut November 3, 1899, pods matured.
Laboratory No. 118, cut November 10. 1899. vine and
pods very tough.
The analyses of these samples are here given and for the
sake of comparison the results are calculated to the water
free basis.

TABLE NO. 3 SHOWING THE PERCENTAGE COMPOSITION OF VEL-

VET BEAN HAY CUT AT DIFFERENT STAGES OF GROWTH.








1111 15.20 1.33 40.17 6.63 36.67 27.1
1112 14.34 .12 36.26 5.90 41.38 30.6
1113 14.79 1.25 4032 .21 36.43 5.
55






1114 15.62 1.82 32.21 6.16 44.19 '9.9
a a- -< -


1111 15.20 1.33 40.17 6.63 36.67 27.1
1112 14.34 2.12 36.26 5.90 41.38 30.6
1113 14.79 1.25 40-32 7.21 36.43 25.2
1114 15.62 1.82 32.21 6.16 44.19 9.9
1115 15.51 2.11 31.23 6.55 44.60 27.8
1116 13.24 2.31 31.72 6.38 46.35 30.2
1117 13.65 3.07 31-17 6.18 45.93 28.0
1118 14.22 3.42 28.41 6.89 47.06 31.6







BULLETIN NO. 60.


It would be manifestly unwise to attempt to draw def-
inite conclusions from only one set of analyses of this char-
acter, as inferences to be of value must be drawn from a large
number of results. The results given seem to bear out the idea
that during the last month of the plant's life no great amount
of additional material is produced but that the material in the
vine undergoes considerable change. Certain elements in the
vine are drawn upon and stored up in the seeds where it
becomes available to the young plants when the seeds germ-
inate.
These analyses show the progress of such a change to a
certain extent. It will be seen that the protein content re-
mains very nearly constant though it is well known that it is
largely transferred to the seeds. There is a gradual increase
in the fat content so that the quantity is about doubled dur-
ing the period. On the other hand, there is a gradual decrease
of the fiber as the plant approaches maturity and a constant
increase of the nitrogen free extract. The mineral matter or
ash suffers little change. It appears in this case that the fiber
is converted into what is termed nitrogen free extract which
is a term applied to a number of substances as starch, sug-
ars, gums, etc.
Upon taking the physical condition of the hay produced
into consideration with the above results the, vine
should not be cut later than at the condition represented
by No. 1113. In other words, the proper time for harvesting
is from the time the bloom appears until before the pod be-
gins to show the formation of the seeds within.

VELVET BEAN AS A FERTILIZER.

We are constantly receiving inquiries as to whether
ground velvet bean is good for use as a fertilizer. The reply
is that the food value of the ground bean is too great for one







VELVET BEAN.


to profitably use it for such a purpose. If one can make no use
of it as a food, it would be more economical to sell the ma-
terial as such and purchase fertilizer with the proceeds of the
sale. The following analyses were made which give a fair idea
of the fertilizing value of the ground bean and pod, and also
of the hulls alone.

LABORATORY NO. I081. ANALYSIS OF GROUND VELVET BEAN
AND POD.

Moisture.. .......... .... .... 12.28 per cent.
Nitrogen .... ........... ....... 2.74 per cent.
P6tash, K20.. ............ ..... 59 per cent.
Phosphoric acid, P205 ............ 0.69 per cent

LABORATORY NO. 1082. ANALYSIS OF VELVET BEAN HULLS.

Moisture.. .............. .... I 162 per cent.
Nitrogen ... .................. .0o8 per cent.
Potash, K20 ................... 2.16 percent.
Phosphoric acid P205 ........ .. .87 per cent.
From the above analysis we find that one ton of beans
in the pod contains 54.8 pounds of nitrogen, 31.8 pounds
of potash, and 13.8 pounds of phosphoric acid, which gives
it a fertilizing value of from ten to eleven dollars.
Instead of grinding the material it may be worked up
into a compost.

THE BEAN AS FOOD.

I have little personal knowledge as to how stock relish
the ground beans but have been informed by several parties
that in many cases stock seem reluctant to eat the material
at first, but upon becoming accustomed to it, eat it greedily.







BULLETIN NO. 60.


On account of the toughness of the bean it should be ground
before feeding. Some even cook the material previous to
feeding and claim that cattle prefer it thus prepared. In order
to reduce the cost of handling, some turn their stock and
swine into the field to feed upon the bean. Unfortunately the
only digestion experiment we have undertaken with the
ground bean proved a failure and was not completed, so it is
not possible to say what percentage of the, different constit-
uents in it is digestible. We hope later to determine its nu-
tritive ratio so that its exact feeding value may be known.
The following analyses are given which may prove of some
service and for the present the digestive coefficients may be
regarded about the same as those of the cowpea.

LABORATORY NO. IO8I. PROXIMATE ANALYSIS OF GROUND
VELVET BEAN AND POD.

W ater.. ...... .......... ..... 12.28 per cent.
Protein.. .......... ........... 17. 13 per cent.
Fats.. ........ ............ .. 4.61 per cent.
Fiber.... ...... .............. 14.25 per cent.
A sh.... ...... ........ ........ 4.01 per cent.
Nitrogen free extract ...... ..... 47.72 per cent.

LABORATORY NO. 1083. PROXIMATE ANALYSIS OF SHELLED
VELVET BEAN.

W after ...... ... ... ...... .... 11.46 per cent.
Protein.... ................... 22.69 per cent.
Fats.. .............. ......... 6.60 per cent.
Fiber.... ....... .............. 7.56 per cent.
A sh .. ...... .......... ........ 3.16 per cent.
Nitrogen free extract .......... .48 53 per cent.































































FIG. V.







VELVET BEAN.


VELVET BEAN AS A COVER CROP.

The plant in some respects makes an excellent cover
crop. The dense growth protects the ground from the sun
and crowds out objectionable grasses and weeds. It has prov-
ed a source of annoyance to some in their orchards on ac-
count of the tendency it has to climb and take possession of
the trees. However, this may be avoided by proper planting
and attention so as to prevent the vines reaching the trees.
An objection advanced by Professor Hume to using this
plant in orange orchards is that it acts as a harbor for one
of the Soldier Bug family which turns his attention to the
trees after the vine is dead.

VELVET BEAN AS AN ORNAMENTAL.

In this climate where it is essential to have our porches
protected from the sun the velvet bean, on account of its
great growth is very much in favor. This was its only use in
the state for nearly twenty years. Not only does it make a
dense shade but it is quite an attractive vine, the blossom as
shown in cut No. II is very pleasing and the pods too are at-
tractive, the common name of the plant being derived from
the appearance of the pod.
In closing I wish to express my thanks to Dr. H. E.
Stockbridge for placing at my disposal the animals and ma-
terial with which to make the digestion experiments. I wish
to acknowledge my appreciation of service rendered by H.
Harold Hume for taking photographs from which the cuts
were made and for the description of the plant. I am also in-
debted to A. W. Blair for the careful execution of the; greater
part of the analytical work in this bulletin.







VELVET BEAN.


VELVET BEAN AS A COVER CROP.

The plant in some respects makes an excellent cover
crop. The dense growth protects the ground from the sun
and crowds out objectionable grasses and weeds. It has prov-
ed a source of annoyance to some in their orchards on ac-
count of the tendency it has to climb and take possession of
the trees. However, this may be avoided by proper planting
and attention so as to prevent the vines reaching the trees.
An objection advanced by Professor Hume to using this
plant in orange orchards is that it acts as a harbor for one
of the Soldier Bug family which turns his attention to the
trees after the vine is dead.

VELVET BEAN AS AN ORNAMENTAL.

In this climate where it is essential to have our porches
protected from the sun the velvet bean, on account of its
great growth is very much in favor. This was its only use in
the state for nearly twenty years. Not only does it make a
dense shade but it is quite an attractive vine, the blossom as
shown in cut No. II is very pleasing and the pods too are at-
tractive, the common name of the plant being derived from
the appearance of the pod.
In closing I wish to express my thanks to Dr. H. E.
Stockbridge for placing at my disposal the animals and ma-
terial with which to make the digestion experiments. I wish
to acknowledge my appreciation of service rendered by H.
Harold Hume for taking photographs from which the cuts
were made and for the description of the plant. I am also in-
debted to A. W. Blair for the careful execution of the; greater
part of the analytical work in this bulletin.







BULLETIN NO. 60.


THE ILLUSTRATIONS.

The frontispiece is from a photograph of the velvet bean
seeds.
No. II represents the leaf, flower, and fruit in the pod.
No. III is from a photograph of the root illustrating the
nodules formed through the agency of the bacteria.
No. IV shows the actual size of some of the nodules.
No. V is from a photograph of a field of velvet beans.




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