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BULLETIN No. 16
j XP1RIM4ENI STATION|
STATE AqTuLUTTT RAL TTT Go T ,
SLake City, Florida.
Corn, Hay, Weevil, Rice, Cane, Texas Blue "
SGrass and Cotton
J JANUARY 1ST, 1892.
REV. JAS. P. DEPASS, DIRECTOR.
TIIE MORNING NEWS PRINT.
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JAS. P. DEPASS, Director.
J. K. FITZGERALD, B. S., Horticulturist.
P. HI. ROLLS, M. S., Entemologist and Botanist.
J. M. PICKELL, A. M. and P. H. D., Chemist.
J. J. EARLE, B. A., Ass't Chemist.
A. W. BITTING, B. S., Vetenarian.
The experiment this year was with the object in view of testing, on a
large scale (n old land, the value of manuring. The fertilizers used
were station compost No. 1 and No. 2. The station compost No. 1 was
selected, because in the small plots of one-fifth of an acre planted last
year, when different fertilizers were tried, the largest yield, according
to cost of f-rtilizers, was in its favor.
Compost No. 2 was made with the object in view of testing the effect
of iron on the soil, e-pecially on a piece of land where the natural flow
of water in heavy rains seemed to have washed away the top soil, and
also on land of equal strength where compost No. 1 was used. The re-
sults will be seen below, with other notes and observations.
I had also the object in view of testing the difference between drilled
and checked corn. But in this I am to some extent disappointed, since
the order as to distance the drilled corn should have in row was likely
misunderstood, as it was not executed as directed.
The year has been a singular one in this, that during the growing and
making period the station suffered from longer droughts and less rain
than in three years.
Each plot was prepared and cultivated the same way, with this dif-
ference only, that checked corn was cross-plowed.
Seventeen acres were prepared by breaking it up with a one-horse plow,
then laid off, fertilized and planted. The seed were covered with a
small bull-tongue. Planting began on the 24th of March.
From April 6th to 10th the plots were harrowed with a sharp-tooth
harrow just as the corn began to break the ground, across the rows,
leveling the ridges that had been made by covering seed.
The harrowing is quickly done, and has the effect of loosening up the
soil, breaking clods, tearing undecayed grass from the plant, killing
what grass seed may have begun to germinate, but does not injure the
corn. It is equivalent to a thorough working.
In both drill and hill the seed were dropped thick, in order to secure
a good stand. In this, however, I was disappointed, for, in consequence
of dry weather, every plot had to be replanted.
The crop was worked with Planet Junior cultivator, receiving its first
cultivation April 20.' Following the cultivator, replanting was done
with hoes. The second working began the 2d of May, twelve days after
the first. It was the intention to work the crop three times, and
every twelve days before laying it by. It had three, but the third
began the 19th of May, seventeen days after.
Plot first, on old land, both hillside and bottom, was drilled and fer-
tilized with station compost No. 1, one ton per acre. There was an
average of sixty-eight missing and barren stalks to the acre on this plot
and all the rest. The intention was to give the corn two feet distance
in the drill, as it was also in other plots so planted, but in thinning it
the average was over three feet.
The yield per acre on hillside was 221 bushels, and on bottom land 26
bushels. The stalk grew tall, and eared well, many having two fair
ears of corn.
The second plot was old land, with the exception of a small strip of
new bottom. Fertilized with compost No. 1, one ton per acre, and
checked 4x4 feet. Yield per acre on hillside, 21 1-9 bushels; on bottom,
Plot 3 was land on which last year one ton of compost No. 1 was used,
and on which the corn was a failure, not making eight bushels to the
acre, and the grain, as well as the ear, very inferior. Seed planted in
4x4 checks. To test the value of iron in fertilizer I used 1,700 pounds of
compost No. 2 to the acre. (See for formula bulletin 14.) The yield
was 21j bushels.
Plot 4 was same quality of land as plots 1 and 2. Seed planted in
drill, and thinned as in plot 1, and fertilized with 1,700 pounds of com-
post No. 2. Hillside yielded 28 bushels, and bottom 31 bushels and 3
Plot 5 was fresh bottom land, unfertilized, and planted April 1st. The
yield was 27. bushels per acre. The average yield of the old land, ac-
cording to season, is from 8 to 10 bushels per acre.
The cost of fertilizer No 1 is $4.66 per acre, and No. 2, $7.30.
(a) The first plot was planted last year in cotton, and the two years
previously in corn.
The second plot was planted last year in corn, and the year before in
Plots 3 and 4 were planted last year in corn, and the two years before
in Irish potatoes, corn and melons.
The corn crop on hillside of plots 2, 3 and 4, last year, were fertilized
with compost No. 1. The bottoms were planted in ensilage corn.
(b) It will be observed that there is but a little advantage in yield in
-drilled corn over check. It is possible, however, that the difference
would have been more noticeable had the drilled corn been thinned to
a closer stand.
(c) The improvement in the yield of the poor plot this year over
last in the use of compost No. 2, in which there was iron, is very marked.
(d) In plot 4, where compost No. 2 is used on drilled corn, the yield
over plot No. 1 is sufficiently striking as to attract attention, when it is
considered that the quality of the land is as nearly equal as can be deter-
mined by the eye and its general products in common crops.
For some years I have been under the impression that much of our
Florida soil, such as high, sandy pine lands, was lacking in iron. Ob-
serving the probable effect on plot 3, occasioned doubtless by the wash-
ing of rains, I determined to apply it. The results are encouraging I
also used it on soil contiguous, but uniformly as good as any old land
on the station, and it appears that some advantage resulted from its use.
(e) The pulling of fodder, as to its effect on the grain and the yield,
was tried again this year. On 21st of July, late for pulling fodder by
two weeks, one-tenth of an acre of bottom land, where the fodder was
drier, but thicker and heavier, was pulled. It weighed 691 pounds,
or 695 pounds per acre. On hillside, where fodder was greener but
thinner, the weight was only 464 pounds, or 465 pounds per acre.
The yield of corn on this plot was 2 bushels, 3 pecks and 41 quarts.
Alongside of it the same sized plot, with fodder not pulled, yielded 3
bushels, 31 quarts. The weight of corn on plot where fodder was pulled
was 165} pounds; on unpulled, 176} pounds; a difference of 11 pounds.
In Measurement there is a difference of 9 quarts. In an acre the dif-
ference in weight would be 110 pounds, and by measure 90 quarts in
favor of the plot on which the fodder was not pulled. On unpulled
land, corn per acre by measure was 31 bushels and 3 quarts. On plot
where fodder was pulled the yield per acre was 284 bushels and 5
quarts. Thus, by calculation, a difference in the weight of corn would
be very nearly 3 pounds per bushel. Now, when the weight of fodder
pulled as late as July 21st is considered in reference to its weight, the
cost of pulling and its value as forage, and the loss of corn both in
weight and bulk, it is a question whether it pays to pull it. On August
3d two other plots were pulled, but the fodder was worthless. The
yield, however, on bottom was 29 pounds, and on hill 261 pounds, but
the corn was not injured. Now, if this pulling had been done earlier
by two weeks, while there would have been a gain in weight of fod-
der, possibly but not certainly, there would have been a greater loss in
quality, bulk and weight of corn. Two years ago (see Bulletin 7) ten
acres of fodder was pulled, weighing 1,317 pounds, when the yield of
corn was from 13 to 321 bushels per acre. The land was more highly
fertilized than this year, and with costlier manures. The pulling was
at that period wh-n it-is said to be "ripe." (Note: I use the term "'pull-
ing" because it is the Florida term. In other sections it is both called
"stripping" and topping.")
(f) An evil attending fodder pulling is that, occurring at the time it
does, and even as late as I pulled this year, July 21st, it exposes the
ear to the sun, and causes the shuck to dry and loosen on the ear, thus
giving the weevil (the bane of raising corn in Florida) a better oppor-
tunity of depositing its eggs in the corn. But to this I will refer fur-
(g) The seed corn of this year was gathered from the stalks of last
year's crop, which had two or more ears on them. This was done for
the purpose of observing the effect it would have upon the crop in pro-
ducing more ears than one to the stalk, and thus, if possible, increasing
the yield per acre. The whole crop was planted with this seed, and,
with the exception of the replant, was made with them.
It was observed that this year there was a large increase in the num-
ber of stalks that bore two ears and more, some having as many as four.
One hundred ears from single-ear stalks measured one bushel. One
hundred ears were then measured from fifty stalks with two ears with-
out any selection as to the best. The result was 3 pecks. The bushel
weighed 56 pounds, and the three pecks 42 pounds. The experiment
was in favor of stalks which bore two ears.
THE MOWING OF HAY
On the station is a demonstration that ought to change any farmer
from the pulling of fodder to hay-making. Annually there is more
money wasted by neglecting hay than is made on the cultivated prod-
ucts of the field. It is not to be thought, however, that every farm will
produce hay, unless care is taken to protect it from destruction. Cot-
ton requires such close and late cultivation as to destroy it, to a very
large extent. The system of cultivating corn so largely practiced in
Florida, that is, in working it every twenty-one days, thus making the
last plowing in June, has the same effect, and is beyond doubt in-
jurious to hay, the last cultivation killing the grass. Pasturing stock in
fields in the fall is also damaging to it. Doubtless every farm in the
State, from the smallest to the greatest, has meadow or special spots
from which enough hay can be mowed to run it, but then, by care the
corn fields can be used for this purpose.
There are parts of the station that two years ago were utterly useless
for hay. The small red stem, or "poor man's" weed, covered the ground,
with here and there a bunch of crab and crow-foot grass. These were
allowed to seed, the land being cultivated last year in melons and
the year before in millet, which were off early. From indications,
next year there will be a fine crop of hay to harvest. This plot
is on the brow of a sandy hill, which tas a fall of at least seventy-five
feet to the lake in a quarter of a mile.
Hay-making would be largely assisted by taking out the stumps.
And stump-digging and burning in the fall, if it were followed as a
part of the business of the farm, would soon clear every one of
stumps in the State. Avoid using a STUMP PULLER, for it is cumber-
bersome, tedious and utterly useless in pine or sandy hammock lands.
It is necessary, in order to use a mower, that the stumps be taken out,
unless every stump is flagged and this is too expensive. But hay can
he cut with a grass blade where the stumps are too thick for the mower.
Two years ago when the station was full of stumps 12,500 pounds of
hay was mowed with grass blades from eight acres. This hay was cut
by inexperienced hands and an acre of grass was mowed and raked by
hand as easily as one of fodder was pulled and gathered. But mowing
with a two-horse mower in a stumpless field is charming work. On
smooth land from eight to twelve acres can be mowed a dLy, accord-
ing to the speed of team and experience of the driver. On uneven land
The planting of corn and mowing the hay after the corn is ripe and
gathered without cutting down the stalks was successfully demon-
strated this year.
The first effort was made by cutting down the stalks under the ground
with hoe and piling them and then using the mower. This was found
to be tedious and expensive. A trial was made to make the mower cut
the stalks down and mow at the same time, gathering the stalks in heaps
afterwards. This was found to be practicable and the question of mow-
ing hay in a corn field solved.
The plan followed and found the best was to mow in narrow strips
across the beds. In a field from an acre to ten wide a strip
across the field from one-fourth to one acre. wide, would give room for
easy turning. The longer the strips the less time is lost in turning.
This year there was more dirt thrown to corn than was intended and
the beds were quite high. The mower went over them very easily,
clogging occasionally but doing its work well and expeditiously. From
five to eight acres can be cut a day. One draw back to this is that the
work is hard on the knife. When it strikes the joint of a large stalk it
sometimes fails to cut it. The mower must then be stopped and relieved.
These hard stalks also gap the knife, but not to such an extent as to
render it useless One knife mowed the Station field this year and it is
ready for work another season. Every mower should have at least one
extra knife, if not.two for every season's work, although a knife may
last many seasons.
In connection with the mower must be a horse rake. This rakes the
hay very rapidly in piles ready for hauling from the field.
The damage sustained by hay being rained on is not as great as is
supposed, judging from the eagerness with which stock consume it even
after it has taken showers for three days, not continuously but often
enough to prevent its being housed. The color suffers for it is not so
bright and it is possible the value may be affected, which, I think, is
overestimated, but to what extent, if any, is not fully determined, but
will be in due time.
The native grasses which make our best hay are crab, crow foot, sand
spur grass and beggar weed.
Cow peas sowed in rows and on poor soil but fertilized will make fine
hay. They are cured on the Station by mowing one day and allowed
to remain until after the dew is off them the next. They are then
stored in barn where they can have air several days before being
packed away. By this simple and cheap method the leaves mostly ad-
here to the vine.
THE YIELD OF HAY.
On 13J acres was cut 19 tons of crab gra's. On 2 1-5 acres 1I tons beg-
gar weed. The weed was not thick. On 1l acres 2 tons cow peas. The
peas were sowed in Ju'y in rows three feet api t and fertilized with,
aqual parts of kainit, cotton-seed meal and acid phosphate, at the rate
of 500 pounds per acre. The same plot last summer sowed about the
same time and unfertilized did not make the seed planted. Had the
season been propitious doubtless the yield this year would have been
much larger. The pea planted was the little yellow Crowder, which is
not the best for hay.
From one acre of high-land planted in corn made 1,500 pounds of
crab grass hay.
The unusual drought of August, September and October, with a
severe frost in the early part of the latter month, cut off the second crop
on corn land.
By comparing yield of hay with fodder the farmer can readily see
that fodder-pulling is time and money lost. Again the hay is as valuable
as the corn crop; 6n upland and on bottoms is worth half as much
I am not prepared to state that I have solved the weevil pest. The
matter still remains in doubt, but my experience the past two years is
such that I deem it a duty to give it to the public and ask the co-opera-
tion of farmers with me on this line.
When 1 took charge of the Station, nearly three years ago, there
were several hundred bushels of corn in the crib badly affected with
the weevil. This was the 1st of February, 1889. Upon inquiry I
found the corn had been made after the usual custom of the country.
That is it was worked with sweeps, four furrows to the row, and worked
three times at intervals rf twenty-one days, having, however, for its
first working a furrow around the corn, the dirt being thrown off and
then thrown back. This system of cultivating usually leaves the last
plowing to the time when the corn is in the tassel. In laying by, to avoid
the injury sustained by plowing out the corn row by row, if the season is
dry, some farmers plow out every other row, and in a week or so after-
wards plow out the other. In 1889 I planted corn and gave it the same
number of workings usually given, observing the same intervals, using
instead of sweeps cultivators. I noticed the last plowing caused my
corn to fire, although the seasons were good and the crop highly fer-
tilized. All the fodder was taken from the stalk at the usual time,
about the 1st of July, as had been done the previous year. The corn
was housed in the same crib, and like the previous year, badly eaten
Last year, 1890, I determined to change the system of cultivation. I
therefore, after breaking up the field in January let it alone until the
14th of March, when I opened furrow, fertilized and covered it. The
24th I opened furrow and planted. When the plant was about two
inches high I ran a sharp-tooth harrow across rows and began to workit
with cultivator April 11th, working it also the 25th, and May 13th when I
laid it by. The fodder was not pulled. A part of this crop was gathered by
cutting corn and stalk together. stacking it in the field and then storing it
in a house several hundred yards from the barn in which corn had never
been housed. The remainder of the crop was gathered about the mid-
dle of August and stored in the same crib where it had suffered from
weevil before. Last year in the hill country of this county, Columbia,
corn was early and very badly injured by the weevil. The Station
corn, except a few ears that had fallen on the ground, was almost en-
tirely free from the pest. The corn which I had laid by for seed was
uninjured. The lot, however, which was cut, stacked in the field and
housed to itself was almost literally consumed by the weevil. After re-
peated personal examinations of the corn established its soundness, I
resolved to pursue the same system of cultivation this year and watch
results. This was done, with the exception that there was an interval
of seventeen days instead of twelve between the second and last plow-
ing. The result is that all my corn is free from weevil, except that
raised on new bottom land. This plot, while worked like the rest did
not suffer from drought like the hill corn, but grew steadily and
matured earlier. It was not as perfect as the hill corn, inasmuch as the
the cob grew longer than the shuck in some of it and the shuck did not
cover the cob of the remainder as perfectly. Doubtless the lateness
of the last plowing had some effect in producing these results. In my
opinion this condition let in the weevil, which lays its eggs in the corn
when it is in the milk, or as long as the grain is soft enough for it to be
pierced by the female in order to deposit its eggs. That the weevil finds
its way into corn at this period is an undisputed fact. That it propa-
gates itself afterwards and attacks hard corn is not conceded.
The time then to protect corn must be when it is in the field. But
how is this to be done?
I observed last year and this that the corn unaffected with weevil
was perfect in its development. That is the cob was uniformly filled
out to the end, whether small or large, with well matured grains and
that the shuck covered the entire ear, adhering closely to it and extend-
ing beyond firmly, closing around the end and thus protecting it. I
noticed further that the pulling of fodder had the effect of causing the
shuck to loosen on the ear and as this is usually done before the grain
was too hard for the weevil to pierce it for egg deposit, it suggested to
me that fodder pulling was possibly a fruitful cause in assisting the
weevil into getting into corn.
For the pulling of fodder exposes the ear to the sun and causes the
shuck to loosen on it, thus making it easier for the weevil to find its
way to the grain. Again fodder pulling, done at the tiine it usually is,.
before the stock and ear are matured does result in preventing the
shuck from adhering naturally to the ear and thus nature's protection
of the grain from its enemies is seriously interfered with. That the
shuck serves as such a protection and is for that purpose, scarcely any-
any one will doubt. If this be true, therefore, it becomes a matter of
the first importance to cultivate corn upon such methods as will pro-
duce the best results. And if corn is cultivated so as to produce the
heaviest grain and its natural and most perfect development, then it is
reasonable to suppose that this condition will protect it more thoroughly
against its enemies, if not entirely.
Whether there is anything in this theory remains to be seen. I am
sure of this, however, that the working of corn as late as the common
custom is must be an injury. For when the corn bunches to tassel"
is the time when nature makes every effort to reproduce itself. It is
then that the tops grow slowly or slower than they did until this stage
of development is reached, and the roots begin to spread in every di-
rection, in order to meet that period when the plant suddenly shoots
into tassel and begins to ear. To mutilate the roots at this time must
result in small, imperfect ears, commonly called "nubbins," with
more cob than grain, and grain improperly developed, and
cob unfilled with grain and covered with shuck. Uniformity
and normal or natural growth of cob, grain and shuck must be the
object of the farmer in order to obtain the best results. It would, ap-
pear, therefore, that if working corn and mutilating the roots, at a
period when such results follow, even if the corn is in the grass, should
be discontinued. And if working corn so late produces a condition
favoring the weevil it farther appears that the custom ought to be
abandoned. These are the only facts I adduce and here suggest them
in the hope that the thoughtful farmer may duly weigh them and
with me cooperate in testing them.
It may be observed that the corn brought here from the West in
sacks, in the month of January and stored in the same crib where the
weevil had eaten the corn badly, is not attacked by the weevil. Corn
has been kept in my private crib for months and was not injured, and
for two years on the Station I have I ept it for two months at a time
and have never known it attacked and eaten. Weevil may crawl in
and through it to some extent, but they do not injure it like the corn
which is grown and cultivated on the systems which are common to our
Experiments in ensilage began in 1889. Without any experience
with ensilage and silos and with only that information obtained from
reading various reports concerning them, which were conflicting, a
silo was planned and built of wood on top of the ground and upon the
slope of a hill.
No sills were used, the studding being sunk into the ground like
posts. Two walls were made, one on the inside and the other outside
of studding, and to make it air-tight the spaces between were filled and
packed with dry sand. This is cheaper than tarred paper and as good.
The silo was covered and a window cut in the gable end. Trenches
.were dug under the eves to turn off water during a rain. The floor of
silo was leveled and the dirt packed firmly.
The silo was filled with corn, cow-peas, beggar weed and crab grass,
uncut, in the order named. The corn was laid in regularly and packed,
and so were the other materials. The whole was covered a foot detpl
with Spanish moss, on which was a layer of plank, weighted with bar-
rels of sand. The ensilage rotted. Where moss is abundant and easily
gathered it is a good covering for silage. Besides the heat of the silo
prepares it for practical use.
Last year another was built above ground, half the size of the other,
but with tarred paper between the walls.
Both were filled with uncut corn, laying it carefully and packing it
firmly. The experiment was a failure. The corn did not rot, but it
was too large to pack closely and hence dried out. Having failed two
years without cutting corn to make ensilage, a cutter was tried and
this year both corn and sorghum were cut, and siloed and cured success-
fully. Not having material to fill both silos the one first built was
used. The following statement will give some idea of the cost of mak-
ing ensilage on the Station :
The cost of silo w as ................................................................$ 45 00
The cost of cutter, carrier and two horse power........................ 12 00
Three and one-half acres of corn planted one foot apart in row make
twenty tons ensilage or five five-seventh tons per acre.
The fertilizer to make this corn cost..................................... $ ?7 50
S eed ............................... ..... ......... ....................................... 1 75
To prepare land, fertilize it and cultivate it.............................. 13 00
Hire of six hands and five mules five days, to cut down corn,
haul it and cut it up ..................................... .................. 48 00
The corn on ensilage patch averaged 35 bushels to acre, at 60
cent ........................................................... ..................... 73 50
In addition to this add one-third cost of silo, for a silo built of
wood in this climate will not last longer than three seasons 15 00
Twenty tons ensilage, cost rerton.......................... ............... 9 431
I do not consider this year's experience a fair test, because the larger
part of the corn was planted too far from the silo, nearly a quarter of a
mile, and hence it required more time in hauling than if the field had
been nearer. Besides this the land was the poorest on the Station and
the crop was injured by the dry weather, which made it lighter than it
would have been under more favorable seasons. But while this is true
it is a question whether the silo isdestined to be a success in East and
South Florida unless very rich land, heavily fertilized, can be had on
which to grow the corn and produce a much larger yield per acre than
ordinary soil will under favorable seasons. In Middle Florida several
stock raisers speak of it in the highest terms and consider it indispensa-
able. One of these does not cut his corn in siloing it and the year I
visited his silo it was a success, but his corn was small and spindling,
the stalks having but little, if any, corn on them. But the cost of put-
ting up the corn without cutting it and afterwards preparing it for
-stock by cutting in proper lengths with ensilage knife, or broadaxe is
costlier than if cut up before packing it away.
The only advantages which ensilage possesses in our climate appears
1st. That forage can be put up during our rainy season with but little
loss. About twenty per cent was our loss this year.
2d. A large amount can he stored in a small space.
Cows, horses and hogs eat it with relish, but after feeding forty-five
pounds with a ration of two quarts of corn meal per day to cows for
three weeks the milk and butter production measurably decreased.
The silo will not be an advantage to the farmer unless he has from
-eight to twenty cows or more to feed, and even then it is doubtful. A
silo can be built about six or eight feet square and from sixteen to
twenty feet high and be fed fast enough to eight or ten head of cattle to
prevent it from spoiling. For unless the exposed surface is fed, about
three inches a day, in our climate, the ensilage will sour and mould
'and hence deteriorate in value as it will also in palativeness.
A silo built sixteen feet square and twenty feet high, for the higher it
is the greater the pressure, and hence the denser the ensilage and the
better its keeping properties, and divided into four compartments will
feed ten head of cattle by using one of the departments at a time, pos-
-sibly without spoiling, 520 days or twenty head 256 days. A silo could
,be built 8x16 feet by 20 feet high and divided in two parts and will feed
ten head of cattle 2.56 days, but one smaller than this would hardly be of
any practical advantage.
A silo built twenty feet high and divided into two or four parts
would cost from one-half to twice as much as one having only a single
chamber, while the cost of filling two or more chambers would be in-
-creased. This increase of cost would be occasioned by moving the
power and cutter, so that the carrier could be adjusted to the different
It does appear that unless a farmer combines a dairy with his farm-
ing or fattens beef for the market that a silo in this State, where winter
pastures of rye can be grown cheaper than ensilage can be made, is of
Moreover the relative value of ensilage and hay as a butter and
milk and fat-making feed is not determined as yet. In States where
-cattle raising and dairying are leading industries, the question as to
whether ensilage is a profitable cattle feed comparatively is being
thoroughly tested by every method known to science and thus far the
SThe Station silos were not built upon proper models, for the amount
of stock we have, as experience demonstrates since in feeding, there was
too large and long an exposure of the surface to air to keep the ensilage
from spoiling. Various experiments will be made the coming year.
In building a silo the following points should be considered:
1st. That corn makes the best ensilage. That its value depends
largely upon its hearing. That if planted less than a foot apart in drill
it will not ear well, but will be small and spindling. In this condition
it can be siloed without cutting, if laid evenly in silo and packed so as
to exclude the air; but cutting it in three-quarter inch lengths before
putting it up is the cheapest, best and surest way of preserving it.
2d. The number of cattle to be fed.
3d. That a cow eats from 33 to 40 pounds per day.
4th. That the best way to take ensilage from a silo is from the top,
unless packed uncut, when it must be cut to be taken out for feed at the
end. These methods retain the heat of the silo more evenly and pro-
tects against loss.
5th. That from two to three inches of the top or from the end should
be taken off daily to prevent souring and moulding.
6th. A silo eight feet square and twenty feet deep holds about twenty
tons of ensilage. It would require two or three inches a day taken from
the top to keep it from spoiling and that amount would feed ten cows.
7th. Wood is the best material to build with, rock or brick costing in
-our State more than double as much.
8th. No advantage is gained by building below the ground, except in
filling the silo. This is more than counter balanced by the labor of get-
ting the silage out.
9th. The loss from rotting in silo is estimated at 20 per cent. This
percentage varies according to the size of silo. A small silo has a larger
percentage of loss than a large one.
Four experiments were made this year in rice. The seed were sowed
April 1st. The stand was a poor one in consequence of dry weather
which replanting did not help much.
Plot 1 was on old land, sandy but level. And was fertilized with equal
parts of phosphate and cotton-seed meal at the rate of 1,000 pounds per
acre. The yield was 10 bushels per acre.
Plot 2, unfertilized, old land, the same as plot 1, with stand as good,
yielded 72 bushels.
Plot 3 high hammock, new and unfertilized and planted one year in
sweet potatoes. The yield was 211 bushels.
Plot 4 was bottom or meadowland, unfertilized, and planted last year
in sweet potatoes. Yield 55 bushels per acre.
The first working was done April 20th with bull-tongue, two furrows
*to the row. It was also plowed May 14th and 29th, and June 22d with
a 14-inch sweep.
The rows were 2 feet 6 inches apart and the rice dropped 18 inches in
The plots were hoed and replanted May 6th; hoed again May 30th,
And again June 26th. A partial hoeing was given it where stand was
The results clearly indicate in connection with the two previous
years experiments that old sandy land, even heavily fertilized, is not
profitable on which to grow rice.
The high and fresh hammock, it is fair to state, would have made a
finer yield had the season been more propitious. The bottom land
yielded well and if a good stand had been obtained, it is safe to say, one-
sixth better results would have been developed.
With the establishment of rice mills in Florida and the prices paid
for rough rice, viz: 80 cents per bushel, I would call attention of
farmers to a more general cultivation of this crop, where they have one
or more acres adapted to its growth.
The crop can be readily harvested with a mower, provided one row is
cut at a time. To use the old hand reaper is too tedious and expensive.
The scythe, next to the mower, is the best tool for reaping, but where the
rice is thick and large it is heavy work. The flat pine woods land of Florida
would doubtless make paying crops. The common custom of hanging
the rice on a pole in the field for a week or more before housing it, not
only wastes the grain, by hauling it after it is dry, but injures the straw,
which is a superior forage for horses and cows when properly handled.
While rice is easily heated if packed away too green, and the straw
damaged by mould, still if placed under shelter after it has had the sun
a few hours, it will cure rapidly, without damage, provided it is put
loosely in heap and turned over several times to give it air. The Station
crop was so treated this year and the saving in grain and time, with the
quality of the forage taken into consideration, warrants me in making
this suggestion to those who plant small crops.
This crop. on old and high land on the Station, heavily fertilized, is a
failure. For three seasons there has not been the least encouragement
in its cultivation. The past year, however, it was also tried on fresh
hammock, both high and low, which was the year before planted in
sweet potatoes. The yield in good syrup on high hammock was 2271
gallons, and on the low, 460 gallons per acre.
The plot was prepared by breaking up land with one-horse plow, and
laid offin five-feet rows. The cane was dropped single in the rows four
inches apart. Two tons of black cotton seed per acre was then distrib-
uted on top of cane and covered with two furrows. The stand was good
on low hammock, and poor on the high. In June 800 pounds per acre
of cotton seed meal and acid phosphate, equal parts, was broadcast be-
tween rows, and worked in with cultivator and the crop laid by.
The cotton seed were not killed when put in cane rows, and consid-
erable loss was sustained by their sprouting and coming up. Two hoe-
ings and three plowings made the crop. The advantage of the last fer-
tilizing was very marked in developing the crop. Had the season.
been more propitious there would doubtless have been less disparity be-
tween the yields of the low and highland crop, and each would have
been larger. Cane must have moisture and a lich soil. High, thin
lands, whether fresh or old, however rich they may be made, does not
appear to be adapted to cane, nor can it be grown on such soil profita-
bly, even for family use. The flat pine lands of the State, if properly
fertilized, will doubtless make paying crops, and arrangements are
made for future experiments on such land.
The crop was worked up this year with horse mill and evaporator;.
and hence the percentage of yield is not as large as when more improved
machinery is used.
On one-twentieth of an acre of low land there were 1,005 cane, which
weighed 1,386 pounds, which made 186 gallons of juice, each gallon
weighing 10 pounds. This made 23 gallons of syrup, weighing 12 pounds
per gallon, or one gallon of syrup to a little over 8 gallons of juice. On
high hammock on one-tenth of an acre 963 cane were cut, weighing
1,354 pounds. The juice and syrup weighed the same as the bottom
land. The yield of juice was 172 gallons, which made 224 gallons, or
one gallon of syrup to a small fraction over 7 ofjuice.
TEXAS BLUE GRASS.
The conduct of this grass for the past three seasons has been very en-
couraging. Its history on the station deserves the serious consideration
of every farmer in the State who desires a fall, winter and spring
pasture. I found on the station in January of 1889 a small plot of this
grass growing in lows about twenty inches apart. It was planted on
the top of a high hill, which turned out to be the best land on the Sta-
tion, being good, firm, moist black soil. Up to February it had been
weeded and protected from grass. It grew luxuriantly and to the
height of fifte-n inches, and seeded in April. From that time until
now it ha- never been worked. It was allowed to compete with native
grasses, broom sedge, fennel and'briars, for the supremacy, without any
assistance whatever, not even the cutting away of the grasses, weeds
and briars in the fall, to'give it a better chance. The result is, that
while it has not seeded since 1889, it has taken possession of the plot,
and is now, December 26, 1891, over twelve inches high. It has formed
a thick sward, and is a luxurious pasture of beautiful green grass, in
spite of dry weather. For the three past seasons by the fist of Novem-
ber it has been ready for pasture.
Last December I planted another plot with seed on a sandy hillside.
The land was thoroughly broken up and fertilized by broadcasting at
the rate of one-half ton per acre of cotton seed meal, acid phosphate and
kanit. The seed were six weeks coming up, and the grass grew slowly
and did not seed. The seed, drilled very thickly in six-inch drills,
germinated freely, but the plants only reached a height of .about six
inches through the season, remaining green, however, until the first of
June. This fall this plot did not put out as early as the first one, but
since the 1st of December it has furnished an excellent pasture, which
has been grazed daily for two weeks. Cattle, horses and chickens are
fond of it. Its color is deep green, and, if allowed to grow to the height
of six inches, after it had taken possession of the soil, it would make a
The best method to obtain a pasture of this grass is in favor of planting
the seed. While roots will grow and spread, still this is slow and tiresome
work, to say nothing of the cost and the danger of losing plants from
dry weather Twelve pounds of seed will sow an acre of ground, and,
while they will cost $2 per pound, still it is worth the expenditure in
view of the profits. Once started, the pasture is a fixture. If sowed
in low ground, rich, moist but well drained, it will furnish an enduring
pasture. It does not appear to be a troublesome grass to get rid of, if
such were desirable, for, if plowed up in the spring, my opinion is it
would be easily, destroyed. On rich soil the plant will seed annually,
and thus furnish the means to enlarge the area.
In late summer the first plot was divided into three parts. The first
was fertilized and broken up. The second was fertilized and not
broken up. The third was unfertilized and not plowed. There has been
no appreciable benefit thus far, December 26, from either breaking up
or fertilizing. This, doubtless, is the result of dry weather. That which
was broken up was injured. If, however, the cut-away harrow had
been used to break up the heavy turf, the likelihood is the result would
have been good.
On good, firm high lands a pasture of this grass can be grown with
profit. On meadow or low lands it will grow luxuriantly and rapidly,
furnishing a rich pasture when our summer grasses begin to fail in the
fall. To secure a good stand and to aid the grass to obtain the mastery
of the soil it will be necessary to keep down the weeds and native
grasses for at least the first year.
LONG OR BLACK SEED COTTON.
This experiment was conducted with different fertilizers to test the-
best and cheapest for old land which was high and dry, and to demon-
strate whether it would pay to fertilize and cultivate such soil in cotton.
The season was very unfavorable by reason of droughts in the spring
and early summer and a very small rainfall in July and August.
The stand was good and by replanting was made perfect. About the
middle of July it was badly attacked by rust, which caused the loss of
its top crop. It fruited well but the effect of dry weather on the de-
velopment of bolls was very marked, they being small and the lint of-
The experiment clearly demonstrated that in a dry year it does not
pay to fertilize long cotton. For in exceptionally dry years fertilizers
are not as available to growing crops as when there are good seasons to
prepare them for plant use.
A noticeable effect of cultivation, however, must be observed on the
unfertilized plot, as to yield compared with the fertilized. This land,
was known to be very poor and it was not thought that its yield would
be, at best, over 150 pounds of seed cotton to the acre. Doubtless the
yield of 253 pounds is due largely to the cultivation.
The plots were laid off in four-feet rows. This was done by running
furrows every four feet and distributing the fertilizer in them and then,
bedding on them; breaking out the middles fully. The unfertilized
rows were bedded, the same way. On l arch 2nd the rows were fertil-
i7ed and bedded and on March 30th they were opened and planted.
The system of running round and near the cotton and thinning to a
stand was discarded. The thinning was done by hoeand hand. When
the plants were too close together to use the hoe, the cotton was pulled
out and a little dirt drawn to it. This avoided wounding the plant and
assisted in securing a good stand.
It is was worked with cultivator twice, and the third time
with a 22-inch sweep. Care was taken the last time to plow
shallow, to throw as little dirt to the plant as possible and
not to run nearer than six inches to it. By this practice the roots are
not cut or disturbed and there was no shedding. Cotton cultivated this
way has never shed its blooms or fruic for me, whether the season is
dry or wet. The plots received one full hoeing and two partial hoe-
ings. The last two consisted in going over the plots and cutting out
Plot 1 was fertilized with Station compost No. 1 and yielded 473.
pounds per acre.
Plot 2, fertilized with Station compost No. 2, yielded 504 pounds.
Here we notice the results of iron again.
Plot 3, unfertilized, yielded 253 pounds per acre.
Plot 4 had 1,000 pounds of Kainit per acre and yielded 260 pounds.
Plot 5, 1,000 pounds Acid Phosphate, yielded 261 pounds.
Plot 6, 900 pounds Acid Phosphate and Kainit, equal parts, 360
Plot 7, 900 pounds Acid Phosphate, Kainit and cotton-seed meal, equal
parts, 398 pounds.
Plot 8 had 1I tons of cotton-seed and yielded 300 pounds. Plot 2, fer-
tilized with compost No. 2, in which was iron, makes the best yield.
From experiments in corn and cotton the indications are that the ap-
plication of iron on our sandy lands is a benefit.
JAS. P. DEPASS,