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The Zlorida Experiment Station, which is a department of the
university of Florida, occupies a very important place in the agricul.
tural devel pment of the State. Its laboratories and offices are
housed in one of the nine large buildings on the campus. It was oo-
cupied by the staff in 1911. This staff is composed of nineteen per-
sqno., each one of whom is a specialist In his own line. me popularity
of the institution is attested by the fact that there are more calls
for lectures froia the staff than from anyone else in the institution.
But these men are hired especially for investigational work and con-
seqiently must refuse many of the importunities. The acconmpreing
view shows the cormmodious building, designed and built for th Exper-
iment Station world: and pronounced by a competent authority to "be the
best adapted building for Experiment Station needs in the United States.
The horticultural grounds adjoin the Experiment Station labora-
tories and offices. Before their occupation by the Experiment Station,
in 1906, they were old fields intersected by stripe of woodland. The
accompanying view taken on the horticultural grounds shows a tract of
land that was covered withlhanmoock In 1906. In these grounds all the
new varieties of plants, whether fruit, forage, food crops or others,
are first tested. The number annually tested runs into the hundreds.
Among the important plants that were first tested out here are the
lyon bean, Chinese velvet bean, Yokohama bean, Rhodes grass, and a
considerable number of others not quite so popular as yet. These
grounds are open to visitors at all times and hundreds of persons take
advantage of the opportunity.
Florida Is located in a semi-tropical climate, and while this
climate has long been recognized the attempts formerly made at the in,-
troduotion of foreign crops have been from regions to the northward
of us mainly from other portions of United States. The Experiment
Station has been conducting an active campaign for a considerable num-
ber of years to determine what forage crops can be grown most success-
fully and profitably In the State. As a generalization of the work
done there it has been discovered that the tropical forage plants are
more nearly adapted to our needs than those from the temperate zone.
Ja&n.aa. ane. The accompanying illustration shows the Japanese
Cane which at one time was condemned unstintingly by Florida farmers.
At that time, however, it was being used entirely as a syrup and sugar
producing plant. The Experiment Station too]-k up work with this plant,
not with the view of making a syrup and sugar producing LcreSp of it
but with the view of using it as a forage crop. As a result of the
dissemination of facts gained by the investigation, more tons of Jap-
anese came are now being grovn for forage than any one o'her crop.
The accompanying illustration shows a plot of Japanese cane growing
forage at the rate of 27 tons per acre on land that under the best fer-
tilization would yield only 15 to 18 bushels of corn per acre. Japan-
ese cane is the king of forage crops for Plorida. It produces the
largest amount of green food and matures at the time of year that the
forage is most needed, that is the winter season. During this time
cattle may be turned into the forage and graze it off the field, or it
may be cut and shocked, as corn is shocked in the north and the cattle
fed from the shocks. Still another method is to use this Japanese
cane for silage. Japanese cane silage together with the proper amount
of velvet bean .or other protein containing forage, will produce the
largest amount of mill and beef at the minimum cost.
yelvet y al The velvet bean is another crop that can be
planted for winter forage. It attains its maturity about the middle
of November and stock may then be turned upon it ani allowed to graze
until sometime in March if need be. This is the most valuable of our
winter forage crops, in that it produces a large axiount of protein the
costly element in all foods. In addition to producing a largo amount
of the most valuable feed, the velvet bean has the faculty of extract-
ing nitrogen from the atmosphere and building it up in its own tissue,
and leaving a large portion of it in the soil. 'hen other plants
are grown on this same field they will be able to mal:e use of tha nitro-
gen as plant focd. In recent y'ars there has been such a dcaand for
the seed that the price has gone so high that the average farmer cannot
afford to feed the seed. This is due to the fact that farmers in other
southern states where the velvet bean seed does not mature, have become
acquainted with the fact that the velvet bean is a nitrogen fixing plant.
;Darf Esseg xLe, The mild winter climate of Florida enables
the haryr vegetables, such as lettuce, cabbage, Dwarf Essex Rape and
other plants, to pass the winter unharmed. Dwarf Essex Rape has been
used for many years in Europe as a forage for sheep and cattle. In
Florida its usefulness was shown by the Experiment Station, Wut now1-
hundreds of acres are grown in the State. By sowing the seed in Octo-
ber the crop will be ready for grazing off about the first of January.
As high as 24 tons of Rape per acre has been cut by the Experiment
Station. It is an excellent feed for cattle and hogs, being an excel-
lent mill producer as well as flesh buildgr
From the earliest ltses Florida has been regarded as one of the
cattle producing states. Like Texas and other cattle range states,
her native stock has degenerated. This is almost entirely due to the
fact that no attention was given to breeding or feeding the animals.
Recently the Experiment Station has proven that the best of the cattle
have innhereft in them the quality of producing large stock if only
proper food be given them during the winter time. For a while it was
contended that the thoroughbreds would. not live in the State. This,
however, has been thoroughly disproven. The accompanying illustra-
tion is a photograph of the thoroughbred shorthorn herd owned by the
Experiment Station. No extra food was given those cattle. The prop-
er forage, however, was raised and the cattle a lowed to graze the
forage in the fields.
Since the introduction by the Station of m-any forage plants,
and since it has been proven that more pounds of forage per year can
be grown in Florida than in the dairying states of the North the ques-
tion of milk production has been taken up. It has been found, by talc-
ing only average good milk cows, that a gallon of mi1k can be produced
for 7'- % when considered in teams of the amount of forage consumed.
During the most favorable season of the year milk can be produced even
cheaper than this in the State. By using the beet mill: producing
animals and growing the most nutritious forage, milk can be produced
as cheaply in Florida as anywhere else in the United States,
The various breeds of thoroughbred hogs, especially lose
used for pork production, are found to do extrem-ly well. An abundance
of succulent food can be produced for them. The trade of the State
calls for animals that dress from 75 to 125 pounds. Tie accompanying
illustration shows a drove of Berkshire hogs at 180 days old, and the
average weight of the herd of seventeen hogs was 127 pounds. It was
formerly thought that hogs could only be grown in those regions where
corn could be produced In large quantities but since the demand for
lean porT has increased so greatly It is found that pork can be ypo-
duced much more cheaply by using less corn and growing green forage.
Experiments have shown that only from one to two bushels of corn are
needed per head to supplement the forage that can be produced, and
will make the best of marketable hogs for Florida. The cost of pro-
dusing pork in the State will vary with the cost of proGtcing the
crops upon which they are fed. Of these various crops we have a great
abundance, sorghum, dwarf Essex rape, sugar cane, sweet potatoes,
peanuts, and others. Under the most favorable conditions porl can
be produced at V/ or 5/ a pound.
A large amount of time is being given to the investigation
of citrus insects, diseases and fertilization. All of this requires
expert attention and demands the finest class of training. The Florida
Experiment Station has been foremost in publishing the results of work
attained in this line.