Experiment Station and Citrus Sub Station Seminar.

Material Information

Experiment Station and Citrus Sub Station Seminar.
Series Title:
Writings and Speeches 1891-1920
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Rolfs, Peter Henry
Physical Location:
Articles, Speeches and Other Writings
45. Experiment Station and Citrus Sub Station Seminar.


Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural extension work -- Florida.
Agriculture -- Florida -- Experimentation.
Agriculture -- Study and teaching -- Florida.
University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station.
Rolfs, Peter Henry


A talk, "The Experiment Station and the Citrus Sub-Station," given by P. H. Rolfs explaining the work of the experiment station and the need for funds to expand that work.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida Archives
Rights Management:
Copyright Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier:

UFDC Membership

Peter Henry Rolfs
University Archives

Full Text





Prof. P. H. Rolfe

My.friend Dr. Montgomery is altogether too qptimis i-- o

He said the handicap should be overcome' The great handicap,

of course, as you know, was the handicap of funds--funds to

work with, and coming along regularly and without question.

We have had a small fund all the time coming along regularly

without question and without anybody's worrying about it, and

that's the way it should be, because we were able to plan a

consistent and persistent line of work. From the first the

Experiment Station has planned out its line of work, and while

our funds were only $15,000, you can see there was hot very

much Money for anyone particular line of work, yet it has made

itself felt strongly, persistently and consistently along the

citrus line.
I voted to mention the work of the eradication of the

white fly. -You will remember that from the first our Entomol-

ogist studied the white fly question, and the white fly came

upon us Is a scourge. Dr. Weber discovered the first parasite

of the white fly right in this neighborhood, right here where
he found the Red Asohersonia. Then, we knew very little koBut

how to use this red Aschersonia. The first method was getting

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a small citrus tree with white fly on it, then getting
Asohersonia on it and planting Aaebma in the citrus
gtove. Just think of the long stride made from that, through

the work of Dr. 3. W. Berger, now of the State Plant Board, for
sending out culture by the thousands every yar to the citrus

growers; and all that is necessary is to put it in the spray-
ing machine and apply it to the white fly. I mention that mere-

ly to saow you In a sort of review, what a long stride has been
made from the first discovery ME the Red Asohersonia and our

present way of handling tk and the why t fly in that respect.

The White Fly question--and you will remember at one time
the United Stateu Department of Agriculture send Mr. Voghlum over
to India for parasites. We had hoped a great seal fEom tat eJ-

trip. Like all scientific investigations,a/what you know what

the results are going to be it isn't scientific iavestigation--
merely demonstration. You have got to take your chances. If

you know beforehand what the result will be, it is no experi-

ment at all. So, in sending Mr. Vohglum to India, we got no sat-
isfactory parasites. However, meoe Professor Watson has brought

into the state from California the Delphastus, which is a lover

of the white fly egg. This little beetle Ant as big as a pin

head has to have a white fly egg or two every morning for break-
fast, and than after he has had his breakfast he has to have a
few more. We have had very flattering reports from the various
parts of the state from the little Delphastus, and his ravages
on the white fly. We are limited, however, because, it is diffi-


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cult to collect those little fellows. They are so small, and
rather difficult to catch, s- so far as possible, new colonies
have been started in vqa parts pT Athe, ,ate and have made
quite a good headway. I think the first report was made by Mr.
Watson a year ago, on the Delphastus. Now, in the citrus dis-
eases, you will remember the Scaly Bark worked havoc in the
grove, but by the work of Professor Fossett it has been checked
in the last twenty years, also Stem End Decay. Professor Stevens
has been working on Stem End Doeay,-Gummisis and one or two
other diseases needing his careful attention.
Along the fertilizer line Professor Bland started in with
the first~ careful and methodical lines of experiments carried out.
&a A number of previous attemptsbad been made,--" -A^... s
Professor Bland started in with the ten year contract, by exper-
iments Professor Collison reported to you the first morning in
session. Then Professor Floyd has already reported to you the
large amount of experimental work that he is conducting, and some
of the results of the experiment that were gotten from that ex-
perimental work. I am passing these briefly in review so that
we may see the high points as we were working along. The addresses
that we have published from the experiment Station +ee been almost
voluminous compared with what has been published in other lines
of agricultural-ee~ewm T. The two bulletins,one one Citrus In-
sects, and the other on Citrus Diseases, have been especially ac
ceptable and valuable to peo plo all over the state, and especially


to those wanting a compact.handbook of this kind of work,
We are going ahead with the work, as has been planned

out before, and are able to make some changes in the experi-

mental work we are doing on groves in the state, but on ao-
count of the cost of materials and everything, we are teaching

so that we will have to contract, or rather shrink, in the

amount of work that we can do. Bow, as we can't spend the funds

there will be necessarily small diminutions of the amount of

work we do during the next two years. -I want all the citrus

growers to bed,patient under this situation, as possible, and

give us al the every aid, support and comfort as we are Jrg

along. We will do the very best we can, as we have i the past)

and continue the investigations which are sure to bring us some

results, whether they come out negative or positive. You take

the experiments reported by Professor Collison--it doesn't matter

how they come out--they very frequently don't come out as wd ex-

pect. Bft we want the truth, and the Seminar is one way in which
the citrus growers can get right next to the truths as they are

being discovered.
Let us take the illustration of the bulletin Professor Col-

lison has in college now. If we had kept the information back

every citrus grower would have said, here was a strange, epock-

making report. But you didn't say it simply because, when we
find a small amount of truth or information that can be placed

before the citrus growers it is placed before them in the form,

usually, of a press bulletin, so that all the information that


is combined in this book we are about to publish has been given
out piecemeal, ih odds and ends. You have seen and heard most of

it, but the bulletin must be combined, so that you will have a
compact, oleat statement of the whole experiment and the result
of that whole experiment.
I want to impress upon you, therefore, that we, the Experi-
ment Station, need your active, energetic support in the way
of getting more funds. During the last Legislature we were not
in a position to go right out after getting the funds actively,
but in the next Legislature expect to go actively after the
funds, and have your support so that we may greatly enlarge the
work being done, not only in the citrus line, but the livestock
line as well.
Now, I come to the important point, that is, the citrus
branch station located at Lake Alfred. The law was passed by the
Legislature of 1917, and then it was expected that the branch
Station would be located in the Polk County region very soon. For
various reasons, the money necessary to establish the branch
Station was not provided until about the time of the meeting of
the last Legislature, or a little after.

Briefly, the people of Polk County have provided fifteen
thousand dollars for the establishment and maintainance of the
branch Station, which was located at Lake Alfred. Active work
on our part will begin as soon as title passes. Some people have
\ been wondering about that matter. It has been noted in the papers
from time to time that the branch station was located there by


the location merely a choice of property, and the transference
of a title that is satisfactory to the Board of Control may re-
quire a little more time than the transference of title that
would be satisfactory to private individuals. In other words,
the state has certain regulations and ideas in regard to titles
that the private individual would waive. So, as soon as title
passes work will be begun.
There are eighty acres of land, at first sight more than
could be used at any possible time--more than we have money to
take care of at the present time--but the citrus industry in Flor-
ida is in its infancy, Just beginning. We are Just in the stages
of youth, and we will need all that land and more too, before we
get through with it. You will remember when the University was
located at Gainesville, people said, "What in the world will you
do with six hundred acres of land?" And yet, today we haven't
got enough land; less than fifteen years ago
it looked like we had more land than we could possibly use. Today
we are cramped, and cannot carry on these cattle experiments on
the scale they should be carried on for the want of land, and that
happens almost every time in the location of institutions of this
kind; we begin with oo nuch land. We have fifteen already in grove,
ten just set out, and five acres of trees about four or five years
old. Already they have as much as a box or a box and a half of
fruit per tree. The first step in the work will be that of clear-
ing up the land. The next step- in th work will be that of build-
ing a superintendents cottage, and the employment of a superintendent


probably the third step.
Now, what are we going to do with a Branc# Station? Well,
I won't enumerate all the things that can be done at the Btanch
Station. One simple illustration is the testing of fertilizer.
A fertilizer experiment that does not extend over a period of at
least five years is hardly worth undertaking. You can get some
immediate effects, but there are very few lines of fertilizer ex-
periments that are worth undertaking unless we can have a five

year period. That has been brought home to us so strongly by the
work Professor Ployd has done. Then, there is the matter of test-
ing out different kinds of citrus fruits; different kinds of
stock. There are some wild citrus plants that will gige us ad
vantages over those we have* We have certain root diseases and mal-
adieb of citrus that may be cured entirely by the discovery of a
proper stock for the citrus that we have.
In addition to thAt, we expect sooner or later to .have a
laboratory, and when the laboratory is there it will give laboratory
room for a scientist working at the central station, and, mind you,
at the central station there will not be any less citrus work done
than there has been heretofore. Rather more than less, but we will
have there a field laboratory which will enable our men to have
the proper facilities when they get into the field.
Now, I believe I have gone over this whole matter somewhat
hastily, but in outline. It will require time, patience and a good
deal of aid and sympathy from the ottruw growers all over the state.
I hope that everyone of the Seminarians will give it their enthusi-


astio support, so that when we come up to the next Legislature
that the Legislature will ,be ready to support the Branch Station.
This is a piece of work that should have been done twenty years
ago, rather than today. However, under the circumstances, as it
seems the central station is being conducted entirely, or almost

entirely upon Federal funds, it became necessary to spend these
Federal funds at the central station, so will be no division 4t-
of the funds, or disappropriation of the enezgus of the work
already started.

In addition to giving aid and comfort to the scientists from
the Station, it will also be a means of helping other scientists
from the Department of Agriculture who are wanting laboratory
facilities that are not used at the present time in the field.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I believe that I have gone over this matter
as fully as I wish to this morning, and if atd anytime I o9an-gi
you more information in'regard to ile if you would like to have it,
I shall be very glad to do this, but this is an outline or kind of
notice that we have taken one additional step, one long- for-
ward step in the development of the citrus industry and enlarge-
ment of the agricultural work in the state of Florida. We-~eed

We need, not only to continue what we have done, but we need a
very great enlargement, as every one of you knows, and the time
is rather late for us to begin.

We should have begun it five years ago, and learned more
about the citrus industry, and solve some of the problems that
have been left unsolved, and I want your most earnest and hearty

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oooperation in the future as I have always had n the past.

There has never been a aement time when I d oall upon.

the Seminarians for any help they could give me, and have gotten

not only what I have asked for, but usually fourfold.

I thank you for your attention.

------ ---en -,*

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