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Ranche and range. (North Yakima, Wash.) 1897-1902, June 24, 1897, Image 9

Image and text provided by Washington State Library; Olympia, WA

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2007252185/1897-06-24/ed-1/seq-9/

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KITTITAS FARMERS' INSTITUTE.
Continued from Page Five.
edge will create them. Can we not
foresee that if our boys and girls are
equipped with an education which
will give them an inspiration for
farm life and enable them to plan
their work scientifically that they
need not be overburdened with toil
and exhausted with the worry of
uncertainty?
Co-operative systems now being
established will relieve the home of
much that is irksome. The papers
devoted to our interests are helpful
and ought to be in all our homes.
It is a part of the ideal to use such
helps to educate ourselves. Knowl
edge is power. The belief of some
that farmers and their families are
persons of very mediocre minds, to
whom the names "hayseed" and
"country Jake" can be applied, is a
mistake. That their aspirations for
knowledge are keen is manifest in
these efforts to establish an institute
where they can receive the needed
knowledge they cannot leave home
to acquire.
We can set hens, and will not be
unreasonable enough to ask for the
appointment of a man for that pur
pose.
We do sense a need of instruction
in many things, and some legal as
sistance and protection which it is
our right and duty to demand of
our lawmakers; and spiritless in
deed are those of us who refuse or
neglect to enter a protest when they
fail to recognize our position and
importance as a factor in our great
commonwealth and refuse our re
quests for that assistance we have
so laboriously earned, and which is
no more than a just recompense af
ter our years of pioneering on the
frontier to help erase the painful
memories of toil and privation
which make possible the luxurious
living some enjoy, and has made
many of us prematurely old.
Our fairs can be made to repre
sent the ideal as well as the practi
cal. The perversion of the object
of them, both in our county and
in the state, has so outraged the
general sense that a change in pub
lic sentiment is being wrought
which will result in an effort to
have fairs established in the interest
of agriculture instead of various
kinds of gamblers. We became
tired of such methods, but were not
strong enough financially to stem
the tide. Our local papers reproach
~r j «r C * *, 99 : MISS WII.ZIXSKI, GRADUATE OrTICIA>, nne;AiniSA*i C.aa
"Guard Your Sight. ~•„*«,„., «.r C ,»,r,,.*„«„„.»-,.,„. Consultation rree.
RANCHK AND RANGK.
us with lack of public spirit in net
maintaining a fair. We ought to
be commended for refusing to act
until we can act independent of
the element which turns such efforts
into gambling. Our state fair ought
to be a place where we can hear
lectures from our best teachers and
learn from the exhibits the wonder
ful possibilities we can develop.
In my humble orbit my ruling
thought is to perceive the ideal and
practicalize it. Reilizin the slew
progress I have made for lack of
knowledge, I plead for greater ad
vantages for the children now near
ing manhood and womanhood, that
they may more easily and quickly
learn the limitless power of the
ideal in farm life, and I here utter
my protest against our efforts to
possess these advantages being
ruthlessly swept aside Ivy ignorant
ideas of economy at the hands ot
our legislators.
Prof. W. J. Spillman, of the State
Agricultural College, read the fol
lowing interesting paper on the
PRINCIPLES OF TILLAGE.
The question of how much and
what kind of cultivation a farmer
shall give his land is one that must
be answered every season by every
tiller of the soil. The reward he
shall obtain for his labor depends
largely on the degree of intelligence
with which he answers this ques
tion. Let us for a moment consider
in how far common farm practices
are based on real underlying prin
ciples.
In order to discover the princi
ples, if any, that govern proper
methods of tillage, it is necessary
that experiments include all classes
of soils, climates and seasons. If a
single master mind could combine
the individual experiences of every
farmer in the United States, there
would hardly be necessary any fur
ther investigation; he would be able
to point out clearly the factors that
govern the production of crops.
But experience is scattered here and
there amongst a million men, and
no one of them knows enough up
on which to build sound theories.
We may say, in a general way,
that it is every man's object to pro
duce, not the largest possible crop,
but the crop- that will yield the
largest possible excess of profit over
the cost of production. Political
economists tell us of a law which
they call the law of diminishing re-
turns. This law stales that up to a
certain point increased expense in
preparation for a crop will be more
than repaid iti increased returns;
but as the yield is pushed higher
and higher, there comes a time when
to increase the yield again will cost
more than the increased yield will
pay for. It is the business of the
wise farmer to ascertain at what
point this law of dimiuishii g re
turns begins to apply in his own
particular case.
Cultivation of the soil has two
general objects in view; the one is
to produce plant food in the soil,
the other to enable plants to utilize
this food. A soil may be rich in
every element essential to plant
growth, yet from being too dry rr
too wet, too loose or too compact,
too warm or too cold, net to be able
to produce a crop at all. On the
(tlicr band, a soil may contain only
slight amounts of nutriment, but be
in such perfect physical condition
that the growing crop is enabled to
utilize all the plant food present,
and thus produce a fair crop. Let
us consider for a few moments the
first object of tillage above mention
ed- the production of plant food.
In order to understand clearly the
subject before us, it is necessary
that we should briefly consider the
nature and source of plant food. All
ordinary crops require for their
growth the presence in the soil of
some thirteen or fourteen chemical
elements. These elements are found
to a greater or less degree in all
soils and, with few exceptions, in
quantities sufficient to supply the
wants of growing plants. The de
mand for some of these elements,
however, is sometimes greater than
the available supply, and the ele
ments that have thus been found
most often deficient are nitrogen,
phosphorus, potassium and calcium.
In referring to these substances it is
usual to refer to their most import
ant compounds, so we shall here
after speak of nitrates, phosphoric
acid, potash and lime. But what
has the presence or absence
to do with plowing, harrow
ing and rolling? In order to ans
wer this question'it is essential that
we shall get in mind the source of
these materials. If a sample of or
dinary soil be carefully examined
a microscope it will be found to con
sist mostly of little pieces of the
original rocks whose crumbling to
pieces gave rise to the soil.
[Concluded Next Week.]
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