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Deseret farmer. [volume] (Provo, Utah) 1904-1912, July 11, 1908, Image 3

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j Saturday, JULY n, 1908. THE DESERET FARMER 3t H
- - "' " -JJ- rt - - , 1 t 1
I " - a&?" o t h.e r make
I i
J. W. Mills.
Did it ever occur to you that the
soil breathes just as plants and ant
nuils do? It is a fact that it docs.
Every time it rains ot the land is ir
rigated, it exhales and when it loses
its moisture it inhales. Aside from
this it has less profound breathing
exercises continually. The act of
water penetrating the soil expels the
air and as the water penetrates an 1
leaves spaces between the soil parti
1 clcs the air rushes in and takes its
j place. This fresh air aids the plants
m by making available a little mors
1 plant food and driving out the obnox-
J ious gases that collect during the act
. of plant growth.
When water is applied to clay soils
much of it will stand on the surface
till evaporated instead of sinking in
and being held in reserve for future
use. Manure will improve this condi
tion as will sand. Sandy soils, on the
other hand, arc improved by having '
clay added to them. It has been dem
onstrated that in this respect, humus
We are sole agents in Utah, Idaho
and parts of Nevada and Wyoming,
harvesting machinery
The great "O. K." line. A full
assortment of Repairs at Salt Lake
and at our -many branch houses.
You should always buy the best.
The McCormick is the be3t.
IB V V CS' fa " S ft
J iil!jjaiaL).
f GEO. T. ODELL, Gen'l. Mgr.
1 wmmimMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmam
is ten times more efficient than clay
This physical improvement in these
two types of soil may make the dif
ference between sterility and fertility
Sand will absorb and retain about
15 per cent of its bulk of moisture
while peat will absorb 70 to 80 per
cent. This shows that the more hit "
nuts a soil contains, the greater will
be its absorbing and retentive powers.
The capillarity of soils deals with
the power of water to travel around
or through it in any or all directions,
but it is generally referred to as the
power to ascend. There arc no tube
formed in the soil through which tha
moisture ascends -as is generally sup
posed. It is simply the power of
gravity and the power known as ten
sion. When two corks of different sizes
arc floating in a tub, they will come
together with a bump if they arc al
lowed to come within a certain dis
tance of each other, or they wi.l
bump up against the side of the tub.
This is because they arc attracted by
the larger body. It is the same force
that makes chips collect and cling to
gcther in a pool. In the case of
water or other liquids, the force known
as tension compels the fluids to
spread over the surface. This is why
the water extends up the sides of a
glass to a slight degreeand on the in
!dcs of a glass tube to a greater de
gree. It is well illustrated in . the
case of a soap bubble when the stem
of the pipe is removed from the
mouth before the bubblie parts. In
this case the tension of the liquid
squeezes the air out through the pipe
- stem till the bubble forms a diaphratn
across the bulb of the pipe.
Now these two forces, gravity and
tension, force the water from one par
ticle of soil to the other, in all direc
tions. If the soil particles arc held
far apart, the moisture must travc'
slowly. Cultivation loosens the soil
and brings this condition ' about.
When the particles settle together
which they arc always doing, capillary
action is faster and we must cultivate
soon or we will lose more moisture.
; o
Reports have already begun to come
in of seed potatoes rotting in the
ground. This trouble is caused by a
fungus, or mould, that attacks the
piece of tuber in the ground on the
cut surface. The disease was so bad
last year in some fields that ninety
per cent of the seed rotted in the
ground. In some cases this rot start
ed so soon as to prevent the pieces
of tubers from sprouting at all. In
other cases it started later, rotted the
seed, then the fungus attacked the
stem. Plants may be found in any
field during the season more, or less
affected with this disease. The plants
lost their green color and the edges
of the leaves turn yellow or die. If
the stem be pulled up, the bark will
be found all right, but the splitting of
the stem longitudinally will show the
sap wood of the stem colored brown
or yellow or in the last stages black.
Microscopical examination of a cross
section of the stem will show the fun
dus, growing in the cells and across
tlfeVisap tubes offiie.sCcmw fiber in H
jury,- to a large cxtentrat least, xomes H
from the, clogging of the sap circula- H
tion by'thc hypha of this fungus. H
This plant, or fungus, that causes H
the disease, is one of the species of H
Fusarium.' the same or similar to the H
one that causes the' blight or- so- H
called "sleeping disease" of life tonut- H
to. No direct remedy is known for H
it. One fact that is of some assist- H
ancc in combatting it is that the'dis- H
case is much more prevalent on land H
previously planted to potatoes than on H
alfalfa or clover land. Another thing H
If riAftVESTlVc, 1
1 1 H
that is quite noticeable in studying thj IH
nature of the disease, is that potatoes 4tH
planted whole arc not attacked to H
such an extent as the cut ones, be- H
cause of the inability of the fungus to ' H
get into the stem. H
Treatment of seed with formalin, H
corrosive sublimate, sulphur, lime, H
etc, haw not given any perceptible H
relief from it. H
It is probable that in many cases H
at least much of the disease is carried H
to' the field in the -seed potatoes. The
same fungus causes the "dry rot" of M
potatoes in the storage cellars. It H
has been very noticeable during the
past winter that cellars with poor M
ventilation, no matter how cool and
dry they were, had a high per cent of M
potatoes affected with this dry iot. M
Good ventilation and a low a tern- M
perature without da-ngcr, of frost fn " M
the .cellar is probably the best safe; M
guard against loss from this cause. H
E. R. Biennett, Potato Specialist, Colo H
rado Experiment Station, Fort Col- H

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