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Deseret farmer. [volume] (Provo, Utah) 1904-1912, November 28, 1908, Image 7

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/2010218520/1908-11-28/ed-1/seq-7/

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f By Jesse H. Buffum.
(Continued from page 5.)
Rust is not a serious disease, but
has made its appearance, and may de-
I mand vigorous attention in the near
I future. It seems to appear mostly on
1 beets that have remained a long time
I unused. It is not so destructive as
many of the other enemies of the
1 root.
Last year France was called upon
S to grapple with a new sugar beet dis
ease, which appeared in the form of
a parasite. The whole of the beet
was attacked, all the stems of the
leaves were hollowed out with deep
channels open to the air. Rot sets
in in consequence in some portions
of the root. On tearing the beet
apart, tiny caterpillars in various
stages of development were found, in
groups of from ten to twenty, re
sembling those that prey upon the
. apple trees, but very much smaller.
It is supposed that in a dry year from
, eight to ten generations of these cat-
i crpillars develop in one growing sca-
, son of the beet, which explains the
intensity of the scourge. From the
attacks of these parasites a deadly rot
immediately sets in, making absolute
ly impossible any extent of storing or
siloing, as the beets will not keep,
but continue to rot rapidly. The cat
erpillar comes from the larva of a
small butterfly. The remedy suggest
ed for this affliction is two-fold, first,
to destroy, preferably by burning, all
dead leaves and collars or crowns of
the beets on harvesting; and, second,
I to increase all cultivation, hoeing and
removal of weeds, keeping the entire
field and vicinity absolutely free from
weeds and all growth or other con
iditions favorable to the seclusion of
the parasite.
I This is truly one of the most inter-
csting of all pests known to the sugar
beet. Although the first year's cx-
iperience with it in France brought
great disaster to the localities infested,
yet the scientific researches resulting
give us a wonderful insight into the
habits of the caterpillar and likewise
reassure all growers through the dis
covery of a natural enemy of this
parasite, which pursues it with re
lentless diligence. This is the com
mon female bee, which carries in her
abdomen a sting, which, when insert
ed into the body of the caterpillar,
ejects a microscopic egg. The cater
pillar apparently is not at the time
disturbed, but matures, leaves the
beet, secretes itself in the ground and
produces a cocoon, which is to be
come a butterfly. But the cocoon is
no sooner spun than the egg that the
bee has inserted in the body of the
caterpillar hatches, and the larva that
develops devours the organs of the
chrysalis. Then it transforms -itself
into a grub, and! at the breaking of
the cocoon there comes forth an "ich
neumon" instead of a moth. By rea
son of this natural enemy existing to
constantly war on the destructive cat
erpillar, beet growers may take cour
age in the belief that the pest will at
least not become increasingly destruc
tive, and undoubtedly will diminish
gradually; last year proved to have
been an exceptionally destructive one
in this respect, due perhaps to the ex
cessive dryness.
Heart-rot is one of the common
diseases of the sugar beet, and its
study by scientists and studious grow
ers has been prolonged, resulting in
considerable light on the subject be
ing given to the everyday grower. .
Unquestionably soil conditions deter
mine the development of tliis disease.
It occurs most commonly in soils of
an argillaceous nature, or clay soils,
which are not porous and do not per
mit of deep -acration and storing of
moisture. On newly cleared land, in
spite of all precautions, heart-rot will
frequently appear, proving again con
clusively that the sugar beet docs not
take kindly to native soil. In closely
packed earth, in fact in all soils that
have little humus, beet roots will suf
focate. Heart-rot does not usually appear
at the very outset of the beet growth,
but when the dry season sets in, say,
in August. Remedies arc not plenti
ful, yet all authorities that the writer
has been able to consult agree that
deep fall plowing, to ad'mit of the
storing of water, is one of the very
best precautions, especially where
stable manure is to be turned under.
Again, where it is possible and feas
ible, the application of wood ashes
tll be fdnnd beneficial and destruc-
. 1
tive to the fungi causing heart-rot.
Curly Top, or Beet Blight, stands
as not only the most common foe to
beet culture, but the most disastrous
throughout the fields of the western
part of this country. Its comprehen
sive treatment under the head of
enemies of the sugar beet is impos
sible in the limited space remaining
at my disposal, so the subject will be
taken up more at length at some fu
ture time. It is of interest in referring
to this pestilence, however, to note
that with some students there is sup
posed to exist a relationship between
curly top and electrical storms, and
this forms the basis of one of several
theories now under investigation. The
supposition is given some credence in
the Department of Agriculture, which,
however, has not yet gone on record
as having confidence. in this as a di
rect cause of the blight. In France it
is held by not a few scientists that
the web-worm is responsible for the
trouble, though again the theory is
not substantiated. As many as twen
ty theories have been advanced and
investigated in this country as to the
cause of curly top, and the strongest
effort possible is being made to bring
the blight under control. As yet the
real cjiusc is unknown.
In the whole matter of beet culture,
and especially as respecting the pests
and diseases that beset the root, great
watchfulness and close study bring
their own reward in both precaution
ary and curative returns.
All through the beet growing sea
son, which has now come to a close,
we have been discussing each opera
tion of culture as if great improve
ment could be made in that particular
phase of the work, and have endeav
ored to show that something of a rev
olution in this industry might be ef
fected if only the beet growers them
selves were able to awake to the pos
sibilities and opportunities ahead of
them. This stand can be taken, it
may be explained, on the ground that
in reality this industry is new, and
gf rs, even in established districts,
have not become as conversant with
the superlative of their work as might
justly be expectedw Hardly can this
attitude on the part of the student be
criticised, for Ire is fully justified in
calling attrition to obviousVdeficien- M
cics in the beet growing business. Ic M
is only when these deficiencies are M
recognized and corrected that ma- H
tcrial progress is going to be made. jH
When it comes to improvement in H
methods and practice, the producers M
themselves should be, the thinkers,
exerting themselves along: lines of M
definite progress; but they arc not H
as a class, and if any one criticism H
more than another must be made of H
them it is that they arc too well sat- H
isficd with partial success and arc H
prone to ignore the greater results H
awaitng study and experimentation. H
This refers to the matter of siloing ad M
' well as other things, as we shall en- H
deavor to point out in this, discussion jfl
In up-to-date beet culture, siloing M
has become a fact. There is no get M
ting around it; and while some are M
fur sighted enough to foresee that this M
element of present day perplexity fl
must some day be converted into a M
great possibility both for the factory M
and for the farmer, it is worth while M
for present profit to discuss ways and M
methods, for there is a good deal of H
variety discoverable in the practices M
of those who arc forced to silo their H
beets. H
Under the present systems siloing M
is. a hardship. We arc not advanced M
in experience to understand how best M
this work may be done, and therefore M
loss occurs in almost every instance M
The fact of siloing, however, must be M
faced, and although less than 50 per M
cent of the general crop is treated in M
this way, yet for that amount even a M
slight saving per ton will bring ample M
reward. The present day difficulties
encountered in siloing beets may. b: M
summarized as follows: H
Loss of weight through evapora M
Increased tare through dry ad- H
hesion of dirt. H
Extra handling (probably tripled. H
Cost of covering; disagreeable to H
uncover and load. H
Delay in sale of beets and receipt H
of pay. H
Occupying valuable field space and M
consequent delay of fall plowing, M
Destruction of feeding value of M
tops, which probably .are utilized as M
covering.and therefore spoiled, though B
still good as a fertilizer. H
Expensive retention of labor that
otherwise would have been utilised
and dismissed. H
(Continued on tfage 9.) M

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