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The Gem state rural. [volume] (Caldwell, Idaho) 1895-1910, December 27, 1906, Image 1

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State Rural
Vol. XII
Caldwell, Idaho, December, 27, 1906
No. 4
Corn in the Inland Empire.
(By Hon. M. J. Wessels, of Cameron,
Ida., before Idaho Agronomy As
A country where the climate and
condition is such that will produce
even a half crop of corn has much
the advantage of a known corn pro
ducing country, in many wâys.
first and probably the greatest of all
is ■ that you can till all your land
every year and improve the soil at
the same time, by turning your sum
mer-fallow into a cornfield at but
a trifle, more expense than the reg
ular summer fallowing, and you will
have a crop almost equal to wheat in
value. In some sections of Idaho
where corn does best, we consider it
equal in feed value to a full of
any other grain, which would other
wise have been a total loss, at the
same time you have cleaned the land
from weeds and prepared the soil as
well as the best of summer-fallow
for the intended crop, and feed
enough to make you several hundred
dollars wmrth of pork and beef, with
but a few dollars expenditure. In
this country corn might be called a
bi-product of the summer-fallow. It
is absolutely a safe game to play.
In a country where early frosts are
expected and your corn gets cut be
fore it tassels you can get it with a
binder the same as you do your hay
and you wfill be surprised at the
amount of feed it makes. If it gets
cut later and before the ears are rip
ened I would shock it the regular
way and feed to the cattle in the
winter or when needed. A few
years ago we got in a hurry and
sowed our winter wheat among the
skocks, the harvesting of it was a
year ago this summer, and you will
remember that the crop was a little
aiort everywhere, yet we got forty
six bushels per acre.
The year before that my renter
h»uled all the shocks from the field
and set them up in one shock, cov
ering less than one-eighth of an
acre, but the rains and the snow set
tled it to the ground and it began
to rot before he got much of it fed.
We thought it would be a total loss,
bqt the cattle seemed to like it; it
was in a stage of silage and appear
ed to be relished, so he continued
feeding. I never saw stock look any
better in the spring: however, there
is one condition to which corn is
subject, that cattle do not like.
That is the molded condition. In
our case it being set up straight, all
the rains that fell w r ent through it
before it collapsed, and it being well
watered prevented it from molding
much. Of course we do not recom
mend this mode of caring for corn.
I merely speak of it as an ex
perience that assured me of the
indestructibility of the feed value
in corn stocks alone. And from
the splendid display that we have
here in this adjoining room it
is evident that the climate of our
State is remarkably favorable for
the development and production of
corn. I notice that quite a number
of samples would be a pride to a reg
ular corn state and if we would ex
ercise the same care in selecting our
seed and varieties best adapted to
our various altitudes and climates,
as, we. do our wheat, oats, and barley
1 assure you that in a few years we
can have a corn Carnival that would
be a credit to the best corn states in
the Union. When I speak of "corn
states" I mean states that must grow
corn as their principal crop, because
they cannot grow wheat as we do.
We grow corn because w r e wish to,
and by growing corn we will increase
the yield of our wheat crops, be
cause too often w r heat is grown in j
succession for four or five
years ;
when it would be half wild oats, es- |
pecially on small farms that did not '
feel able to let part of the land lay I
idle. But the growing of corn will
eliminate this.
Now in a few words, to prepare
the soil, planting the seed, and culti
vation. It has been my experience
that corn ground should, if possible,
be plowed in the fall or winter.
Then, in the spring when the soil is
in good condition to pulverize,
doubly disk it; this will put the
ground in splendid condition for the
weeds to start, and when they make
their appearance, I harrow the
ground and kill all the weeds in
sight, and if too early to plant I
give it another good harrowing just
before planting, and if the weather
has been favorable two crops of
weeds have been destroyed giving
the corn an unmolested start,
ing up; it is then too tender and too
much is broken. After the corn has
will be a benefit to harrow it four
or five days after planting, the har
row teeth slanting backwards, but
never harrow corn w'hile it is com
unfolded its leaves it can be har
rowed with good results and if the
corn has been planted in squares,
say 3 1-2 feet apart each way, so it
can be cross cultivated, no hoeing
will be necessary,
cultivation I urge shallow cultiva
tion, so as not to cut the roots of
After the first
corn too much; this was very visi
ble in a corn field of a distant neigh
bor who had two cultivators in the
One culti
field, one on each side.
vated deep and the other shallow;
the part cultivated deepest did not I
make much of a growth for several
w r eeks and a much lesser yield in the
fall. The depth of planting, I find,
is very important, too. This was
again the experience of only this
spring in my own field. A part of
the ground was very mellow and
the marker made a much deeper fur
row than in the remainder of the
field. The planting was with a
hand planter, putting the seed about
1 1-2 inches below the surface of the
bottom of the mark. When we har
rowed the ground a few days later
putting the seeds about three to five
inches in depth. Where th© soil was
cold and the wire worms had a bet
ter chance to destroy it, the result
was a very poor stand. Corn, in my
opinion, should not be planted over
one to one and one-half inches in
depth, and if the soil is moist «nough
one inch is better.
I do not mean to say that we can
grow corn in every locality in the
state, but if we experiment with the
earliest varieties we will find that
corn can be grown in many parts
now deemed impossible.
industrial Alcohol.
(By Prof. J. Shirley Jones, chemist
of University of Idaho Agricultural
College Experiment Station).
The passage by Congress on June
7th last of what is commonly known
as the Denatured Alcohol Act,
seemingly been the cause of a great
deal of more or less popular litera
ture upon the subject.
Indeed it is
to be feared that the popular side
has been over exploited and as a re
erroneous impressions
suit certain
have gotten established among peo
pie in general.
Some magazine and
other -writers in their zeal for a pop
ular cause have told in glowing
terms of the benefits to be derived
use tax-free alcohol in
the arts and industries, too much has
been written with all too little atten
tion being paid to the rules and reg
ulations which have been formulated
for carrying into effect the provisions
of the bill, i. e., to the conditions
under which alcohol may be made
and used without the payment of a
tax. A great many persons seeming
ly have the impression that from now
on almost any one can quickly qual
ify himself to be able to convert al
most any refuse you can name,
quickly and cheaply into a substance
which, because of its cheapness,
would compete with coal oil and gas
oline as to bring the latter down to
prices commensurate with their util
ity. With the idea in view of cor
recting any mistaken idea upon the
subject which may exist, I have
gleaned from what I believe to be
' reliable and trustworthy sources the
more important facts concerned in
the making and use of Industrial
The Act in question simply pro
vides that from and after Jan. 1,
1907, under such regulations as the
commissioner of Internal Revenue
may prescribe, domestic alcohol of a
certain degree of proof, if it is to be
used in the arts and industries and
for fuel and light and denatured be
fore such use, may be withdrawn
from a bonded warehouse, without
the payment of the government tax.
Provisions are made for carrying out
the intent of the law as to the privi
lege of withdrawal, denaturizing,
etc., and providing punishment for
offenders against it.
Our government has been any
thing but liberal in its laws relating
to the subject. In this she is far
less progressive than European na
tions. For years the people of Eng
land, Belgium, France, Germany and
other countries have profited enor
mously by the wise and beneficial
laws of their respective governments
relating to the manufacture and use
of alcohol in the arts and industries,
Our government put a heavy tax up
on alcohol in 1864, and in spite of
the hardships it has worked and hin
drance it has been to industries in
general, has steadily maintained that
tax, evidently believing that the rev
enue so derived was of more import
ance than the impetus which would
be given to certain lines of industry
by more liberal laws upon the sub
ject. It has taken years of labor on
the part of the friends of tax free
alcohol to get even the provisions
contained in the present law acted
upon favorably by Congress. In its
zeal for revenue our government has
a great injustice upon the
industries of its people.
Let us hope
that the present law' is only a begin
ning in the right direction,
As is generally known, alcohol is
the intoxicating
our common beverages,
principle found in
It is a defi
nite chemical compound, having well
defined characteristics, and
can read
ily be obtained in a high degree of
It is formed from
sources, such as fruits, roots, tubers,
grains, etc.
Since it is made so com
monly from the latter, i. e., barley,
corn, etc., it is generally called grain
It should not be confused
with "wood alcohol"
which is ob
tained from other sources and has
just as definite chemical characteris
tics, although the
made to take the place of the former
for certain industrial
latter is often
uses. On ac
count of the great variety of sources
from which "grain alcohol'
can be
made, it ought to be quite cheap,
At present for most purposes it costs
about $2.50 per gallon, two dollars
of which cost represents the
ment tax.
mean grain alcohol that has been
denatured, either wholly or in part.
The denaturing process consists sira
ply in adding to the alcohol certain
substances which are soluble in it
and have a disagreeable
smell of such an intensity as to
der the alcohol so treated totally
fit for beverages.
By the term Industrial Alcohol we
taste or
When so treated
alcohol loses none of its useful
erties for certain industrial purposes,
For special purposes, the regulations
prescribe that it may be denatured
by specially authorized denaturists.
It should be noted that alcohol has
been made synthetically, i. e., by di
rect combination of its elements,
But because of the expense attached
to this method of manufacture, it is
not likely to effect its use to
any ex
tent at least for the present, and
needs no further mention here,
Broadly speaking, industrial alco
hoi can be made from any substance
that contains a fermentable sugar,
or one that contains a substance
which can be converted into a fer
mentable sugar,
from these substances depends .upon
the ease with which they may be so
converted and the amount of alcohol
that can be obtained from it, i. e., ic
is a question for the manufacturer.
Farmers are naturally chiefly inter
ested in learning w r hat crops may
prove to be profitable when raised
for the purpose of being converted
into alcohol. These crops may be
classified under one of three general
heads, viz., starchy products, ie.,
such as roots, grain, rice and those
sugar beets,
fibrous nature, such as refuse from
saw mills, sawdust, etc. Fortunate
ly Idaho would be represented under
each head,
beets will be growm for alcohol mak
ing purposes alone. More likely an
attempt will be made to utilize some
Whether or not
such alcohol can be profitably made
cane, and those of a
It is not at all likely that sugar

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