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Planted Acreage Reduced.
THE tea leading cotton State* of North Carolina,
South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tenf
net see, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma
and Arkansas have cut their cotton 10,194,000
acres, or 4 per cent, from last year, according to
figures compiled by the Bureau of Markets and Crop
Estimate*, United States Department of Agriculture.
In addition they reduced rice 450,000 acres, or 39 per
cent, and tobacco a6z,000 acres, or 32 per cent, a total
reduction for these three crops of 10,906,000 acres.
These reductions, which were due to the unsatisfactory
Trices for last year's crops resulting from financial
deflation, coupled with he/vy stocks and lessened
buying, are partly offset by increases in the acreages
of staple food and feed crops in these States.
Corn shows a gain of 4,521,000 acres, or 13 per
cent; wheat 607,000 acres, or 10 per cent; oats 740,000
acres, or 13 per cent; hay 413,000 acres, or 5
per cent; sorghum and cane 79,000 acres, or 10 per
cent, and potatoes 133^00 acres, or 10 per cent, a
total increase in these six crops of 6,483,000 acres.
Further offsets to the remaining difference of 4^2J,000
acres exist in increased plantings of cowpeas,
soy beans, velvet beans, and other less important
crops. Alabama alone reported increased plantings
of 834,000 acres of the three crops named, but these
are largely planted in with corn and are, therefore,
included in the acreage of that crop. The larger
part of the 4,423/100 acres unaccounted for has
gone back into pasture qr is left idle.
r Safeguards Crop Report.
WHEN the good corn has 'come through all
the stages from planting to the perfect
far, shall the fanner sell it, hold it, or
feed h to his stock? This is the opening thought of
a new motion picture issued by the United States
Department of Agriculture, under the title, "Production's
Pulse," and pictnrizing the crop reporting service
. of the Bureau of Markets and Crop Estimates.
The story shifts from "Hal Harrow," the farmer
facing the problem of disposal of his corn crop, to
the broaden aspects of the crop reporting system.
There are 115,000 voluntary crop reporters scattered
over the United States, and forty-two. State field
agents who study their reports, interview well-informed
men in the States, watch crops from trains,
watch the weather reports, crop diseases and insects,
and prepare special reports to be sent in to Washington.
The utmost precautions are used to preven} the
leakage of crop information. These reports are put
in a locked box in the office of the Secretary of Agriculture,
together with those from township and.
county reporters. When computations are made on
these reports, the tops of the sheets and the* county
names are cut off so the computers will not know
on what states thfry are working, and placed in a
locked box. The parts of the sheets are reassembled
on crop reporting day. The board meets in an inner
room, and is* locked in. A guard stands at the foot
of the stairs to prevent anyone from going near the
crop-reporting board while it is in session.
Expert computers assist the board, and multigraphers
set up the report as the figures are approved.
At the exact minute agreed on months in
advance, the Secretary- of Agriculture and the associate
chief of the Bureau of Markets and Crop Estimates
release copies of the report to the newspaper
men who are awaiting the signal for each to seize a
sheet and run to the telephone to read off the figures
to his paper. It is the work of minutes only to flash
the crop news all over the country by telegraph.
The film shows scenes in a newspaper office receiving
th* story and setting up the type. At the
rcr) end "Hal Harrow" opens his R. F. D. mail box
to take out his local paper which tells him that the
"Year's com crop tops alt others," indicating the prevailing
price he can expect if he sells, or the effect
on the prices of beef cattle and hogs that eat corn.
_ "Production's Pulse" is in two reels. It is intended
for distribution by the department and cooperating
institutions. Interested organizations, such
as farm bureaus and chambers of commerce, may,
however, borrow the film upon application to the
department, and certain authorized persons and institutions
may purchase copies of it at approximately
the cost of manufacture, $40 per reel. .
Grain Bug Alarmer.
Destruction of all volunteer small grain, especially
- Mts and wheat, during the period from mid-summer
to early fall, is the most important control measure
. for the green bug, which has often caused the loss
?f many millions of dollars' worth of small grains
throughout the Mississippi basin. Specialists of the
Bifeto of Eiftortiolbgy, United State*1 Department-of
Agriculture, 'say that' this method of contrdl is 'of the
tmost Importance in Texas, Oklahotna,. KAnsas,' atfci
Missouri, where serious outbreaks may originate under
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favorable condition* and sweep northward thoughout
the wheat-belt States.
In the southen half of its range the green bug
is dependent largely on volunteer grain for its existonce
from one crop of grain to another, and experiments
have shown that destruction of the volunteer
growth caused the insects to perish in large numbers
for want of food.
It will not do, specialists say, for merely a few
growers to adopt such measures. They must be put
into practice throughout large areas, wherever the green
bug winters in numbers, if satisfactory results are
to be expected. The volunteer grain may be disked
and plowed down or otherwise destroyed, and some
other short-season crop planted ,or the land fallowed
until the next spring, if the blowing or drifting of the
soil is not a factor. The hazards of weather, it is said,
should not be depended upon to protect the grain.
Experiments showed that the bug could not be destroyed
by means of stomach poisons, such a* arsenical
insecticides, because it feeds only upon the juices of the
plants. Contact insecticides, too,, prove of little avail.
Shipping Hay Too Early.
EVERY YEAR when' new hay begins to be
marketed, reports from several Central Western
hay markets show that much of the new
hay arriving is hot and out of condition, and must
be sold at a heavy discount under the price quoted
for No. i hay. There are a number of causes, butthe
Bureau of Markets and Crop Estimates of the
United States Department of Agriculture believes
the principal one is that the hay is baled and shipped
before it has cured sufficiently and while it contains
too much moisture:
It is the custom in some sections to bale the
hay from the windrow or cock in order to avoid
the expense of stacking or putting it in the mow. It
is almost always true that the first new hay shipped
to the various markets is baled in this way. In most
of the timothy-producing sections, weather conditions
are such that it is not safe to allow the hay to remain
long in either the windrow or cock, if the best
quality of hay is to be obtained. Local showers or
heavy dews, followed by a hot sun, will soon cause
it to. bleach and deteriorate. It is, therefore, the
practice to bale just as soon as, in the judgment of
the producer or shipper, the hay can be safely shipped.
This is frequently entirely too soon for the conditions
under which it is marketed.
The movement of hay from a dry to a humid
section, or from a tool to a warmer one, increases
the probability of heating. Tight baling and close
packing in the cars are contributing causes, and apply
t? alfalfa and prairie hay as well as to timothy.
The premiums usually offered for early shipments
of new hay are very inviting. The first new
hay, if in good condition, often sells near the high
price of old hay which, as the season draws to a close,
is frequently high. The new hay is heavier, too, and
tl.e shipper profits from the sale of the water in it,
even though it sells below the price of old hay. The
chance of getting these premiums causes many shippers
to take the risk of the losses that continually
occur. It is very doubtful, however, if the premiums
equal the losses during the first week or two of the
Peach of the Tropics.
MIDSUMMER is the best season for mangoes,
which are now available in Northern markets,
points out the United States Department
of Agriculture. The mango is'one of the realty
great fruits of the .world. India, with its hundreds
of millions of people has for centuries held it saercd,
and celebrates annual ceremonies in its honor. It is
a fruit, the importance of which Americans are beginning
to recognize.. Several fine varieties are practically
free from fiber. They can be eaten with a
spoon as easily as a muskmelon. These are not to
be confused with the worthless seedling mangoes of
the West Indies.
The Hayden mango is a particularly fine example
a' the "peach of the tropics." It is a seedling of
the first East Indian mango brought to America.
The original plant was brought here by the United
States Department of Agriculture and planted at the
field Station at Miami, Fla. Extraordinary care was
necessary at first to protect it from frost. It was
three times seriously threatened. The fruit of its
seedlings show a much finer development than those
the parent plant bore.
This type of mango, when ripe, is about the size
of an avocado. It is smooth, egg-shaped, with brilliant
red coloring, shading off to a luscious yellow.
Northern dealers sell the fruit at from 65 to 85 cents
each. Last season they cost as much as $1.25 apiece.
Americans are perhaps more open-minded in trylrtg
out rt^w foods tHan kny other nationality in the
world, and when people in .this country learn to like
mangoes they will be grown for popular consump*
tioo. "? ? ?
Watching Porto Rico.
FROM PORTO RICO there conies into the
United States each year a large contribution
to the sugar, fruit, vanilla and tobacco supply.
Coffee is extensively grown, but little of it reachci
the States. The report for 1920 of the Porto Rico
agricultural experiment station under the supervision
of the United States Department of Agriculture at
Mayaquez indicates agricultural improvements which
should benefit owners, laborers, and ultimately, the
consumers in this country who pay higher price*
when any commodity is produced by wasteful or
The prosperity of the island for five centuries
has been dependent on agriculture. And there is no
coal or water power, Porto Rico will never become
a manufacturing country. In climate and beauty of
surroundings, the island is ideal. Living conditions
are constantly being improved, although there are
too many peons, or laborers, who do not command
a living wage under present methods.
It is difficult to get Porto Rican planters to
grow rice and other crops in rotation with cane in
order to benefit the soil. Becuase of recent high
prices for sugar the lands have keen kept in cane too
long. Specialists in the experiment station have
warned planters to prepare for a fall in sugar prices.
Rice cultivation is unpopular because special machinery
must be installed. Legumes, such as the velvet
bean and sunn hemp, give promise as rotation crops
with cane. The tobacco industry is thriving, and
capable of great expansion with less attention than
other agricultural projects.
A better rounded system of agriculture, including
the production of food and work animals and
forage cover crops with which to maintain them, is
strongly recommended in the report. If forage
crops for hogs were grown to a greater extent it
would not be necessary to import into Porto Rico
pork and lard to the value of $j,500,000, as was the
case last year. Neither pigs nor poultry supply the
local food demand, or even utilize the kitchen waste.
Owing to the nature of the country, oxen must
continue to do certain field work, so that cattle breeding
is highly important for work animals as well as
for dairy purposes. Tick eradication work is helping
to eliminate the greatest drawback to the cattle industry.
Pineapples, grapefruit and oranges are the main
fruit products of Porto Rico. Surplus pineapples
may be locally canned; some grapefruit juice is bottled;
but owing to a lack of shipping facilities, there is an
immense annual loss of citrus fruit. Investigations are
being carried on which are designed to save the food
and money waste due to decay of fruits in storage and
transit. Data on the cost of production and handling
is being gathered.
Experiment station specialists believe that by their
constant dissemination of agricultural information,
by the introduction of foods other than those native
to the island, such as the common temperate-zone
vegetables, and by scientific investigations aimed at
the correction of adverse agricultural conditions,
general standards of life and production in Porto
Rico can be raised.
New Coast Guard Cutters.
FIVE new Coast Guard cutters which have been
under construction at the yards of the Union
Construction Company, Oakland, Cal., are now
nearing completion, and it is expected that they will
be commissioned during the coming fall. Four of
these vessels, the Haida, Modoc, Mojave and Tampa,
are steel- vessels of 1,600 tons displacement. Their
general dimensions are 240 feet long over all, thirtynine
feet beam and sixteen feet draft. They are oil
burning and have water-tube boilers, turbine electric
drive, developing 2,600 horsepower, and a speed of
sixteen knots. Each is fitted with a two kilowatt arc
radio set and armed with three five-inch, one threeinch
and two six-pounder rapid fire guns and two
* machine guns.
The fifth vessel, the Shawnee, is a seagoing steel
tug of 800 tons displacement, 158 feet long over all,
thirty feet beam, fourteen feet three inches draft, and
fitted with water-tube boilers and a triple expansion
engine of 1,000 indicated horsepower. The Shawnee
is an oil burning vessel, capable of developing a speed
of twelve knots, and is fitted with a two kilowatt arc
These vessels are equipped with line-throwing
guns and projectiles breeches buoys, hawsers and the
necessary boats. They are capable of proceeding to
sea in any weather, to render assistance to vessels in
distress and perform any other public service assigned
When completed it is probable that the Modoc and
Taitipa Will be assigned to duty oh the Atlantic Coast,
while the Mojave, Haida and Shawnee will ptrfortn
dtity on the Pacific Coast of the Uhited States and In